Ssong’s Hotdog – The Mall in Columbia – Columbia, MD

Today, I had lunch at Ssong’s Hotdog in The Mall in Columbia. I had passed by it on previous visits to the mall, but hadn’t actually stopped and ordered anything.

This isn’t located in the food court. It’s on the second floor, a little off the main track. Across from a Starbucks, so at least people will see it (there’s always people at a Starbucks). I decided to order the basic Ssong’s Hotdog. They had some other good options, but I figured that I may as well start with the basics.

They start by coating it in the batter.

Next, they dip it in panko bread crumbs. Then they fry it. Since they are making it fresh, it takes about 5 minutes. Once it’s done, you have the option to have it rolled in sugar (I was okay with that, since that is how they normally do it).

It looks great, and tasted even better. The batter really plumped up. The sugar added a nice flavor balance to the hot dog, batter coating, and bread crumbs. The seasoning is really nice, so these are some really flavorful bites. When first biting into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought the outer shell might be hard and crunchy, but it had a nice bite consistency. It was easy to bite through. There was a crunch from the bread crumbs, but then you got the soft fried batter, followed by the hot dog. The flavors worked really well together, as did the textures.

They had some non-traditional condiments to choose from, and I went with a Sweet Thai Chili sauce. That was another dimension of flavor that I really enjoyed. I would order this again.

I enjoy a corn dog every now and again, but it’s something that I rarely eat. I had more when I was in California, since Hot Dog on a Stick and Wienerschnitzel were always close by. But this takes it to a different level, and it is definitely worth it. I could see myself trying some of their other offerings, such as a rice cake hotdog or mozz-sausage hotdog. This was a great part of what has been a great day!

Enjoying a Nice Start to the Weekend

Today has been a good day so far, and it’s not quite over. I had a plan for some things that I wanted to do, and I accomplished them (for the most part).

Now that I have a new job, my day to day has changed. When I was a freelance consultant, I had work coming at me sporadically, so my work was not a 9-5 job. I could do some work early in the morning or late at night. This provided me with some great opportunities to go out and about and try a bunch of different places and experiences on any day of the week. Now that I’m working full time, I have to adjust. From 8-5 (or 7:30ish to 6:30ish) I’m focused throughout the day on my work and doing what I can to be successful for myself and my new employer. This means that during the week, I’m at my home office and only thinking about work. So the weekends give me an opportunity to branch out, as does traveling to the home office in Pittsburgh.

Last weekend was a bit rough. It was a three day weekend, but I was iced in on Saturday and wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked. I did enjoy my Sunday and Monday, though. Last night, I decided to make a quick dash out of the house around 6PM. I don’t usually like going out after it’s dark, but I made an exception. I had 10 straight lunches and dinners that consisted of the baby back ribs that I made last weekend. They were great meals, but I needed something else. I went out and got myself a “salad” at Qdoba. Not the healthiest, but at least it was a change of pace. I also picked up some dessert from Big Belly Deli, so that was a win. I knew there was heavy rain in the forecast, which is why I wanted to go out quickly and get back before it started. We were expecting 1 1/2 – 2 inches of rain overnight, so I was glad to get home before the rain hit.

When I woke up this morning, there were a couple of things that I wanted to do. Part of this involved heading over the The Mall in Columbia. I wasn’t sure what I was going to have for breakfast, but I knew I wanted to get a coffee drink at Nordstrom’s Bar. I arrived at the mall area a little after 9:00AM, and I was hungry. I decided to stop at Corner Bakery. When I lived in California, one of my occasional guilty pleasures was the Cinnamon Creme Cake from there.

It has definitely been too long since I’ve enjoyed this. When I worked in Baltimore, I was in walking distance to a Corner Bakery. I always had breakfast before I went in to work, so I would only go there for lunch (which is also good). But the Cinnamon Creme Cake is fantastic. The coffee cake is moist, and the cinnamon swirl along with the crumb topping just round it out to make it something nice to eat every so often. Not every day or every week, but maybe once every month or so. It’s been close to 5 years since I last had this, and I still enjoy it. It brought back good memories of living in California and the times I would go there for a breakfast treat.

The Corner Bakery is not actually inside the mall, but is among some stores that are along the outside. So once I finished eating, I went into the mall. I got my coffee drink from Ebar, and tried an Italian Mocha Ice Storm. That was delicious, and something I would try again if they don’t have any specialty drinks (holidays are over, so no more peppermint). I went to Lolli and Pops and got some candies that I was looking for. I got a really nice massage. And I got a really good light lunch at Ssong’s Hotdog. I’ll write about this in a separate post.

Once I was done at the mall, I decided to head over to Sugar Baker’s Cakes in Catonsville. I ordered a couple of things from there, but won’t write about it until I’ve tried them both (probably later tonight or tomorrow). My final stop was at the Common Kitchen in Clarksville. I’ve written about a couple of places within the kitchen collective in the past. Today, I wanted to see if there was anything new, and there was. There is a West African food place (Foodricana) and a Paraguayan food place (Tasty Empanadas). Both looked good and sound good to me, so I know I’ll make my way back for a visit.

When I was driving back to my house, I decided to listen to my playlist (on random). That got me in an even better mood. There were a few songs that I started singing loudly to once they played, and I didn’t even know what to expect (random playlist of more than 1000 songs). Darling Cruel (Star Collector) – it’s been a long time since I heard that and I might have to write a blog about that group. Thirty Seconds to Mars (The Kill) – I replayed that song three times and was wrecking my vocal cords loudly singing along. Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life) – I’ve mentioned this one before – it was my first favorite song and I still enjoy it every time I hear it.

Overall, this has been a very good day. And it’s not even done yet. I’ve been able to get out and about, I’ve been able to eat some good food, and I’ve listened to (and sing along to) some great music. It’s easy to stay positive with a day like today!