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.
As you are probably aware, I am a big fan of Big Belly Deli in Sykesville, MD. It’s not just because it’s close to my house, it’s because the food is really good. I’ve gone more often than I’ve posted on here. I actually went yesterday and got a cup of chicken corn tortilla soup and a side of Macaroni and Cheese. The macaroni and cheese was really good, so I was happy with that. But the soup was spectacular. It was a cream based soup, had some nice chunks of chicken in there and some really good flavor. They had put a dash of salsa on top and that gave it a unique flavor. I regretted only having a cup instead of a bowl.
I like to check out the breakfast and lunch/dinner specials, just in case something really catches my eye, and I have the time to get something. They post the lunch updates around 11 AM, and as I was checking this morning, the post indicated:
Today’s special is two pieces of chicken fried steak, homemade mashed potatoes, pumpkin glazed carrots all topped with sausage gravy!
I had to try it. One of the other things I do when I go there is to check out the desserts. Sometimes I just drop in to see what they have. They make their desserts fresh, so there are new options every day.
These are just some of the options that were available today. I have had their Moon Pies before and was really tempted to get one of those, but I opted for the Double Layer Pumpkin Spice Cake. I had two reasons to choose that: 1) I hadn’t had it before, so it would be new to me, and 2) I still think it’s pumpkin season, so I figured I should get it while it’s available.
Now, onto the food. I started with the pumpkin glazed carrots. I’ve had glazed carrots before, but it’s usual honey or butter, but I’ve never had it with pumpkin. This worked really well. The carrots were nice and soft, while still maintaining their shape. The glaze had the nice spice flavors to it, as well as some sweetness. I went through these fairly quickly. I might have to go back to ask for the recipe, since these might be fun to make (and I could consider it healthy since it’s a vegetable dish).
There are two pieces of steak in there (one on top of the other). The steak had the perfect tenderness to it, with the breading cooked properly. No oily feeling in the mouth while eating, no burned pieces. The mashed potatoes were also really good. Creamy, with small chunks here and there. I’ve had their mashed potatoes many times, and they’ve always been good. The last component to this dish is the sausage gravy. I was skeptical about it at first, since I’m used to having chicken fried steak with a traditional brown gravy. But the way they make their gravy and the way the dish was put together, this really worked. I was very happy to have gotten this and will be getting it again down the road if they decide to make it again. And this is great food when it’s in the 40s outside.
Although you might not be able to have the proper perspective on this dish, this is a lot of food. It’s two meals for me, but might be three or four for someone else. The bowl is 9 inches across, so it’s in a large container and definitely has some weight to it. You pay a good price for a large amount of food, which is always nice. But it’s even better when the food is really good.
After taking a little break, it was time for dessert. I decided to have this slice of cake over two meals, so I did not eat it all at once. I probably could have, but I do have the ability to show some will power from time to time. The flavor of the cake was really good. It was a little denser, due to the pumpkin, but had the nice pumpkin spice flavors to it. The frosting was definitely the star. There is a light and fluffy consistency to it. There is a sweetness to it, but not overly sweet. The spices in here were subtle, which created a balance with the sweetness. And when combined with the layers of cake, it made for a really nice dessert.
I’ll probably start a separate category for Big Belly Deli, since I go there so often. I’m glad that I can always try different items on the menu that are good, and glad that there are specials every day as well as freshly made desserts every day. It’s easy to stay positive when you are eating the food from here.
I was not originally planning on putting up a post today, but sometimes good things happen and I want to share them.
Today was expected to be a low-key type of day. I was getting a haircut and running a few errands, but planned on being home early and making myself something for lunch. I went to HeadMasters for my haircut and it went well. My stylist asked me if it was warming up outside since I was wearing shorts (jean shorts, to be exact) and a t-shirt. I said it wasn’t any warmer, but since it was in the 50s, it was still shorts weather to me.
I walked over to French Twist Cafe and ordered a small Pumpkin Mocha Frappe. It was delicious, and I’ll get it again. The Pumpkin Frappe is a vanilla base, but the Mocha base adds a different flavor dynamic, which I enjoyed. I ran a couple more errands and then decided to check and see what Big Belly Deli was serving for lunch. They had a chicken pot pie soup on the menu, so I knew I would not be making something at home for lunch.
I had confirmed beforehand that there were no mushrooms, which was a sigh of relief for me. The base was very thick and creamy. This is something that can be tricky with cream based soups, but they managed to keep the soup at the proper temperature, so there was no break-down of the liquid. The chicken had good flavor, and the variety within the bites made it easy to see that this was fresh chicken that was pulled and then chopped (not basic chicken breasts or thighs that are uniformly sliced). There was corn, carrots, green beans, peas and potatoes in there (might have been other vegetables, but those were the ones I could tell). The flavor of this soup really hit the spot. Even though I enjoy the outside temperatures when they are in the 50s, it’s still nice to have a good, hearty soup.
Before I ordered my soup, I was checking out the sweets. There was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie that caught my eye, so I ended up buying that as well. The pie is 5″ across, just for some perspective.
The crust on the bottom and sides is a chocolate crust. It’s very crumbly, but it works well with this type of pie. The peanut butter filling was very thick and very rich. This is why I feel that the crust worked well with this. Chocolate drizzle and peanut butter cups topped it off, and was a nice finishing touch.
Right before I left, there were some people who were staring at the menu. They asked me if I had any recommendations. Just like something that happened to me previously at French Twist Cafe, I was very happy to share with them about all of the goodness on that menu. I let them know that I never had a bad experience, gave them some 5 or 6 sandwich options as well. The regular Friday special includes a chicken curry sandwich, and I made sure they had a heads up on that one. Really good flavor, really big portions. Two of them planned on splitting, which is definitely a good idea. Big portions for a good price is nice, but when you add in the quality flavor, it makes it even better. I also let them know to check out all the sweets as well. I’m sure they enjoyed their meal, no matter what they ended up ordering.
A light, easy day turned out to have some moments that compelled me to write a little today. I’m planning on a fun-filled weekend, so hopefully I will have some more Positive moments to share.
I have written about Big Belly Deli in the past, and it’s a place I enjoy visiting. They had chili with garlic bread listed as their daily special, so I decided to go there for lunch. We are expecting some fall weather soon, so I thought this would be a good preview. The temperature today is just over 70, with some winds (10-15 mph). The winds were not making it hotter or colder, but were blowing around some pollen, which just adds an extra layer of fun. I prefer a same temperature wind when the weather is below freezing. When it’s anything above that, I prefer a colder wind. I had the unfortunate experiences in Southern California with Santa Ana winds. Nothing like going out in 100 degree weather with with winds gusting to make it feel like 110-115 degrees. A bit off topic there, but that’s just me. We are supposed to be in the upper 40s tonight and tomorrow should have a high of the mid 60s. That is perfect weather for me. I’ll still be able to wear shorts, and won’t have to worry about needing to use any AC.
Back to the food, though. I ordered a bowl of chili, which came with the garlic bread. They are both represented in my picture, even though I think the picture looks sort of like a bunny. The garlic bread had good flavor. I preferred the inside part – softer, buttery, garlicky goodness. The crust was good to dip into the chili. The chili was a perfect portion. There were chunks of ground beef, some onions, some green and red peppers. The seasonings were on point for a good chili. Not too spicy, not too much tomato flavor. And the chunks of veggies and meat gave it the good consistency. When you add the melty cheese into those bites, it made for an outstandingly hearty lunch. Would I order this again? Yes, I would. This chili would also do well on other things, but it is good enough to stand on its own. Happy flavors today help keep me positive and raring to go for the weekend!
I am going to start with a disclaimer. I really enjoy Big Belly Deli. I will sometimes go there multiple times a week. Sometimes I will get food. Other times I will just go in to see if there are any special desserts that look good. This is a local place in Sykesville, MD and it is not visible from a major road, but gets quite a few visitors, including regulars. The staff is really nice and friendly. There aren’t long wait times. And you get a lot of food for the price you pay.
I check in the mornings and lunch time to see if there are any specials for breakfast or lunch. I’ve gone through most of the sandwich items on the menu and will most likely go through them again, so there will be multiple posts from Big Belly Deli on my site.
Tuesday morning, they posted that the special was going to be Sloppy Joe’s. My taste buds let me know that I had to go and get it for lunch. It also turned out to be dinner, since the portions were so huge. The bread was a homemade bread. It was very light and fluffy, and had a slight sweetness to it. The sweetness was a good balance for the meat mixture. This was not a canned mixture or a pre-packaged mixture. There were some good sized peppers and onions in there with the meat, and the sauce had a nice flavor as well. Not too spicy, but the seasoning worked well and made this a very good sandwich. To be fair, I was not able to eat this with my hands, but it was worth every bite.
I didn’t just stop with lunch. I also checked out the sweets they had, and there was a chocolate peanut butter cake that was calling my name. The cake itself was very moist. There was a nice layer of frosting in between the layers. The glaze that was surrounding the cake on top and two of the sides added an additional sweetness and the Reese’s pieces toppings completed the assemblage of a culinary piece of art. I apologize that my picture won’t do it justice, but it was a two dessert slice of cake that was worth every bite.
Big Belly Deli really does homemade food well. Their sandwiches are exceptional, and having daily specials and special desserts and treats really take it to another level. This is a place I’ve gone to again and again and will continue to do so. I still haven’t had a bad experience there, so this is definitely one of those happy places for me.