Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekend Plan: Go Check Out U.S. 1

Oysters from Frank's Seafood
Wordbones wrote last week about the gentrification occurring along U.S. 1 as property owners knock down motels and other buildings to put up townhouses, office space and other new development.

It will be interesting to watch because I think corporate landlords prefer corporate clients.  The food along U.S. 1 hasn't been as packed as places like Snowden River Parkway, but the smaller buildings have turned out some great experiences.  I hope that rising tides will raise those boats -- and not swamp them with higher rents.

Today I'm starting a Friday series with suggestions for you to check out over the weekend.  Three links on a theme to hopefully inspire some folks to go try new food:
  • The gem of U.S. 1 is R&R Taqueria in the Shell station at Rte 175.  Literally, in the Shell station.  The tiny kitchen turns out spectacular Mexican food -- lamb soup, a dozen taco variations, housemade salsas, horchata, agua frescas.  They're all there, and you can pick your favorites to eat in your car or at one of the stools.
  • Frank's Seafood in Jessup is just a few blocks east of U.S. 1, conveniently located near the Mom's Organic Market so you get fish, produce and everything else you need.  Frank's is my place for crabs, oysters and other specials.  But they're cutting and selling great fish six days a week.
  • Cochinta tacos at R&R Taqueria
  • El Patio Market also in Jessup looks like a convenience store, but they have unusual products worth a visit.  For now, you can eat the empanadas that they sell from the counter and will heat up for you.  For later, you can carry out the empanadas or even buy frozen wrappers and make them from scratch.  (Update: Oh, no! See the comments.  Has El Patio closed?)
The obvious weekend trip would be snacking at R&R or El Patio, then shopping at Mom's and Frank's.  But there are lots of good options along U.S. 1 -- and even more once summer comes and the weekend stands roll out their roadside grills with ribs, chicken and pork.  For more options, check around on the blog, starting with a 2009 tour of U.S. 1 that remains pretty useful after almost four years.


kevlar51 said...

Not sure what's going on with El Patio, but I went by it today and it was gutted. Las Vegas was tasty (I'd never been there before)

Anonymous said...

El Patio looks shut down.

Anonymous said...

Do not overlook Las Delicias in Jessup. Best woodsmoke flavor in the meat. The ribs are often soldout on the weekends. Prices are great, and I prefer their tacos over R&R's.


Penny said...

If you go farther down Rte 1 -- a lot farther -- outside of Howard County but in Laurel south of the mall, there is a seafood deli called MidAtlantic Seafood. It's attached to a liquor store. They have a WIDE selection of fried seafood, but also a large selection of grilled fish, and the dinner plates come with two soul-food style sides. They also have ribs and chicken (baked/fried/bbq), cakes and pies, but I have sampled only the seafood and a few of the sides. I tend to order the same thing every time: grilled grouper and cabbage. Both are delicious enough that I can't bring myself to order anything else.

This is a great place to go if you are looking for a fast, high-quality meal without cooking and without overdoing it in either calories or budget. Bonus if you go at night: the lighting is particularly inviting, modern and nostalgic at the same time.

JP said...

I recently met the former owner of El Patio and he mentioned that he wasn't getting the foot traffic he needed. He was told by the owner that there were plans for a 7-11 at his former site. I personally think that it's too smal of a space for a 7-11. Either way, we will miss the arepas.