Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Comments On New Restaurants, Kahlua Nachos, A Cocktail Served With Smoking Wood, And More

New options at the Great Wall supermarket in Catonsville
There are too many new restaurants opening for me to keep pace.  Can't get there to eat.  Can't get time to write.  So I really appreciate all the folks who have been emailing and commenting to report on meals.

AnnieRie and Deena took the lead by writing respectively about the new Facci in Turf Valley on AnnieRie Unplugged and about White Oak Tavern on Deena's Days.  But other people chimed in through comments -- from Eagle15 on Facci to rsi, JRick, Jess and Mike on White Oak to Anonymous on the Grille in Maple Lawn.

Kevlar51 reported on a Manhattan served at the new Gatsby's Bar American served under a bell jar with a piece of smoking cedar.  Jay, Anonymous and others described meals at the new Columbia restaurant.  At the same time, Travelinsnorkel reported on an early dinner at Petit Louis, and Gina says the Caffe Benne coming to Rte 40 had great hot chocolate and a cool atmosphere.

A few of Min's favorite things
Min and Anonymous both talked up the new Great Wall supermarket in Catonsville.  Anonymous comments about some Chinese items that aren't readily available at the Korean-run markets like Lotte.  Min emailed to say the Hong Kong roast pork was even better than Asian Cout's dim sum and to say they were happy to find some Taiwanese soy sauce brands, fermented black beans and other pickled items:
There's also this supposedly very yummy crispy skin duck (Pipa Ya 琵琶鴨) that my friends have been raving about. I was there around 2 pm, and they were all sold out! 
Chris and Edith both ate at Chutney, the Indian restaurant that replaced Akhbar's on Snowden River Parkway.  Chris commented on a post, and Edith emails:
I had dinner there last night and both food and service were excellent. Lots of freebies, too (although I'm not sure whether that's SOP while they're opening or if they just felt sorry for me, dining alone on Valentine's Day). 
Until now Royal Taj and Mango Grove have been my favorite Indian restaurants in Columbia but Chutney just catapulted to the top of the list.  Definitely going to visit their buffet lunch soon.
AnnieRie, Anonymous, Cindy, and Radha asked and got tentative opening dates for new spots --  Pisco (April)Buffalo Wild Wings (May 14) and Mission BBQ (June or July) and the new Royal Taj in "Restaurant Park" (8-9 months).  Adam even flagged another new restaurant -- or at least a Facebook page for BricknFire Pizza coming to Catonsville.  Looks like they're just getting their pizza oven and storing away wood for a spring opening.  Anyone know more?

Of course, it isn't just the newsplaces that get my hunger up.  I need to find Milita's Taco Truck, which Kevlar51 says is even better than R&R Taqueria.  And Jack emailed me about Pollo Feliz, the casual place next to Tere's Latin Market on Rte 40:
My wife had Peruvian chicken (which was similar to Grille Chick n'Pollo at Hickory Ridge - but sauces not quite as good).  I had tacos (including tripe which tasted like crunchy bacon bits), which were excellent. F ood and prices were good, and Tere's owner came by to check on us.  The menu has unusual mix of some different Peruvian dishes and Mexican.
On that Mexican theme, Ernesto's continues to be a mystery to me.  We haven't gotten up to Rte 40 for Tex-Mex, and the comments run hot and cold.  The latest is Anonymous who loved the chile releno, but that follows a long series where people were either really disappointed or really impressed.

As always, there are lots of great ideas in a sample of recent comments:


Rose said...

I am an Oella resident and I'm so excited for BricknFire to start coming to the Breadery! BricknFire Pizza Co. is being started by the daughter of the Breadery and will be set up outside of the Breadery (starting sometime in April..not sure of the exact date)on Saturdays for breakfast pizza in the morning and then transition into lunch. They're doing it right! They're going to have authentic Neapolitan pizza, organic flour, certified San Marzano tomato sauce and all local ingredients coming mostly from the up and coming Friends and Farms. I hear they're going to have amazingly creative topping combinations too!!

Adam said...

I'm excited about the new BricknFire, but not if it's overpriced. I get that there's a lot invested in the buzzwords of ingredients and sourcing and all that, but the county's two solid Neapolitan pizzerias (coalfire and faaci) are both priced too high, and their menu's are stagnant, not very creative, and surprisingly unseasonal. The biggest thing I’m looking for is creativity from BricknFire, and after that, price.

Tim McGowan said...

I have to agree with Adam, Coalfire is my #1 pizza place tied with Joe Squared in Baltimore. Love the pizzas as Facci (must try the pistachio pizza) but sometimes they come out undercooked, plus the dough seems thicker. Has anyone tried the pizza at Mimi's Kabob?

I was at Great Wall this weekend looking for a wok, I was tempted by the roast meats but the line was really long.

Rose said...

I was wondering the same thing about the prices for BricknFire... I asked last time I was at the Breadery. I'm a teacher so although I love quality ingredients, I can't always afford them!! I was happy to hear them say for their 10 inch pizzas, they're planning on charging $8 for cheese (more of a margherita though), $9 for pepperoni and then $10-15 for the specialty pizzas... I thought that was a fair deal considering what's going into them! I can't wait for spring (and warm weather) to get here so I can take a walk down the trolley trail, grab a pizza for lunch and then maybe a pumpkin chocolate muffin from The Breadery for dessert.... :D

Don Sadowsky said...

While type 00 flour and other quality ingredients add to the cost of a pizza, that can be offset considerably if large capital costs can be reduced. I'm guessing that BricknFire will use the Breadery's ovens, if they can generate the intense heat that good pizza ovens have.

HowChow said...

@Don -- Check out the Facebook page that Adam put in his comment. I should have linked to it.!/pages/BricknFire-Pizza-Company/1411573149081338

Is the photo a portable oven -- or just one being delivered? It looks like the portable oven that Nathan Sowers and River Hill Pizza run at the Second Sunday events in Ellicott City.

Barbi said... is official! The Sumos are coming! In Wegmanns today and they have a Countdown Sumo clock going.....4 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 12 seconds as I walked out earlier today. I can only imagine the price....but I can't wait!

Morty Abzug said...

When I asked about sumos today, the guy at Wegman's said the latest date was Feb 27. Sorry.

bmorecupcake said...

The new Great Wall in Catonsville is a great addition, and I would sum it up exactly as described: a great place to find Chinese items not available at HMart or Lotte. They also have Chinese bakery items, mostly buns with various fillings.

It's been difficult for us to communicate with staff here, though, especially since we go at peak times on the weekends. We've had some success requesting other shoppers to translate, and sometimes even using Google to translate. And then there's always dragging your reluctant Chinese friend along with you.

I do find the produce better at HMart and don't like how GW freezes their fresh noodles, although I suspect HMart sometimes does this, too.

From my experience with HMart and Lotte, I've found that many unique items available on grand openings later disappear from shelves due to poor sales. I expect that happen with GW, too, so try and explore as soon as you can!