Monday, September 12, 2011

Anna's Coffee Roastery in Columbia: Roast Their Own Beans And Put Korea's BBQ In Mexico's Taco

Bulgogi tacos at Anna's Coffee Roastery
The local coffee shop scene gets a new roast and a new take on international bulgogi now that Anna's Coffe Roastery has opened in Columbia.

Anna's follows a line of local coffee shops that roasts its own coffee and sells a line of breakfast and lunch options until the end of the work day.  They're getting nice comments online about the coffee, but I went right for the flashy stuff: bulgogi tacos.

This is staple trend in places like Los Angeles, but the bulgogi taco is a nice lunch option here in Howard County.  It's the cousin of the bulgogi panini at Riverside Coffee -- and a similar use of Korean barbecue to head onto an international scene.

Anna's sells two bulgogi versions -- a "sweet' version with beef and a "spicy" version with pork.  They're thin-sliced meat, charred nicely and served on a corn tortilla with rice, letture and sour cream.  In the end, neither is very sweet or spicy.  The main flavors are the meat and their sauces, which were rich and offset nicely by the lettuce crunch.  Gabrielle and her family lunched there Sunday as well, trying both bulgogi as platters with rice and a salad, and she recommends it as well:
Gabrielle's bulgogi platter
The spicy pork was not overly spicy (I actually wouldn't have minded a little more heat) but had a great flavor full of onions, ginger, and red pepper. My husband's sweet beef bulgogi had a subtle sesame oil flavor and was also sprinkled with sesame seeds
Like Riverside's panini, Anna's tacos are aimed at a general audience.  It's a nice mix of Mexican and Korean favors, enticing to anyone who likes a little barbecue.  Dr. RDAdoc and I split two of the $8 taco plates, and I went spicy when he let me decide which of the final two tacos to finish.  If anything, I could have taken more spicy too.  A little kimchi, even on the side or as an optional topping?  Or some pickled Mexican vegetables to add just a little zip?

Anna's is definitely a nice addition to the options along the Columbia/Elkridge line.  Gabrielle's six-year-old devoured a half turkey club, and the menu runs from breakfast sandwiches through a bunch of lunchtime options.  For now, I'm pretty loyal to my Sidamo's coffee beans, but I'd love to know what people think of those other roasts.

Anna' Coffee Roastery
8827 Centre Park Dr Ste D
Columbia, MD 21045
(443) 546-4131

NEAR:  Anna's is in a shopping center between Rte 108 and Rte 100.  It's just north of the Giant onCenter Park Drive.  You pull into the entrance near the Burger King and Bangkok Delight, then drive past the Thai restaurant to a strip of shops with an MRI shop.

Anna's Coffee Roastery on Urbanspoon


Marcia said...

Is this just a new food addition to the coffee shop that was there, does anyone know? Or has something changed with the coffee part of it too?

HowChow said...

I think this is a relatively new coffee shop. For years, this was a shuttered coffee shop that had had an English motif. I haven't looked recently. From other on-line mentions, I think Anna's opened in 2011.

pekkle said...

I went there yesterday to try it out. I had the bulgogi tacos which were pretty good. I wasn't feeling the mixture of korean food aromas with coffee. I was hoping to smell more coffee and less garlic.

I hope they are still working out their kinks... their espresso was burnt, shots pulled for way too long, and almost no crema! I bought some beans too, but they were very dark, way past double crack.

I'll try back later. I was hoping for a good roaster closer to EC. Back to home roasting for me.

Steffi said...

I bought a latte from there a few weeks ago. I ended up dumping it out when I got home. I very rarely toss out bad coffee - caffeine is caffeine, after all, and the lack of a coffeemaker in my office means I drink instant most of the time - but this was terrible.

The blueberry muffin I purchased was stale and dry.

Hopefully their hot food is better, but they need to improve on the basics.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up. We went there for an early dinner this evening- they don't close till 7:00 p.m. and enjoyed the spicy tacos.

Lisa said...

I got the bulgogi wrap, which comes out like a Chipotle burrito--meat and rice, lettuce and tomato inside. Honestly, the sweet beef was way too sweet and I didn't like it at all. And the wrap that they used made me wish I had gone to Chipotle.

I had the same experience as Steffi, but with the "House Blend" coffee. Tasted like it came from a truck stop...

That said, I wish Anna's all the best and hope they read these comments and take them to heart.