Little Market Cafe – Ellicott City, MD – 03/21/20

This morning I took my car in for a checkup. This had been scheduled in advance, and there was no alert for the appointments being cancelled. I always like to go for a walk and possibly end up at Double T Diner, or Bob Evans for breakfast. I did end up going for a walk, but since there are no sit down restaurants right now, I just took an extended walk. I did manage to go to a Giant grocery store and scored with a couple of boxes of powdered (dry) milk. They will be good to have just in case things get to complete lockdown mode.

Once the appointment was over, I decided to head over to Old Ellicott City. I made a couple of different stops, but one of them was at Little Market Cafe. Fortunately, they were still open for carry out.

I decided to go with the Cookies and Cream Frosty Frappuccino (with an extra shot of espresso). They really did a nice job with the whipped cream. The flavor and consistency were both good. This tasted very much like cookies and cream, so the flavor was nailed. I’m glad the Little Market Cafe was still open and glad I was able to get this drink.

While I was walking around a little, I felt bad for a lot of the stores in Old Ellicott City. Some of the store owners rebuilt after one bad flood, and then rebuilt again after the next one came. Just when things are starting to pick up and some new stores are opening, they have to deal with a shut down. It’s got to be extremely tough for the small business owners who struggle every day to stay open. That’s why I’ve been trying to do a little extra this week with supporting them.

When I walked out of the Cafe with my drink, there were a few people sitting around a fire pit. They were all in good moods and positive spirits. I’ve had a lot of positive interactions these past few days, and I hope the positivity remains.

Mimi’s Kabob – Ellicott City, MD – 03/20/20

After a good day’s work, I decided to go to the Turf Valley area in Marriottsville, MD. Technically in Ellicott City, but also considered to be in Marriottsville, Mimi’s Kabob was the place I decided to visit for dinner. I did some light grocery shopping first, and then was ready to order some food. I had to call in my order, so I stood outside the restaurant and placed my order. I knew what I was going to get, since it was something I’ve had a couple of times before and really enjoyed.

I ordered the Chicken Tikka Club. It comes with fries, and this comes in a huge portion. The club has chicken tikka, lettuce, tomatoes, turkey bacon, and mayo. The chicken is nicely seasoned and is just the right amount of juiciness. The thing that makes this club special is the turkey bacon. I would normally prefer regular bacon, but the turkey bacon they use has great flavor and goes really well with this sandwich. The French fries are great as well. The coating that is on these is tremendous. They have a nice external crunch, but then you get the silky smooth potato consistency on the inside. I would go back just for the French fries, but they have too many good options to leave with only those.

This was a great way to end my day and to end my work week. Easy to stay positive going into what should be an interesting weekend.

Kismet Cafe – Eldersburg, MD – 3/20/20

Since I’ve been trying to support local small businesses this week, I thought I would make my way over to Kismet Cafe for breakfast and a coffee drink. I’ve gotten back into the habit of making my own four days a week, so having a treat day works. Kismet Cafe opens at 6AM, so I made sure to head down there when they were opened, and then I had time to quickly have breakfast at home before I started my work day.

I decided to do something a little different for breakfast this morning. When I’ve gotten food from Kismet Cafe before, I would only get a toasted bagel with cream cheese. I ordered a sunrise sandwich with egg, sausage, and cheddar cheese on a Challah bagel. I really like the Challah bagel, and the texture was perfect for this sandwich. The sausage had a really nice flavor. The eggs had great consistency. Not too hard and not too fluffy. The melted cheese gave it the extra little oomph. A great start to the morning, and a breakfast sandwich I will order again.

I also ordered a peanut butter mocha Kismeccino. This is a frozen coffee drink, and it was made right. It was a bit too dark and foggy to take a picture in front of the sign at the store, so I took one with one of my wall decorations inside my house.

When I walked into the store, they let me know that they were really appreciative that I stopped in. The positive feelings that they had made the start of my day great. The food and coffee drink made it even better!

Smoky’s BBQ – Eldersburg, MD – 3/19/20

Tonight I was able to go out again after work to try and support the local small businesses. I’ve written about Smoky’s BBQ before and have been several times since, but haven’t been keeping up with writing about them.

As was the case yesterday, I made sure that my health was in order before venturing outside. It was much warmer than I would have preferred, and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter. We were supposed to be having rain today, but it hasn’t happened yet, so my window of opportunity to get some dinner was there.

There are always plenty of good options, but today I was in the mood for a combo sandwich. I had half pit ham and half pit turkey. I added tiger sauce and mustard, and then had a side of Cole slaw. This Cole slaw was awesome. All of the flavors came together well, and the consistency was perfect. I wish I had gotten more than just one, but maybe I’ll just venture out again next week if they are still open.

The sandwich itself was fantastic as well. The ham and turkey are sliced thin and are very easy to bite through. The pit cooking gives them a nice, smoky flavor as well. The tiger sauce was strong. Some of those bites of horseradish really got to me, but it was well worth it. The sandwich roll held together really well, and the flavor helped to enhance the flavors of the meat and the tiger sauce. I really enjoyed my dinner and look forward to making my way back there sooner rather than later.

Hope everyone is staying safe and staying positive!

Big Belly Deli – Sykesville, MD – 3/18/20

These last few weeks have been very different. This past week in particular, even more so. With everything going on, a lot of stores are closed, but some restaurants are open for Carry-out, Drive Thru, and Delivery. I think that the larger corporations will be able to weather the storm, but the small businesses are going to struggle.

During a normal work week, I work from home and don’t go out anywhere until the weekend. I decided to change things up this week, to try and show some support to the small businesses while I can. I’m still cautious and making sure that I am okay before leaving the house. Yesterday, I decided to make my way over to Big Belly Deli, which is a favorite of mine.

I had checked online earlier in the day and saw that their special was blackened chicken nachos with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. That was reason enough for me to get out of the house after work. Although I really enjoy the food there, the people who work there make it even better. The person who greeted me immediately called me by my name, which made me feel more welcome. I asked if they were still serving the nachos, and they confirmed that they were. These were really good nachos. The blackened chicken has a great flavor. The chips were warm and crispy. The cheese was melted just a little, but not too much that it was all gooey. And the bites with the accompaniments were even better. This was a great batch of nachos, so I was happy that I went out and got these.

They also had some nice looking desserts. I went with the Saint Patrick’s Day themed cake. The cake itself was very moist and the frosting was light and fluffy. The lucky charms marshmallows were a nice touch, and this was a great way to end the night. I’ve always enjoyed their desserts, and this was no exception.

I was happy to support one of my local favorites. And with the people that work there greeting me so enthusiastically, it was definitely easy to stay positive.

Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe – Columbia, MD

The weekends are about the only time where I can get out and about, so I try to take advantage. I did not do as much as I normally would, since I was trying to minimize interactions. Hopefully I’ll be able to go out next weekend, but we’ll see how things continue this week.

I decided to try a new place – Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe in Columbia, Maryland.

While I was driving, I kept seeing white blooms along the road, which tells me that Spring is definitely close. When I got to Touche Touchet, there were a couple of trees that had these.

After looking at the various options, I decided on two desserts, a Triple Chocolate Cookie and a slice of Boston Creme Cake.

I started with the Triple Chocolate Cookie. The flavor of this was good. The outer edge was crunchy, but the inside portion was nice and soft. This was a good cookie and just the right size for a dessert.

The Boston Creme Cake was up next. I did not eat these at the same time. I probably could have, but some days I am okay with portion control. The cake portion was light and moist. It had a nice, mild flavor. The filling had a nice flavor to it, and I would have enjoyed more of it. The chocolate frosting was a nice finishing touch. It had good flavor and consistency. When I ate everything at once, the portions of everything worked out really well. The filling, cake, and frosting all worked well collectively, and they were each good individually, so this was a definite plus for me.

It was fun for me to go a little bit more out of the way to try a new place, and I hope that I’ll get a chance to head back down there in the future. They had some nice looking cupcakes, some other cookies that looked good, and a lot of other treats that looked like they would be tasty. Eating well and staying positive!

Dandelion Bakery – Sykesville, MD – March 2020

There are times when I have dessert cravings, and I don’t have time to stray too far from home. Fortunately, Dandelion Bakery checks off both of those boxes. I decided to make my way back there earlier this week. I looked through the many different offerings, and decided on slices of two different desserts: Tres Leches and Peanut Butter Pie.

The first dessert I ate was the Tres Leches. In general, Tres Leches is a dessert that I would only opt for every so often (something with chocolate is my usual preference). I’m glad I tried this one, though, because it was really good. The cake itself was nice and light, but very moist. The meringue topping was delicate and provided a nice balance to the cake. A whole bunch of sweetness in every bite, but that’s what desserts are usually about (for me, at least). I ate every last bite and was happy with the experience. Something I would definitely get again.

The next dessert I ate was the Peanut Butter Pie. I did not eat both of these at the same time, although I could see myself doing that on certain days. The majority of the bites was the peanut butter filling. Slightly dense, very sweet, and bursting with peanut butter flavor. The chocolate cookie crust had some nice flavor and texture, and I would have wanted to have even more with this. Having this topped with chocolate chips and chocolate sauce made it even better. The crust and the topping provided a nice balance of flavor and texture, which made those bites truly wonderful. This was another great dessert and I’m looking forward to going back for more!

Easy to keep happy and positive thoughts when eating this well!

Reuben Crepe – French Twist Cafe – Sykesville, MD

Ah, March. Great time of year. There were some great people born in the month of March, as well as some so-so people. Nod and a wink on that one. But for me, March is the time for Shamrock shakes and for corned beef. Sometimes in Sandwich form, sometimes with Cabbage, and sometimes in some other extraordinary way.

I am a fan of French Twist Cafe. Not just because it’s close to me, but because the coffee drinks and food are really good. I had the Reuben Crepe last year, so seeing that it was back for March, I knew I was going to order it again.

The Reuben Crepe comes with Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, caraway seeds, and Thousand Island dressing. I’m not the biggest fan of sauerkraut, but I can take it in small portions from time to time. This is one of those occasions.

I’ll start by saying how much fun it is to watch them making the crepes right there. Seeing them layer the food on, and then watching as they put on the finishing touches for the presentation.

As nice as it is to look at, it’s even better to eat. The crepes on their own are very good. There is the perfect bite through texture in the middle, and the nice crispness (without being too crispy or crunchy) on the outer edges. This was easy to cut through, which meant that the corned beef was not tough. The sauerkraut was not overbearing at all. It provided a nice textural accompaniment, but the flavor blended well with the corned beef, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island, caraway seeds and the crepe. I enjoyed eating this crepe, and look forward to getting it again if it’s available next March.

Good food and a happy stomach makes it easy to try and stay in a positive frame of mind.

Harvest Fried Chicken – Woodbine, MD

Yesterday, I decided to go to Harvest Fried Chicken for lunch. I used to go to a dentist’s office that was in the same shopping center, so I saw the place, but I always had morning appointments, so I was done before it opened. Even if it had been open, I tend to not want to eat some food right after my teeth are feeling really clean. I kept thinking about going over there, but never made my way. It’s been about a year and a half since I last went to the dentist, and it was an out of sight, out of mind thing.

When I was visiting Pittsburgh for my new job, I was talking with one of my co-workers. He was also a co-worker when I had a job in Baltimore, but he left a few years ago to be back in Pittsburgh and to work with a good company (our current employer). I was talking about how I enjoy trying different foods and like finding places to do during my travels. He brought up Harvest Fried Chicken. It’s about 30 miles west of Baltimore, and he mentioned how he used to really enjoy going there. I knew the place, and so the thought was in my head of taking the time to go there. Yesterday was the right time.

This is in the middle of a sort of strip mall setting, and if you blink you might miss it. When you walk in, they definitely have a chicken theme. I think it’s pretty neat to see all the figurines and pictures all over the place. I could have taken another 10 pictures and still not captured everything. I think this makes it a fun setting.

They had some nice looking hot sides, but I already knew what I was going to be ordering. I had checked out the menu on-line and saw they had corn fritters, so I knew I would be getting those. I also wanted a drumstick for the dark meat and a breast for the white meat. They list a House Recipe Cole Slaw, so I figured I would round out my meal with that.

The corn fritters were little bite sized nuggets. I had the option of having powdered sugar, and I said yes. Not something that I’m used to, but if they offer it up, it must be something they usually do, so I wanted to try it that way. Having them as bite sized nuggets is perfect. They had a perfect crunch on the outside, and the inside had the nice sweet corn creaminess. A nice balance of textures and flavors. The powdered sugar on the outside gave it an extra boost of sweetness.

The Cole slaw was really good. The flavor was sweet and tangy at the same time. It was chopped very fine as well. The chicken was also very good. Nice and crispy on the outside, and the seasoning blend on the skin was really good. The inside was tender and juicy. It also had some really nice flavor to it. The seasoning was all the way through to the meat, so you could still get those nice flavors even if you only ate the meat.

I got a haircut, got my taxes squared away, and got some really good food for lunch. Definitely a great, positive day!

Twistedoughs – Falling Waters, WV – February 2020

When it was time to leave Pittsburgh and head back to Maryland, I knew where I would be making an extra stop along the way. I had been to Twistedoughs the last time I drove back from Pittsburgh, and really enjoyed it. I ordered the biscuits and gravy (and a pretzel), but had my eye on the cinnamon rolls.

When I got there, I was told it was going to be about a 25 minute wait, since they were in the oven. I decided to check out The Market House and I also walked around for a bit. When they were ready, I decided to sit outside to eat. It may have been in the 20s, but I had a warm cinnamon roll and that was all that I needed. The cinnamon roll was humungous. It almost took up an entire standard sized container. It was still hot, so they gave me the icing on the side.

I have a big hand, so I tried to take this picture to show how big this cinnamon roll was.

I put some icing on it, and then took this picture (before it started to get melty). I think this picture shows off the size better. If you look at the size of the fork in the background, that should give you some perspective as to the size of this cinnamon roll. I was not able to eat this all at once. This was a two and a half meal treat for me. So waiting almost 30 minutes for this – definitely worth it. I would do it again. I would wait an hour for this. From the outer portion to the filling to the icing, this was a truly delicious cinnamon roll. This is definitely something you can share with 1, 2, or 3 other people.

I brought a pretzel home with me and had it later on. While it was not as big as the cinnamon roll, it still was a big pretzel. This is sitting on one of my big plates. The pretzel is also really good. The outer crunch is good, but I really like the inside part of the pretzel. Perfectly baked, nice layers, and tremendous flavor.

Stopping by at Twistedoughs was definitely a perfect way to cap off my week of good eating. And it was an easy way to stay in a positive frame of mind.