Tastings: April 2017

Posted on 04.19.17 – Food & Drink, Tastings

A Fiesta for the Tastebuds

Are you looking for a meal that has the feel of a party? Why not try the newly opened Mi Rancho Grande Restaurant at 193 Thomas Johnson Drive? The menu features the cuisine of Mexico and El Salvador, with everything from burritos to pupusas.

An extensive appetizer list includes three types of ceviche—a blend of fresh seafood marinated in lime juice and chopped red onion—as well as a selection of nachos. The menu, with its combination platters is perfect for those who want a taste of everything.

The Tres Amigos Platter, for instance, comes with a taco, burrito and enchilada. Pupusas, a popular street food in Latin America, is fast becoming a local favorite, consisting of a corn tortilla stuffed with pork, cheese and beans in various combinations, and served with marinated cabbage and tomato sauce. Freshly squeezed juices from exotic fruits enhance the meal. www.miranchogranderestaurant.com

A Distillery in Mount Airy

Dan McNeill and Meg MacWhirter, owners of MISCellaneous Distillery, 114 S. Main St., Mount Airy, decided early on that they wanted to source local ingredients for their spirits. A farm near New Windsor became the focal point and from there they hunted in a 30-mile radius to find a spot for the distillery. “It was a storage building,” says McNeill, transformed into a place for production, a tasting room and retail sales, including MISCellaneous swag.

McNeill’s credentials include “years of in-depth research by the book and by the glass,” while MacWhirter worked on international development projects and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Caribbean where she was inspired by the spirits industry. The business started with “Risky Rum.” www.miscdistillery.com

Sipping & Slurping

Andy Zoulias, owner of Pipe Creek Wines in Westminster, which distributes to Frederick liquor stores and restaurants, is excited about a sauvignon blanc he sells called The Oyster. “Not only is it a fabulous wine to serve with oysters,” he says, but the California vineyard that produces it is financing the planting of 100 oysters in Maryland waters for every bottle sold.

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is important for so many reasons, not the least of which is sustaining a vibrant oyster population. According to scientists, one oyster cleans 30 gallons of water daily. The vineyard is working with the nonprofit Oyster Recovery Partnership, which in turn collaborates with watermen, government agencies, scientists and conservation groups. We’ll drink to that.

The wine is available at: Beckley’s Liquor Store, Countryside Liquors, Eastside Liquors, Franklin Liquors, aka Frisco’s, Gateway Liquors, Lakefront Fine Wine and Spirits, Mt. Airy Liquors, New Market Beer & Wine, Red Horse Restaurant, Riverside Liquors, Spin the Bottle, Trout Liquors, Vintage Restaurant, VOLT, and Ye Old Spirit Shop. www.proudpour.com