Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I Missed In The "Welcome Home" Posts

Judge's Bench wings by Kate
The 10 Welcome Home posts were my letter to a newcomer about Howard County.  There are dozens of great places to eat or shop around here.

But what did I miss?  What is your advice?

The key hole in my knowledge is western Howard County.  On a post last month, people left a great series of comments suggesting places from Frederick to Eldersburg to Mt. Airy.  Just those comments include sushi, hot tandoori breads, nice Italian and pancakes.  I'd love someone with expertise to email me about a guest post trying to collect their wisdom and suggestions.

This is part of 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.

There were smaller holes as well.  Robin asked on the HowChow Facebook page where people recommend for brunch.  Anonymous asked for a souffle.  Kate emeailed me that people need to try the wings at Judge's Bench in Ellicott City:
Some of the best wings I've ever eaten (and I'm a pretty tough judge of them ... They're what made me start eating meat again after 12 years as a vegetarian!) . . . My husband and I ordered a large and then got a small order because they're so good.  Fries, also a great accompaniment!
Sounds great.  I haven't been, and I knew that I couldn't cover even everything that I have tried.  After 10 posts, I still wanted to find a way to introduce Portalli's and Tersiguel's in a walking tour of downtown Ellicott City.  I also tried not repeat some old posts that would still be useful -- like options for "Ice Cream On A Summer Night."  How could I have written so much and never mentioned the world headquarters of Ann's House of Nuts?

If you want more, definitely look around on HowChow.  Use the search box in the right column to see I wrote about what interests you.  Use the "labels" that let you click and read all the posts about some cuisine, some restaurant, some market . . .

Also, check out other sources -- like Richard Gorelick's top choices, the Chowhound board, the Don Rockwell board, or even Yelp.  I'm linked with a few dozen people on Yelp, and those friends are a place to start finding people who write about Howard County.

What else do you want to know?  What else do you recommend?


Ken Oh said...

Despite having gone to R&R Taqueria more, I actually prefer the restaurant back end to Tere's Latin Market. Their Torta Cubana is awesome.

The other place I would stress going to is Johnny's Bistro on Main Street in Historic EC. It's honestly underwhelming when you first look at the menu, which is populated mostly by sandwiches and pizza (all of which are great, however), but the two things you absolutely need to try are the salads and the specials. I'm not exactly a salad guy, but his, with the extra of chicken, fish, or steak on top, is the best salad I've ever had in Maryland.

Yet, the real draw to Johnny's is the specials. Most evenings, what's written on the chalkboard rivals anything you can get at Tersiguel's, but will only set you back about as much as eating at Applebee's. Johnny is always in the back and usually prepares the food himself, if he's not meeting with the guests.

I really can't say enough good things about the food. I sometimes wonder if he got a fancier set up and started focusing more on the special-type menu items, along with charging more, he would get more attention. But, I'm glad he's doing what he's doing, because it's working out great for me.

Another note, he's such a perfectionist that he's a little hard on his staff. It's much better to eat there than to work there, haha.

Lee Biars said...

Your "Welcome Home" series is such a great resource for not only people that are new to HoCo, but those who have been here a while and just haven't gotten around as much as they would have liked. I think you hit a lot of the good parts on HoCo food, and it's pretty cool that there are so many non-corporate options (and good corporate ones as well) that even after 10 extensive posts there is still more to talk about.

A stroll through Main Street Ellicott City on Sat./Sun. afternoon is definitely something everybody in HoCo should do at least once. There are a bunch of restaurants to choose from depending on what you're into, all of which are great diversions in between hitting all the shops and boutique stores. Just a very calm and relaxing place in a world where so few places are calm and relaxing these days. Obviously I am biased since I am part owner of two of the restaurants down there, but I think historic E.C. is one of the coolest places in Maryland and everybody needs to experience it at least once on a weekend afternoon. The only issue is parking but once you get over that hurdle your day is all set.

Another favorite of mine is hitting the lake by the mall for a nice little stroll, then enjoying some great food at Sushi Sono, Clyde's, Red Pearl or Tomato Palace which are all right there. Each place represents it's style of cuisine fairly well, although I would have to say Sushi Sono is really the cream of the crop (especially if you venture into the chef's daily specials).

K8teebug said...

Thanks for the shout-out with the wings picture! I hope you get to go there soon!