Monday, August 24, 2015

While I've Been Out: Reporting On Lil' Finds And Starting To Catch Up On Openings and Closings

Gyro at Hickory Ridge Grill
While I've been out, the good food has kept rolling.  Even when I couldn't post, I appreciated all the comments and emails, and I'm trying to start blogging again.

Let's start with the gyro at the Hickory Ridge Grill in Columbia.  Over the years, the little diner has renovated itself into a nice, casual restaurant off Cedar Lane.  In our early weeks home, we took a posse there for Sunday breakfast -- eggs, pancakes

Our last visit was dinner on a summer night.  Lil' Chow and I were part of my new reality -- sitting down at 5:30 pm and looking first at the kid's menu.  It's a tough schedule for blogging, but we still eat well.  He went kid's spaghetti.  I considered something light, but went gyro under the idea that I try to eat good versions of food that might be bad for me.

This is part of my "While I've Been Out" series to restart the blog.  Late last year, the blog got some serious competition.  I'm still working out how to keep writing while I'm doing so many other new things as well.  Saturday, I noted that Wegmans seems to be trying again to open a liquor store in their Columbia location.  Tomorrow, a full post about new places opening, old places closing, and big questions that I hope folks can answer.

The gyro made my night.  Gyros can be a come-on with great smells, then provide more grease than flavor.  In contrast, the Hickory Ridge gyro was meaty and nicely charred on the edges, and it came with a fresh topping of tomatoes and lettuce and salty cheese that cut through heaviness.

I ate all the fries.  You can see the heap in the photo above.  I promised myself that I'd stop halfway through.  I gave a few to Lil' Chow, who preferred his pasta.  Then I kept dipping fries into the tzaziki until there was nothing left of either.

Lil's Chow's birthday on Ananda's watermelon salad
We have had a good year even though I haven't been able to write as much as I hoped.  The long adoption wait may prepare some new parents for the changes.  It didn't prepare us.

Along the way, we have had great food.  Lil' Chow's birthday dinner at Tian Chinese Cuisine in Ellicott City with black bean noodles that are always a hit there or at Da Rae Won in Beltsville.  His birthday brunch with family at Ananda in Fulton, truly become one of the best restaurants around.

We had a spring brunch at Ananda that is truly the great "lost HowChow post" for the ages.  As I have noted before, I got a few lines of notes into my phone, then never had time to write more.  But it was a perfect mean.   A warm morning on Ananda's open-window patio with the Cordis Couple -- a table where Lil' Chow discovered Ananda's  French toast and I ate a special duck dumplings.

The French toast is a regular, and it's reason enough to go to Ananda for a weekend brunch.  Cooked in the oven and lightly twisted with a cardamon maple syrup.  It's a perfect example of how Ananda succeeds.  It's full of flavor, yet fresh, lighter than you'd expect.  It's a dish that you'd recognize, yet done with a twist that I wouldn't do at home and I can't find anywhere else.

I hope folks will be patient with HowChow's new reality.  I'm going to try to start again this week.  I have tried to collect news for tomorrow and then some posts for the next two weeks.  As always, I love comments and would love people to propose Trolling posts to augment my opinions.  See the rules for Trolling posts here.

See you tomorrow!

Thanks to Mrs. HowChow who ran a long Saturday morning through a gymnastic class to Sushi Sono to give me time to write posts.  We're trying hard.  Mostly, it's working out.

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