|Grilled fish head at Sushi Sono|
I tried mostly to give broad-based advice. But I don't want to cede an inch in today's world where the trendy chefs cook nose to tail. I'm closer to a vegetarian than a guy who eats "everything but the oink," but you niche eaters can get your mouth around whatever niche you want. Like most of this series, this is an assurance that you aren't stuck with dishes created by corporate chefs.
HowChow's 2012 guide to Howard County -- "Welcome Home." Ten posts to prove there are dozens of places worth your time, that you can find great food all across the county. It's written for someone new to Howard County (maybe a link you send a friend thinking about moving here), but hopefully it's useful to anyone.
Start at the old-line butchers -- Laurel Meat Market in Laurel on Main Street, Boarman's in Highland on Rte 216, and J.W. Treuth in Oella. These are professionals great for roasts and steaks, but they will cut what you want and special order if they don't have it every day.
|Pork Trifecta - tongue, liver & heart at Family Market|
Then go big time with the Wagon Wheel Ranch, which will sell you a cow. They'll start you off with a box of meat, but the real professionals get an extra freezer and half a cow. Take advantage of your new home near the country and try some country
Okay, that's probably too much. You should start slow, but you should be confident that you're not trapped in a world of chain restaurants. Howard County will fill you up on dishes that won't ever make the menu at T.G.I Friday's. In fact, you can find just about anything here:
|Chicken hearts at Nazar|
- Fish head at Sushi Sono in Columbia. The cheeks and other meat around the head make this a delicacy.
- Intestines at An Loi Pho in Columbia. I order my Vietnamese soup with brisket, but the pros stretch to tripe.
- Scrapple at Boarman's in Highland. At least the other folks have the courtesy of identifying the parts. Scrapple is country for "things that didn't go in sausage."
- Blood -- along with intestines and others -- in some authentic Chinese dishes at Noodles Corner in Columbia.
- Beef heart at Chick 'N Pollo in Columbia (if it reopens). Antichuchos are a grilled adventure in any language.
- Tongue at R&R Taqueria in Elkridge. The lengua tacos are just one option among the great Mexican food on U.S. 1.
- Beef tendon balls (and so much more) at Hunan Taste in Catonsville. They serve a hot pot special. You can get vegetables, meats, seafood, including tendon, cuttlefish. You can also get other authentic Chinese.
- Pork skin at Dave's BBQ in Savage. He barbecues and sells from the side of the road. On days that he serves the pulled pork, ask for some crisped skin.
- Chicken hearts at Nazar Market in Columbia. I don't even know how you'd cook these.
- Pork trifecta -- tongue, liver and heart at the Family Market in Columbia. Again, I don't what I'm do with these.
- Chicken feet at Asian Court in Ellicott City. Another delicacy that I haven't tried. They're a dim sum item.
- A whole pig from Kloby's Smokehouse on Johns Hopkins Road. They'll smoke it if they've got it.
And to wrap it up, you can try the famous "Triple T" at Grace Garden in Odenton. We go for all kinds of exquisite Chinese food that uses all the regular cuts that you'd expect. But aficionados sing about the "Triple T" -- tripe, tendon and tongue -- that the kitchen turns into something delicious. Good luck to you!
What I Don't Know: What's the other adventurous foods that you can find in Howard County? What other advice for new people?