Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OC Kabob in Salisbury : A hidden gem

I absolutely love Greek food. I even worked as a waitress at a Greek restaurant (Vasilis Mediterranean Grill in Gaithersburg) which served excellent Greek fare. I have been to Greece and eaten some fabulous gyro's, moussaka, pastichio, and more in my time so I like to think I have a good idea of what good Greek food is.

Sometimes I get this really strong craving for tzatziki sauce. I just love that wonderful condiment. I have made tubs of tzatziki myself at home so I can pile it on sandwiches and dip vegetables in its creamy goodness. So it wasn't unusual for me to start craving some tzatziki sauce after I saw OC Kabob on 13 in Salisbury. I didn't want to go to this new Greek place alone so when Justin came to visit a trip to this new Greek find was required.

The outside of OC Kabob is a little off putting I must admit-it looks suspiciously like a bar and not a place to grab a good pita wrap. Once I walked inside OCK my suspicions were somewhat allayed. There are small personal touches that make the place feel homey and comfortable. The mediterranean lamps and bright framed cloth patterns made you get the feeling that this was a family owned place that tried to produce good greek food.

I was more than surprised and pleased when our personable waitress came by our table and set down a complimentary basket of fried pita along with a wooden bowl that was filled with chickpeas, onions and spices ready for mashing (wooden pestle provided) and dipping. I really enjoyed with appetizers-so much so that I was almost full by the time we received our entrees.

I of course got the gyro (lamb and beef meat filling, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki sauce served on a warm pita) which came with a side of nicely done fries. The gyro was overflowing with meat and I could barely finish half of it-even with Justin's help. Justin ordered the kafta kabob. This was basically ground beef mixed fresh herbs and subtle spices served with a chicken broth flavored couscous, grilled vegetables, a fresh side salad and some warm pita slices. We both really liked the meal. The tzatziki was nice and light-I think they used sour cream instead of Greek yogurt. I especially liked their pita bread which was very fresh and just the right texture.

A very interesting twist to the night was the appearance of a belly dancer who belly danced her way around the tables to some upbeat Mediterranean music.

Unfortunately OC Kabob is only open for dinner but I definitely will take other friends who come to visit me in Salisbury though I must say that Vasilis will always be number one in my Greek food eating heart er stomach.

OC Kabob
327 E Main St. Salisbury, MD 21801     ph#  410-749-1969

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello Cupcake Review

So there was an awesome deal for Hello Cupcake on LivingSocial (spend $18 get a $36 certificate) so Justin was nice enough to get it for me <3 and also go to DC and the cupcakes themselves. The bag and box the cupcakes came in were really cute. I thought they looked nicely decorated but not stunning or anything. Now I have reviewed a lot of cupcake places on this blog and I regret to say that Hello Cupcake is just not a top competitor. The yellow cake cupcakes (vanilla) were dry, had a very strange texture and just were mediocre at best. The chocolate cake cupcakes were even worse. These cupcakes were tasteless-pretty much no chocolaty flavor and a waste of hard-earned calories. Justin loved the icing on all the cupcakes though and I thought the icing was pretty good too.

The best Hello cupcake, by far, was the banana cupcake topped with a thick chocolate buttercream icing (called the chocolate chimp). They had obviously used real banana to make the cake part (always the way to go) and it went fabulously with the thick rich chocolate icing. In a close second was the peanut butter banana cupcake (peanut butter icing, banana cake bottom-called the velvet Elvis), and in third place was their carrot cake cupcake with creamcheese frosting. I did really like the strawberry icing topped lemon cupcake but the texture of the cake part once again didn't wow me-I was impressed by how strawberry the strawberry icing was. Bet you they used strawberry jello in the mix for flavoring.

Unfortunately there were no fillings in any of these cupcakes which would have def elevated them a notch or two. All in all I would go back for their banana cupcakes but leave the rest for other unsuspecting customers.

Hello Cupcake


Dupont Circle

Capitol Hill


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Butternutsquash Pie Recipe

So years ago when I was on a retreat some friends picked up a few different pies on the way to the cabin and we feasted on the different pies that night (yeah-they were all finished in one night haha). I clearly remember loving the butternut squash pie-something I had never had before. It was a million times tastier than pumpkin pie and I wanted to recreate my lovely butternut squash pie eating experience with the free squash I got from the farm. I made the pie three ways-one with a traditional pie crust, one in muffin tins with the same pie crust and one with a graham cracker pie crust.

 I got a ton of compliments on this pie and it was the filling that really made it. The squash is so naturally sweet it gives the pie a wonderful honey like flavor.

I roasted the squash myself by halving it, scooping out the seeds in the base, basting it with maple syrup and sticking it in the oven at 400 F for about 45 minutes. 

I based my filling off of a recipe from the Farmers Daughter blog but tweaked it a little for myself:

  • 1 cup squash puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pie dough for one 9-10″ crust
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Pour the filling into pie crust
  • Let the pie bake for 10 minutes before turning it down to 300F for 50-60 minutes