Lunch Downtown–two great options

6 10 2008

I love to eat outside in the spring and fall.  Luckily lots more restaurants are providing outdoor seating.  When we lived downtown, it was Brewer’s Alley and diFrancesco’s.  That’s it.  I also love to eat lunch out.  It seems indulgent, since otherwise I’d be munching on a big salad while I sat at the computer.  But lunch out with a friend seems so…Ladies Who Lunch.  This Lady needs that lunch to be inexpensive and meatfree, however.

Lucky Lady!  In Downtown Frederick, there are many options for inexpensive, outdoor, meatfree dining.  I think my favorite remains Isabella’s.  That 3-for-10.99 lunch special is just great.  I go with another person, that’s 6 dishes to sample, and little makes me happier than little bits of lots of things (“instead of lots of one!” Thanks Cheese Council ads from the 70s…).  That Asparagus Frites dish is far, far yummier than it seems like it should be.  When I first saw it, I thought “In a champagne flute.  How twee.”  But they could serve it in a tiki mug and it would still rock.  Not greasy, just perfectly crisp.  And with a chili mayo–how can I not love that?  The patatas bravas are always yum, and again with the mayo.  The brie is our other must-get, and that leaves 3 dishes to rotate and try.  The baby green beans are delish.  Sometimes it’s a mushroomy day.  I’ve never had a dish there that I didn’t finish, and have had several that are just fantastic.

A newer lunch discovery is Cafe Nola.  I’d gone last spring with my kids and husband and had a great grilled cheese, but I didn’t recall the menu being SO veg-friendly.  I’d say it’s 1/3 vegetarian at this point, with some vegan.  The Grilled Cheesy is delicious, if a bit…non-dietetic.  The salads are really tasty too.  The menu at the link is not as extensive as the one we got last week…I know there was a salad that involved asparagus b/c that’s what my friend got.  I got the Nola Salad.  It nearly killed me having to choose just one.  See?  That’s why tapas rocks.  Some of us are severely taxed by food-based decsion making.

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