Monday, October 27, 2008

Updates: Changes at the H Mart

After too many weeks of work travel, I returned to the H Mart in Catonsville this weekend and discovered two changes -- along with some new items for future posts.

First -- The H Mart has improved its takeout food.  Korean food makes for terrific takeout dinners because you can pick up soup or marinated meat as a main course and then a few side dishes from the panchan bar.  Maybe my choices -- marinated radish or seaweed salad.  Maybe something more adventurous like salted squid.  On the weekend at least, there is a table with samples and toothpicks so that you can try anything that looks interesting.

H Mart has created a refrigerated section in the far right-hand corner of the store. There are pre-packaged items, which always seem too large for me.  The innovation is a dozen panchan in "select-your-own-amount" containers so that you can buy just a serving or two.

There are plastic quarts of spicy beef soup across from the panchan.  On the weekend, there was sliced, marinated meat in a refrigerated cooler.  Heat the soup, or saute up the meat to make lettuce wraps.  That is a dinner that you can put on the table in 10 minutes with leftovers to take for lunch.  The H Mart still doesn't have the full array of panchan offered by Lotte in Ellicott City, but the panchan and the "select-your-own-amount" of meat are a vast improvement over the old selection.

Second, things are changing at the restaurants / shopping area that used to be called Besoto.  There are new signs for the "Hanoori Market" that emphasize new management.  I thought the Besoto restaurant was a fine cafeteria-style Korean place, and it appears to remain open (along with an all-you-can-eat sushi place that I passed on) under the sign for Hanoori.  But then there is also a smaller Besoto sign farther down the shopping center.

Honestly, I didn't have time this weekend to figure it all out.  But it's certainly worth keeping an eye on if you go to the H Mart.

H Mart remains my favorite place for food.  Even if you don't cook, it is worth the drive to Catonsville to check out everything from fruits to frozen food to ice cream.  That shopping center is actually pretty interesting with a Starbucks on the end and a new Jamaican takeout place that offers delicious patties.

H Mart
800 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228

NEAR: Rte 40 just west of I-695. If you are driving from HoCo, you'll see a Starbucks and a FedEx at the end of the shopping center. Turn right immediately after the Starbucks. If you miss it, just turn right at the next intersection.


Sheri said...

Hi, there's a new Korean food store in Laurel!! It's on hwy 197, (south)eastbound side, in the last shopping center before you hit Hwy 295. It's in what used to be a Giant foodstore. Can't wait to see your report on it, and how it compares to your other favorites!!

Anonymous said...

Most of Hanoori looks just like Beseto... except there's a new Korean-Chinese place in there. On their menu, they have a Noodles section. Try #6 in this section. It's a spicy seafood noodle soup and, in my opinion, better than Han Joong Kwan in Ellicott City. Can't wait to try other items.