Where I've Been + What Was Good

Scotch Highland cows at Sheppard Mansion Farms in Hanover, Pa.
metrocurean photo

A look at where I've been eating and what was good ...

Sheppard Mansion
I took an overnight trip to Hanover, Pa. last week, as the guest of Sheppard Mansion, where chef Andy Little cooked a stunning 10 (and some) course meal. I'll have a video for your viewing pleasure soon of the inn's wonderful market and farm. But for now, Little's locally grounded cooking left quite an impression. Nodding to Hanover's claim as the snack capital of Pennsylvania (thanks to Utz potato chips and Snyder's of Hanover pretzels), dinner kicked off with a brown paper bag of housemade chips, stamped with the message "Eat Like U Live Here," and ended with an addictive butter popcorn semifreddo with a sweet and salty chip crust. Somewhere in between, I got to taste the gorgeous grass-fed beef from Sheppard Mansion's own farm just a few miles down the road. One of the shortest farm-to-table distances I've seen.

Yes, I had the 5 Bites famous palak chaat, and yes, it's still as delicious as ever. But I also adored the clam caldine, a small dish of Virginia bivalves, scented with coconut milk, cilantro and green chilies.

The Source
Speaking of clams, Scott Drewno's dish of littlenecks with silky noodles, keffir lime and Thai basil hit the spot on Friday night in the Source's lounge. Pork belly bao buns and a firey dish of Singapore chili-style softshell crab rounded out late-night dinner.

Taberna del Alabardero
At a decadent media tasting of the prized Spanish Iberico de Bellota pork, chef Javier Romero prepared a whole hog menu from snout stew with spicy paprika to trotters salad with garlic dressing. 

Eastern Market
After hunting for some funky garden decor (scored a great weathered casement window mirror), I grabbed some Kaboom popcorn kernels from Agora Farms on the Eastern Market farmers line. They recommend keeping the kernels in the freezer to make them pop bigger. Eager to try it out. And if you need some tips on popping corn on the stove (ditch the microwave stuff!) Agora has instructions.

And for a sweet ending to this round-up, I hit the bar at Fiola for what was meant to be a drink post-chili crabs at The Source, but turned into a dessert extravaganza. And I found heaven without even getting raptured. It's Fabio Trabocchi's ricotta bomboloni, dipped into affogato.
A look at where I've been eating and what was good ...