But I don't really go in for all of that mania. For the last week or so of each year, I unwind. I only make engagements that I want to keep. I take deep breaths. I cook what I want, when I want. I take long walks with my dog. I enjoy some alone time. And if I'm very lucky, I get to go out for a rare weekday lunch with Poppa Trix.
Well, I must have been a very good girl this year, because this past Friday Poppa Trix and I went out for a leisurely holiday lunch in Frederick, Md. at Family Meal, the new(ish) eatery from Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio.
Family Meal is very different from Volt, Voltaggio's upscale Frederick restaurant, which I wrote about two years ago. Rather than meticulously plated modern American cuisine, the dishes at Family Meal are accessible tweaks of familiar retro American comfort foods. This more casual approach fits perfectly with the space, a former car dealership.
We began (how else?) with cocktails. It was a blustery day and I had the mulled wine.
While Poppa Trix had a mezcal sour.
This place does not skimp on the pickles. Just look at that goodness.
Poppa wanted the chicken livers. I am not a fan of the metallic taste of liver, but Poppa approved. They're there, under the frisee, sitting on top of rice and beans.
I had the burger with bacon and cheddar. Given that the beef was local and grass fed, I had no qualms about getting it medium rare. It was every bit as juicy and satisfying as it looks:
My apologies: this is a really badly framed photo of some really crispy, perfectly seasoned fries. I think I may have been drunk with food at this point.
Happy holidays - make sure to take a deep breath and relax!