23 November 2010

Sustainable Agriculture and Woodberry Kitchen

Yesterday I participated in a sustainable agriculture task force through the EFC of University of Maryland, College Park. We had an amazing discussion on how to improve the local food options in Maryland's 157 municipalities. Ultimately we will create several action items for municipalities to complete to achieve the Sustainable Maryland Certified recognition. I got to meet several intelligent and interesting people who work in all aspects of the food system. One lady in particular was Joan Norman of One Straw Farm which is the largest certified organic vegetable farm in Maryland. I spoke with Joan about my plans of visiting Woodberry Kitchen for dinner to which she said ever since they opened they have been buying from her.

After the meeting I drove to downtown Baltimore to walk around and kill time until Mike, an old friend of mine, got off work. We had discussed dinner options and once Woodberry came up I was sold. Being a farm-to-table restaurant, I knew that if we went anywhere else I would regret it. And having read the menu online my mouth was already watering thinking of all the awesome offerings.

Upon seating, I immediately apologized to my friend for any perceived gluttony. I ended up starting with the Veal Cheek and Farro soup, followed by the Butcher's Board. The board contained all sorts of charcuterie, including beef, veal, and pork. It was explained to me that they do all of the butchering in house. I do not know why I was surprised by this, but upon thinking about it longer, it gives the chef almost complete control over the meat. And you can definitely taste it! I shared several pieces of each with Mike who found himself highly impressed with it all, especially the corned beef tongue.

For the main course (as if I had not eaten enough already), I got the Truck Patch Farms Pork Chop with buttered cabbage and pork belly. As if things could not have gotten tastier. Once I had consumed every the meal I actually deviated from my 60+ day strict paleo challenge and soaked up the last of the juices with a bit of their homemade bread. Well worth it in my opinion.

I can not recommend this place enough. The staff, especially our waitress Amanda, were extremely friendly and the atmosphere was quite classy and relaxing. Many paleo friendly options. If you are ever in Baltimore, eat here.