Bites @ BWI

You have an hour and a half before your flight. You’re hungry, but you’re scared that you’ll miss your flight. Airplane food isn’t always filling, and you would rather have options. You usually don’t venture out to see what food the airport has to offer, but there’s something about having options that’s pulling you in the food court’s direction.

This will be me the next time I fly. I’m also hoping this will be you if you’re someone who usually doesn’t check out what airports have to offer.

I had the pleasure of attending BWI’s (Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport) 2nd Annual Bites @ BWI event. It’s one of three major airports in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. Area. There were so many local food bloggers and journalists in attendance to try food from nine of its restaurants and vote on three “Best of” awards: Best Bites at BWI; Best Presentation; and Best Maryland Dish. Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst of Silver Diner was the guest host of this year’s event. I had a lot of fun at the first blogger event I’ve ever attended.

I came to Bites @ BWI hungry but didn’t get to try everything because I tried so many good things! I tried food from Ledo Pizza, Quisha’s Berries, Miss Shirley’s (coming to BWI in the spring), and Nalley Fresh.

What I Tried

Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza is a Maryland favorite. Their pizza is some of the best I’ve ever had. They had cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, steak and cheese sub samples, and wings. When I was asked which pizza I wanted to try, I said either was fine because I’ve never been disappointed with theirs. The cheese pizza slice I tried was so good, and I wish I could’ve taken some home. Yes, it’s that good.

I was excited to try a Ledo sub because I’d never had one. My family usually just orders pizza and calls it a day. This sub…was amazing. The sliced sirloin steak and the smoked provolone cheese was a perfect combination that I didn’t know I needed until this moment.

Ledo Pizza's sliced sirloin steak and cheese sub sandwich.

Ledo Pizza’s steak and cheese sub at Bites @ BWI.

I loved the energy of the Ledo employees at this table. We briefly chatted about their favorite food items at their table and how I’ve never had their subs. They agreed when I said that me not having one of their subs before this day was basically a sin. There’s a first time for everything!

Berries by Quicha

Berries by Quicha is a shop that focuses on chocolate-covered strawberries and has made custom ones for brands like Under Armour and celebrities like Sinbad. The presentation of these delicious berries was one of my favorites at the event. You can see that there was a lot of passion put into this. I wanted to try one of each but decided to just try one: the white chocolate-covered strawberry. This was one of the best I’ve ever had! It was hard keeping myself from getting a couple more.

I also want to note that Berries by Quicha has alcohol-infused flavors such as Ciroc Berry and Tequila Berry. There are also really cool flavors like Sundae, Milk Chocolate Oreo, and Red Velvet. You can order custom boxes online.

Miss Shirley’s

Miss Shirley’s is coming to BWI in Summer 2020, and you’ll love it! They have Chesapeake Deviled Eggs and pulled BBQ pork sliders that were appetizing. The deviled eggs were topped with diced tomatoes, chives, and jumbo lump crab meat with Old Bay sprinkled on top. I had been wanting to try this for a while and finally got to do so! It was perfect, and the Marylander in me was internally screaming with excitement.

Miss Shirley’s pulled BBQ pork slider is called Hog Wild on a “That’s How We Roll” Sliders. The flavor of the pulled pork perfectly melded with the Southern coleslaw on a challah slider roll. It comes with picles on top, but I took them off since I’m not a fan of them.

I met the district manager for this Miss Shirley’s location, and she was so nice. We had a great chat about the samples they had at Bites @ BWI.

Nalley Fresh

I hadn’t heard of Nalley Fresh before Bites @ BWI. I’m so glad that I know about it now! I tried the cajun chicken rice bowl, and I have to say…it was the best bowls I’ve ever had. This bowl is made up of blackened chicken, veggies, and chicken broth over brown rice and topped with spicy ranch dressing. The strength of the spicy kick surprised me because I don’t eat a lot of spicy food. This bowl now has a special place in my heart.

Nalley Fresh's Cajun Rice Bowl topped with cajun chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Nalley Fresh’s Cajun Chicken Rice Bowl at Bites @ BWI.

I also got to meet Nalley, who is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. When I came back to his table to share my thoughts about the bowl, he was putting more food together and kindly asked if I was ready to get the shot I wanted. He helped me make a couple of cool boomerangs for the ‘gram. It’s all about timing for those, ya know? This was one of my favorite moments of the night.

Conclusion

The winners of the night:

Best Maryland Dish: Flying Dog Tap House Crab Cake

Best Presentation: Gachi House of Sushi Southwest Roll

Best Bites at BWI (overall excellence): Sky Azure

Congrats to all of the winners!

Prior to this event, I didn’t know that BWI Airport had so much good food. When I travel, I don’t usually explore airport food options. I tend to do this because I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing so, but this event made me want to change that. I can’t wait to try more of what BWI has to offer.

Follow me on Instagram to see more of my food and drink recommendations: https://www.instagram.com/foodishways/

Until next time.

Update 01/24/2020: Changed season that Miss Shirley’s is opening.

Update 03/03/2020: Fixed subheadings and photo alignment

That’s SoCal: Day 4

I woke up on Day 4 amazed. I still couldn’t believe I was in California, a place I’ve wanted to go to for years. I wondered what San Diego had to offer on this beautiful spring day. We chilled out; enjoyed the weather; and decided to check out Mission Beach that night.

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As we walked closer to the park, the sounds of laughter and joy grew loud. I didn’t know what Mission Beach would be like, but I was excited!

Mission Beach, CA: roller coaster and shops

Mission Beach, CA

I’m not a huge rides person. I’m scared of roller coasters. I briefly considered trying this one out, but I couldn’t. It seemed like my friends had a lot of fun on that ride.

Mission Beach’s park is family-friendly. The lines for the rides weren’t too bad at all. I think it was similar to a carnival.

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After bag-holding duty ended, we walked to the beach. This was my first time being on the beach at night. At first, I was a little apprehensive, but I couldn’t stay away from the ocean for long.

The breeze picked up as we walked closer to the ocean. I took my shoes off, and my feet seeped into the cold sand as I made my way to the water. Of course the water was freezing! I didn’t expect it to be warm at all, but it’s something about walking into cold water.

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I truly felt like I was living in the moment. I was with some of the best friends I’ve ever had in a place where I’ve always wanted to visit. We talked. We laughed. We were silent. We truly and genuinely enjoyed being together on this cool San Diego night. As simple as this day was, I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

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Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream in a chocolate sprinkle waffle cone.

Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream

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Side note, this picture looks like a mixtape cover. Haha.

Day 4 was super chill. Day 5 was such a gorgeous, bright day.

Update 01/09/19: I added one photo and fixed a spelling error.

Update 01/15/2020: Added link to “Day 5” post, added captions, changed photo dimensions

Chocolat's gelato selection in the freezer

That’s SoCal: Day 3

When so many things are in walking distance, there are so many possibilities–even at midnight. I was blessed with the opportunity to get a California burrito for the first time on my third day in San Diego.

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Colima’s Mexican Food

Colima’s Mexican Food, a University Boulevard gem, has plenty of options. Eric let me try some his California burrito that he got from here on my first day. It has beef, sour cream, cheese, and fries. I know. I couldn’t believe it either! I loved it so much that I decided to get one myself. It was scrumptious!

One burrito and hours of sleep later, we decided to take another trip to Hillcrest. Continue reading

That’s SoCal: Day 2

I woke up to a fairly quiet, beautiful, sunny day, and I couldn’t have been happier. I was excited for whatever San Diego had to offer me. I loved not knowing what we were doing for the day and not having to worry about anything school-related.

My wonderful friends, Jasmine and Eric, made us breakfast. We came up with a plan to explore places that were a good walking distance away. We decided to check out North Park and Hillcrest. These areas are so chill and artsy. There was art everywhere!

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We went to North Park first. We stopped at this cute, quiet cafe that I never knew the name of. Sorry. I’ve tried to find out what it was called, but I haven’t had any luck. I got this delicious Iced Raspberry Mocha drink. OMG. I didn’t think it was going to be that good, but it was! I wish I could’ve gone back to get another one at some point. I actually think it was better than most of the frappuccinos I’ve had at Starbucks. (Shhh. Don’t tell them I said that.)

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Iced Raspberry Mocha

After walking around North Park, we decided to turn around and head to Hillcrest, which is an area known for their LGBT community. This place was very artsy as well. Hillcrest was beautiful just like North Park. I couldn’t help but look around and take in all of it and the chill vibes.

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We walked…and walked. Then, I saw it.

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That’s SoCal: Day 1

I woke up at about 6 to get ready for my 8 AM flight. Traveling in comfy clothes was a must. My excitement overpowered my sleepiness. I was ready to embark on this journey to the West Coast with my 2 of my closest friends, Marjani and Donia, to visit our friend, Jasmine.

Marjani and I left New York’s cold, snowy weather for warm, sunny San Diego. That was the first time I had flown in 6 years. I was actually kind of scared of flying, especially after the French Alps crash. When I went to Italy in 2009, I was scared because that was the first time I had flown since 9/11 happened. But I refused to let that bother me during my flight. I put it all in God’s hands, and He blessed us with a safe flight.

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Swiped this from Marjani’s Snapchat.

I was so excited that I barely slept on the flight. I saw so many beautiful things from my window while I was thousands of feet in the air. One of those things being some of the Colorado Rockies. My screen had a feature that let us see about where we were and how far, which I thought was pretty cool. I was wide awake when the screen showed that we were in California. *Put a million heart eye emojis here*

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