Thursday, May 30, 2024

Throwback Thursday: New Designs at Redbubble

This post originally appeared on on March 21, 2018.

Hey! My Redbubble store is still up and running, and has a lot more cool designs than just the ones linked below. I did pretty well selling masks during the pandemic, but these prints also look great on shower curtains and fleece blankets. Please check them out!
Not only do I write about food and take photos of food, I use those photos to create fabric designs. The four below are some of my latest designs and can be found on everything from travel mugs to duvet covers and more. I particularly like them on scarves, tote bags, and sofa pillows.

Check out the links below every photo to see my whole line, sold by

Good Morning


Little Italy

Taco Tuesday

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Throwback Thursday: MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Co. at The Avenue in White Marsh

This post originally appeared on on March 15, 2018.

It's a shame this place couldn't make it. Mr Minx and I liked it quite a bit. The pizzas were tasty and the salads were huge and interesting. I think the odd fast casual-ness of the ordering process was its downfall. Had there been a more normal sit-down dining experience, I think this place might have lasted longer. Though the pandemic might have closed it anyway, hard to say. Also, the name was mighty weird and I'm betting 0% of people knew how to pronounce it properly. 
There's been a real push toward Neapolitan-style pizza in the last few years and I am so happy for the trend. The thin but pliable crust with a scattering of tasty scorch marks has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. When the trend shifted to fresh dough pizzas in the 80s, I lost interest in pizza altogether. Now we have several places in the Baltimore area that are embracing Neapolitan again, like Paulie Gee's in Hampden which imported wood burning ovens from Italy. MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company, with a brand new branch on The Avenue in White Marsh, is the first chain that I'm aware of that's attempting to spread this style of pizza nationwide on a large scale.

The Minx and I were recently invited to check out their space and sample their food and drink offerings. The space is clean and inviting, with a curving bar that runs along most of the dining room. The design allows patrons to watch the pizzas being prepared and cooked in their authentic wood burning ovens, just behind the bar. The menu itself is stripped down and very much reflects Northern Italian cuisine. Instead of crab pretzels and sliders, the appetizer menu has a selection of meat and cheese plates and several pairings with fresh burrata. There's also a nice selection of salads, but the main focus is the pizza.

Of course, diners do not live by pizza crust alone, so there is a wide selection of beer, wines, and specialty cocktails. The Minx and I sampled a few, including the Angel Margarita and Devil Margarita. The Angel is a fruity and refreshing concoction flavored with blackberries, while the Devil has some serious heat thanks to the whole Fresno pepper floating in the drink. We also sampled an Italian variation on the whiskey sour that incorporates an herbal liqueur known as amaro, and a Tequila Mojito that has a bright, citrus kick.

In addition to the meat and cheese boards, MidiCi offers an appetizer of meatballs with fresh mozzarella. The meatballs are made with angus beef and are a bit firmer than the meatballs you might get at a red sauce Italian place, but I'm fine with that. The dish is accompanied by their house-made wood-fire toasted bread with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Speaking of meat boards, the one we tried featured prosciutto, spicy Italian salami (calabresi), Neapolitan salami, and rosemary ham. The board included two types of mustard and a smattering of kalamata olives as well. This and a nice glass a wine is perfect start to a lively evening with friends.

Okay, let's get down to business. MidiCi offers about 15 different specialty pizzas as well as five classic Neapolitan pizzas that can be modified with a selection of toppings. The Minx and I tasted several, with the shrimp scampi pizza being a particular favorite of mine. The Minx enjoyed the Egg 'n Bacon pizza which also included Italian sausage and fingerling potatoes in addition to applewood smoked bacon and a freshly cracked egg on top. While I typically do not go for margherita pizzas, the freshness of MidiCi's ingredients made theirs quite appealing; the version with prosciutto and arugula was even tastier.

While eating all that pizza can be quite filling, MidiCi also has a selection of desserts to finish off the meal, including gelatos and sorbettos. If you're more into the concept of a cheese plate as a perfect end to a meal, there's also burrata with pear and honey. Their signature dessert, however, is the Nutella calzone with fresh berries. Made from the same dough as their pizza, the calzone is filled with Nutella and fresh berries, topped with more of each, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. 

MidiCi is a rapidly growing franchise, but they haven't skimped on the details, like the choice of ingredients, the design of their restaurants (even the bathrooms are special), and the quality of their wood-fired ovens that make all the difference in preparing Neapolitan-style pizza. I'm looking forward to trying more of their specialty pizzas and diving into their wide selection of salads.

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
The Avenue at White Marsh
8139C Honeygo Blvd.
Nottingham, MD 21236
(443) 725-5456

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* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

Monday, May 06, 2024

Dining In NY - April 2024

On my most recent trip to New York, food wasn't the first thing on my mind. Strange, I know. But it was Sniffapalooza Spring Fling weekend, so eating took a back seat to perfume sniffing. That's not to say I didn't have some delicious noms, too.

nutella earl grey swirl and coffee with oatmilk at Dominique Ansel Workshop
Of course I had to stroll over to Dominique Ansel Workshop to pick up a quick breakfast of pastry and coffee before I met with my BFF Andree. I ate half of this gorgeous laminated swirly pastry filled with Nutella/Earl Grey cream, saving the rest for an evening snack. I offered it to Andree, but she's apparently not that crazy about Nutella. Honestly, I've never heard such a thing. 

eggplant parm with arugula salad at Cecconi's at The Ned Hotel in NoMad
When Andree finally got her butt into town, she was hungry, so we went to Cecconi's--only a block from our NoMad hotel--for eggplant parm. I had eaten a horrible version not too many days earlier and found this one to be a welcome contrast. We also had a giant salad (in addition to the one that came with the eggplant) and doggie bagged about half our lunch. Our room at the Ace had a full-sized SMEG refrigerator so we took advantage of a cool spot to keep our leftovers. 

lemon meringue and nutella tarts at Masseria Cafe & Bakery
After a trip to Bergdorfs to do a little sniffing and to drop off a custom scarf for my friend Donna, we hiked to the theater district. We had tickets for the 7pm showing of Lempicka and an hour or so before it was time to queue up in front of the theater, so we grabbed an outside table at Masseria Cafe & Bakery across the street for coffee and pastries and people watching. There seemed to be a Vogue magazine photoshoot going on in the street, with models in pastel tulle frocks that gave sad 80s prom dress vibes but probably cost 10K each and a photographer in a Vogue sweatshirt. I'm tempted to pick up some late summer issues of the mag to see if these images show up.

After the show, we walked the nineteen blocks back to the Ace through the mayhem of Times Square and ate the leftovers from lunch for dinner.

The next morning, we had coffee and pastries at the Stumptown Coffee in the hotel before heading downtown for hours of perfume heaven. 

the hot antipasti course at La Mela
We broke for lunch at 1:30 for a five course family-style feast at La Mela. Their Cinque Corsi is $60 pp and gets you a salad, hot antipasti, (roasted red peppers and olives, asparagus parmigiana, spedini alla romano, stuffed mushrooms), a pasta course (rigatoni marinara, tortellini alfredo, gnocchi sorentina), a combined meat and fish course (veal francaise, chicken Scarpariello, shrimp marinara), and a wide selection of desserts (Italian cheesecake, tiramisu, cannoli, tartufo, zabaglione with fresh fruit)

the pasta course

It all looks a confusing mess, but everything was quite good. The pasta course in particular was impressively al dente--hard to achieve when made in mass quantities. I sampled all of the desserts except the cheesecake and cannoli and found them to be uniformly tasty, if messy.

Later that evening, back at the hotel, Andree determined she was hungry again but didn't want to walk anywhere (I had exhausted her the day before) so we went down to the The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar and sat for a while with this pathetic cheese plate.

this sad cheese and charcuterie plate cost $25 at the lobby bar at the Ace
I wasn't in the mood for savory food, so ordered the baked lubeck marzipan, which was two long, rather hard, and fairly uninteresting almond cookies that cost a steep $12.

brunch at The Harold: shakshuka and the smoked salmon platter with potatoes on the side
The next morning, we had our usual brunch at The Harold. Andree always gets the smoked salmon, while I try new things. The shakshuka was too brothy for me, but otherwise tasted fine. I think my favorite thing on their morning menu is the rosemary potatoes that accompany most egg dishes. Andree likes them too, so we ordered them on the side. While I like the Harold quite a bit, I do wish they'd use oatmilk instead of/in addition to the sweetened almond milk they offer for coffee.

best deal all weekend: yakitori bento at Kushi Kushi Yaki $17
My last meal of the weekend, after Andree left early and I spent some time in Saks' fragrance department, was at Kushi Kushi Yaki. I've eaten there many times and have never been disappointed by their yakitori. The little pork sausages are especially tasty, and I appreciate the wide variety of pickled items that come with the bento box.

This weekend didn't involve nearly as much food as my usual excursions to NYC, and honestly, my stomach was happier for it. The next trip, however, will be for Fancy Food, so it's likely to be a gut buster. Stay tuned!

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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