Tag Archives: Frederick MD

Frederick’s Food Bloggers Meet & Dine at AYSE Meze

This past Saturday evening, some of the foodies of Frederick got a chance to meet and enjoy a taste of the new AYSE Meze. It was high time Frederick’s growing community of food bloggers/people who blog about food met and this dinner was hopefully the first of many similar events. It’s always nice to talk about all things blogging with some kindred spirits (and sit at a table where everyone’s cool with waiting the extra few minutes to snap the requisite pictures of the food.)

Becky of Becky Cooks and Tara of Lace and Grace have their recaps up already and the other bloggers who were able to make it to this inaugural meet-up included Liza of (a)Musing Foodie, Shannon of Shannon Morgan Creative  and Karen of 365 Frederick.

Pronounced EYE-sha, AYSE Meze is named after the late mother of one of the owners as well as their focus on meze cuisine (small plates). Their menu features items from Greek, Turkish and Lebanese Cuisine.

Drinks were of course the first order of business, several of us were feeling a red wine so we did the economical thing and ordered a bottle. Others tried some white wine and a pomegranate fizz.

Drinks on the table at AYZE Meze

We were all so busy chatting it took us a bit to order anything besides our beverages, but when we did we figured the dip and cheese sampler platters were a great way for us all to taste a little of everything.

AYZE Meze dip sampler

The spread included all 6 available dips,
Muhammara – red pepper, walnuts, pomegranate molasses
Babaganoush – eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic
Hummus – chick pea, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon
Pasa Ezmesi – feta, yogurt, biber, jalapeno, parsley
Gemlik Zeytin – black olives, pepper paste, feta, garlic
Tzatziki – cucumber, yogurt, garlic, dill, mint

AYZE Meze Cheese Sampler Appetizer

The cheese (peynir) sampler included,
Bulgarian Feta with olive oil, watermelon, jalapeno and mint
Grilled Haloumi with cyprus tomato jam, marcona almonds and sumac
Manouri with calmynra figs, honey, walnuts and sherry vinegar gel
Sigara Borekgi – phyllo wrapped feta and goat cheese with apricot spoon sweet

We were also very intrigued when another dinner party had a waiter light fire to a pan of cheese and clearly had to order some for ourselves.

AYZE Meze Saganaki Cheese

It’s called Saganaki and it’s kasseri cheese flamed with mezteca brandy and lemon … they also yell “Opa!” when igniting the flame.

When it was time to move past appetizers we were offered some very good suggestions by our server. I ultimately decided on the xtemia which is (huge) sea scallops served over sweet potato, fennel and a mint-mustard butter.

AYZE Meze Sea Scallops

There are no entree sized potions available on the menu as everything is offered as small plates (very similar to tapas). Another one I was able to snap a photo of was the kibbeh, beef and lamb bulgar fritters with pine nuts, golden raisins and and labneh (a type of cheese).

AYZE Meze Beef and Lamb Fritters

Dessert was skipped by no one. Among the table everyone ordered either the flowerless chocolate cake (cikolata kestane pastasi), turkish delights (lokum) or the coconut yogurt cake (yogurt tatlisi).

AYZE Meze Flowerless Chocolate Cake Dessert

AYSE Meze Coconut Yogurt Cake Dessert

Overall I was personally very pleased with the food and based on the fact that the restaurant was full when we left, I’d say others are coming to the came conclusion. As with any new restaurant there are some growing pains to work out, but I’m looking forward to returning to sample more.

I’d like to introduce you to …

Oh boy! I really owe you all an explanation. I haven’t been posting with much frequency lately, but I promise I have a good reason.

Today, it is with butterflies in my stomach and a huge grin on my face that I introduce you to …

Offering Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tours of historic downtown Frederick, MD. That trip to New York back in January that included this food tour in Greenwich Village really sparked something and an innocent Google search for “how to start your own food tour” led me to Food Tour Pros in Chicago. I never actually told you all what I was doing there, and the truth is I was soaking up all the information I could while attending this course. Numerous food tours in cities across the globe have successfully launched because of these courses.

I really couldn’t understand why something similar didn’t already exist in Frederick, but then I got so totally excited to think that it was something I could do. Something I could create that combined my loves of food and Frederick and would allow me to share them in a new way.

I hope you will check out www.tastefrederickfoodtours.com and I’d love to hear what you think. Tickets are available, and our first tours are this upcoming week. I’d absolutely love to see/meet all of you on a tour. 🙂

As a thank you for hanging around even though I’ve epically dropped the blog ball, but mostly just because you’re all fantastic people, I’ve got a discount code just for Food & Frederick readers. Use the code FoodandFred for 10% off any adult ticket.

And for those of you who don’t live close-by a.) totally come visit me sometime and/or b.) do a little search and see if there’s a food tour available in your area.

I promise this is not going to turn into a Taste Frederick blog, that baby has got her own. I am just soooo excited to share this new project with the rest of the world and I wanted to make sure you all new about this new fun thing available in Frederick. Posts around here will return to their regularly scheduled programming ASAP. But in the meantime there’s always Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@foodandfrederick) :-).

A food recap of June

So I was not the best blogger this month … Sorry bout that! I’m going to try and make up for it a little right now and do a little recap of some of the great eats that have made their way into my belly in the past 28 days.

P.S. How the heck is it almost July!?!? Also I will absolutely, 100% tell you all about what it is I’ve been working on next week 😀

ham & swiss on focaccia

It rained a lot at the beginning of this month. I literally had to wade through flooded streets to get home after walking to get this ham and swiss on Focaccia sandwich from Pretzel & Pizza Creations. Totally worth almost losing my flip flops.

Picked some of these with friends

crabs ready to be picked

And then turned a few extra into … Breakfast

Bagel, Egg, Cheese & Crab Breakfast

And crab cakes

crab cakes

Tried a Guava and Cheese Pastry from That Cuban Place

Guava & Cheese Pastry

Had an awesome Friday lunch of sliders and beer at Bushwallers.

Burger Sliders

Hit up the Swinetastic Barbecue Festival at the Fairgrounds. I learned that deep fried cornbread is awesome!

Shots from the Swinetastic Barbecue Festival

Grabbed an iced tea and omelet from Cafe Nola.

Crab, Asparagus & Hollandaise Omelet

Prepped for an Orioles game at Pickles Pub with a crab pretzel and fried pickles.

Soft Pretzel Topped with Crab & Cheese

Deep Fried Pickles

And actually made another stop at Cafe Nola for the Zola Burger with sweet potato fries.

Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

In other news, the boyfriend and I are amazingly almost through week 3 of P90X. I’m only mentioning this to make sure none of you think I’m a glutton haha. I may eat like one (sometimes), but I try my best to work it too. (We’re actually trying to train for a Tough Mudder in September, still not exactly sure why I thought it sounded like a cool idea when I signed up.)

I hope you all have a great pre-4th of July weekend, I’ll be sharing what I’m thinking of whipping up for the holiday over on Facebook, so make sure check that out. (Or like the page if you haven’t already 🙂 Pretty please?)