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Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Happy Sandwich

library-348Erin met me in Frederick on the Sunday smack in the middle of our birthdays to celebrate.  As if that in and of itself isn’t enough we made ourselves reservations at Volt in a completely shameless act of teenage, starstruck admiration.  I can admit it.  If B. V. wasn’t so cute we so wouldn’t have bothered and that’s just the simple truth.

library-341So about the restaurant.  We had reservations for brunch at 1:30.  We must have picked the slot that straddles the exact moment between when people my parents age and people my age eat brunch.  The average age of the dining room dropped by half in a mere 30 minutes to the point that it was so obvious that it was bizarre.  It might be my own hangups but the atmosphere seemed a whole lot lighter around 2:15 than it did at 1:30.

The whole experience was pretty amazing and brunch is a good way to ease into the fine dining experience for a very reasonable price.  Brunch is served as a three course prix fixe menu and there are several tempting selections for each course.  I really wanted to take pictures of our dishes.  I don’t think either of us has ever been served a dish with foam but I restrained myself.  I read one too many articles about the swooning masses that have been in and out of there since this season of Top Chef started… I just couldn’t do it (which means we didn’t plead for a word with the chef either).  And the verdict on the foam?  Meh.  But maybe I’ll let Erin tell you in her own words.

I had the market salad as a first course which was good but Erin’s goat cheese ravioli was MUCH better.  I also ordered a sausage gravy and biscuits which were the low point of the meal.  The biscuits were good but the gravy was cold so I could have easily done without that dish.  I had steak and eggs as a second course which was totally divine.  The steak was soooo good nestled atop a bed of the creamiest polenta I have ever eaten.  Ever.  My tarte tatin for dessert was preceded by a special birthday semifredo, both also delicious.  Though there was something a little bitter on the plate with the tarte that I couldn’t quite put my finger on but maybe that’s the mystery of it.  Overall, it was a delicious brunch.  Though it would have been tastier with a mimosa.  They even give you a little muffin for the road.  How nice is that?  Well we didn’t get to meet the Chef but he was there.  We both got a couple glimpses and there was much subdued squealing at our table.

library-351Volt was the meat and cheese in my happy sandwich stuck in between the bread  of our visits to Eleganza Yarns and Accessories of Old.  We also stopped in at Needles n Pins where I picked up a couple of yards of wool felt.  Actually that was our first stop after which I promptly lost my bag of felt at Eleganza.  I suppose it’s better than losing my purse but not much.  It’s a good thing that I’m almost at the end of this pregnancy because circumstances with my memory are getting dire.

I treated myself to some new needles and a sweet little kit for making felted booties.  I can’t wait to get started on them.  That is assuming I ever work my way through the booties that I’m working on now.  I started work on the slipper part and ended up taking it all out.  I think I “get” how it’s supposed to work so I’m going to give it another go.  I do not enjoy ripping out my work, it stinks.  We didn’t stay long but Kristi at Eleganza was wonderful and I loved that when I mentioned that I recognized the logo on her hand dyed yarn she knew right away that my local yarn store is Lovely Yarns.  It’s a small world right?

library-346library-347After lunch we shopped up and down Market Street.  Unfortunately, the toy store was closed but I found something for Chase at a rock shop.  I brought her a little bag of polished rocks called Pirate’s Treasure.  A total gimmick but inexpensive and totally in keeping with her recent interest of treasure from under the sea.  I was pretty good until we got to Accessories of Old.  The first picture up there is from the shop.  It’s like the shops I read about on other people’s blogs.  Totally amazing.  I’ve never seen so many vintage trims and notions in any one place.  My head was spinning.  I really wanted to buy some of the vintage hair clips because I love them.  Unfortunately, Chase doesn’t love them nearly as much and so I passed on them as painful as it was.  It’s not the buttons and clips themselves so much as the lovely cards that they come attached to.

A few yards of trims came home with me.  Each of them with a separate provenance.  Did I mention that this place was cool?  I left without buying anything the first time hit a few shops and decided I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t look just a little harder.  Erin, gently declined to be dragged back for a second go.  I can’t say that I blame her.  She already spent half the day sharing my enthusiasm for wool felt and hand dyed sock yarn.

Now that I know where everything is I can’t wait to go back.  I’ll be the first one in line to put my name on the board by the next case in Frederick.  And just in case you find yourself up that way here’s the map we used.  I’m getting the hang of my new phone.  It was kind of neat to be able to access my map just like that.  We didn’t get turned around at all.  Best. Birthday. Ever.  Bring on dirty 30, I’m ready.

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