Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery opened this season, and you can go there for imaginative sandwiches and an increasing number of salads and other side dishes. The Bon Fresco folks are getting rave reviews in the comments. Many people report about Bon Fresco's managers are trying new products, offering tastes of new breads, and otherwise establishing themselves as a casual treasure on Oakland Park Road.
But you can just stop for a simple baguette. Two dollars, and you're out the door. I brought mine home and sliced the long way. On one side, I piled slices of farm stand tomato. On other, I spread goat cheese and some pepper. I pressed together my sandwich, and it was perfectly delicious. After three sandwiches, I only stopped because my stomach ached.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Mrs. HowChow and I ate at Iron Bridge on a celebratory whim Monday night. For restaurant week, Iron Bridge is offering three courses for $30 -- an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. Iron Bridge has specials every weeknight like a "burger and wine" special on Mondays. But we actually ate the regular appetizers -- four tapas-sized dishes that we split before having dessert. We paid a little less and still walked out satisfied and full.
Iron Bridge is a special kitchen. Dishes are small, simple and smart, which was my reason to try more little dishes than a full-plate entrees. Consider the "fries" served with a barbecued beef slider. They look like thick cut fries, but they're really slices of polenta, fried with such a light touch that the outside was crisp and the inside was almost creamy. It's surprising. It's funny. But most importantly, it's delicious and dipped beautifully into the barbecue sauce.
I started to write that the best items were the simplest -- house-smoked salmon with a spectacular cream on thin slices of toast. But the dishes are deceptively complex. Someone turned out that salmon with a mouth-filling flavor of fish and salt, but none of the oiliness that mars bad lox. Someone made a perfect cream and thin toasts with a slight crunch, but still the chewiness of bread. It's an intelligence that run through everything at Iron Bridge from the manager who moved us away from a happy, loud group to the waiter who let Mrs. HowChow order a half-pour when the menu only listed wines by the full glass.
This was one of my favorite dinners in a long time. The beef sliders and the shrimp were both cooked perfectly. The bread pudding was delicate -- although more like a cake than the moist puddings that Mrs. HowChow prefers. The wine was superb and fit Mrs. HowChow's description of "dry, but full flavored" exactly. This was the fun of eating at a favorite restaurant, made especially good because we didn't fall into our "favorite sushi roll" rut. Iron Bridge changes its menu all the time, so we make new picks confident that nothing with disappoint. I really wanted the cheese plate, but we relented because four tapas and dessert truly filled us both up.
My only complaint is the lighting. Sure, it's romantic and adult, which goes great with the way that Iron Bridge has little nooks where you can be together even in a crowded room. But some of us are snapping away with a camera phone, and there just isn't enough light to focus.
For more about Howard County's restaurant week in July-August 2009, check out a prior post that links to the full list of participating restaurants. The funny thing at Iron Bridge is that there wasn't a sign of restaurant week anywhere. Not even a mention of the "three for $30" special on the menu. I guess you get the deal if you know about it before you arrive.
Iron Bridge Wine Company
10435 Rte 108
Columbia, MD 21044
NEAR: This is on Rte 108 west of Rte 29 and Centennial Park. From Clarksville, you could just come north on Rte 108. From anywhere else, it's very convenient off Rte 29.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The market sent out emails Monday saying that they still hope to be selling Lancaster County delicacies by the end of August. Their old shopping center at Rte 198 and Rte 29 is fenced for construction. Their new home at Rte 198 just east of U.S. 1 supposedly will offer all the great items -- like the bacon-egg-and-cheese pretzel roll -- that made the Dutch Country Market a real adventure for people who want food.
Turkey Hill ice cream. Milk. Blend. That's the kind of milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard, but it's only available from about 11 am to 5 pm weekdays at the Duchess, a longtime takeout a block off Rte 103 just east of Rte 29.
You get a simple cup filled with creamy chocolate or vanilla -- smooth enough to drink with a straw, but thick like ice cream coating your mouth. Seriously, split a milkshake. I drank an entire cup, and I felt like I needed to run a mile just to work off the fat. Based on a string of Chowhound comments and a Howard County Times article, I learned that The Duchess is an institution that changed owners a few years ago, but now seemed to be run again by an original owner who just serves sandwiches, ice cream and milkshakes.
Like Touche Touchet or Oh, What A Cake for cupcakes, the Duchess is a perfect place to take a kid if you're looking for an adventure on a summer day. Simple sweets and big smiles. You're not going to do better.
If you read Chowhound posts about Howard County food, check out the people on the Chowhound comments above. Treetop Tom, BMorecupcake, and Jason1 always post thoughtful, knowledgeable ideas. I also watch for Elgringoviejo and Ivysmom.
4126 Old Columbia Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
NEAR: The Duchess is a small building just north of Rte 103 on Old Columbia Pike. This is the intersection with the fire department just east of Rte 29. It's actually quite easy to reach from Rte 29, and, of course, you can reach it from downtown Ellicott City by just driving up the Old Columbia Pike.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Check out the Baltimore Beer Guy for real news on the Howard County brew scene. The BBG cites the Judge's Bench and the Frisco Grille in Columbia as the best beer bars in Howard County -- with Frisco as his favorite.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
From Howard County, a short drive will let you buy spectacular vegetables, fruit, fish and Asian or Latin groceries. Low prices. Incredible selections. Specialty offerings at a price that lets you try out that Asian pepper, unusual spice or the fruit that you have never seen before.
My top choices are the H Mart off Rte 40 in Catonsville or the Super Grand south of Rte 198 on Rte 197 in Laurel. You can also shop at Lotte in Ellicott City. I have posted about various aspects of these stores that I'll summarize below, but nothing beats an hour exploring the aisles. You want to go because you'll do this week's grocery shopping and get to add a little adventure to your life at the same time. Nothing lose; a world of flavor to gain.
(Update: A huge Lotte opened in Catonsville in December 2012. Search for posts about that grocery as well.)
Let's start with the guaranteed finds. In my post about "my favorite place for food," I wrote that Asian ingredients don't even make my Top 5 reasons to visit H Mart. They're ideal. I love the wonton wrappers, the coconut milk, the Asian pears, and the aisles of rice, tofu and sauces. These should be your first stops if you're trying to cook anything from Korean to Chinese to Thai, but you'll find far more than soy sauce and seaweed at H Mart, Lotte or Super Grand:
- Fruit -- The fruit lasts longer than items from anyone else. In-season fruit comes at spectacular selections like a dozen varieties pears, and there are unusual selections like Koran melons or lychees. Try a box of Asian pears when they're in season. A luxury suddenly becomes something that you can share and enjoy day after day.
- Frozen Food -- The frozen aisle is full of convenience items. Dumplings. Shu Mai. Red bean ice cream. Bags of edamame. Even a brief scouting trip will send you home with some great frozen items and inspire you to return.
- Mexican Food -- No joke, everything you need for a Rick Bayless cookbook. Hispanic vegetables like plantains, jicama and chayote prove the worldliness of the market owners. They serve up Latin cheeses, chorizos, and spices. They have entire aisles of Goya beans, sauces and rice, and Super Grand has even more than Lotte or H Mart.
- Vegetables -- The vegetables make Asian markets worthy of a pilgrimage for any cook. As I wrote in the post about vegetable shopping, you get low prices, great selections, and produce that just lasts longer in the fridge. It is rarely organic. But the Asian markets are my favorite place because you get variety along with some unique items like all the Asian greens and cabbages.
- Fish -- These are the places to experiment with fish. As simple as fillets. As exotic as live tillapia or squid. Great prices on clams that let me cook an entire vat of chowder last winter. All the markets sell whole fish, and the fishmongers will gut, skin or cut up the fish into a bunch of styles that they list on signs over their heads.
Last year, I knocked off a list of 10 items that were easy to just grab off the shelf. No cooking to eat refrigerated kimchi or the frozen dumplings. A little assembly to create seaweed wrappers with rice and tuna fish. Since then, I keep finding new items by just reaching out and reading the package:
- Make quick pickles with Yoricho cooking vinegar. Slice vegetables, pour on that vingegar and water. You have pickles in 20 minutes.
- Create a unique dessert by buying sweet rice cakes. They're a fine hand-held snack. But I jazzed them up by slicing two into eight pieces, then serving that plate next to a fruit salad.
- Buy a great takeout dinner by grabbing soup or ready-to-grill meat. Then, sample any of the "panchan" -- prepared vegetables, fish cakes, tofu and other Korean side dish -- that the store sells by the pound. Lotte has a great selection of panchan that you can buy in bulk (or in tiny tasters). Lotte isn't my favorite market, but the prepared foods are terrific.
This is part of the "What I Learned" series of posts. They're organized in rings. See below to continue on the ring about shopping in Howard County. Or click to switch to the posts about different cuisines or posts about areas and ideas.
PREVIOUS: Ethnic Shopping in Howard County
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.
13600 Laurel Bowie Road (Rte 197)
Laurel, MD 20708
NEAR: This is on Rte 197 about a half-mile south of Rte 198. It's right off the BW Parkway, so it's an easy drive from I-95 or U.S. 1 via Rte 198.
8801 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
NEAR: On Rte 40, just east of Rte 29. From Columbia, you go north on Rte 29 and take the Rte 40 East exit. Stay in the left lane on the exit ramp. That takes you into the shopping center.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This was a scientific project, which is intimidating since I don't even claim to make multiple visits like real restaurant reviewers would do for a newspaper. The PB sampled a slice from Pazani in Elkridge, which is one of my favorites but which disappointed the PB. Check out the PB's photos and tour.
This a tasty ball of mozzarella that has a mild, milky taste that goes perfect with a garden tomato and a leaf of basil. I'm actually a fan of the national-brand mozzarella balls at Giant and Harris Teeter, the Laraia's cheese has a flavor a little more like milk and a feeling that is a little less elastic.
I have written before about shopping for cheese or for organic products in Howard County. My Organic Market offers a small, but thoughtful selection of both in the Columbia East shopping center at Rte 175 and U.S. 1.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
From July 27 to August 9, 2009, you can enjoy "restaurant week" specials at about 25 different tables. My recommendations include Victoria Gastro Pub (for parking lot cuisine), Iron Bridge Wine Company, and Aida Bistro in Columbia, Jordan's Steakhouse in Ellicott City, and Ranazul in Fulton. I'm also thinking this might be my chance to visit Bistro Blanc in Glenelg.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Juicy, flavorful chicken. It's a basic, but there is real skill in turning out a bird with a peppery taste, moist meat, and skin that is just too delicious to leave on the plate. Pollo Fuego turns out nice chicken, and that makes a great plate with fried yucca and red beans -- still holding their shape, but cooked soft and creamy.
I was willing to drive to Mega Chicken in Laurel for yucca fries because I love the lighter, aerier variation on the French fry. Now, I can get my fix at U.S. 1 and Rte 175 in Jessup. It's a pretty
basic place -- counter service with small tables and bar stools. The menu is mostly variations on chicken, although there is a steak option. This is an easy detour off I-95, so it goes right onto my list of great takeout joints in Howard County. They have specials for one or two chickens with a mess of sides and cans of soda.
Early comments on a prior post suggest that other people are fans -- although Anonymous commits heresy by suggesting boiled potatoes over my yucca fries!! But note that Jane S. posted on Yelp about three disappointing visits -- and she sounds like she knows her Peruvian chicken. Please give your feedback below.
My one advice: Pay 20 cents more for a second condiment cup of the fiery green sauce. Spicy and fresh, it really goes well with the chicken and contrasts with the dry yucca.
If you are interested in Peruvian chicken, there is an enormous series of posts on Chowhound where people tasted and debated all kinds of restaurants -- mostly in PG and Montgomery County.
7351 Assateague Drive
Jessup, MD 20794
NEAR: This is the Columbia East shopping center at Rte 175 and U.S. 1. There is a Starbucks and a Rita's facing Rte 175, and you'll see My Organic Market right in front of you when you pull into the parking area. Pollo Fuego is in the back, around the corner from My Organic Market.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- People are still commenting about the new Bon Fresco sandwich shop on Oakland Park Boulevard. Stephanie T, Trixie B, Lyss, Fultie, and others commented about their talks with the manager Gerald and his efforts to make new breads, offer up side dishes, etc.
- Dianne said the new India Delight on Dobbin Road could give House of India a run for its money.
- Shelley said that she had the best fried chicken of her life at Chick N' Friends in Columbia.
- Heeper said I was right to be dubious about whether the "produce truck" on Broken Land actually sells special produce.
- Reiyi continued the conversation that Warthog started about "authentic" Chinese food and the Hunan Legend owners who will talk about unusual foods and dish them out if you get to know them. Posting Hunan Legend's secret menu has been my favorite moment on HowChow, and ironically, I haven't used it yet. Also, check out Hon's report about wheat noodles on Chowhound.
- Lisa and Kevin both tried the new Katana Sushi in Elkridge, and neither came away super impressed. But John put in a good word about the food and the experience at Maruha Japanese Steakhouse.
- While those folks were trying new spots, Kikiverde commented about an old favorite: the pumpkin appetizer at Maiwand Kabob. She talks up the vegetable platter, which gets you a sample of several great appetizers plus the tandoori bread.
- Anonymous posted about Thai restaurants -- saying Bangkok Garden in Columbia beats out Bangkok Delight in Ellicott City.
- Anonymous kept up the patter about "ice cream places for a summer night." These votes were for Arties in Clarksville and a soft serve place called Sarem's on Old Rte 29 near Burtonsville.
- Similarly, Anonymous, Kim and the PizzaBlogger kept up the talk about Coal Fire Pizza on Rte 108. I'm a fan, but the comments go both ways about the pizza, its cost, and the oven-baked wings.
- Milhouse emailed me with another recommendation for a burger date. He talked up a place that was new to me, Trolley Stop on Oella Ave in Ellicott City:
I stopped in at the Trolley Stop for lunch today, I had forgotten how good their food is. Fantastic sirloin cheeseburger (cheddar cheese-lettuce-tomato-thick pickles-grilled onions). The 1/2 lbs. burger was perfectly cooked medium rare and the cheese was that gooey-half congealed perfectness and they are generous with the fries. I watched a Chicken Salad Sandwich the size of a man's hat delivered to an elderly couple that looked as if they could have been there when the place opened. An older place in town that seems to be overlooked and talking to the waitress business is slow except for locals and could maybe use a little press.
- And finally, Chuck emailed me about the Ledo's Pizza in the River Hill Village Center. He says the place has new management, and it wasn't a second too soon:
A visit their this weekend to the River Hill Village Ceneter location was greeted by a "Under New Management" banner. Maybe someone finally woke up and realized they have a dining room. The change was very apparent and a welcome evolution from the previous act which featured poor service, sloppy order taking, erratic wait times and inconsistent food.
Previous wait staff seemed to be culled from the middle school ranks and management seemed no where in sight on previous trips. On this most recent visit, waiters were obviously trained and very friendly and attentive and the dining room was noticeably cleaner and prepared for guests. This was a far cry from the slow and loose service which plagued the previous administration. A steak and cheese sub also was much improved with a fresher, crustier roll and tastier mix of rib eye, cheese, onions, and fresh lettuce and tomato. At other tables, the staff was clearly trained to elicit conversation with patrons and resembled a more upscale restaurant instead of the soccer crowd-friendly pizza place found also on the other side of Columbia as well as in Fulton off Rt. 216.
Kudos to the new owners who have cleaned up a Maryland icon of square trayed pizza and made it more hospitable to those over twelve not wearing soccer cleats and grass stained jerseys. I am sure they are still welcome, but will be served not by peers and on a clean table within reasonable wait times.
Friday, July 17, 2009
In light of the program's basis in economic development, the Free Market blog offers a spirited critique of the economic arguments for local food. I'll defer on that and emphasis the flavor basis. If you do nothing else this summer, go pick peaches and blackberries at Larriland Farm off I-70. Nothing beats the taste of a peach that you just took off a tree.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I had seen comments that Harris Teeter had pulled out of the Fulton development. The developer was telling Maple Lawn residents that the store will open on October 6, 2009, but HT's parent Ruddick Corp. had announced that it was reducing or delaying new store openings because of the economic climate.
Apparently, the October 2009 date is still on. (Update: Harris Teeter's customer service says the opening will be October 7, 2009.) It's weird because the store is ready to open. But there are some accounting and financial reporting reasons why public company executives might enjoy opening a store six days into their fiscal year.
There are people soliciting donations at Dobbin Road and Rte 175. Wordbones figured out with some basic research that they're affiliated with a Tampa church that the Tampa Tribune investigated. Read Tale of Two Cities before you donate because this is a quote from the Tribune:
Yet while their followers live in poverty and beg for donations from those who would “help feed needy women and children,” the Jeffersons live in a 10,000-square-foot home in Brandon. Bishop Jefferson drives a Bentley Arnage, worth as much as $150,000. The couple wear tailor-made clothing and travel in a private jet.
Moreover, records show the bishop has bought a substantial amount of land for the church, spending $2 million on properties in Hillsborough County since 1992. Yet the church has a history of leaving debts unpaid."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
When I visited last weekend, they told me that they were open most days. Today, my friend was turned away from the farm. A guy there told her that they wouldn't be open for a few weeks.
I'm letting you know so that you know they appear to working out the kinks. Sorry if I wasted anyone's time. I just drove up last Saturday, and they sold me vegetables and told me that people could come any day. Please be patient. It's a family farm.
(An anonymous comment below says that someone at Gorman recommended that you visit on Thursday or Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. UhOhBadDog says that the farm now has a "closed" sign outside. Thanks for the comments.)
- For Indian, you have four choices for spices, Indian sauces, frozen naan, boxed Indian lunches, and other ingredients. Check out the candied fennel seeds or buy the basics for pani puri. Mostly, the stores sell Indian or U.S. "import" brands -- from tea to spices to Ching's Red Chili sauce straight from Bombay. The one real advantage is Eastern Market, which has more produce than the others. The four: Food Cravings in Columbia, Desi Market in Columbia, Eastern Bazar in Laurel, and Apna Bazar in Laurel. (Update: In comments below, Hal and anonymous recommend a fifth and sixth: Ganesh Brothers on Rte 40 in the Normany Plaza just east of Rte 29 and Patel Brothers on Rte 40 in Catonsville.) (I have also heard that Food Cravings might be expanding to Elkridge.)
- For Middle Eastern, you drive to Caezar International Market in Elkridge or Aladdin Market on Main Street in Laurel. Both stores sell breads, spices, cheeses like feta or Kashkaval, and packaged basics like lentils, tahini, chick peas and bulgar. Caezar is the larger, expanding at its Elkridge location (with a Persian restaurant next door) after 13 years in Columbia as Sizar's. It moved in 2009 to expand and offer a halal butcher. If you go to Caezar, please try the pistachio nougat.
- For Latin American, you should start at Lily's Mexican Market in Columbia and also consider the Panam Supermarket in Laurel if you want produce or a full butcher. Lily's sits off Dobbin Road. It has a small butcher, a takeout-taco counter, freshly-made corn tortillas, cheeses, dried peppers, and all the packaged goods that you need to cook Mexican food. Not much produce, but the easy exotic fun of cactus for nopales tacos. Panam is off U.S. 1 at Rte 198. This is a supermarket, not a grocery, and it sells all those basics -- along with a huge butcher and a full produce section.
- For West African and Jamaican food, you should check out Afia International in Jessup or Accra Foods in Laurel. Both stores appear to sell Ghanaian and Jamaican brands. I don't know these cuisines, and my explorations have not been successful. I would love any comments if you have suggestions. (Another market -- Julie's International in Elkridge -- closed in 2009.)
PREVIOUS: Organic Shopping in Howard County
NEXT: Asian Grocery Stores in Howard County
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The burger joint gets mixes reviews in the comments to my prior post, and I have to say that I'm holding out for the soon-to-open Five Guys at the Columbia Mall.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Maple Lawn wants that urban feel, and Sidamo originated on Capitol Hill. That first store sells breakfast and lunch, along with coffee that they describe as "organic shade grown coffee." I hear that they served coffee samples at a Maple Lawn picnic and that they plan on be open 7 am to 7 pm every day. I haven't heard when they'll open.
A Washington Post review says Sidamo was opened by an Ethopian couple who roast their beans at the DC shop. They also have people present a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony on Sunday afternoons.
Thanks to the OAWPG for the tip on the name. And thanks to everyone for not hitting my car this morning as I was backing up 20 feet on Maple Lawn Boulevard to read the sign. The OAWPG had to remind me about Sidamo's name because I forgot it while playing video pinball on the train.
If you go to Maple Lawn, then you should definitely check out the frozen yogurt at the BP gas station. (Seriously.)
(Update: My friend was turned away from the farm on July 15, 2009. A guy there told her that they wouldn't be open for a few weeks. Then, an anonymous comment on another post said that a guy told them that you should come Thursday or Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. Please check out my update. As I mentioned below, they told me that they're open most days. I assume they're working out the kinks. Please be patient because it's a family farm.)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
It won't open in 2010, which just makes it hurt more to read old press releases saying the Columbia Wegmans could open as early as 2009.
I'm not clear if Carson is making a sly joke when he calls the Columbia Wegman's a "giant 160,000-square-foot" supermarket. We know it isn't a Giant.
HowChow reported on a Wegmans building permit Monday. Of course, HowChow has the luxury of concentrating its "news" reporting on two supermarkets and a Peruvian chicken joint. The Sun seems to have left Carson covering the entire county.
(Update: Lotsboogeys beat me and the Sun in a comment to an earlier post that he wrote before noon about Wegmans construction starting. Also -- check of the Tales of Two Cities blog if you're looking for news about the law suits surrounding the Wegmans.)
Country curry at the Columbia Thai restaurant. I didn't order anything special, didn't ask for the super spicy. But my curry came out so hot that I alternated between dropping my fork in fear and then shoveling food so rapidly that my wife became concerned.
Her dish was delicious and cooling with its coconut milk base. Ironically, I had been sold on the country curry special because I thought that a non-coconut curry sounded interesting. We went to Bangkok Delight because we had just hosted my nephew for three days. Lovely boy, but it has been three days without vegetables or spicy. So we drove to Rte 108 to shake up a nacho-hot dog-pizza cuisine.
"No mas" or however Duran would have quit if he had been Thai. I ate half the plate for dinner. I took the other half for lunch, but ended up going out with a visiting friend and just throwing the brown bag away. (Before I was married to a doctor, I might have said "Sitting out in my office all day isn't that long.") Honestly, it was a disappointing trip to Bangkok Delight, which I have touted some days as the best restaurant in Howard County. Not last week. It's not a cheap place, and the "chicken wrap" special appetizer wasn't special. Great sauces, but uninspired chicken and iceberg lettuce. I still love the place, but it wasn't "best of the county" at all.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Philip loves pizza like the Pizza Blogger, and he snaps photos like a professional. (Update: He is a professional.) Raves like Philip's and some thoughtful criticism keep being added as comments to my post about Coal Fire on Rte 108. Please add your thoughts about Coal Fire there.
Who knows? I stopped for corn and tomatoes on Broken Land's shoulder just south of Rte 32. I have to admit that the tomatoes weren't as good -- and we the same price -- as the tomatoes at the Sunday farmers market in Columbia.
But there was a little romance in buying roadside produce on a whim. It's not the fun of roadside tacos on a whim, but it's a quick option if you commute home on Rte 32. Easy off and back on from Broken Land.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I don't claim (or even aspire) that HowChow lists every restaurant in Howard County. HoCo Loco Girl does a nice job of listing locally-owned restaurants, and I think it's an invaluable place to look around for something that you might enjoy.
Now, there is a barebones Web site called Menupix that lists dozens of Howard County restaurants. It's niche is that it links directly to the menu pages of the restaurants' Web sites. No real information, and the list -- like our arteries -- is globbed up with chain joints. But it's a fast site with a nice list if you're looking for a menu.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
On July 3, 2009, the Annapolis Capital reported that William Raymond Miller was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for an insurance fraud scheme. The story says that Miller forfeited a sports bar in Clarksville. I think that is the River Hill Sports Grille, which I posted about in March.
I hadn't heard the grille closed, so I assume that the federal government sold the place to someone else. Or are FBI agents serving beer and burgers behind the bar?
Monday, July 6, 2009
An employee of Wegmans Construction in Rochester applied to build a temporary construction trailer at 8895 McGaw Road in Columbia. That is the site across from Apple Ford where Wegmans has been talking about a new store since at least 2006. A county employee appears to have done a "building review" on July 1, 2009, but there isn't a permit issued yet.
(Update: In January 2011, Wegmans applied for permits to actually start building the grocery store and the accompanying parking garage.)
This confirms comments by Wordbones -- who is the source for Wegmans construction news -- on the Tales of Two Cities blog. In June, Wordbones wrote that their local attorney said the company had prevailed against legal challenges. The attorney did not have a date for a Columbia opening then, and the Wegmans Web site still said "TBD" today and listed it behind two stores to open in 2010. About five months ago, Wordbones heard that Wegmans was aiming for early 2011.
I heard about the permit from an anonymous comment on an earlier post. (Thank you for all the comments!) You can check application B09001570 yourself at the Howard County Web site. Just search for all permits on McGaw Road in June 2009.
I'm a huge Wegmans fan, and I posted before about why I want Wegmans. If you want to comment about Wegmans and what it brings/does to the local shopping scene, please comment on that prior post.
(Update: In a comment below, the Baltimore Beer Guy points out that Oh, What A Cake is just down Dobbin Road from Frisco Grille & Cantina. A cupcake, and a stellar beer! What could be finer?)
Oh, What A Cake!
6656 Dobbin Rd # K
Columbia, MD 21045-5841
NEAR: This is on Dobbin Road between Oakland Mills Parkway and McGaw Road. So it's very convenient from Rte 175 (heading south on Dobbin) or from Snowden River Parkway (going west on Oakland Mills or McGaw). This is a few blocks away from Lily's Mexican Market on Dobbin or from Bon Fresco on Oakland Mills.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Gus & Cynthia Brocksen, Owners & Founders
P.O. Box 809