Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ginza of Tokyo -- Opened Near JHU Applied Physics Lab

Ginza of Tokyo opened Friday night in the shopping center with La Palapa Too near the JHU Applied Physics Lab.  This is a new Japanese restaurant on Johns Hopkins Road just west of Rte 29.  We stopped for a menu, but we already had dinner plans.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Delicious: Zambos Plantain Chips at Lily's Mexican Market

You can sample big, exotic tastes in little bags if you browse the chips at Lily's Mexican Market or the other Hispanic markets around.

Zambos plantain chips are one of the dozens of varieties for sale at the front of Lily's. They're like potato chips, but thin-cut plantains instead. And they're dusted with chile, lime and salt -- a spectacular variation on the Old Bay chip or the BBQ classic.

I served the Zambos chips with sandwiches one Saturday. Both of my pre-school guests complained and went back to Tostitos. But the adults reached for more. I thought they were delicious. If anything, less greasy than good potato chips, and the lime flavor was different without being overwhelming like too many Doritos and other snacks.

You could bring a bag home, or you could snack on chips if you stop at Lily's for tacos. They'd be especially good with the carnitas or the carne asada.

Click here for all the posts about Lily's Mexican Market. And if you like Mexican snacks, check out the Mexican candies like the tamarind maracas at Lily's or the El Club Mexicano variety packs at Mexican Bazaar.

Lily's Mexican Market
6490 Dobbin Center Way
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR: The DMV off Dobbins Road just south of Rte 175. Look for the intersection with a Blockbuster. The shopping center with the DMV, Lily's and Sushi King restaurant is across Dobbins from the Blockbuster.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fatburger in Elkridge To Open In Mid-December

The Fatburger in Elkridge will open in mid-December -- at least according to two guys working in the store on Monday morning.  (Update:  It opened on January 12, 2009.)

The Fatburger near Columbia on Rte 175 looks ready to go. There were napkin holders on every table when I went past on Saturday and again on Monday morning. The two guys inside looked more like owners/managers than construction workers, and all the construction permits are down.

But the Howard County Fatburger won't open for about three more weeks, one of the guys told me when I opened the door to ask. Take my news with a grain of salt because I thought it looked near opening months ago, and people at Fatburger have given other (now wrong) predictions to other folks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Link: Diamondback Grill to open in former Tiber River

The Baltimore Beer Guy posts about a rumor that he heard that new owners will open the Diamondback Grill -- local-themes menu and local beers -- at the former Tiber River Tavern in Ellicott City.

A Howard County Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great food holiday, and you can have great fun in Howard County looking for food. This is inspirations if you're still shopping -- or for next year:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Howard Magazine Best of Dining 2008

The enormous reporting team over at the Live in Howard County blog has uncovered the October 2008 copy of Howard Magazine and discovered the 2008 Best of Dining survery results.
Check out the Live in Howard County post, which lists winners and honorable mentions that include Victoria Gastro Pub, Ranazul, Maiwand Kabob, Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro, Sushi Sono, House of India, and Akbar.

I have no idea who was surveyed, and even the Live in Howard County blog was unable to locate the article on-line. But congratulations to the winners, and please put a link in the Comments if you can find a link to the survey results.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Link: Go Buy A Huge Lobster At Frank's Seafood

Frank's Seafood is a Howard County treasure, selling crabs, lobsters and other fish to the public from the wholesale seafood market in Jessup.

The clever cooks at Black Coffee and a Donut posted in late October about special-ordering "super jumbo" lobsters from Frank's -- an eight-pound monster and a four-pound "lightweight." They created a fabulous-looking dinner for their father's birthday. (It's a formerly HoCo family whose youngsters have fled for the city and whose parents have retired to the country.) They also have prior posts about how to cook a super jumbo lobster, which involves cooking the crustacean and then disassembling it so that you serve it in pieces.

(The photo is brazenly copied from the Black Coffee and A Donut blog.)

For seafood, the other great options are Today's Catch in Columbia and the H Mart in Catonsville.

By driving to Frank's in Jessup, you enter the wonderland around Rte 175 and U.S. 1. The finds near that intersection include great empanadas at El Patio, a Chinese buffet at Fortune Star, and several taco trucks, including Pupuseria Lorenita's. Check out the Google Maps here.

Frank's Seafood
7901 Oceano Ave # B
Jessup, MD 20794
(410) 799-5960

NEAR: This is in the wholesale seafood market in Jessup. You take Rte 175 east from I-95. You turn right on Oceano Avenue after passing the prison. You turn left into the market. You need to show a driver's license, but Frank's is open to the public.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Take Out Tacos at Lily's Mexican Market

Lily's Mexican Market now leads the parade of Howard County taco trucks.

Ok, so Lily's isn't actually a truck. It's one of the best ethnic markets around. But the takeout counter that Lily's opened with its fresh tortilla machine transforms a great place for groceries into a spectacular place to stop for a quick meal.

The tacos are a touch more expensive than El Nayar or the trucks on U.S. 1 like Pupuseria Lorenita's in Elkridge and Pupuceria Y Taqueria Los Pinos in Laurel. But for $2.50, you get a much larger taco -- meat filing, vegetables, salsa, and two of Lily's warm tortillas. Three was honestly too much in one sitting. These are simple fare, but I loved the carne asada and the pork carnitas. The barbacoa at Lily's is barbequed meat more like pulled pork than the chopped steak that you get at other taco joints.

They're an easy lunch for $7 -- two tacos and a drink. Lily's has Mexican sodas in the cooler, but it also has horchata and tamarind drink in fountain dispenser across from the takeout stand. The horchata was a nice diversion, although I think the metal cart outside the U.S. 1 flea market was a touch creamier. If you have the interest, you should definitely sample the tacos around town.

Lily's also does takeout chickens -- quarters and halves. You can build yourself a great takeout dinner with some avocados from the produce area or maybe some chorizo from Lily's butcher. You can pair it all with one of the lightly sweet pastries near the entrance for dessert.

While you're waiting for your food, check out Lily's aisles, including the jars of yellow aji peppers.  If you like tacos, consider buying cactus in Lily's produce section for easy cactus tacos.  If you like Mexican food, definitely check out El Azteca in Clarksville or La Palapa Too in Laurel.   If you are looking for great takeout dinners, try Lotte in Ellicott City for the makings of a Korean feast.

(Update: I had an old address here. Lily's is at 6490 Dobbin -- in the same shopping center as the DMV.)

Lily's Mexican Market
6490 Dobbin Center Way
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR: The DMV off Dobbins Road just south of Rte 175. Look for the intersection with a Blockbuster. The shopping center with the DMV, Lily's and Sushi King restaurant is across Dobbins from the Blockbuster.

Lily's Mexican Market on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delicious: Ting Soda at Golden Krust

High-quality soda may sound like an oxymoron, but the grapefruit flavor of Ting soda is the exception that proves the high-fructose rule.

Don't get me wrong. I drink a Coke Zero every afternoon, so I'm so anti-soda zealot. But I drink cola for the caffeine, and I buy the Ting soda for the taste.

Ting is a Jamaican brand that makes the soda that Fresca cheapens off with artificial flavor. Ting is a small bottle, but it really tastes like grapefruit and sugar. That's because the ingredient list includes only items that you have actually seen like grapefruit, sugar and water. It's a refreshing flavor, one that pairs nicely with the rich taste of a spicy beef patty from the Golden Krust Bakery.

This is one of the unusual drinks like ginger beer that you could store in the closet for a day that you want a treat or want something exotic to offer guests. Buy it at the Golden Krust Bakery in Catonsville, where you can also buy locally-made Jamaican-style ice cream.

(Read the comments for Wordbones' excellent suggestion.)

Golden Crust Bakery
838 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228

NEAR: This is in the same shopping center as the Super H grocery store. It is on Rte 40 just west of I-695. If you are driving east on Rte 40 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.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Sage in Clarksville

Everyone loves Great Sage, which is probably why I need to eat slowly to really enjoy myself.

Great Sage in Clarkville comes with no meat, but a mess of hype from places like the WPost and the Sun.  It's a vegetarian restaurant from the same people who own the Roots grocery, and the kitchen serves a seasonal menu of healthy, hearty food.

This is a beautiful place.  Elizabeth Large named it the "Most Romantic for Vegetarians," and she was right to tout its soft lighting (although the table cloths appear to have disappeared since 2007).  The decor is modern and understated with wooden carvings and a beautiful waterfall on the farthest wall.  With one side facing trees, it pulls off sophisticated because it shows a little less parking lot than Aida Bistro or House of India.

I'm prattling on because I'm not sure how to describe the food.  I enjoy it.  On my last trip, I went alone and ate slowly while reading a magazine.  A Mexican-inspired appetizer with beans, brown rice and guacamole perched on a crisp tortilla.  Then a Thai-inspired coconut-milk curry with tofu and squash.  They were delicious.  They were also relatively subtle, relying on the expectation that people who choose Great Sage are people who relish well-cooked winter squash.  This isn't the spicy-sour zest that comes from Bangkok Delight's curries.  It's a different cuisine that pushes the vegetable flavors to the front.

My advice is to focus on dishes that look like vegetables -- the soups, the Mediterranean plate appetizer, the curries, the dishes that aren't masquerading as something specific.  My one disappointing visit was the night that I ordered "bulgogi" and Mrs. HowChow ordered a "burger."  We love those dishes.  Great Sage doesn't serve them.  It serves a soft vegetable patty on a roll and serves some kind of soy product in a mild sauce.  The kimchi next to the soy product was delicious, but there wasn't really bulgogi or a burger on our table so our expectations made them disappointing.

So go for vegetable flavors in everything from salads to sandwiches to complex entrees and a vegan carrot cake.  (I haven't tried the cake yet.)  This is a skilled kitchen that rotates its menu, and the prices are reasonable enough that you can take risks.  Plus, everything is healthy so order extra.  I overate on that night of tostada and Thai curry, but too much brown rice and vegetables leaves a person gorged but happy.  I carried out half the curry and ate it for lunch later in the week.

Great Sage offers Sunday brunch and special nights like bellydancing and "green singles" mixers.  They'll also adjust to special dietary needs like gluten or peanuts. 

(Update: The Lunching in the DMV blog wrote up Great Sage.   It is a nice description and sounds similar to my thoughts:  It's a delicious place, but you'll like it best if you're open to or seeking vegetarian cuisine.  And late, the Black Coffee and a Donut blog talked up Great Sage as well -- with some great photos of everything from drinks to dessert.)

(Update II:  Great Sage went vegan in 2010.)

If you like Great Sage, you are going to love the organic market Roots in the same shopping center and should probably also check out David's Natural Market in Columbia and My Organic Market in Jessup.  Great Sage is also right down Rte 108 from El Azteca.

Great Sage
5809 Clarksville Square Drive
Clarksville, MD 21029

NEAR:  This is on Rte 108 in the same shopping center as the Roots supermarket.  It's a few lights north of the intersection of Rte 108 and Rte 32.

Great Sage on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Frisco Grille & Cantina in Columbia

Beer is the key to the Frisco Grille and Cantina in Columbia. This is a classic Howard County spot -- a shopping center bay that looks anonymous from the outside, but has been tricked out inside with something special.

The special at the Frisco Grille is beer. Nineteen rotating taps of high-quality beers from craft breweries. Dozens of more labels in bottles. On Tuesday, there is trivia. On Wednesdays, there a "pint night" special with free glasses and the chance to meet the people who brew or sell the special beers.

Frisco Grille is a pub, which is ironic considering that it calls itself both a "grille" and a "cantina." There is a small bar and then tables scattered around the room. Televisions screens turned to sports and news. A menu that runs to "Cal-Mex" items like burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas and to sandwiches like a lightly fried chicken breast or fajita meat on a kaiser roll. This isn't a Top 10 restaurant. It's a pub menu where you go for the place and the beer, and you enjoy good food with a few highlights like superb onion rings, a unique spicy mustard, and an appetizer of risotto griddled into lightly-crisp pancakes. It's also a pretty modern pub menu that offers lighter fare like seafood and vegetarian options built on beans, spinach, and tofu.

But this isn't Great Sage. You can get a cheese-and-chorizo dip to accompany your beer and conversation. The draft beers change, but the electronic beer list recently included Dortmunder, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Weyebacher, La Couffe, Clipper City and Brewers Art. That is probably a treasure trove if you're a beer aficionado, and The Baltimore Beer Guy writes often about the rotating options. But it's also fun if you're a neophyte who wants to taste a few beers before you order your pint. Frisco Grille has no pretentions. You can sample and explore.

(Update: Frisco Grille will expand in 2010 to take over the tailor next door. The Baltimore Beer Guy reports that they'll double the number of taps and build a bar in the new space. Also, Frisco has added new dishes on a "secret" side menu. I enjoyed Gus' Green Tacos -- firm white fish sauted in a mixture of tomatillo sauce and the house-made green hot sauce. It's

a nice taco, and I especially liked the mango salsa on the side. I always love food that surprises me. I don't know that I would have ordered tacos with a creamy sauce lined across them. But Gus' Green Tacos had a really nice balance -- littlecreamy, little lime-sour and just enough heat to be refreshing.)

(Update: Frisco Grille moved to Dobbin Road and became Frisco Tap House.  It's definitely work checking out.)

Frisco Grille is one of the best places for beer in Howard County along with The Perfect Pour's wall of beer and Victoria Gastro Pub, which also serves craft beers on tap at its bar.

Read more about Frisco in the
Baltimore Beer Guy, Adventures in Baltimore Restaurants, or The Beer Advocate.

Frisco Grille & Cantina -- moved and became Frisco Tap House
8865 Stanford Bouelvard
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR: Frisco Grille is off Dobbin Road south of Rte 175 in a shopping center with Pub Dog. From the north, take Rte 175 and turn south on Dobbin Road at the intersection with a Chik-fil-A and a Kmart. The shopping center is on the left after the second light. From the south, take Snowden River Parkway and turn left on McGaw Road at the light with Apple Ford. Turn right at the light with Dobbin, then look for the shopping center on the right.

Frisco Grill and Cantina on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Woodberry Kitchen: Worth The Drive To Baltimore

You have to leave Howard County some times -- so make it a night worth remembering at Woodberry Kitchen.

This is a casual, but refined restaurant just off I-83 in Baltimore. It's part of the old Clipper Mill, and it's a shining example of the new "local produce" cuisine. Local spinach. Chesapeake oysters. Chincoteague clams. The menu actually lists the farms and suppliers where Woodberry sources your meal.

But Woodberry is fun. Really fun. Like $1 for a bowl of popcorn -- tiny kernels called ladyfinger and the perfect coating of butter and sea salt. That is Woodberry cooked down to the essence -- something delicious and slightly unusual, seasoned or paired with something intelligent. No individual ingredient is exotic. Every taste on the table was unique.

The popcorn, buttery but somehow not greasy. A small basket with a half-dozen different types of bread. Pickled vegetables. Chevre cheese served with tiny raisins and a "vin cotto" -- a dark, sweet vinegar that tasted like thickened wine. Mrs. HowChow and I never touched an entree because we built a tapas-style dinner for ourselves from the "small plates" half of the menu.

The high point was pears roasted, then served with buckwheat honey and sea salt. It sounds simple. It tasted complex, and I cook just enough to recognize skill when I see it. The best part was that plate was $5, so we could also sample a pear flatbread with blue cheese, rocket and mustard cream. Our table literally overflowed, and I never ordered the oysters that first caught my eye because I kept noticing food that I wanted a little bit more. Everything changes seasonally, so I think I could go back in a few months to try an entirely-different menu.

Woodberry could be expensive. Entrees run $15-25 except for the $12 burger, and the imaginative cocktails (cider press - apple brandy, elderfloer, citrus, sparking cider) and the coffee drinks were enticing. Add that liquor and side dishes, and you could spend a big night quickly. But it's delicious, and frankly, you can eat reasonably as well. We passed on liquor and gorged on six small dishes, dessert and coffee for just $54. It was a happy birthday for me.

Make reservations. The place fills up quickly.

(Update: Woodberry is one of absolute favorites.  We have been back several times, always ordered tapas-style and always amazed by the fruit and honey variation of the pears above.  I added photos here of nectarines with honey that was a late-July version and of local fish thin-cut and served like sashimi.)

If you want to try this kind of seasonable cuisine closer to home, I do recommend Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia.

Woodberry Kitchen
2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126
Baltimore, MD 21211
(410) 464-8000

NEAR: Mrs. HowChow navigates in Baltimore. Google says you can drive to Woodberry Kitchen in 30 minutes from Columbia by taking Rte 29 to I-70 East and then local roads to Clipper Park Road. Check that out.

To read a half dozen other reviews and blog posts about Woodberry Kitchen, check out the Urbanspoon page by clicking this icon:
Woodberry Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moorenko's Ice Cream at My Organic Market

As the weather chills, you need to look inside for fun ice cream.

My Organic Market fits the bill now that Rita's, Soft Serve and the Snowball stand are closed for the season. MoM offers unusual ice cream from Moorenko's, a high-end Virginia company that started as an ice cream stand and now sells wholsale.

On a recent day, the MoM in Jessup ("Columbia East") had three flavors -- a spicy chocolate, a ginger, and a blueberry. At almost $5 a pint, they're pricey, but I'm a fan of small amounts of really good dessert. Blueberry was good, but ginger was an inspiration. It really tastes like ginger, but creamy and not bitter like strong ginger flavor can get. To me, this was unique and delicious enough to be worth driving to try -- especially because you can peruse the MoM shelves for other things (like whole grains). To Mrs. HowChow, it raised the question: Why do I want ginger in ice cream?  She'd prefer the Ben & Jerry's flavor Americone Dream.

Moorenko's changes its flavors regularly, but MoM mixes up its selection -- like pumpkin in late December. When I asked, the MoM employee told me that they have recently had the blueberry and ginger all the time. She said you could just call and ask what they have in stock!

(Update: Roots in Clarksville also sells Moorenko's ice creams)

If you are looking around My Organic Market, check out the Chinese buffet at Fortune Star Buffet in the same shopping center and the empanadas at El Patio, which is across Rte 1.  If you like ethnic and organic markets, check out my listing of markets across Howard County.  (Update: Fortune Star closed in 2011.  The empanadas are still delicious.)

The best ice cream is actually gelato. Capogiro in Philadelphia charges a ridiculous $10 a pint for daily-made gelato, but it mails ridiculously-delicious flavors. You have to splurge on six pints. A spectacular gift.
My Organic Market (now Mom's Organic Market)
7351 Assateague Dr. #190
Jessup, MD 20794

NEAR: It's on Rte 175 just east of I-95. There is a large shopping center on the right just after you cross Rte 1. Look for the Starbucks. MoM is in that shopping center. It's a bit tricky to return home. You have to exit east-bound on Rte 175 and U-turn at the next light.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Link: The Live In Howard County blog

Don't believe me! Now you can get thoughts about Howard County restaurants -- and other "best of HoCo" -- from the Live In Howard County blog.

BillZ has lived for 15 years in Ellicott City, Columbia and now West Friendship. He is posting about restaurants -- both capsule comments and longer reviews -- and other aspects of local life.

Compare Live In's Top 10 Restaurants and his Nearly Top 10 Restaurants with my thoughts. Check out his review of Bistro Blanc -- a restaurant in Western HoCo opened by former Iron Bridge Wine Co. chef Marc Dixon. That place is new to me. And peruse a list of restaurant specials that he has assembled -- special menus at Iron Bridge, Elkridge Furnace and other places.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Link: The Baltimore Beer Guy

Talk about a treasure map! Check out The Baltimore Beer Guy blog for a map of the HoCo scene for suds.

The blog comments about beer, and it has a spectacular side column of links to beer events, restaurants, homebrewing resources, and dozens of other beer sites, blogs, etc. The blog is nicely written. It is densely-packed with real information about places, events, etc. Looks like unique information for the local beer nut, but still accessible to anyone just thinking about where to go out tonight.

The local highlight is the Howard County Beer Map. The pretty young things at the Washington Post's Going Out Guide don't make it to Columbia, but Brian has cased the county and recommends places in both the HoCo map and another of Good Beer/Liquor Stores. He also has posts about places like Dog Pub, Frisco Grille, Victoria Gastro Pub, The Perfect Pour, etc. -- click here and here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maple Lawn Turkeys -- Local Birds

Today, the Iager family of Maple Lawn Farms starts taking orders for their free-range turkeys for Thanksgiving.

I have never actually had a Maple Lawn turkey because Mrs. HowChow and I go north to her family for Thanksgiving. But the turkeys are famous. People who have never visited the new Maple Lawn development have gotten their holiday birds at the old Maple Lawn Farms. The Iagers sell them fresh during the holiday seasons and frozen for the rest of year.

According to this feature from Howard County, the turkeys arrive as day-olds at Maple Lawn starting in June and live at first in an incubator and then as free-range birds.  They sell through Whole Foods, My Organic Market and David's Natural Market.  But you can also order your own for personal pick-up!

You email in your order now and pick up later. Turkeys range from 10 to 43 pounds. That's enough for a school, let alone a family. The Iagers say that fresh turkeys cook more quickly. They have cooking instructions on the Web.

If you pick up a turket at Maple Lawn, consider driving a little farther out Rte 216 for the sausage at Boarman's.  For a post about turkeys, check out D.C. Foodies for a 2007 item about turkeys, including Maple Lawn.

Maple Lawn Farms
11788 Scaggsville Road (Rte 216)
Fulton, MD 20759

NEAR: The farm is on Rte 216 west of Rte 29. The Maple Lawn development is built on the farm's eastern edge. Drive past Maple Lawn and look for the farm on the right.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

El Nayar in Elkridge

I overlooked the smokey red salsa until my tacos were almost gone, and the first mouthful convinced me that I'd be happy to come back to El Nayar.

The barebones Elkridge restaurant advertises authentic Mexican food in a casual setting -- ordering at a counter, eating at small tables beneath plate glass windows. The draw is the food. Breakfasts with eggs, tortillas, beans and unusual ingredients like chorizo or catcus. Lunches and dinners heavy on tacos, sopes and burritos.

The owners just opened a new El Nayar in Catonsville whose menu seems to run to fajitas and enchiladas. But the original Elkridge location goes for the basics -- although there are menudo and shrimp soup on the weekends. For my first visit, I started with a beef taco, a lengua taco, rice and beans. They were good, if a little basic. The tacos ($1.89 each) are the small tortillas with filling, grilled onions, and radishes. With a squeeze of lime, the tacos have a flavor close to the carne asada at Pupuseria Lorenita's, the truck that I love south of El Nayar on Rte 1. (And Lorenita's gives you two tortillas so you can break each taco into two wraps.)

El Nayar echoes the trucks -- which is a compliment in my book -- with flavorful, authentic meals for under $10 a person. Breakfasts are $5. Don't expect a downtown restaurant. Don't expect Chipotle's ridiculous portions. Go for the smokey chipotle salsa because I was looking down on the beans and rice until I spooned a little red sauce on them. That was delicious. Next time, I'll try the chips & salsa and the guacamole to get a little more.

(Update: Check out this Yelp review if you want another view of what to order.

If you like Mexican restaurants, definitely try El Azteca in Clarksville. There is interesting ceviche at both El Azteca and at La Palapa Too on the Laurel/Columbia border. If you like Mexican food, stop at Lily's Mexican Market in Columbia for fresh corn tortillas, a Mexican butcher, great baked goods and all kinds of Mexican and Central American groceries.

If you are going near El Nayar, check out this post about all the wonders that you find along U.S. 1.

El Nayar
6790 Business Parkway
Elkridge, MD 21075

NEAR: This is in sight of Rte 1 just south of Rte 100. There is a light at Business Parkway, and El Nayar is in the first building on the left next to a Subway.

El Nayar on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is Fatburger Open?

A commenter using the spectacular name "nuttyturnip" posted on Saturday that the Fatburger permits are off the windows and there was a sign about deliveries. Has anyone seen it open???

(Update: On November 25, 2008, I posted about a guy working at the Fatburger, who said it would open in mid-December. Click here for all Fatburger posts.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trapeze Closed in Fulton

Trapeze closed this weekend. The restaurant had been one of the mainstays of Maple Lawn in Fulton, but there was a post Sunday on Chowhound saying that it appears to have closed.

I drove past around 6:30 pm Sunday, and Trapeze was completely dark. It looks closed. The parking lot that Trapeze shares with im Wine is often full, and it held just a handful of cars. I also heard from someone who had been told that Trapeze was closing. (Update: Now it has been confirmed in print.) Really, a bummer. I don't want anyone to lose their business or their job, and Trapeze has been a nice local joint and a distinctive place for Howard County. (Plus, I still have a gift card!)

Things are definitely tighter for restaurants. Oz Chophouse across the street from Trapeze has stopped serving lunch and now does dinner only. But there is a new pizza/pasta place in Maple Lawn called Pasta Fresca (more later) and a Japanese steakhouse called Ginza of Tokyo is coming on Johns Hopkins Road a few miles away.

If you need a new place for dinner, check out my post about the best restaurants. If you just like good food, check out posts about ethnic/organic markets or about 10 cool places to eat. Or browse by cuisine, market name or restaurant name in the right column.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Corrections: What I Got Wrong

I have been writing long enough that I'm making mistakes. (Well, you get what you pay for!) But people are catching them in the comments, and I'm fixing as I go. Please do fix my errors by making comments on the mistaken post.

August 6, 2009
My mistake: The location of Oriental East. It is in Silver Spring, not Wheaton.
Still right: This is a fun place for dim sum and a useful location to meet people from DC or VA.

April 14, 2009
My mistake: The location of Lotte. It is on Rte 40 east of Rte 29, not west. I corrected it.
Still right: Lotte offers great takeout dinner options -- beef that you can cook in minutes and the Korean side dishes.

November 19, 2008 and several earlier posts:
My mistake: That the address of Lily's Mexican Market was 6476 Dobbin. I corrected it.
Still right: Lily's is the best Mexican grocery around and one of the best ethnic markets in Howard County. Great for warm tortillas made on site or for take-out tacos.

October 22, 2008:
My mistake: That Larriland Farm isn't in Howard County. But it is, as noted by anonymous in the comments.
Still right: Larriland is spectacular from summer through fall for pick-your own. Larriland and Frank's Nursery are the best places for pumpkins.

October 29, 2008 and July 24, 2008:

My mistake: That the family that owns Sushi Sono also owns Sushi King. But they don't anymore, as noted by Keith in the comments.
Still right: Sushi Sono and Sushi King are delicious places for sushi. The private rooms are terrific for 4-8 people.

July 7, 2008
My mistake: I got the address wrong for the Indian grocery Apna Bazar in Laurel. I corrected it after an anonymous comment pointed out the error.
Still right: Apna still has a great selection of Indian breads in the freezer -- plus other groceries.