Goodbye Freez King, Hello Asian Cafe

From the Freez King website, “Original owners James and Mary Lou Thomas opened Freez King in March of 1966. It quickly became an iconic neighborhood figure spawning legions of faithful customers and happy neighborhood memories. Freez King closed its doors in 2009, only to be resurrected by Tauraso in 2011.”  Well now it’s 2013 and Freez King is once again closed.  I’m going to miss those hot dogs.Freez King Hot DogsGoodbye Freez King… you never quite got the hang of things.  Your location was awful, but your summer lines for ice cream were long.  Maybe the new menu was too ambitious (bison burgers, kimchee slaw on hot dogs), but I was always happy you were one of the only places where I could find a really good hot dog.  Now let’s see how this Asian Cafe will fare.  Freez King now Asian Cafe

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill and Taco Tuesday

I needed a reason to add some fast casual Mexican variety into my life. I think I’ve found that variety with Taco Tuesday at newly opened Cafe Rio at Westview.  The small chain of 50+ started up in Utah of all places and has made its way to its third Maryland location with the newly opened Frederick restaurant.   The main draw for coming here… $1.75 tacos all day on Tuesdays.Cafe Rio FrederickNormally the non-fire-grilled options are $2.75 a piece so triple up on tacos and save yourself a few bucks on what I consider the worst day of the week.  Chile Roasted Beef, Shredded Chicken Breast (pictured below), Sweet Pork Barbacoa for $5.25 is more than filling and a good value.Cafe Rio TacoCafe Rio grills their tortillas and you’ve got a choice of flour, whole wheat or corn.  Now if they could only make some guacamole on par with Chipotle, I might find myself here weekly.  Check them out at 5100 Buckeystown Pike behind the Regal Westview movie theater.Cafe Rio Tacos

Family Meal, 880 N. East Street

Chef Bryan Voltaggio has graced Frederick, Maryland with high-end cuisine (Volt) and an affordable sandwich shop (Lunchbox). Fast forward seven months from the opening of Lunchbox, Voltaggio’s 3rd grub destination has arrived in Frederick. The place is called Family Meal and it follows a diner theme that’s a “modern take on comfort food classics”. I’ll call it a diner with an identity complex that fortunately succeeds in most areas.Why the name Family Meal? Continue reading

Roasthouse Pub, 5700 Urbana Pike

Ah yes, my beloved gastropub. A place to enjoy tasty grub that just seems to be paired perfectly with the likes of Troubadour Magma and Weyerbacher Harvest. When you can’t throw a rock without hitting an Applebee’s or TGIFriday’s, you know a place like The Roasthouse Pub in Frederick, Maryland is a welcome addition to your town . I’m no expert when it comes to craft beer, but I know what I like and I can appreciate a good drink or three with a hearty meal.If you’re not a craft beer aficionado, 75-cents will have you sampling the goods before committing to a pint. There are two chalkboards with whatever is on tap at the moment and the list is always changing. New brews are usually tapped mid-meal in my experience. The Roasthouse Pub opened in 2011 and it’s become a favorite of mine already. I know 99% of my audience will relate to the national chains over a local joint, but a place like this is prime territory for tasty pics you can drool over, so I hope you at least give them a peak. Continue reading

Lunchbox, 50 Carroll Creek Way

I can’t really afford to dine at the fancy-pants Volt restaurant in downtown Frederick, Maryland. Well, I can afford it, but c’mon… I’m more likely to be seen eating a dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget than goat cheese ravioli and squab. Also the fact that you need reservations… well, that’s just not my regular style. So when Volt owner Bryan Voltaggio made the decision to open a casual lunch-time sandwich spot called Lunchbox just blocks away from Volt, I felt it was my time to get a chance to sample the goods.

Lunchbox opened today, and I stopped in to snap some pics and get a quick bite. The menu consists of sandwiches, soups and salads. Nothing on the Lunchbox menu is over $5.00. Continue reading

Twice Grilled BBQ Chimi from Fajita Grande

One of my new favorite menu items that I’d like to share is the Twice Grilled BBQ Chimi from Fajita Grande.

Steak & Chicken fajita, with cheese, onion, pepper, pasted with baja BBQ sauce & grilled, served with rice, refried beans, lettuce, pico, cilantro & sour cream

I subbed out the refried beans for black beans and enjoyed some of the best grub I’ve had in a while. What you’re seeing here is basically a chicken and steak stuffed burrito topped with BBQ sauce (yeah I’m pretty much obsessed with BBQ sauce) and served on a sizzling fajita skillet. BBQ sauce on a burrito? Yes, oh yes. Amazing. This isn’t a review, just a shout-out to whoever concocted this beauty. I applaud you.
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Fajita Grande, 5 Willowdale Drive

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo , we are heading to a tiny Mexican Restaurant located in Frederick, MD. Fajita Grande Mexican Restaurant Bar & Grill is tucked away in Willowtree Plaza, a small shopping area, along the Golden Mile. The outside has the appearance of your typical strip mall restaurant, however, when you step inside, you are welcomed into a warm comfortable atmosphere with your typical Mexican decor. One side of the restaurant contains booths and tables and the other side contains additional tables and the bar.

fajita-grandeAs soon as you arrive, a bowl of chips and fresh salsa are brought to you to nibble on as is customary with most every Mexican restaurant. There is no skimping as the chips are replenished even before the bowl is empty. Great, fresh salsa too! Your order is taken shortly after you arrive and your meal is set in front of you before you know it. The staff is very attentive and will stop by your table to check on you several times during your meal. Every time I dine in at Fajita Grande, I’ve had some of the best service. Continue reading