Category Archives: Food

Recipes and restaurant reviews

Canoodling with My Taste Buds

from Noodles & Company website

Is Noodles and Company Worth the hullabaloo?

Jerica Deck ‘13, Opinion Editor

So it’s six in the afternoon. First day of the week. Today had been one of those monotonous Mondays and after skipping both breakfast and my daily afternoon snack my stomach’s grumbled like a spork stuck in a garbage disposal. What did I do to stop the roars and the mcgurgles from booming through my insides? Why go to the best place to eat something a little different.

Panera Bread. Yes. Panera Bread. My first time going there I was lured in by their sign about bringing in a new lobster sandwich. Tasting the lobster bits on my tongue I quickly walked up to the counter but when the sandwich racked up to a $16.99 plus tax I quickly walked out. $16.99? In this economy? Ha.

I found myself scooting into another new place, Noodles and Company. When the glass door shut behind me it almost felt like I wasn’t in Bowie Town Center anymore because the thing about Noodles and Company is that they really sell on their funky atmosphere. The walls looked colorful and friendly. The employees were laid back and sweet. Plus, they even had a digital soda machine where you can add flavors to your soda by using a touch screen.

However what really impressed me besides their great use of earth tones and quirky furniture was their menu. They had American pasta, Mediterranean pasta, and even Asian pasta all under one roof. Within those pasta categories were several types of pasta ranging from spaghetti to indonesian peanut sauteé. From there, customers could add meats like meatballs, shrimp, and tofu.

I ordered a regular sized Truffle Mac and Cheese. This mac and cheese included succulent mushrooms, bread crumbs, truffle oil, and spices. The first bite felt like heaven. The second and third? A little more mediocre. Did I enjoy my meal, yes. However, after eating it, it wasn’t like the best thing I ever had. It could have used a little more cheddar or maybe an even sharper cheese to add flavor.

What I had really bought into was the hype. I loved everything from the quirky style to the customization to background music and even the cardboard colored menu. The thing is, Noodles is more than a restaurant; it’s an experience. What the company represents is something new, different, earthy, and exiting. It’s the alternative to McDonalds. It’s fast food with quality. It’s a big meal of pasta for about $8. The food was good, not great, but not just okay either, and even with eating this good food to go in my car I was still hypnotized by the essence of waiting for my food on a bar stool. That feeling makes Noodles and Company a quality restaurant and a cool hangout spot.

Get a Life, She’s Only 14

Controversial ad offends

 Commercial Against Obsesity Goes too Far

Carolyn Conte ‘14 | Opinion Editor

A young girl is in her family room watching TV, chewing on chips while dreaming about being a star one day. The Covergirl commercial ends, and a dramatic black background appears on the screen. White words flash up with sudden sounds, “High Blood Sugar. High Cholesterol. Hypertension.” It goes on, and a black and white picture of a wide girl accompanies the words. “Get healthy. Get moving. Get a life. Cut childhood obesity down to size.” The bigger girl is replaced by a bone-thin child.

    The state of Georgia has been criticized for its ads against obesity, but none of them offended me until this. When I heard a bit about the ‘insulting’ commercials, I was curious enough to watch some on Youtube. The first three left me thinking, “Yeah, it’s sad — but the kids themselves are admitting they want to be healthy and it’s not fun to get picked on. The overall message is to eat healthy, so it’s ok.” The last one I viewed, though, was truly disdainful. The overweight girl portrayed did not speak for herself as in the other ones, and instead written words narrated her health issues — which was good because it was informative — but when it wrote “Get a life,” my jaw dropped.

First of all, this is a totally wrong approach to encourage kids- especially girls- to diet. A person that needs to lose pounds should be motivated positively, not by bullying. “Stigma and prejudice are intensely stressful. Stress puts the body on full alert, which gets the blood pressure up, the sugar up,” said Colombia University Health professor Dr. Peter Muenning in a NY Times essay by Harriet Brown. Basically, feeling ugly and fat will make person more likely to get depressed, sick and gain more weight. There are a bajillion different ways to say ‘eat properly’ or ‘eat in moderation for a longer life,’ but it is plain offensive when you insinuate that the girl has no activities or friends. They have no right to imply that she has no social life, or that she has no potential for happiness. This was an unnecessary smack in the face to insecure obese children, and the phrasing itself was mean.

Then it has the audacity to follow with the expression ‘cut childhood obesity down to size’ and replace the still of the overweight girl with a stick figure girl. Muscle is required for a person to be in shape. A kid 20 pounds heavier than the one portrayed as ‘healthy’ would be average size. Enough kids are depressed because they hate themselves. Overweight and obese adolescents exemplified suicidal rates of 26.8% – more than twice the average of studied subjects, according to Medical News Today.

The sponsors should not be blaming the kids. Children adopt eating habits from their parents, and size structure is also inherited- it’s not easy to be perfect. Instead, the commercial made me feel like obese people are unwanted, useless losers that need to “Get a life” and be emaciated like the last image.  That ad did not make any little girl aspiring to be the next Rihanna put down their chips and exercise. Personally, it made me feel ugly, and like there’s no fun in life if you aren’t thin.

You can watch it now at

La Tasca Restaurant Review

Elise Nagy ’12 |Editor

If you are looking for something with spice, then go to La Tasca. La Tasca is an authentic Spanish restaurant located on 7th street in Washington, D.C.

La Tasca is perfect if you don’t want to limit your meal and try new things. Tapas are dishes served in small proportions; ranging from seafood tapas to poultry tapas to vegetable tapas, each tapas is flavorful.

Brocheta De Pollo is one of the tastiest dishes and is perfect if you do not want to try something strange, but still try something new. Served as a Kabob, 5 pieces of chicken on a stick grilled, sounds simple right? What makes this dish so tasty is the Andalusian spices and red pepper.

Each Tapas range from $6.50 to $7.00. so if your tired of the turkey and holiday cookies, make a trip to La Tasca.

Calamares or simply just Calamari is a perfect starter for your meal served with a side of Cilantro dipping sauce. Some Calamari is almost too rubbery, or too crunchy but at La Tasca, the calamari is fried and battered where its just crunchy enough, and the wait for the dish is bearable.

The restaurant itself is uniquely decorated with two floors connected with beautiful spiral staircases. Special events are held, including Salsa dancing on Thursdays and Fridays.

This restaurant not only gives you a different style and taste of eating, but also provides a beautiful environment and a friendly staff to serve you.

College Sports Ban Vitamin Water

NCAA puts ban on certain flavors of Vitamin Water

Anthony Brown ’12 and Taylor Parker ’12 | Editors

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has banned or considered some flavors and ingredients in the sports drink Vitamin Water. An “impermissible” nutritional supplement product that contains ingredients that do not comply with the NCAA Division I and Division II bylaws on nutritional supplements. The NCAA lets the student-athletes know beforehand that they’re responsible for what they consume.They’re told what the banned substances are so they can eat and drink responsibly.

According to the NCAA’s website, they also advise that the student-athletes look over the product and its label with their athletic departments for a few reasons:

  • The dietary supplement could cause positive drug tests because they’re not properly regulated
  • Players have lost their eligibility because they tested positive for performance enhancing drugs while using the dietary supplements,
  • There are contaminated supplements that have banned drugs not found on the label

If the athletes choose to consume these supplements, they’re taking a risk. Varsity girls’ soccer coach George Hunt said he remembered when it first came out and he thought it was great to have a non-carbonated sports drink. Bishop McNamara High School’s Athletic Director Anthony Johnson said students should Just drink Gatorade or Powerade. He doesn’t think student-athletes would favor a sports drink based on taste. He believes it’s easy to just drink Vitamin Water but If Gatorade were found to have illegal substances, it would be more of an issue.

According to the University of Alabama athletics website, the banned or impermissible Vitamin Water flavors and ingredients are the following:

  • Energy Tropical Citrus (Caffeine, guarana seed extract),
  • Rescue Green Tea (Caffeine; green tea extract and ecgc or Epigallocatechin Gallate),
  • Power-C Dragonfruit (Taruine),
  • B-Relaxed Jackfruit Guava(L-theanine),
  • Vital-t Lemon Tea-Rooibos(Rooibos tea extract)
  • Balance Cran-Grapefruit(glucosamine).

The NCAA did however, approve flavors of Vitamin Water which include:

  • Revive (Fruit Punch)
  • Essential (Orange-Orange)
  • XXX (Acai, Blueberry and Pomegranate)
  • Focus (Focus Kiwi Strawberry)
  • Formula 50 (Grape)
  • Multi-V (Lemonade)
  • Charge (Lemon Lime)
  • Endurance(Peach-Mango)
  • Defense(Raspberry Mango)

It wouldn’t be wrong to think that since Caffeine is a banned substance by the NCAA, student-athletes can’t have soda, coffee etc. but according to Darryl Conway Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine for the University of Maryland, drinking a cup of coffee or having a soda won’t get a player banned. People wouldn’t think that any illegal substances are in sports drinks like Vitamin Water, and probably don’t think about because they just want to get something to drink or if your an athlete, you’re just worried about getting your energy back and getting out on the court or the field. It’s great that the NCAA brings awareness to this because if not, college athletics would be under a microscope due to the fact that so many players are testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

So it’s pretty clear what flavors the student-athletes should drink, the question is, will they drink those flavors? It’s pointless to drink the flavors of Vitamin Water with the illegal substances in them because you can into trouble and now a days, no matter what sport you play, your college career can make or break you.

Subway Rises from the Ashes

Thomas Ingle ’10
Staff Writer

Bishop McNamara can finally enjoy their five dollar foot-longs once again since the Subway in Forestville has returned.
On May 6, 2009 six stores, Subway being one of them, were destroyed in a gas explosion at the Penn-Mar Shopping center only minutes away from our school.
The gas leak originated in a vacant store and leaked throughout the six businesses at the end of the strip mall. At the first smell of gas, a pizza bakery employee called 911 and the emergency responders arrived at the scene. Firefighters explored the evacuated building and a noticed a small fire broke out in the back; eventually the fire erupted and the building exploded. Some of the emergency responders suffered second degree burns and wounds from the flying glass.
The actual explosion was caught on a dashboard camcorder mounted in a firetruck.
Out of the six stores, only one of them has returned, and that is the Subway. Currently, the Subway is located in the same shopping center only six shops down from its former location.

See the footage of the explosion and coverage below.

Grace’s Kitchen: Healthy Snacks

Grace Kelly ’10
In-Depth / Features Editor

Are you hungry after school?
Do you have a sweet tooth?

If this describes you, then this is your chance to learn a new healthy recipe to eat after school. Watch an exclusive cooking segment of Grace’s Kitchen on the brand new Stampede website. This step by step video explains how quick this recipe is to make and will keep you coming back for more. These treats will keep you energized until dinner time!



Julia Weaver ’09
Features Editor

It seems that nowadays meat is just going out of style. On a recent trip to a restaurant known for its meat and potatoes, I was surprised to find the first few pages of the menu dedicated to vegetarian options. Days later, I saw an advertisement “veg is the new black.” My biggest question, why? Vegetarianism has become a craze, phase or simply a way of life for a reported 15 million people in the United States alone. Vegetarian cafes, cookbooks and meal options have become more than commonplace; they’re expected. But why have so many individuals decided that “veg” is the way to go? And furthermore, what exactly is a vegetarian?

The term is thrown around loosely in popular culture, but a vegetarian is simply a person who abstains from eating meat and fish. A pescetarian is someone that refrains from eating land animals, but eats any type of seafood in addition to all other food products. Finally, a vegan is someone that refrains from consuming or using any meat or dairy products. According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegetarian diet is believed to be beneficial because it increases one’s energy, contributes to weight loss and helps lower one’s risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. McNamara student and former vegetarian Eron Bryant said, “I became a vegetarian because I had low energy,” and accredited her increased energy levels during her stint as a vegetarian to her meat-free diet. Sophomore Kaitlin Thompson, a vegetarian for the past five years, agreed with Eron, discussing how vegetarianism has had positive effects on her health and describing it as “a way of life.”

While its health benefits draw many individuals to a vegetarian lifestyle, the stress that the meat industry places on the environment is reason enough for others. Studies published by claim animals raised for slaughter produce 130 times more waste then the human population and require one-third of all of the raw materials and fossil fuels in the United States alone. Yet another popular reason for dropping meat products altogether is the highly publicized harsh treatment of animals raised for the food industry. Organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have launched hundreds of campaigns against the meat industry and in favor of vegetarian lifestyles, including the infamous “veggie love” campaign, which was banned for the 2009 Superbowl. According to studies published on, the meat industry kills 27 billion animals per year, many of which are subject to physical abuse and dangerous growth hormones. Junior Renata Malionek became a vegetarian three years ago for similar reasons. “I read a poem about the life of a commercial fish from the fish’s perspective. That night we were eating fish for dinner and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it, so I decided to give up meat altogether.”

But perhaps “veg” isn’t always the best way to go. Studies conducted by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) regarding the prevention of chronic disease showed the intake of meat to be beneficial, as it helps boost the immune system and lowers one’s risk of heart disease. Another up and coming pro-meat lifestyle is The Body Ecology, which cites meat as an essential part of one’s diet, which when coupled with the proper combination of food groups, is crucial to staying healthy. Further studies published by the CDC highlighted the negative effects the chemicals and preservatives in “veggie burgers” and other soy or tofu based products have on one’s health. When asked what he thought about a vegetarian lifestyle, Dean Harris ’09 replied, “It’s a bad idea. You’ll starve and you’re not getting enough proteins.”

So, with all of this is mind, is “veg” still the best way to? When asked this question, Renata Malionek replied, “Yeah, I think so. I mean it helps to have a balance, but it was the best thing for me.”

EDITORIAL: Who’s Responsible for Healthy Choices?

Staff Editorial

This year when you go into the lunch line all you ever want is pizza, French fries and a soda, skip the salad, hold the dressing, and keep the extra change for the same lunch tomorrow. But do you jump into line thinking that you’re going to buy the most unhealthy, artery clogging, greasy food? Because it is also cheap and so delicious. You could possibly be thinking, “I would love to buy something healthy, but there are only two types of salad and they are way too expensive for me; I’ll just stick with the fries…”

It is our responsibility, if we are given options, to make smart choices. The healthy food shouldn’t be more expensive, and the fries should not be so much cheaper. It is the students’ responsibility because the cafeteria currently has a light system to display healthy choices. The bad foods have a red light while the healthier foods have green ones. Therefore, students are fully aware of what kind of food they are purchasing when they pick it up.

However, it is a communal effort. All the food should be priced reasonably priced, but it’s our responsibility to make the right choice and the school’s responsibility to provide a health conscious lunch provider. There are two types of salad in the cafeteria and yet many more unhealthy choices, you can have your pick of fries, ham or cheese burgers, maybe even a chicken sandwich or some pizza. Students are limited in their nutritional choices, and the unhealthy foods always seem to be more favorable, in terms of cost, taste and presentation. A lot of kids in America have this same problem because the choice is there but the decision is so hard to make. The cafeteria needs more choices not just pizza, French fries or a Caesar salad. Sure, it is our responsibility, but if we have no healthy options then what are we supposed to do? There are only two types of salad, garden or Caesar but there can be more choices like rice, baked chicken and vegetables. The school needs to provide us with the options so that we can make the choice to eat healthier. Students are never happy when options are limited. Last year, the cafeteria limited us to choosing fries only two times a week, but at least we were forced to eat healthier.

Of course, the salads are expensive because fresh vegetables will always be more expensive than grease soaked fries and a lot of this has to do with the state of the economy. In the cafeteria, you can buy a chicken sandwich, soda and fries or a Caesar salad. The healthier option? The salad, of course. The cheaper option? The unhealthier choice, no doubt, the chicken sandwich with fries plus a soda. It is more food and less money but a lot more calories, fat and definitely less healthier than the salad option.

In our cafeteria, the bad stuff looks better. You walk into the cafeteria; the pizza is glowing radiantly under a light while the healthier options sit on top looking a lot less appetizing. You even have to make a conscience effort to stop and look for those healthy little entrees. Do you want a healthy meal? How about just a few pieces from it, like just the chicken or the vegetables alone? Sorry, you can’t, try buying the whole meal because that’s your only option. Collectively, the staff thinks that Sage wants our money for those cost effective, unhealthy foods they provide, but the school really is concerned about our health which is why the administration changed to this company.

The biggest thing that the staff was concerned about was the options provided and the variety of the healthy foods given. What ever happened to the Paninis?! If a wider variety was given, then we would not be arguing about this in the first place. Ultimately, students need to take care of themselves; you cannot rely on someone to hold your hand and make the right decision for you. Grow up and make a decision. Bring your lunch, pay the extra few dollars for a salad, or even talk to administration about having some more healthy choices in the cafeteria. You could even opt to buy the unhealthiness, because health costs. Bottom line, it really is your choice and although the healthy options are limited, they are available, so make the best decision for yourself!