Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Off the Map: Nothing Like Cocktails and Ice Cream at 11am

CMP -- Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore, MD
Woodberry Kitchen

Woodberry Kitchen is apparently one of Baltimore's most prized establishments.  Unfortunately for all involved, we are here merely to drink cocktails and eat ice cream.  This plan would not be so bad if it were not 11:00am on a Saturday morning, and everyone we encounter is looking at us like we are some combination of "hungover" and "a mess" (in truth, Bloody Mary is, in fact, mildly hungover).
Ten Times More Effective Than Coconut Water
The restaurant is located in an area of Baltimore that can only be described as "random," as there is seemingly nothing else around.
Baltimore's Hottest Brunch Spot?
Woodberry Kitchen itself is stationed in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse, yet its decor is more quaint and barn-like than industrial.
Old McDonald Had a Cocktail
"What Took You So Long in the Bathroom?!" "I Was Taking Pictures"
We check in for our "reservation," and Vodka guiltily informs everyone we encounter that "We only want to eat the CMP."
Breakfast of Champions
When we are seated at our table (even though we have offered multiple times to camp out at the bar), we get right down to the business of ordering our cocktails (a hot toddy for Vodka and a bloody mary for, of course, Bloody Mary) and our CMP.
"And If You'd Like to Spike Our Ice Cream While You're At It, We Won't Argue"
Our waiter, slightly confused, retreats with our order before returning with the question, "Excuse me, you want the CMP NOW?!"  Vodka confirms this fact to be true, which leaves Bloody Mary burying her face in embarrassed giggles. 

Being a newbie to these Best Thing I Ever Ate  proceedings, she is not yet aware that the one thing you can never have when ordering ludicrous combinations of dishes at absurd times is shame.
Here's a Tip, Mary: Embrace the Crazy
"It's ice cream, right?" she asks.  Vodka nods, checking the time just as our cocktails arrive: 11am -- perfect for drinks and dessert.
And This Hot Toddy Could Pass for A Spot of Tea Anyway
The bloody mary is, well, "Bloody Mary approved" -- spicy and peppery, it seems to be doing much to revive her from the previous night's overindulgence.
Bloody Mary Has Met Her Match
In contrast, Vodka's hot toddy is warm and comforting, tasting decidedly like a cup of tea with a solid input of alcohol.  When the CMP -- a towering glass filled with malt ice cream, chocolate sauce, wet peanuts, marshmallow fluff, and burnt sugar -- arrives, we have almost been lulled into a contented stupor.  
Key Word: ALMOST
The visual of the ice cream glass alone is enough to explain why Duff Goldman singled it out on the SUGAR RUSH episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate.  The portions are extremely generous, so much so that we are incapable of, as Duff had instructed, diving our spoon far enough into the glass to retrieve all of the contents at once.
No Problem; We'll Just Start at the Top
Vodka taps the top layer of burnt sugar like a snare drum until it breaks into triangles.
How Do We Get In This Thing?!
We reach our spoons through layers of marshmallow, peanuts, chocolate, and finally, ice cream (followed by more chocolate and peanuts).  The overall effect is just about everything Duff had described -- gooey, sweet, crunchy, and sticky all at once.
The Only Kind of Ice Fishing We Like to Do
Bloody Mary is especially taken with the top layers of burnt sugar and marshmallow (and finds that the dessert loses some of its luster when it is gone), and Vodka with the ice cream itself (which is a flavor we could not figure out was malt until we read about it -- the ice cream tasted more like a (splendid) blend of vanilla and coffee).
Time to Invest In Some Larger Mouths
Overall, the dessert is good -- exceptional, even -- and one we are sure we could enjoy again at a slightly more appropriate time of day.
And With an Identical Glass Filled with Booze
When we get up to leave, Vodka's napkin falls off of her lap directly into Bloody Mary's path.

"You dropped your napkin," Bloody Mary informs her with disdain.  Vodka, slightly wobbly from her hot toddy and sugar high, stoops down to retrieve it, certain in the fact that this is just the kind of thing that happens when you have cocktails and ice cream at 11am.

And naturally, she has no shame about it at all.

Woodberry Kitchen's CMP: 4 stars

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