|Fried chicken from ToreOre|
While we're waiting for Bon Chon to open, it's time to check out the other Korean fried chicken options nearby.
H Mart has a stand in the back corner where they sell ToreOre chicken -- a variation on the Korean friend chicken of made-to-order, double-fried birds with spicy, sweet sauces. We split a medium box on out way back from the greatest furniture store ever in Catonsville.
The box comes with a red ribbon. Seriously. It's the coolest fast food box that we have ever seen.
The box pops open to reveal fried chicken coated in ToreOre's sauce. We went sweet and spicy (#2), and there was spice there. Enough that I appreciated that the ToreOre woman shook us away from the really spicy sauce. They're frying it special, so it takes 20 minutes to cook.
Hot fried chicken is delicious. We tore through the entire package. It's moist meat with a crunchy coating. They pour on a bunch of sauce, so get a pile of napkins. The bird is chopped into more pieces than just "leg, wing and breast," so you'll get a mix of white and dark. It's piping hot, and we pulled meat off the bone, laughing and talking about what food we were going to buy.
Honestly, the chicken at Tian Chinese Cuisine still rates best. The coating there is super thin and crispy, and the sauce has a fresher, less-sugary flavor that makes the unique Korean fried chicken experience. ToreOre is more like a good casual lunch. This is thick crust, not the brittle edge at Tian. That makes this more like Harvest Fried Chicken in Woodbine -- with, of course, the sauce on top.
My suggestion is that you split some chicken and then shop at H Mart. To order, you go to the ToreOre counter in the back right corner. Ask there for someone to take your order. You pay at the main register, pick up at the counter, then eat at the little restaurant next to the produce section. (To wash the sauce off your hands, go to the bathrooms next to the produce section.)
ToreOre Chicken & Joy
inside H Mart
800 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
NEAR: The H Mart is on Rte 40 at Rolling Road in Catonsville. It's easy to reach from Ellicott City -- just head east on Rte 40. You turn right into the H Mart shopping center. There is a Starbucks on the end. The ToreOre counter is in the back right corner.