This weekend I had the opportunity to take part in one of the coolest things I have participated in since I moved to Frederick: a Taste Frederick Food Tour!
My brother bought a me a gift certificate for Christmas, but the tour season just began this weekend, so I was finally able to take part. Sarah, who writes the blog By: Sarah Rae, is the owner of Taste Frederick and was our tour guide for the afternoon.
This was a great experience for me as a new(er) resident of Frederick. I got to experience some of the best the food scene has to offer and learn a TON about the history of downtown Frederick. But that doesn’t mean this tour is only for newbies to the area. I am sure that even the long-time residents will learn a thing or two about their city, and get to taste some incredible food. It would also be a great way to show your out-of-town guests how amazing our city is.
The tour started at Brewer’s Alley.
Obviously, we sampled some of their delicious beer. This was their 1634 Ale, which happens to be one of my favorites.
I have been to Brewer’s Alley several times in the past, but somehow I had never tried their pizza! Pizza is my favorite food, so I was pretty excited to give it a try.
This was their Margarita pizza. The tomatoes were so sweet, which is quite a feat during the winter! The melted mozzarella provided a salty bite, and the crust was crispy, and a little doughy. It was really a delicious pie.
Our next stop was Firestone’s Market, which is located next door to Firestone’s restaurant. It is almost a mini convenience store, that sell specialty ingredients, tasty looking treats, and fresh-baked bread.
And hot pressed sandwiches! This was their pastrami sandwich, which was to-die-for. I love pastrami, and this sandwich was no different. The melted cheese and grainy mustard really brought this sandwich together.
Our tour continued on to Griff’s Landing. I have passed by Griff’s many times, but never really thought to stop in. It always seemed like a fun place to go out and drink with friends, but I didn’t know their food was also something to take note of.
We tried three of their signature appetizers: the Crab Mac & Cheese Puff, a Bacon Wrapped Scallop, and their Hushpuppy with a spicy sauce. I enjoyed all these bites, but I have to say the scallop was my favorite. I love scallops!
Sarah then guided us along the Carrol Creek Promenade and explained a lot about the history of the area, sharing lots of fun facts along the way! This tour was (almost) as much about the history and culture of Frederick as it was about the food. Well, who am I kidding, it was really all about the food for me, but it was cool to hear some of the stories that make our area so unique.
We crossed the creek, and made our next stop at The Wine Kitchen. The Wine Kitchen has an evolving menu that uses local produce and seasonal ingredients. The offer wine flights, as well as flights of whiskey- I will definitely be bringing Chris here!
We tried a delicious, buttery Chardonnay along with a couple of the dishes the Wine Kitchen has to offer.
This was the Beet Salad. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this or not, but I really do not prefer beets. I think they taste like dirt. Some people call that “earthy.” I call it dirt. Anyhow, I put on my big girl pants and tried the beets. I still didn’t enjoy them, but the rest of the salad was great! It had a coffee vinaigrette (I think?) and was really tasty.
We also tried their macaroni and cheese, which was creamy and decadent. It was topped with Ritz crackers, which gave it the perfect salty crunch. This was one of my favorite dishes of the afternoon.
The next part of the tour gave us a good chance to walk off the food we had tasted thus far. Good thing, because I was getting full!
We walked around the downtown area, and Sarah shared more interesting facts and history about Frederick. We saw the Tyler’s Spite House, the Courthouse, City Hall, and learned about the “Clustered Spires” of Frederick before we arrived at our next location: the Pop Shop!
I gave up soda for Lent (specifically Diet Coke), but I made an exception to try a couple of the specialty sodas the shop has to offer.
We tried a birch beer, and a strawberry lemonade soda. Both were delicious and refreshing! I certainly missed carbonation!
It is funny how you don’t realize you miss something until you try it again. The shop also has ice cream and makes root beer floats! I will coming back in the summer to have one of those.
We passed by Volt, which I am dying to dine at. Someday!
And we made our way to the final stop of the tour, Zoe’s Chocolate. You have to finish with dessert!
Zoe’s recently provided chocolates for the Oscar’s, so you know they have to be good!
We tried a pomegranate chocolate, which was nice and sweet with a hint of fruity flavor.
And this was the liquid caramel. The caramel wasn’t chewy, but almost melted. It was also had a hint of sea salt. Salt+Caramel+ Chocolate is my idea of the perfect dessert!
And with that, our tour was over! I had a great time exploring a little more of the food scene around Downtown Frederick. Sarah did a wonderful job of showing us a variety of restaurants and shops, and mixed in a ton of history and culture along the way.
I highly recommend taking a tour with Taste Frederick Food Tours to those who are visiting the area, as well as those who live in or near Frederick, no matter how long they have been here! It was a delicious, and informative afternoon!