a guy and a bee

a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us

Tag Archives: food

mental note: places to eat

this is my mental note on places to eat. most of them are in howard county but i do venture out of the area to try some places. most recently when we were in towson last month we tried the S&J crab ranch, which was very tasty. if you have any suggestions or feedback let me know. generally, i stick with american or italian food. i’m not really a big fan of spicy food or rice/beans so that ends up cutting out most mexican or asian cuisines. i am sure i will blog about them after i try them as well.

so here’s the list:
hickory ridge grill
victoria’s gastro pub
sonoma’s
2nd chance saloon
cafe de paris
aida bistro
pub dog
venegas prime filet
the corner stable

that’s all i have for now. maybe this will help us not go to the same places all the time!

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food review: always up for pizza

for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to go to coal fire over off of 108. we have been several times and always enjoy it but the last few times we went over there, the wait was over 30 minutes so when we called last night and it was already 25 minutes at 615, we decided to pass. we had decided we were going to go to chicago uno and swing by LL Bean afterwards. bee’s coat got screwed up so she wanted to see if they would fix it. as we left the house, I suggested we try Luna Bella in the hickory ridge village center. we always see it when we go to that village center and hadn’t ever been so we figured now was the time.

luna bella (photo from yelp)

the restaurant is a small and intimate italian place that serves brick oven pizza. it was voted as one of howard county’s best in 2011 for pizza and italian so I was excited to try their brick oven style. after waiting more than the estimated 25 minutes, we finally got seated. I figured it was worth waiting to spend money at a local small business instead of a chain place and the place and line were packed. I saw someone from work who decided to not wait as several others did as well. there were also plenty of people getting carry out.

we started with the fried mozzarella which was a nice size appetizer. it could easily be for 3 or 4, but we just split it for ourselves. haha. bee got the eggplant parmesan and she enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, went for the main attraction, pizza. I’m always one for a meat pizza and went with the Pizza Carne. a nice blend of pepperoni, sausage, salami, and canadian bacon. the crust was a little thicker than I expected for brick oven pizza but it was crispy and held all the toppings nicely. they offer their pizzas in 10 or 12 inch and have several prepaid options as well as the choose your own toppings. the gourmet options as they refer to them had a nice variety and also looked tasty. our friend, steve, pointed out that the pizza finito is also real good. meanwhile, the build your own toppings seemed endless. anyway, the pizza and toppings on the pizza carne worked wonders together and i ate the whole thing!

howchow did a post on luna bella a few years ago and had different thoughts on the crust but my experience was that it held up well.

we certainly enjoyed it and will be back to try the other pizzas and menu options. afterwards, we stumbled over to the meadows original frozen custard. it’s a franchised ice cream place but the proprietor of this one is a fantastic guy. we walked in at 810 and they were actually closed, but “since they were there, they were open.” the frozen custard is made fresh daily and they only make select flavors each day so you know it will be good. we ended up getting a cookies and cream ice cream sandwich, which we split since it was pretty large for just $4. well worth it. we’ve been several times and have their club card. if you are looking for a new ice cream place, check it out!

hocofood@@@

where to eat

I don’t know about y’all but it feels like lately we have been eating out more than usual and it is usually the same old haunts every time. This is probably a result of my back injury and my wife being out of town on a semi regular basis for the last few months. It is also partially my fault because I mainly eat American and Italian foods and it’s easy to stick with what you know. I am not a fan of beans or rice really and try to stay away from spicy foods so it eliminates alot of options.

So to try to help spice things up, I am looking for something different than my regular haunts. Any suggestions out there? Preferably in Howard County, but anywhere in the close proximity would be fine. If you follow my blog on its somewhat regular basis, you will know that I am certainly a fan of pizza!

hocofood@@@

Food Review: Kings Contrivance Restaurant

The other week we went to the Kings Contrivance Restaurant. We wanted to have a nice one year anniversary dinner, but didn’t want to drive downtown so we decided we would give it a shot.

I had heard lots of nice things about the restaurant and the food and it lived up to the words from others. We stayed away from the apps and salads, mostly because they all included things I wasn’t really interested in but I am sure they were good.

For dinner, my wife went with the Sea Scallops and although I didn’t try them she said they were fantastic. I, on the other hand, had the Beef Tenderloin Tips in a portabello mushroom sauce and a nice mashed potatoes. The beef tips were delicious and the sauce was rich and tasty, although I gave the mushroom pieces to her. They were large slices and I’m not a real big mushroom fan anyway.

For desert, we decided to get two and share. Although we had our wedding cake at home, I figured how many times do you celebrate your first wedding anniversary? Once! We got both a slice of chocolate cake and their Key Lime Pie. Both were rich and very yummy. The pie had a great tartness offset by the creamy texture of the filling. The chocolate cake was a thick double chocolate cake and was so tasty I even got some on my shirt. Haha.

All in all the night was great. We got a good, fine dining meal and didn’t have to drive downtown or put a tie on.

If you are looking for something similar for a special night, give it a try.

Oakey’s Grill and Salads

These are two completely different food reviews, but I decided to post them together.

If you are from Maryland and you don’t know about pit beef or don’t like it, it’s a shame. Oakey’s is a little pit beef and sandwich place in @EllicottCity and it’s definitely tasty. They do a good pit beef, probably not the best but it’s pretty good. You don’t get a lot of char on the meet, but you do get a nice juicy sandwich. It’s also a large sandwich. They also have pit ham, turkey, burgers, wings, etc. Lastly they also do a great hand cut french fry. Try some ranch dressing on them! @howchowblog did a review of a few years ago as well. Worth a visit if you are looking for a local pit beef place besides The Canopy. If you buy a shirt, Steve will give you $0.50 off your fries!

Salads… I enjoy a salad like most, but if there is one salad I can’t stand, it’s a spinach salad with walnuts, goat cheese, apples, and a raspberry vinegarette dressing. There are about 8 things wrong with this salad, but I tell you this because my buddy had us over for dinner and I got a text before that said, “do you like walnuts?” Well, I instantly knew they were serving this salad. Their’s had oranges and beets. I didn’t know it could get worse, but it did. Glad I refused to eat it. So to wrap up, if you invite me over for dinner, do not try and serve me this salad. Worst. Salad. Ever. In my humble opinion of course!

food review: coal fire pizza

Last night, the wife and I went out to get some dinner and wound up at a relatively new place called Coal Fire in Columbia. It’s right off Rt. 108 and Rt. 100 in what is called Shipley’s Grant. Their pizzas are “charred to perfection.”

We ended up choosing our own toppings and went for ground beef and their classic sauce. The pizza was cooked in a wood/coal burning oven and is a thin crust style. It’s not your standard cheese covered pizza with ground beef. The sauce and cheese combo was pretty good; however, I could have used some extra ground beef but maybe I’m just being greedy. Crust was nice and crusty, but not burnt. Though it was a smaller menu, they had some nice selections including a very good looking Baked Crabby Mac.

The restaurant appears to have a good local following and also has a small bar with a few high top tables, which made it have a fancier feel than your standard pizza joint. We didn’t have to wait, but there was a line shortly after we got there. For less than $20 for dinner, we will return. A 16″ pizza can easily feed two and next time we might get a side or a salad as well. Check it out if you are in the area and let me know what you think!

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