Ramzi made burgers on Tuesday! And I made…salad. 2.25 lbs ground beef made 7 burger patties. Topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, and in some instances (pictured), a fried egg. Attempted french fries, but they came out soggy. Apparently there’s some trick to crispy french fries that I don’t know about.

And Ramzi made cherry pie too! He and his girlfriend, Steph, went berry picking at Larriland over the weekend. They picked tart cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. The pie filling was really good–not too sweet and not too tart.

Ramzi staged the plates…Ramzi took the photos…Ramzi may as well write this blog.

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Grilled Burgers on Foodista
A couple Saturdays ago, after a really long and exhausting afternoon of strawberry picking (kidding, it wasn’t that exhausting), my friends and I headed to Federal Hill to grab a bite to eat. We checked out The Abbey Burger Bistro on Cross St. They have an interesting selection of specialty burgers created by the chef. It states clearly on the menu that there are no substitutions allowed. However, if you can’t decide on a burger, you have the option of creating your own. I chose the turkey burger, topped with black beans, avocado, red hawk cheese, bib lettuce, and spicy creme fraiche. I thought the burger itself was pretty good, but the bread was so-so. And of course I had to get the sweet potato fries.

Afterwards while walking home, we passed by E61 Espresso Bar and Ice Cream on Charles. They advertise thru their window that they have handmade ice cream, so we went in to check it out. There were a few flavors to choose from, and you can sample as many as you like. I asked to try the passionfruit sorbet, and the lady commented that when she made it that morning, she thought it turned out a little sour. It’s always surprising to hear someone criticize her own food especially when she’s trying to sell it to you. She was definitely right; it was pretty sour. I then sampled the caramelized grape nuts. I was never a fan of Grape Nuts cereal. I think I always associated it with old people because my after school baby sitter when I was a kid always ate them, and she was elderly. But I never really liked the taste either. But this ice cream flavor was really good. Sweet with just the right amount of crunch. I walked out of their with a scoop of the grape nut, and a scoop of the double chocolate. So yummy; I’m definitely a fan.

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A few weeks ago (can you tell I’m playing catch up on this blog?), a new burger place in Harbor East opened up called Elevation Burger. This burger chain takes pride in using organic free range, grass-fed beef and fresh-cut fries cooked in olive oil. They really play up being an environmentally-friendly burger joint too. It’s posted all over the walls of the restaurant, and even on their soda cups.

There are both regular burgers and two varieties of veggie burgers to choose from. You can even get a “half the guilt” burger which comes with one veggie and one meat patty, as opposed to their “Elevation” burger which is two meat patties.

The inside is really brightly lit and inviting. The staff are all really friendly. (Although it could just be because they just opened–give it a few weeks/months). The general manager stopped by our table to make sure everything was alright, and was really open to our suggestions. I mentioned that the burger buns weren’t toasted and were even a little cold, and he was really apologetic about it.

I had the cheeseburger and fries. The patty itself was nothing to write home about. I didn’t think it tasted any better than a non free-range grass fed cow. They also only cook their patties well-done; I guess to eliminate any concern over serving undercooked meat. If I were to pit Elevation Burger head to head with Five Guys, I would say the burger at Five Guys wins, but Elevation Burger dominates in the fries category. And I can eat a burger and fries at Elevation without going into a food coma like at Five Guys.

Elevation does have shakes though. Choose between chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, and you can choose up to two things to mix in. I got vanilla with oreo cookies and strawberry. Super thick and super yummy.

If I was in Harbor East and craving a burger, I’d go back to Elevation, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there. Although it’s nice that it’s another inexpensive food option in an area that is kind of overwhelmed with pricey restaurants.

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