|An October photo of the new Nichi Bei Kei|
As I have said many times, the comments include lots of great information from HowChow readers. Check out all the folks making recommendations about Taste of Aloha and even a bakery nearby. They have loco moco. The mac salad is great. Etc.
Patapsco Mike provided some other options for folks who want an oyster knife. I still love the cast-iron knife that I bought mail order, but Mike has specific knives that you can buy for under $10. Jeffery emailed me months ago about Salazon Chocolate Co. in Sykesville. Has anyone been there for local cheese, wine and chocolate?
Anonymous asked whether anyone knows when the Buffalo Wild Wings will open. The Target shopping center has that under construction and a space that used to be Chicken Out. Does anyone know the plan there?
Does anyone know the timetable on the new Nicki Bei Kei on Sterrett Place? Chuck sent me the photo above months ago. I hope they'll open soon. What about a new breakfast/coffee place in the Hichory Ridge village center that Anonymous mentioned. While we're at it, how about the restaurant that used to be Turkshish Kebab or Kabob House -- the little place off Little Patuxent Parkway near Princeton Sports? David noticed in November that it was closed, and neither of us knew if that was permanent or if anything was replacing it.
As always, there are many good local food voices if you look around. We have a new food blog called My Soup For You with recipes (including a "bacon bowl"). You can find all the local food blogs on HoCoBlogs -- or look in the comments on HowChow like this sampling from recent notes:
- Dzoey and Hal Black have tried the new Pollo Feliz restaurant next to Teres Latin Market on Rte 40. Dzoey found a mix of Mexican and Peruvian dishes and recommended variations on fried rice and pasta. Hal reports the Mexican is similar to the market's taqeuria, but they don't actually share a kitchen.
- Jim S. suggests buying the "Fat Friar" cookies sold at the Shrine of St. Anthony gift shop in Ellicott City. They're shortbread dipped in chocolate.
- Trip Klaus makes my life more difficult by revealing that each Whole Foods has a different sausage recipes. That's one of my favorite items there. He says the Kentlands market makes his favorite! Now I need to sample.
- Ernesto's on Rte 40 continues to get mixed reviews. One Anonymous thought is was quite bad. Another thought it was the best Tex-Mex in Howard County. We haven't eaten there, but we'd love recommendations about what to order (or not to order).
- Mitesh, Alison C, and several others reported on BYOB options for sushi, Indian, Chinese and more.
- S complimented the crispy-skin chicken at Grille Chick N' Pollo that I then posted about this week. S recommended a purple drink.
- Michele reported that she has eaten two EC Tasting Gallery dinners and enjoyed them both.
- Tons of folks reminisced about Akbar's, which closed late last year. Several said it was the first Indian restaurant that they had visited. Others recommended dishes at the surviving joints.
- Maria talked up Facci's Monday liquor special. She had a $5 cosmo and said all the "signature drinks" are on special Mondays.
- Barbi noted that Wagon Wheel Ranch also offers a local turkey, and Nola77 reported on getting a hard frozen bird when she picked up at Boarman's.
- Bmorecupcake, Bill and others talked about the baked goods -- especially the sweet potato varieties -- at the new Shilla bakery on Rte 40. How do you compare Bon Appetit with Shilla?
- Adam hit up the new Grille 620 in Turf Valley. He reported back on a Christmas Eve lunch:
The half-sandwich and soup for $10.95 seemed (and to a certain extent, still seems) like a good deal, while the service was attentive and outgoing, albeit on a very slow Christmas Eve lunch service.
I got the Maryland Crab soup and "Not So Cuban" Sandwich. I wasn't crazy about either. I am not naturally a huge fan of pork belly, but the roasted pork belly just seemed flat flavor-wise. Don't get me wrong there is a ton of it, but it lacked smoke flavor and that crispy sweetness one gets from bacon. It also seemed too fatty given the other ingredients. My father thought it was overly salty. The baguette was soaked in butter -- a must for most toasted sandwiches - but not to the point where the butter taste should overpower. I hate to say it, but the sandwich tasted like an expensive butter, pickle, and mustard sandwich with some chewy stuff in between.
Crab soup was plentiful, but too briny. The crabmeat tasted canned. Fries were very good. I liked the garlic parmesan seasoning and shoestring cut, but they would have been over-the-top had they crisped up just a minute or two longer. I might try their lunch again, but I'd try a different sandwich first and ask them to go light on the butter toast.