Thursday, October 27, 2011

Howard Magazine Publishes Its Best Restaurants

Howard Magazine's 2011 dining edition hit the stands this week, and you should check out the full package with a feature, the "best of" list, and some suggestions from some talkers.

The Howard Magazine lists are sort of an "anti-blog."  I always stress that HowChow -- and especially my best restaurants list -- is just personal opinions, but the magazine folks collect votes from readers across the county.  Their Best of Dining 2011 list runs dozens of of topics including takeout, margaritas, Chinese and wine lists.

To round it out, the magazine also asked for thoughts from me, their dining columnist Donna Ellis and Sun reviewer Richard Gorelick.  Their suggestions are terrific.  But you should definitely check out the entire package for the photos as well.  The main feature describes six "giant" meals that you can order in Howard County.  They highlight burgers, a burriro and a sandwich, but it was the double-decker "Smash Dog pizzas" at Pug Dog in Columbia that reminded me that I need to check out those (regular) pizzas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Signs Of Cupcakes, Reports On The Second Sunday Market, And Talk Of A New R&R Location

I'm hearings lots of reports about new bakeries and restaurants across the county.  There seem to be a rush of new dessert bakeries, but also new food so that you can get dinner before dessert:

  • The new Cooks 'N Cakes bakery has a sign up on Rte 40 in Ellicott City, reports Kate.  This will be a cupcake bakery in the former site of the Breadery.  Sara Toth wrote a profile of the owners in Explore Howard and says they're planning to open at the end of October or beginning of November.  (This seems about the same timing as the new Linda's Bakery in Columbia.)
  • The Second Sunday market in Ellicott City went off a few weeks ago.  I keep having conflicts, but the downtown Ellicott City happening is a great way to spend an afternoon and pick up some food and vegetables.  Katy picked up celery root and bread from the Little French Market and posted about them on the Peaceful Plate blog
  • The owner of R&R Taqueria is working to get another location off the ground, says Southern Skies Coffee Roasters in a comment from earlier this month.
  • East Moon Asian Bistro has opened in the Shipley's Grant development on Rte 108 in Elkridge.  Eric and others reported the opening.  Anyone been for the food?
  • And Mike Crosen tweeted me to recommend Sharp's at Waterford Farm, a farm with hayrides, pumpkin and local honey just west of Glenelg off Rte 97.  I haven't been, but it opens on weekends for those rides, farm animal visits, a country store and nature trails where you can just walk outside.  This is Sharp's Web site.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Local Delicacy That Got Away -- Chartering A Boat To Chase Rockfish On The Chesapeake

PoppaChow and Chris Diehl on the Teaser
This was supposed to be a post about catching your own dinner, but those were the ones who got away.

Fishing trips were a tradition in my family in the 1960s and 1970s, and I restarted the idea last weekend with a trip on the Chesapeake for my father's birthday.  He and my brother crashed at our house in Howard County.  Then we drove to meet Chris Diehl on his boat the Teaser at 6:30 am in Dundalk.

Fall rockfish season -- as I learned on the Teaser -- is about younger fish.  We were looking for fish longer than 18 inches.  We could only take home two fish each.  It's a tough limit.

But it turned out to be tougher to catch a fish.  We tried a stop soon after we entered the bay.  We stopped near the bay bridge.  We ran across to the Eastern Shore and circled until I lost my sense of direction.  At mid-day, we hadn't had even a bite, and we were grateful for the excitement when the weights got caught on the bottom.  (My brother caught a burlap bag.  For a while, we thought that might be the highlight.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grind Your Personal Burger Blend -- Or "Mix The Meat And Bacon At The Laurel Meat Market"

A true scientist knows that the best way to experiment is to change just one variable at a time.

But I had two inspirations since I last made hamburgers, so I ended up trying two innovations at once when I went back to the grill this month.  First up: kimchi.  On the menu at Mr. Rain's Fun House, we had seen a burger topped by kimchi and thought that sounded interesting.  Second innovation: bacon.

You wouldn't think bacon was a burger innovation.  But this wasn't bacon on top.  This was raw bacon ground into the chuck.  Laurel Meat Market ground me a special blend after Matt emailed me about how how the butchers there would make personal grinds.  Matt explained how he had figured that out:
My two go-to burger books are are "The Gourmet Burger" and "The Cook's Illustrated Guide To Grilling and Barbecue."  I can't remember which one mentions it, but one of the books talks about using a chuck/sirloin/boneless short ribs blend. The Laurel Meat Market doesn't have short ribs, so I just go with bacon.  I think it's three parts chuck, two parts sirloin, and one part bacon. Then I'll take it home and add onions or whatever else I feel like putting in. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Link: Beer Taking Over A Wine Spot On Monday

Bistro Blanc has made its name with food and wine, but you can join the beer crowd for an upscale dinner on Monday, highlighted by the Baltimore Beer Guy.

The Glenelg restaurant is hosting a four-course dinner with the Lagunitas brewery.  We ate at Bistro Blanc recently after a long time away (post coming), and I agree witht the BBG that the food is delicious and fun.  Definitely the kind of kitchen that could creatively play with beer pairings.  They're offering the four courses and four beers for $55 a person.  The BBG has the full menu and a description of how to sign up.

Oh, What A Cake Of Cupcakes! HowChow Uses Child Labor To Taste Test Local Desserts

We're not cake people at Casa de HowChow, going more for pies and cookies, rice pudding or gelato.  To test the local bakeries, we needed to hire experts.  Luckily, RDAdoc brought in a team of tasters, and they're so young that they work for cheap.  Her first test -- Oh What a Cake! in Columbia:
A couple months ago I was at a fourth birthday party and saw the coolest cake
from Oh What a Cake!  It was a cake made up entirely of cupcakes. I thought this idea was brilliant and knew I would order my son’s cake from there this year! 
My three-year-old son loves cake, but he always gets frustrated when he tries to pick up the piece with his hands and it falls apart. There is usually crying involved, and it’s a sad situation to watch. At his 2nd birthday party, the big cake crisis came when someone took the cake away to slice it, and he didn’t understand that he was going to get a piece.  For this year's party, I didn’t want any cake drama! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food Finds: Best Cooking Ingredients 2011

Estrellita Market
When you want to make great food at home, Howard County offers you way more than the standard supermarkets.  Until Wegmans opens in 2012 (or the Whole Foods comes in my dreams), you'll need to cobble together good cooking at ethnic, organic and other markets.

The 2010 list was pretty good.  So I scrapped all of those and offer 10 new simple things:  
Frank's Seafood
This week, I'm posting a series of "best of" posts starting with best restaurants and best food experiences.  Then some posts about finds at stores -- the best grab and go items and the best ingredients for cooks.  You can click for all the "best of" posts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Food Experiences: Best of Howard County 2011

Laurel Tavern Donuts
Most of my favorite food doesn't reduce to my list of the best restaurants in Howard County -- even after I supplemented with a second list of food finds at special groceries.

So, like in 2009,  I'm taking Elizabeth Large's inspiration for a list of "great experiences" to create a separate list of ways that you can enjoy great food in Howard County. I arbitrary replaced half the items the 2010 list (and almost everything from the 2009 list).  Please add comments with your favorite Howard County food experiences -- places to shop, places to eat, etc.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Link: Lisa B. Joined The Beet Party At Larriland

The Lisa B., Mrs. S blog made the ride to Larriland Farm for pumpkins, apples and beets.  Check out the photos of the produce and the canned beets!

Meet The Folks Behind Corner Stable -- They're Here To Save Us From Being "Restaurant Poor"

The new Corner Stable restaurant should open on October 24 in King's Contrivance in Columbia, according to Sara Toth's article on Explore Howard.

The article quotes the owners and talks up baby back ribs that they bring in from Denmark and cook for three days.

The new folks sound nice, although I can't say that I agree that "Howard County is 'restaurant poor' and has 'a scarcity of locally owned and operated restaurants.'"  Maybe they just need to read more local blogs.  (Smiles.)

(Update:  See the comment below.  I can't wait to try mini corn dog appetizers!!)

Restaurants: Best of Howard County 2011

Grace Garden
The best restaurants are the ones that make you happy -- the places that you want to return for your old favorites or for new discoveries.

So this is my best restaurants.  I can guarantee that you can get great food in (or just outside) Howard County.  These are the places that I'd tell you to start if you want something delicious.  

Frankly, I don't eat out enough to change my "best" list that often.  I'm always finding new "favorite things."  So this is a post to spark a little conversation and to help people start out when they find HowChow for the first time.

I don't know if your best restaurants are on my list.  That's why you can write comments!  Tell me the three places that you would recommend to someone who just moved to Howard County.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"International" Grocery Coming To Long Reach

The Safeway in Long Reach will be replaced by an "international" grocery store with a cafe, reports David Greisman on Explore Howard.

I'm not sure what the International Food Market will sell.

Most of the grocery stores around here that cater to an "international" market have a Korean focus with a range of American, Asian, Hispanic and other items.  But the only mention of International Food Market that I found tonight is a Russian market in Baltimore.

Anyone know what the Long Reach store will carry?  Greisman has an interview with the shopping center owner, who says a pizzeria and a Caribbean restaurant will open over the next month.

(Update: Greisman tweeted that the market isn't the Russian folks from Baltimore.  The village center owner said it's folks who have markets in Virginia.  Greisman may go back to interview the market people for more details.)

Linda's Bakery Opening In Columbia

A new bakery appears to be opening on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia next to House of India offering cakes and other sweets.

The sign says Linda's Bakery "coming soon."  There is a Web site that I found searching the Internet.  It looks like Linda has been baking for a while

The Web site promises cakes, sweets and espresso.  If Linda is the same chef from Just Desserts by Linda, then you'll be able to get some crazy looking cakes.

Linda's Bakery (opening Fall 2011)
9350-G Snowden River Parkway
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR:  Linda's is in the same shopping center as House of India and New York Deli.  It is accessible from southbound Snowden River Parkway south of the Home Depot.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chatter: Wegmans May Open May-June 2012

Does this look like the inside of the Columbia Wegmans?
The latest chatter on the I Want The Columbia Wegmans Facebook page says that the Columbia store is slated to open in May or June 2012.

Myles Gray posted that comment.  He wrote that the employment office would then open in January-February 2012.  I can't vouch for anyone on the Internet, but Myles says he works for Wegmans and he posted several other photos that appear to be inside the second-level of the construction site.  That certainly looks like an employee's photos.  I appreciate the updates.  People are very excited.

I have an idea to call Wegmans' public relations and see if they'd take someone on a tour to post videos on the Facebook page.  Please join the Facebook group if you want to watch other folks discuss the Wegmans.  If you're already a member, then you can approve anyone else to join.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Link: Safeway in Long Reach To Close Nov. 5

The Safeway in the Long Reach village center will close on November 5, according to a story by David Greisman on Explore Howard.  (Hat tip to Wordbones.)

The article says that the Columbia shopping center's owners have said an unnamed supermarket will replace the Safeway.  I have written before about my thoughts on village centers, but I hope Long Reach does get a new super market.  It does help all the businesses there.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

R&R Tops The Washington Post's List, And That Makes All Of The HowChow Work Worthwhile

Cochinta tacos at R&R Taqueria

Tom Sietsema meet Alberto A. Flores -- the reason why you can enjoy the Mexican food at R&R Taqueria.

Sietsema published his Fall Dining Guide yesterday.  He picked 40 restaurants where he would want to be a regular, and one was the taqueria in the Shell station at the Jessup/Elkridge line.  Let me summarize part of the list:
  • CityZen, Washington DC
  • Black Salt, Washington DC
  • Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore
  • R&R Taqueria, Elkridge
This is one my proudest days as a minor food blogger.  Two years ago tomorrow, Flores dropped a comment on one of my posts, and that sparked my repeated posts reporting on R&R offerings like tacos, agua fresca, horchata and huarache.  That even got my wife to eat in a gas station.

As far as I can tell, my drumbeats got picked up in February when a Wall Street Journal writer researched a five-state roundup of "tacos in gas stations."  That sparked a run of blog posts from Tyler Cowen, Todd Kliman and others.  I wrote before about how much I appreciate the new media innovation of giving credit about where you first heard about something.  I can only assume Sietsema read one of those bloggers and ended up sampling the chicken tacos, the lamb soup, and pollo Mexicano stew.  That food chain of small fish to medium fish ends up with the big fish reviewing the food in a Howard County gas station:
If there's an upside to a sour economy, it's this pint-size eatery with a mere eight stools, which offers the chance to eat tacos every bit as swell as those in Mexico City, the owner's birthplace.
You have to go try R&R now, right?  I have it in my draft "Best Of" list for 2011, but Sietsema was picking places from Fairfax to Baltimore.  Trust him that R&R is something special.  Trust me that all the time invested in a hobby blog becomes worthwhile when I find something delicious and help pass the news into the big-time.  If nothing else, start with the cochinta tacos above -- new to me last month and absolutely scrumptious with a citrus flavor to the pork.

And thank Alberto A. Flores when you love the food.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Link: Crab Shanty Updating Name, Menu

The Crab Shanty in Ellicott City is updating its name and menu, according to an Explore Howard article by Karen Nitkin.  Great article about how the Rte 40 institution is trying to hold on to its current (often older) clients while adding outdoor seats, small dishes, flatbreads, and more.

Link: BGR The Burger Joint On Two Dudes

BGR The Burger joint gets written up on the 2 Dudes Who Love Food blog -- a "thumb's up" for the burger and a giant cookie.

On a side note, the post gave me a horrible flashback to 1950s-themed "sock hops" that I realize now were a horrible mis-match of nostagic styles from 1952 to 1965.

The 2 Dudes review lavishes the 1980s theme of BGR, and I realize that my life is now being horrible mis-matched.  To a young person today, the 80s mash together School House Rock (all classics published by 1977) to the Simpsons (debut December 17, 1989).  Oh, if we only had a few days to explain all the subtleties in between -- with, of course, a half day seminar on The Breakfast Club.
Bender: Remember how you said your parents use you to get back at each other?  
Claire Standish: [nods 
Bender: Wouldn't I be OUTSTANDING in that capacity?  

Mango Grove and Mirchi Wok Reopening in Columbia -- No Details, But Aiming For Winter

Mango Grove announced that it will reopen its vegetarian southern kitchen -- along with its sister restaurant Mirchi Wok -- in Columbia probably over the winter.

The new location will be 8865 Stanford Boulevard, which is the shopping center with Lakeside Coffee, Pub Dog, and Noodles Corner.  The center actually faces on Dobbin Road a few blocks away from the old Mango Grove.  Anyone know if they're taking the space that Frisco Grill vacated?

The announcement came on Mango Grove's Facebook page.  Richard Gorelick tweeted yesterday.  In a comment on the main announcement, the Mango Grove folks said that they're waiting for a contractor, but estimating for 10-12 weeks from now.  That would be January.

The old Mango Grove building has been demolished.  It will be replaced by a new building that appears to be slated to include a drive through Starbucks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Larriland Farm In Fall: Apples, Pumpkins, And More Beets Than You Beat With A Stick

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

I come to pickle beets, not to praise them.

I have chuckled for several years about signs for "pick your own beets" when we went to Larriland to pick our apples and pumpkins.

But we went to Larriland Farm yesterday and took home 10 pounds of beets -- which turns out to be only seven and a half pounds, but more on that later.  The plan is to pickle the beets this year with a few ideas from the Put 'em Up! cookbook and a horseradish idea from the Web.

You really can't beat Larriland this time of year.  Even without the special weekend activities like hay rides and apple fritters, the place was packed.  They had two apple varieties on the trees, plus three more that they were selling from crates because their own trees hadn't been pollinated during our cloudy spring.

We went huge on the apples, including matsu from the crates, stamen and braeburn from the trees.  Then a bag of beets where the secret was clearly to walk far down the row to find the bigger ones. (Bring a knife.  You want to save beet greens that look good, but cut off the ones that are ragged, insect eaten or covered with discolored spots.  I probably saved half.  That was two or more pounds with all the stems.  They're easy to saute -- and a scattering a Harris Teeter chicken sausage bumps up the flavor.)  Then our younger friends got some time in the hay maze.

That leaves me with a pile of jars from Kendall Hardware and a huge baking tray of roasted beets.  Wish me luck!

Whenever you go to Larriland, you need to check out the main farm stand.  Check out the crazy squashes -- most of them edible!  And check out the apple sauce made with Larriland apples.  That seemed new to me.

Prices -- $1.29/pound for beets, 79 cents if you buy 20 pounds.  $1.69/pounds for apples, $1.29 if you buy 20 pounds.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Caribbean Food Truck Rolls Into Columbia

The food trucks keep coming to Howard County, and Rob spotted a new one (at least new to us) selling Caribbean food off Columbia Gateway Drive.

The Bennett 5 Star Grill sells lunch from 11 am to 3 pm, including Jamaican jerk chicken.  It joins mobile food spots selling Mexican barbecue in Columbia, Korean bulgogi and teriyaki in Jessup, and the taco trucks along U.S. 1 like Pupuseria Lorenita's in Elkridge.  Rob tried out Bennett and gave a report:
They specialize in Caribbean food, which makes me very happy. We do not have enough Caribbean represented in the HoCo.  I ordered the jerk chicken with mac & cheese and rice. It was fairly spicy, which I really like. I will definitely go back. 
The jerk chicken cost me $9.01. I'm noticing a trend here. Just like Pupuseria Las Delicias #2, they load you up at 5 Star. That styrofoam container was heavy, easily more than two pounds. You could take some hom for dinner. They did not skimp on the chicken either. Great flavors, great spice.
At Rob's suggestion, HowChow needs to add some new labels -- Trucks.  Long ago, I thought the taco trucks were unique, but we now you can get a handful of different cuisines from a roll-up restaurant.

Bennett 5 Star Grill
John McAdams Drive, just off Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD

NEAR:  The truck is located on John McAdams Drive just off Columbia Gateway Drive.  If you are driving onto Columbia Gateway from Rte 175, go past Aida Bistro then turn left onto John McAdams Drive. The food truck will be immediately on the right. If driving from Robert Fulton Drive, turn right onto Columbia Gateway and follow the circle around until reaching John McAdams, then turn right.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Link: Blob's Park in The Sun

Erik Maza writes about Jessup's Blob's Park in the Sun -- timed for Octoberfest, but talking up the scene and the German food and beer.  I actually haven't been to Blob's, but Maza entices with me some nice turns of phrase:
When you come to Blob's, you're after a very specific kind of experience, irreverent, a little campy and avuncular, not unlike spending time at a family reunion. You don't come here for Black Forest Pizza or to listen to Alanis on the speakers. You come here for wiener schnitzels and oompah music.

Link: Second Sunday Market On Tales Of Two Cities

With the Ravens off this weekend, it's a perfect Sunday to check out the market in downtown Ellicott City.

Wordbones talked up some music on Saturday and had an update on the market, which began in 2009 and has offered food and other items in the parking lot off Main Street near Tersiguels:
The Second Sunday Market in Ellicott City will also be held this weekend. According to an email I received from Kimberly Kepnes today, this months market will include Nathans Famous French Country Breads, exotic vegetables from Tersiguels, fresh meats and eggs from Down-to-Earth Farm, jams, jellies, nuts, pork barbeque, and lots of other good stuff.
From the Little French Market Facebook site, it looks like the festivities are set for 10 am to 3 pm this Sunday.

Horchata At R&R Tacqueria

R&R Taqueria brings genuine Mexican food, and now they're expanding their offerings of authentic drinks as well.

I have raved and raved about the tacos, ceviche and other food.  I have even talked up the agua frescas that bring fruit flavors to your lunch.  Now, you need to order horchata as well.

Horchata is a traditional Mexican soft drink, often made from rice, ground almonds, spices and maybe milk.  You end up with a glass of creamy, light refreshment.  Mrs. HowChow says R&R's has the flavors of a fall latte -- cinnamon, maybe allspice.  The cold goes perfectly with the fresh, spicy salsas that R&R serves up with its tacos.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seasonal Chives Special At Grace Garden

We go to Grace Garden in Odenton for the best Chinese food, and many of the dishes amaze us with techniques like filling tofu pockets and forming fish noodles.

But don't miss the simple tastes.  Grace Garden always has vegetable specials, and you should pay attention because they're using whatever vegetable looked best to the chief.  Last month, we had Chinese chives.  They're long, mild chives that come with with a sweet flavor and a tender bite.  There is just enough oil to transform them into something that I couldn't make -- flavorful, but not greasy.

On our last trip, we ran into one of the folks who helped turn on the local blog scene to Grace Garden several years ago.  We had the pork and tofu at her suggestion.  We will order the Taiwanese fish on our next visit and maybe the steamed fish with rice powder because she says they're great.  And we'd like you to try the "3Ts -- tripe, tongue and tendon" and tell us about it in the comments.  That's two Ts too much for me and Mrs. HowChow, although we disagree on which T seems okay.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Howard County Happy Hour On Monday; Come For A Drink And Talk Food, Politics, Local Scene

Come taste some local food and get a feel for the local scene at a Hoco Blogs happy hour at Stanford Grill in Columbia next Monday.

The Hoco Blogs folks are hosting a party for folks interested in Howard County.  It's a chance to hang out with people who write and read local blogs about food, politics, community news and more.  No preparation or expertise required.  The guys behind the And Then There's That podcast will record their 50th podcast.  It should be a casual, fun evening -- come have a drink and talk local.

Check out the Eventbrite invitation where you can sign up.  Then come on by 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Oct. 10.

Bulgogi And Terriyaki Truck In Jessup

The city food trucks gets all the trend-hyping press, but Jessup is quickly becoming a place to sample side-of-the-road food.

The Jessup trucks don't move around, but they keep multiplying -- now with Korean bulgogi from a truck on Rte 175 a little east of the prison and the wholesale produce market.  The truck sells bulgogi, teriyakis, subs, fried rice, and burgers.  It appeared to be Korean-run, so I went bulgogi.

It's a tasty little lunch. It's not a Shin Chon Garden feast, but you get a full platter of meat, rice, salad and pickled vegetables.  The meat was nicely charred, but not spicy like you might expect from Korean food.  Definitely worth a drive if you're the type to look for something new at lunch.  The truck's sign says Jessup Deli, so I assume it is connected to the deli at Rte 175 and U.S. 1.

If you're the type to drive for a little adventure, you should definitely try the run on Rte 175.  Start with R&R Taqueria in the Shell station at U.S. 1.  Then pass the prison and watch for a weekend barbecue with a Mexican flavor at Mel's Liquor and for the A&W Pit Beef truck at Duvall's Marketplace.

Jessup Deli truck
2827 Jessup Road (Rte 175)
Jessup, MD 20784

NEAR:  The truck is on the south side of Rte 175 between the prison and the BW Parkway.  It's at the intersection with Sellner Road.

Jessup Deli food truck on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sushi Yama In Ellicott City

Am I right that Columbia has its own style of sushi?  Well, it certainly has a new sushi place that steps up the scene.

Somehow I discovered the "big roll" style here at Sushi King and Sushi Sono.  I went from sushi pieces and tuna rolls in Virginia to the magical combinations like Sono's #14 that wraps together tuna, seared salmon and a sauce with a bite.

Now, add Sushi Yama near the top of the list.  The new restaurant in the Dorsey Search village center off Rte 108 delivers fish that almost rivals Sushi Sono,  This is a unique variation on the "big roll" style with a price that is probably a step smaller.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tournedos Of Filet At Venegas Prime Filet

We eat out infrequently so I tend to prefer dishes that I know that I can't make at home.

That's how I ended up ordering from the "chick" part of the menu at Venegas Prime Filet in Fulton.  Mrs. HowChow went true "steak house" with a filet and a side of macaroni and cheese.  But that empty plate style -- a steak and nothing else -- seems odd to me.  I was captivated by dishes where the skills are more obvious.

"Tournedos of Filet Mignon."  I had to ask how to pronounce the dish, and it was obvious from the first bite that I wouldn't know how to whip it up.  Slices of steak, cooked perfectly, layered on top of sauteed spinach and potato pierogies, then topped with garlic butter shrimp.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Link: HoCo Connect Has Demo Shot Of The Old Mango Grove That Will Become A Starbucks

The HoCo Connect blog has a photo of the demolition of the building that used to hold Mango Grove and Mirchi Wok.  The replacement building is supposed to hold a Starbucks with a drive through -- in Spring 2012, HoCo Connect says.

Check out the shot below the photos of beach food.  Anyone hear more about Mango Grove's plan to reopen in a new location?

You Have To Go To Larriland Farm This Month

This is the season for Larriland, and you should be marking your calendar now for a half day of picking apples and pumpkins.

In October, Larriland Farms in Woodbine runs hayrides and offers food like barbecue and apple fritters.  You aren't going to beat a sunny day -- even if it is crisp or cold -- picking a few bags of apples and then getting your jack-o-lantern.  (Click here for my 2010 post about October.)

In past years, Larriland has hosted a stand from Town Grille selling barbecue.  But you could pick up your own a Lisbon restaurant -- and maybe grab some house-smoked trout or salmon -- stop for fried chicken at Harvest Fried Chicken in Woodbine.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Baltimore Beer Week Is Coming, And The Locals Are Brewing Their Own T-Bonz Beer Dinner

Baltimore Beer Week returns on October 6, and it's a great chance to try out craft beer and the local joints like Victoria Gastro Pub and Kloby's Smokehouse.

They have 317 locations, so I can't really summarize the events.  Check out the Baltimore Beer Week Web site and search around.

But I want to highlight the amateurs:  A homebrew beer dinner on October 11.

T-Bonz Grille and Pub and Columbia Homebrew are hosting an event with beers by the CSI Homebrew Club.  The Baltimore club has been introducing and supporting home brewers since 1989, and now you can drink their work.  For $40, you get four courses and five beers brewed by local folks.  Tickets available at either sponsor.