Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Family Meal (Bryan Voltaggio) in Hagerstown MD

Family feast

Well now what happened is we all went a little funny in the head; you know, a little funny. And we went and did a silly thing: we went to Bryan Voltaggio's Family Meal in Hagerstown for dinner. 

The concept is: upscale diner. You pay for the 'up' part--the meal is cheaper than fine dining, but more expensive than what you get in most diners.
Photo above was our opening appetizer, peas hummus with grilled and buttered crusty sourdough bread, a bit of goat cheese sauce, garnished with fresh radish slices, fresh peas, dill sprigs. Love hummus as a rule but this was a sweeter dip, nicely offset by the tangy cheese sauce. 

With the hummus came fried oysters--large crustaceans rolled in corn meal, deep fried, served with I think dill remoulade. Crispy, briny with that juicytender oyster meat I love inside, and a tart dip to cut through the crackly richness.

The pastrami sandwich had thick slices of brined brisket on barrel-aged sauerkraut on a toasted-and-buttered seeded rye bread. Topped with properly melted Swiss, of course, and accompanied by an order of fries.

The Bryan Burger had a large patty on a bed of tomatoes and lettuce and was topped with Swiss cheese, slices of avocado, a fried egg. The avocado gave the burger richness; the egg lifted that richness to a whole other level.

This ain't rocket science, nor was it meant to be. Their meat loaf had a sweet ketchupy glaze and was accompanied by frankly delicious bitter greens, a cheesybutter mashed potatoes, a dark rich gravy. Nothing fancy, all good, in generous portions.

Not in the Pennsylvania Dutch manner, this chicken and waffles is large slices of chicken breaded and deep fried (breast, which is hard to do without drying out) atop large waffle quarters and drizzled with maple syrup. Crackling meat crispy waffles thick syrup over all--what more can you ask?

With a meal that big we had room for only one dessert (really), shared between all of us. The Chantilly pound cake had blueberries cake and Chantilly cream in layers, and if you're smart you'll cut through the layers to get every flavor: tart (blueberries) sweet (the vanilla-scented cake) richness (the Chantilly cream).

And that's it really; you gets what you pay for and if you pay a little higher you get a little more, is the lesson of the day. We got plenty here, will probably come back for more.

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