Bonchon – Ellicott City, MD – 05/24/20

Today was a really nice day. The weather was good, it was slightly overcast, and was perfect for me to go driving around for a couple of hours with my radio playing and my windows slightly down to let me breathe in the fresh air. While I was at one of my stops, I was trying to decide what I would be eating for lunch. I saw that there was a Bonchon (Chicken) close by, and decided to go there. I have passed by a couple of these in Maryland in the past, but never stopped in.

Bonchon Chicken is a South Korean fried chicken restaurant franchise. I plan on having a hamburger tomorrow, so I wanted something other than a sandwich for lunch. This sounded like a perfect opportunity. Since there is social distancing and no sitting in the restaurants, I just browsed the menu briefly and picked the first thing that sounded really good to me. I decided to go with half and half chicken strips, and I chose to have soy garlic and sweet sticky. I chose to have Cole slaw as my side.

I started with the Cole slaw. This was really good. It had a nice kick to it. I enjoyed the fresh taste of the ingredients – they were still crispy and not soggy. This was a really good Cole slaw, so I was also looking forward to the chicken.

The chicken strips were bigger than I expected. You can’t tell by the picture, but eating half the order still filled me up. The sweet sticky were very sweet. There was a nice crispy exterior, and the chicken was cooked to perfection on the inside. The soy garlic had the same texture, but the flavor was much better. I could smell it in my car on the drive home, and the flavor did not disappoint. I think these would have been better if I had eaten them in restaurant instead of 25 minutes later, but they were still good. I was wishing that I had more of the soy garlic sauce, since it was really good.

I like the packaging for this as well. Although the ventilation meant that the heat would escape, it also meant that it would not be steaming in a sealed container. There were a few people who just sat next to their car eating, and I understand why they did it. I decided to look up their menu on-line, and they have a lot of good options. This is a place that I will be trying again, and I’m sure I will have another great food experience!

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!

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!

Double Wide Grill – Pittsburgh, PA

Continuing with my week of eating in Pittsburgh, one night I decided to stop by the Double Wide Grill for dinner.

The decor was really cool. I felt like the only thing missing was a car on a rack and some drill sounds.

When it was time to order food, I had quite a few options to choose from. Some items on the menu sounded really good, but I had barbecue pork on my mind, so I ended up ordering the BBQ Pulled Porky with a side of Cole slaw. The Cole slaw was really good. I could have eaten two or three more portions of this and been a happy camper. The pulled pork sandwich was also really good. The bun was a nicely toasted brioche bun, so you got the soft bite with a little bit of a crunch from the toasting. The barbecue sauce was a very vinegary sauce, and it worked really well with the pork and with the sandwich.

If I worked there all the time, I would probably be visiting this place once every week or two. Good variety of food, and if it is all as good as this was, it would keep me coming back for more. A worthwhile, positive experience.