Fortune Star was one of the first places that drew many comments on HowChow. It was a quantity joint. You can get better Chinese at Red Pearl in Columbia or Grace Garden in Odenton. But no closing makes Howard County a better place to eat.
Thanks for all the comments. They're definitely worth something checking out -- for news, for ideas, and for opinions other than some blogger. Remember that I love guest posts. All they require is a cell phone photo and a few paragraphs of description (along with a disclosure of any connection that you have to the place).
Here's a collection of recent news, reports, recommendations, and questions -- along with some detailed emails after the jump:
- Kmmalloyzz wrote that Iceberry in Ellicott City appears to have closed again.
- Anonymous asked if anyone has tried the taco truck normally parked in Oakland Mills on White Acre Road. Anyone?
- Anonymous read the new Chinese page on Hunan Manor's Web site. The report is that it's a new font, but no new dishes. Anonymous listed out the dishes there if you want to try.
- EGKate described a great vegetarian lunch of mushroom soondooboo at Lighthouse Tofu in Ellicott City. Perrik recommends the tofu pockets at Grace Garden in Odenton.
- Mike, Laura and other recommended local chefs who offer cooking lessons to civilians, including Alba Carbonaro-Johnson, Mark Waitsman, and Michelle Sapp. (Guest post idea: "I'm a chef who gives local cooking lessons. Three paragraphs about where I shop for ingredients." Hint. Hint.)
- Robin posted detail about the brunch at Second Chance Saloon -- burgers, an omelet and drinks. He also lead a group of people who suggested favorite dishes at Bangkok Garden 9. In the same way, Kritikal and Anonymous posted about the new Tino's Italian Bistro. So did Kathy and Jim in Thunderhill.
- Anonymous talked up the fun of packing lunches in bento boxes -- with recommendations about places to shop.
- L Yao recommended the ribs and dark meat chicken at one of the outdoor grill trucks that parks in Columbia. Anyone know if they're out at this time of year? If they aren't, AlPal3 recommended the country pork ribs at Laurel Meat Market so you could make your own.
- Christine posted a comment with the contact information for Sweetcakes, a bakery that I had noticed on Twitter. She is the owner.
- P90 Noir recommended lunch at Cafe de Paris' Crepe Cafe and at Hanamura. Barbi and Angie both liked their pizza at the Pudgies in Clarksville. David G, HowICook and many others sing about the lunch buffet at Royal Taj in Columbia.
- Jade's Mama recommended the new regime at Turkshish Kabob House in Columbia -- a spot that has changed hands a few times recently. I'm looking for good falafel, so I need to check it out. Deborah gave a thumbs up to the falafel at Whatchamacallit in Savage Mill.
- Joy314 didn't love the homemade ice cream at Seibel's in Burtsonville. But Betsy pushed the idea of Indian kulfi pops as an ice cream alternative.
- TheLtlrdhdgr critiqued the food and service at Azul 17, but HoCo Connect says they have the best Cuban sandwich around.
- TheMinx and Mirka were both disappointed by the tea smoked duck at Red Pearl. But Chrissypt and MortyAbzug both enjoyed the new Asian Palace in Columbia. (Morty and Laura each volunteered five "must eat" foods in response to HoCo Rising.)
- Kiran emailed me about the new Katana Hibachi Steakhouse in Columbia, and he puts it up in some high-end company:
On Saturday, my girlfriend and I were shopping at Feet First Sports in Hickory Ridge Village Center and we happened to stumble upon the new Katana Hibachi Steakhouse. The food was a step above what I normally get at hibachi grills and the service was definitely the best I've had in a long time. (Reminded me of Stanford Grill or when Victoria's first opened.) It's a bit pricey, except the weekday lunch menu - which looks like a steal.
Interesting comparison - we were eating at King's Contrivance on Sunday. While the food was great, we were both thinking the shrimp and scallops were cooked much better at Katana. So perhaps that puts some perspective on the price.
- Dana emailed me so long ago that I'm embarrassed, but her thoughts about Milita's Tacos are just as fresh today. This is a taco truck at U.S. 1 and Rte 103. Not one that I have tried, but Dana and her co-workers went over the summer after seeing the lines:
Two friends and I got tacos (al pastor, shrimp, and carne asada) and a chicken quesadilla. The quesadilla was presented to me with sour cream, tomatoes, and lettuce on top, and being the picky eater I am, I asked them to remove it when they placed it in a to-go box (which they did not give it to me in to begin with). I have no idea how they did it, but there was no trace of the extra items on the quesadilla when I opened it at work.
The quesadilla itself tasted fine, but was a bit bland. I'm a Texas girl and would have preferred for the chicken to have some spice. The tacos were beautiful! Simple corn tortillas with garnishes of cilantro, radish and lime. They also tasted perfectly fine (the al pastor was the best), but I think part of our problem was we love R&R Taqueria so much, all we did the entire time was compare them to the gas station tacos we have loved from day one!
So, it was fun to try (none of us had ever been to a taco truck!), but we'll be sticking with what we know and love.
- And finally, Marcia emailed about coffee. I'm a fan of Sidamo in Fulton. Marcia suggested Charter Deli for a cup and some breakfast -- plus a plug for local spots:
Charter Deli makes quite a good cup of coffee, at least the cup I had yesterday when
they first opened was very good. I had to drop off my brother-in-law for an early morning
medical procedure so thought I'd get a quick breakfast at Charter Deli. I was their first
customer at 7 am and got a cup from a very fresh pot. I was pleasantly surprised. Not watery, not bitter. I got an excellent egg/cheese/bacon sandwich on rye bread, too.
Here's another great thing about local businesses. While I was in the deli eating, the owner
was setting up a table with the newspaper & milk. He told me he had a regular customer due in shortly. Sure enough, in comes a woman who sits at the table he's prepared. As soon as she is seated, a hot cup of tea arrives at her table. How cool is that? Let's see McDonald's prepare a table for you before you get there!