Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stanford Grill - The Columbia Blog Review

The Stanford Grill opens tomorrow, and you apparently need to try the key lime pie -- flavored with the essence of blogger soul.

Kevin of Kevin & Ann Eat Everything wrote up last week's "press review" at the Stanford Grill and loved the key lime pie.  He sold his soul for a huge table of food and photographed most of it.  Talks up the corn bread, chicken thigh, spinach and more.  Most importantly, Kevin reports the best parking lot cafe in Howard County because you can see Rte 175 from the outdoor patio.

Wordbones also wrote up the event on Tales of Two Cities.  The Stanford Grill folks filled Wordbones' booth with local bloggers -- although not one blogger who had to be at work last Friday -- so you should check for future posts on Food and Wine Blog and Dining Dish.  Wordbones loved the pineapple upside down cake.  Apparently, the crowd was mostly bloggers, which makes sense because newspapers tend to have rules that limit taking free things.

As I have written before, HowChow is a hobby started to help me find cool food when I moved to Howard County.  But wading into the blogging pool has made me think about how this type of writing will differ from the journalism that newspapers taught me 20 years ago.  (New Rule One: You can work with a cat in your lap.)  For politics, government and watchdog reporting, the change seems to be mostly a disaster because bloggers don't cover the boring stuff and certainly can't sustain confrontations with powerful folks.  In local food and community writing, there is something new and valuable.

I covered South Florida in a newsroom of 20-year-olds who mostly wanted to get promoted out of South Florida overseen by editors who mostly never left the newsroom.  In comparison, Wordbones sat at Stanford Grill in a booth of adults who write about where they live and who each connect into the community in a way that was unknown -- and maybe even forbidden by ethics rules -- at The Miami Herald.   There are blogs that post regularly and try to operate above just the author's opinions or press releases.  It's a mix of reporting and "passing along news," which is where I see HowChow.  If you really want to know about Howard County, I think those blogs -- and the circle of readers and commentators who coalesce around good ones -- will give you something different and richer than what I used to bang out on deadline.  It is also a space open to your voice -- a free Blogger account and you're ready.

If you want more about local blogs, start with the ones listed at the bottom of my right column.  Most of those have their own "blog list" as well.  Or check out Jessie X's post about Frank Hecker and then Hecker's own post about anonymous comments.  Thank heavens food blogs avoid some of the crazies who comment on political blogs.  But I still love the idea of people using a fake name instead of just "Anonymous."  (I'd prefer you to use a pseudonym, but I can't spell that consistently.)  Chowhound is the perfect example of a place where no one knows your real name, but regular readers can put extra weight on your comment if they have seen you before and appreciated something that you wrote.

Stanford Grill
8900 Stanford Boulevard
Columbia, MD  

NEAR: The new restaurant overlooks Rte 175 just west of Snowden River Parkway.  To reach Stanford, you need to get onto Stanford either from Dobbin near the current location for Frisco Grill or from McGaw Road behind Apple Ford. 


Anonymous said...

Where is the Stanford Grill located???

HoCoRising said...

Great post. I'll have you know that what I write about is quite boring. I would have welcomed the opportunity to compromise my ethics and eat some free Stanford Grill food...but, alas, I am still a green sprout in the blogging community. A man can dream.

HoCoRising said...

Oh, and per Jessie's suggestion, I thought I would pass on my review of Lee Lynn's

HowChow said...

Already wrote a post linking to your review for Monday morning!

BeerGuy said...

I sooooo wanted to make that, had company in town.

jessiex said...

Here's the piece I wrote: The Stanford Grill in #TheHoco is open: "More key lime pie, please." | Washington Examiner

dzoey said...

I am quite impressed at how much time you seem to put into HowChow. There are new posts most days and now you're reaching out to the community to join. Thank you.

dzoey said...

I tried Stanford Grill this evening and came away with a "meh" feeling. Nothing was bad, though some, like the BBQ flavor Mac-n-cheese was kind of weird, but nothing really stood out. We liked the cornbread, and the spinach and artichoke dip was good, but, as RheelyFat says, nothing you can't get anywhere else.

The meat was well seasoned. I would almost say over seasoned, except that it tasted really good. It wasn't until after the meal that I realized that I hadn't really tasted much beef flavor, just lots of the seasoning.

The decor was nice - they had a Jazz trio this evening (Friday) and the patio was open for lounging or eating and had a nice view over MD 175.

I'd place this between T-Bonz and Grey Rock.

Anonymous said...

Yawn to Stanford Grill. Looks like the exact same menu, down to the font, as the copper canyon chain ( Preparations look similar from the pics on the blog you reference.

Jason said...

The filet was awesome and the Caesar salad was delicious and looked beautiful

Anonymous said...

I liked it better than my dining companions - menu was just too limiting. Will they at least expand to the canyon grill menus?

Also, we would have loved to sit on the patio but they turned it completely over to a soccer team. No fair!

Will definitly try it again & SIT outside, I hope.

Clayton said...

Copper Canyon sounds familiar, and I wonder if that was a name my waiter told me when he shared details about the corporate structure Stanford Grill is part of. Any way, I liked the rotisserie chicken last Friday night, but I really loved that key lime pie and the French press coffee. Also the iron skillet cornbread.

Jen said...

H and I sat outside this weekend. We LOVED IT. We had the shrimp cocktail w/ their mustard seed/horseradish dressing & split the chicken avacado sandwich. Yes, you can get it somewhere else, but this was good food. It was FRESH. The waitstaff was wonderful and the atmosphere was very welcoming. They plan to develop the garden outside of the fire pit/outdoor seating area and we asked about the menu. We were told they're just starting out and the menu will change.

Gregory said...

Great food and awesome atmosphere! Stanford Grill is comparable to Houston's restaurant. Similar menu items and dining area. The service was wonderful and the pricing is moderate. Outstanding addition to Howard County.

Anonymous said...

Stanford Grill is a little pricey for columbia and the menu a little limited but the food is good, the atmosphere is chich sophisticated and the live music every night makes it a special place for the sophisticated diner.

I had the prime rib (although they have a rotisserie chicken cabinet that is awkwardly placed in the dining area) and it was tender and tasty.

The drinks during happy hour are delicious. I suggest they do like Sullivans and add a bar menu.

Good stuff.

David P said...

My wife and I just had lunch on a whim at Stanford Grill, never having been there before. The waiter confirmed it is the same menu as Copper Canyon, but they dress the staff more formally. :-)

I had the crab cake plate. It came with absolutely delicious glazed carrots, a spice corn and black bean cold chutney, a very nice sauce on the side, and a rice/orzo side. The crab cakes were similar in appearance to G&M, but had a heavier taste, and were smaller. Still quite good.

My wife had the rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes string beans. The chicken was easily pulled off the bone, and the flavor was quite strong. I liked it a lot, the spice rub actually infused the meat. My wife thought it was overly spicy but still liked it. The potatoes were very creamy, more so than I like, and extremely rich and flavorful, almost cheesy. The string beans were good, and also spiced more than my wife cared for.

All in all, a very good meal. We'll be going back. The rotisserie chicken is a nice but expensive alternative to the Latin chicken places popping up, and the combination of flavors on the plates speaks well for the chef who put the menu together. Good place to take the parents or your co-workers.

Ken Oh said...

My fiancee and I tried Stanford this past weekend and we were blown away by the food. I say that it is the best upscale place in HoCo (and the meal still cost me about half of what Jordan's did).

HowChow said...

Kevin -- What did you have? What was so good? It is on my "to do" list. Remember that three paragraphs and a cell phone photo is a guest post!