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Who is AK Stout and why did I have lunch with her?

Don’t let me being a senior fool you; I’m all over the social media thing. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger plus a couple other sites. It seems everywhere I turn in Social Media lately I see the name AK Stout (@akstout18) giving excellent advice on the latest trends and tribulations in social media. A Towson/Timonium gal, I like her style, the way she explains everything in an easy to understand format and wanted to meet her. What better way then over food. AK was game; I guess a free lunch with me isn’t so terrible. She picked one of her favorite restaurants, McFaul’s Ironhorse Tavern out on Cromwell Bridge Road by Loch Raven Reservoir for our tête-à-tête.

Lunch with AK Stout at McFaul's Ironhorse Tavern. AK shows off her Avocado Cobb Salad.
photograph by Dara Bunjon©
McFaul's Ironhorse Tavern
photographs by Dara Bunjon©

If you have read my other “Lunch With” columns you know I ask a handful of food related questions of my luncheon guests and this was no different.

  • Dara: What food could disappear off the face of the earth and you wouldn’t miss?
  • AK: Long noodles – spaghetti, linguini – no long and slurpy noodles –too messy. I like pasta just not long noodles.

A damp, raw day in March with snow on the ground made our table viewing the burning embers of the fireplace very appealing. The McFaul’s and their partners remodeled the former Sander’s Corner. The restaurant embodies the theme of the old railway that was close by as well as Baltimore’s “ironhorse” sports legends with a touch of the “Irish.”

We placed our luncheon order, AK ordered Mc Faul’s Avocado Cobb with mixed greens, Cherry Glen goat cheese, Applewood smoked bacon bits, eggs, avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers and I opted for their House Shrimp Salad but passed on the tomato and the Kaiser roll for rye bread. A side of fries with the then available chipotle beef gravy kicked up the spice level and made my taste buds happy. Unfortunately the chipotle beef gravy accompanies the Ma’s Meatloaf which comes off the menu this week for new spring forward dishes. Their new menu kicks in Tuesday, April 8th.

  • Dara: What is the best dish that you cook?
  • AK: Chicken kabobs with a mint risotto. I like spicy food and the chicken is marinated in a chili sauce and pumpkin bread in a crockpot. I found the recipe on Pinterest and have fixed it six times already.

AK Stout’s business is which offers up social media marketing services, training and she is also a highly requested speaker.

  • Dara: What was your epic culinary fail?
  • AK: Everything. I tried to make macaroni and cheese with a vegetable pasta…it just didn’t turn out. I was frustrated.
  • Dara: Culinary guilty pleasure?
  • AK: Pizza – any and all pizza. I could eat it for every meal, every day. I like the flatbread at the Owl Bar, with beer at Pub Dog, Birroteca, and 13.5% in Hampden for happy hour.

A mere child in my book, AK is an entrepreneur who has left her corporate background of real estate and franchise companies to journey forth into self-employment before the age of 30. She has her own Chloe and Isabel boutique selling fashion forward jewelry. (Check out her necklace in the photograph).

  • Dara: What has been your most memorable meal?
  • AK: Roy’s Restaurant downtown. It was my boyfriend’s mother birthday. I ordered the salmon which came perched on top of the mashed potatoes and asparagus.
  • Dara: What is the oldest food you have in your refrigerator?
  • AK: My fridge is pretty barren; I guess a hummus or salsa.
  • Dara: Truffle oil?
  • AK: No problem with it – I don’t shy away from it.

For some reason, AK has a lot of doppelgangers because I have approached two young women in the past year that looked like her picture on Facebook and asked if they were AK. By the way, AK stands for Anna Kristin, she can’t deny the Irish and she wore her green well at our luncheon showing off her hazel colored eyes. It seems appropriate she chose a restaurant which leanings to the Emerald Isle.

  • Dara: Instead of St. Peter at the Pearly gates it was Julia Child, what would she ask you?
  • AK: Why did you hesitate to cook? Right now I have so much going on, maybe later when I have children.
  • Dara: If you could choose anyone to have lunch with and why?
  • AK: Allison Sweeney from Days of our Lives and the Biggest Loser. She is a multi-tasker; all over Twitter and fitness is a big thing for her as it is for me.

Note that when people are around me will power doesn’t exist. AK was shying away from dessert but when our waiter ticked off his list of desserts, AK went with Prigel Creamery Coffee Chocolate Chip and me the caramel cheesecake.

  • Dara: Iron Chef, Chopped, Top Chef, Master Chef, Next Food Network Star, Hell’s Kitchen?
  • AK: Top Chef – I like the competitive nature of this show.

We said our goodbyes, new friendships gained, experiences exchange, good food, warm surroundings – a new restaurant discovered and a perfect lunch. McFaul's kindly picked up our tab making it even better.

McFaul’s Ironhorse Tavern – 2260 Cromwell Bridge Road – Baltimore, MD 21234 410.828.1625 @IronHorseTavern

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