First Thyme For Everything

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I’m just going to go with it.  The best plans and situations, are the ones that are anything but well, planned.

How I ended up in historic Ellicott City yesterday is just one of those things that needs no explanation.  But I’ll explain a little something…

To trust in the universe is something I often take for granted or don’t think about.  Tha’s essentially the same thing.  But if you get in your car and start moving forward, you have to trust that where you end up, is where you’re supposed to be going.  Everything in between is that awesome unknown.   Well sometimes you know where you’re going, I just want to be melodramatic here.

Sometimes plans alter, directions change, and you end up in a charming town like Historic Ellicott City.  And you’re not getting any complaints from me.

I was in the mood for well, what that is I don’t know.   Coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch, and everything in between, and in, out, and through the source, was on my mind.   But I sensed something different today.   The sun was finally out, and my mood was up.  All you need is a little daylight to inspire you, and get that spring (ha) in your step.

From where I parked on Main Street was a sign for a cafe that I swear I never noticed before.  But truthfully, this might have been my first time this calendar year back in one of my favorite places.   When I see a sign for tea, coffee, and other fun things I’m immediately drawn.

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So with that I present to you Syriana Cafe & Gallery.

While the website is still on its way, here’s one of their pages for information.

I had no idea what to expect.  I honestly thought I was going to get some coffee to go and be on my merry way.  Instead, I noticed an endearing selection of teas (more on that in that here), and a menu that truly stood out.

Breakfast Thyme Pizza was the first thing that popped out, of course, why wouldn’t it?   I got that along with my tea, and from that point I walked around the multi level cafe and gallery while my food was being prepped.

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And all I saw was art.  It was splendid, captivating, and made feel like life is going to be ok.   And that’s not all that was ok…

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This is my first time ever writing about a breakfast pizza, and it was terrific.  I’m grateful this is the first.  And you can tell it was made with a soul and spirit that you’re only going to find at a local business.   But this had a little something else going for it.  What that is I can’t explain.  Again, sometimes it’s bigger than any of us and no words can do it the proper justice.  I’m just doing my best here.

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Heated on a magnificent naan bread and topped with thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and who knows what other amazing spices, this is not your ordinary pizza.  And why would it be?

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My pizza and along with much of the menu is inspired by food and drink from the owner’s native Syria.  As a bonus I got to meet Majd, and had the most spirited conversation that I’ve had in quite some time.   It could have gone on all day, but that will resume at another time.

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But I can’t recommend this place enough.  It’s been open since December, and the timing of all this is so fascinating.  I made my first ever visit yesterday.  They’re grand opening is this Saturday, April 14th (information can be found here), and there’s much to look forward to.

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Syriana Cafe is a tremendous addition to a neighborhood going through lot of changes, while still maintaining the integrity of supporting local business with hopefully the same sense of community that created such a picturesque town to begin with.

This also leads in to SpringFest on April 21st.

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I’ll have more to say on Tuesday.

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

 

 

Harvest Makes Me Happy

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The word ‘harvest’, evokes feelings of happiness, joy, tranquility, organic experiences, and well I honestly could go on and on.  It reminds me of what’s good in life, farmer’s markets, a sense of community, giving, and kindness.  Why does a harvest do this for me?

Maybe something happened in my past, and maybe a bunch of life experiences leading up to this story give me warm feeling of a harvest, and all that entails.  I’m smiling as I think about it, and write this out to you.

What I get the most is a feeling of togetherness and helping your fellow family member, friend, or whomever it may be out, and the feelings are reciprocal, but more importantly there’s a feeling of good from within.  I could go on all day…

That feeling of friendship, love, comradery, and all those other superlatives came together last week when my friends introduced me to a new restaurant that opened near them.   And what a most magnificent place this is.   I’m honored, thankful, and grateful to be sharing our experience at Harvest Thyme in Davidsonville, MD, which is comfortably nestled outside of Annapolis.

The location may feel a bit remote, but sometimes those are the best places.   My friends told me that there isn’t much in terms of food and drink in the immediate area, so this is a blessing to the community.   And we were witness to it, as the place was packed near the tale end of happy hour, leading into dinner.

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The exterior has a welcoming aura and energy about it, as does the inside.  I didn’t take enough pictures, but I hope you get some idea of how elegant this place is.

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We came in with the full intent of getting some pizza to go.  And if we had any second thoughts about dining in instead, those went out of the window immediately.  It was a sea of humanity, but a lot of good humanity.  People seemed jovial, upbeat, and realizing it’s the weekend, having a little worries or cares in the world, hopefully.

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We did share a bottle of wine while we waited.  And you can read more about that here.

But my pals and I decided on two different pizzas.  And it’s quite the dichotomy.

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The El Blanco is there White Pizza and it’s great.  When it comes to certain restaurants, you might come to have expectations of how a pizza may be presented; the size, the crust, the amount of cheese, and all those other nuances.    What I’ve looked forward to when some or all of the components of a pie are made in house.

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Their dough is made in house, and it’s terrific.  This is a good white pie, if you don’t want too much overbearing cheese and garlic, which has been known to plague similar pizzas I’ve written about it in the past.  This is a charmer, a grower, and has many endearing qualities.  Yes I’m still talking about the pizza.

However, even better is the Carnitas.

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The pulled pork, which is twice cooked (I love that), cheddar cheese, and spicy tomato sauce is a blend from beyond and on a whole other level.  My friend joked saying we wouldn’t like this.  Hoping to not have to share.  But you know what they say about sharing.   Right.

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This to me felt like a sneak preview, an appetizer, and almost a dress rehearsal if you will.  The restaurant has only been open a few months but it already looks like a hit.

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The dining room looks great, the bar area feels welcoming, and our waiting area felt like more than just that.  And we go to share a bottle of wine on a serendipitous night before we sat down and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games.  Yes I’ve got to throw in all the references to the Olympics I can.

This place is great, that’s all I’ve got for you right now.  If you’re in the area, or plan on visiting Harvest Thyme, here is their food menu, their drink list, their story, and of course their contact information.

 

 

More to come from this wonderful ristorante.

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

Hand Over Heart

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The title make not sense at first, but the culinary joy sure does.

Over a month ago, I somehow find myself in the interesting locale known as Crystal City, VA.  The circumstances leading me here were a bit bizarre but that’s the joy of life.  You don’t always know how you end up at a certain places but at that very moment this is where you were supposed to be.

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This brings me to We, The Pizza.   And I loved it.  With what was going on in the air that day and the gross weather, this was the comforting food that I needed.   You can tell in one of the photos that it was a gross and dreary day.

When it’s blah out I (or we) don’t always make the most rationale or educated of decisions.  Our axis might be a bit off.  I admit I was very off this day so what I chose to order might have seemed clumsy at first.  But I nailed it.  They nailed it.

I’ll say this though, the location is not the most approachable.  The D.C. area does bring an energy at times that doesn’t encourage that.  But that by no means will cloud my judgement on this or any other area order.    I think I’ve beaten around the bush enough.

I surveyed their eclectic menu and after much deliberating  I went with the Cajun Chicken & Andouille as my first choice.  Second but no least was the Forest Shroomin’ Slice.

Aside from the cheese which is $3, every slice on their menu is $4.  And for the location and what I was eating this was a bargain.

I’m still missing New Orleans as previous posts here and here will indicate, so this was the perfect slice to take me back.

Off the bat, the crust was cooked on each immaculately.  I am reminiscing now about how great it was. It had a genuine taste to it.  Maybe it was the oven, maybe it was the perfect amount of charring and heating, or maybe it was the folks and the energy behind the cooking.   So good.

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The free-range chicken and chicken andouille sausage come together perfectly.  Neither one imposes on the other and the toppings complement one another well. This may have been the first time I had this type of sausage, but oh my goodness this was a winner. I could have multiple slices of these.   The cajun seasonings brought just enough of a kick and spice to make this a winner.  This is a great pie.

The forest shroomin’ was a random choice and luck was on my side again. This will sound like a dig at first but it tasted like a cream of mushroom pizza poured on top of a pizza.  And I loved every second of it.  The thyme may be what really makes this slice.   I love mushroom so this is something I would definitely get again.  This may not be a slice for everyone but that’s the fun in pizza adventures.  There’s so much to choose from.

Look how cozy these slices are next to each other? They’re akin to being best buds.

I would be foolish not to mention that entertaining pictures adorning the walls and the mens room.   I’ve said it before but any pizzeria that has their own to go box gets many brownie points.  I love that touch. And now for your viewing pleasure:

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I will be back.  I just don’t know when.  I had a pleasurable time here and the patrons who seemed to be in a rush were in good spirits.  Either that or I tuned all the negativity out.   The staff was very cordial too. I enjoyed myself.

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They have  a Washington, DC location I’d like to check out sometime too!

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For more information about this great spot or contact info click here.  And I love seeing community involvement tabs, so even more brownie points!

All I needed to turn a strange start to a day around was focus on something positive.  I discovered a great new pizza place and the dominoes fell from there.

That’s where the hand over heart comes in.  I was in a place of tranquility, along with feeling full and happy.   That’s all I needed.

Thanks so much and Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

Best,

Ideen