Pit Beef – The Canopy – Ellicotty City, MD

My morning started out successfully. My goal was to get a pit beef sandwich from The Canopy for lunch and get home in time to watch the game, which I was able to do.

The Canopy is a small restaurant right off of Route 40 in Ellicott City, MD. When I lived in Ellicott City, I would go there every month or so. Now that I’m a bit farther away, I don’t get there as often, so I was happy to plan my day to include this place. This place has been open since 1983, and it’s easy to see why it’s still around and still bringing in the customers.

One of the nice things about the Pit Beef restaurants that I’ve visited is the meat is right behind the counter. You order your meat and your desired doneness (if beef), and they take it off the pit and start slicing right there. The meat is fresh. The sandwich is made right there while you’re saying what you want on it.

When it was my turn to order, I opted for a pit beef sandwich with the meat cooked rare. I then asked for tiger sauce and BBQ sauce. And requested potato salad on the side. Their version of tiger sauce is mayonnaise and horseradish. A perfect blend that goes well with beef. The barbecue sauce gives it that extra little touch. The potato salad uses red skin potatoes and onions. There was a nice proportion of mayonnaise on this, and the onions added a nice little crunch. The Canopy has Birch Beer as a fountain drink, so that also puts me in a happy place.

The sandwich itself is fantastic. The meat was cooked to perfection. I like it very rare, so it was good to have those bites that had the perfect flavor of the extra rare meat. Since the meat is thin-sliced, you can have some variety in terms of texture. This sandwich takes some work to bite through, but not too much. The meat had a tender bite through, which made it easier to eat. The kaiser roll held up well. Not soggy, not falling apart. The tiger sauce had a nice kick to it. It wasn’t overbearing, it was just enough to let you know it was there without making your sinuses go crazy.

When I first started ordering, I was thinking about getting Cole slaw as a side dish. But, I tend to think of Cole slaw as accompanying pork, so I decided against it. Potatoes seem to pair well with beef, which is why I went for the potato salad. I don’t remember having ordered the potato salad before, but I’m glad that I did. It was nicely seasoned and had really good flavor. The coolness of the potato salad worked well with the sandwich. And having Birch Beer on tap made it even more special. You can usually find Root Beer, but Birch Beer is tougher to find. So having a good meal at a familiar place helps make for a better day, and makes it easy to stay positive.


A Nice Saturday Morning in Columbia, MD

It’s nice when a plan works out as intended. I had an idea for how I wanted my morning to go, and it ended up going pretty well. I would have preferred my football team won, but that was beyond my control (even though I was wearing my lucky shirt).

Today was a great weather day. Low 50s when I left, low 60s when I was out and about, and low 70s when I got back home. I started the day off by heading down to Wegman’s. I got myself a breakfast sandwich and a pumpkin frappe, so I was off to a good start. I then ran a couple of errands, which included heading over to Big Lots. When I was leaving Big Lots, there were some Canada Geese in the parking lot.

Not surprisingly, they do not walk in a “V” formation. 🙂 It’s not unusual to see them walking around in Columbia, but it was just one of those things that made my morning even better. I ran a few more errands and then made my way over to The Mall in Columbia. There was one main reason for to go there, and that was to try the new Pumpkin Spice Chocolixir at Godiva. I walked through a few stores along the way, and showed some good restraint by not making any purchases.

When the drink was being made, I was asked if I wanted some of the cinnamon mix blended into my drink, and I answered in the affirmative. I am glad that I did. The drink was put together nicely, with the added touches of the drizzle on the side and on top of the whipped cream. The consistency was very much like a thick milkshake, so they were successful there. With my first couple of sips, it tasted just like a pumpkin pie. There was a very strong pumpkin flavor in those first few tastes. As I drank more, the cinnamon mixture that was in the drink and swirled on the sides and on top started to become more integrated into the drink. This added a nice layer of sweetness to the drink, which brought a nice balance to the pumpkin flavor. When I finished up the drink, the consistency was still there, so I was happy with the overall experience. This was the first time I ordered this drink, and I will get it again if they bring it back next year.

I still had a few more errands to run before I picked up lunch. While driving, I noticed some really nice scenery. When I was walking out of Barnes & Noble and heading over to my car, some nicely colored trees in the distance caught my eye. I drove over to the parking lot and decided to take some pictures of the trees and leaves. All pictures were taken with my iPhone 6.

I like how this picture turned out. I think the cloud formations in the background add a nice element to this one. There is a nice combination of colors in this tree.

I wanted to get a little closer, just so you can see the different colors that are coming through in this tree.

Even closer still. The colors were more vibrant in person, but the camera doesn’t do them justice.

This was another tree that I saw and enjoyed visually.

I tried to get a close up, but I don’t think it came through very well. There are some leaves that have changed colors, but there are also some leaves in there that had already changed color and were starting to shrivel up.

This leaf was laying on the ground. I like how you can see the red and orange, as well as some yellow in the veins.

This was another leaf that caught my eye because there was still some green in the veins.

This last picture of a leaf was on the parking lot, not too far from the others (they are all from the same tree). The red in this leaf was much more prominent than the others.

When I have mornings like this, I can’t help but be in a good mood (even with only 4 hours of sleep). I had a rough outlined of my morning planned out for more than a week. I added a couple of errands yesterday, but was really happy to have the extra bits of nature highlight my day. I look forward to what tomorrow brings, even if it doesn’t go exactly as I might hope. I’ll just stay positive and keep on smiling!