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!

Old Mill Cafe – Ellicott City, MD – 03/29/20

I had a plan throughout the week to make my way back down to Ellicott City and to go to Old Mill Cafe. They are still open for carry out, and I was able to stop in.

I started with a frozen coffee drink. I opted for a frozen espresso this morning, just to switch things up. This had the right consistency, and the flavor was mildly sweet. Not bitter, not overly sweet, but a nice balance of the espresso flavor and sugar. They did a really nice job with this drink.

For breakfast, I decided to go for sausage, egg and cheese on an English muffin. It was made fresh, which is always a plus. The muffin was slightly toasted, and there were some bites where I was able to get that nice, familiar English muffin flavor. The eggs were fried perfectly, the sausage had great flavor, and the cheese was melty and flavorful. The combination of all the components together made this a truly delicious breakfast experience. This is definitely one I could see myself going back for again and again. This was a wonderful way to start my morning and a great way for me to stay positive!

Bon Appetit Cafe & Bakery – Ellicott CIty, MD – 03/28/20

After picking up some lunch at Beef Brothers, I decided to pick up dessert at Bon Appetit Cafe & Bakery, which is about three stores down. I wasn’t sure exactly what I would end up getting, but they did have quite a few good options.

These are just some of the more traditional dessert treats that they had. They also had plenty of breads and Asian specialty foods, so there was no shortage of options. When all was said and done, I went with my usual option – chocolate.

I ordered the chocolate cake. The frosting on this was delicious, especially the parts where it was a little bit thicker. The cake itself was really good. I just forgot that it wouldn’t be as sweet as I’m used to. It had good flavor, and it worked really well with the bites that included frosting. There were some other desserts I would want to try the next time I visit, but I would still want to get this one again in the future as well. Overall, another great food eating experience for me.

Beef Brothers Deli – Ellicott City, MD – 03/28/20

Yesterday morning, I kept myself busy in Westminster and was able to go to a few places. When it came time for lunch, I knew that I wanted to branch out and grab a bite to eat, I just wasn’t sure exactly where I would end up. I went out and started going with where the wind would take me. It was after about five minutes that I pinpointed where I wanted to eat. And that place was Beef Brothers Deli. When I lived in Ellicott City, I visited every couple of months, but since I moved to Sykesville, it’s been more of a once or twice a year stop.

It took me about a minute to decide. I’ve had a few different sandwiches and I was going to pick the Cloak & Dagger, but as soon as I saw the description of “The Beef Brother”, I knew I had to get that one. I haven’t tried it before, but it definitely was calling out to me. Hot smoked BBQ brisket with horseradish sauce, BBQ sauce, and onions on a Kaiser roll. They have a 1/4 pound option and a 1/2 pound option. I went with the 1/4 pound, which was huge, so I’m glad I had some self control.

The brisket was cooked nice and tender, and it had a juicy, smoky flavor to it. I didn’t have to struggle to bite through the meat, it was the perfect texture. The barbecue sauce was smoky and sweet, which was a nice contrast to the horseradish sauce, which was outstanding. I had those moments where it hit my sinuses in just the right way, and it was perfect. The onions were very thinly sliced and they picked up the flavors of both the barbecue sauce and the horseradish sauce, and they added a really nice finishing touch to the sandwich. The bread had good flavor and held itself together very well.

This was a great food experience. I’ll be going back there again, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait another six months to experience the quality (and quantity) of food eating here. It was an easy way for me to stay positive on an already great Saturday.

Cafe EZ – Ellicott City, MD – 03/22/20

This morning I had a couple of errands to do early in the morning, and wanted to get a coffee drink. I was down in Ellicott City, and decided to go to Cafe EZ. I had checked before to make sure it was still open (still opening at 8AM), and I made it there a few minutes after it opened.

I had already eaten breakfast, but I was craving a coffee drink, and I really enjoy the Nutella Frappe from Cafe EZ. I get the same thing every time, which is not what I can say about most places I get my coffee drinks. But their Nutella Frappe is fantastic. They put a generous portion of Nutella in the drink, and it tastes like you’re drinking Nutella. The Nutella also helps with the consistency. There is no iciness to the drink. It is a creamy sips of deliciousness all around.

They plan on staying open for as long as they can, and they continue to have a positive attitude. As good as my morning was, this frappe made it even better.

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.

Mission BBQ and More

Yesterday, I had some errands to run. My iPhone has been giving me problems, so I had set up an appointment at the Apple store in The Mall in Columbia (Maryland). It took a bit more time than expected, so I was able to get in a lot of walking around the mall. I was even able to try one of the seasonal drinks at the Nordstrom Bar. I tried the Peppermint Ice Storm with an extra shot of espresso. The consistency was really good. The flavor was great. They used a vanilla base and added in the peppermint flavor (sprinkles?). It was a nice, smooth peppermint flavor that really brought memories of a peppermint stick. I was happy that I tried it and look forward to hopefully going back and trying their other holiday flavors.

As far as the iPhone goes, they were able to put in a new battery, so my 6 has some legs left. Much better alternative than having to spend a lot of money on a new phone (even if the cameras and the extras are much nicer). And one day later, I’m happy with the difference. My battery has only drained 30% in 21 hours. It was only lasting about 6 hours before the switch, so a definite improvement. Now I just hope it will continue to perform well for at least another year or two.

After my time at the mall, I had planned on heading over to Mission BBQ. I just ended up eating an hour later than I had expected.

The cool thing is that they have big vehicles outside of their stores. The owners opened the first Mission BBQ on September 11, 2011 and proudly serve Those Who Serve. The inside of the restaurants are decorated with community donated memorabilia from military and public response forces. This past Veterans Day, they provided free sandwiches and cake for all veterans and active duty military personnel.

My usual go-to sandwich is the Chopped Brisket, but yesterday I wanted to change things up. I went for a Pulled Chicken sandwich with Kickin’ Collard Greens (a limited time only side), and accompanied that with a Grape Nehi (they also have some cool sodas available). There is a very short wait time to get the food. They make it to order and you can see them creating in the kitchen while you wait.

When you sit at the tables, you have six barbecue sauce options. There are regional options, so you can try different flavors, which is exactly what I did. I added some sauce for each of my first six bites. I thought my favorite was going to be the Memphis Belle, but the Smoky Mountain sauce went really well with the chicken sandwich. KC Classic was my second favorite with the chicken, and then the Memphis Belle. But all of the sauces were good, so there were no losers there.

I was happy to eat some good food and make my taste buds happy. But I really appreciate the mission statement (pun intended) of the restaurant and it was definitely easy to stay positive with the great experience I had!

Old Mill Cafe and Little Market Cafe – Ellicott City, MD

I visited Old Ellicott City on Sunday morning and in addition to all the walking around and enjoying the historic buildings, I also made a couple of stops for breakfast.

This is just over the bridge, on the other side of the Historic District. This has been opened since summer of 2018. I’ve driven past it several times and walked in once (just to see what they had). After seeing what they had, I knew I would eventually go to order some food in the future. This past Sunday was that day.

I was only focused on the pastry cases. They have traditional breakfasts and some specialty foods, but I was planning on continuing my walking around and didn’t want to have something that might be impacted by the cold weather.

I ended up ordering a chocolate beignet bite and a mini banana chocolate chip muffin. The beignet bite was okay, but the muffin was great. The muffin had a nice texture, but there was a strong (but not overbearing) banana flavor that worked really well with the chocolate chips. The cinnamon mix was not just on the top, but there was also a layer around the muffin. The bites that had all of those elements made this a fantastic treat, and was something I would be happy to order again. I asked if they make ice blended drinks, and they do, but I will have to go back another time to try. I had Little Market Cafe on my agenda, so I wanted to stick with that plan.

Since I had something to eat, I needed a drink to go with it. I made my way over to Little Market Cafe. There is a little cluster of shops, and the pictures above share the historical background of this area as well as a picture of the group of row houses.

This sign was inside the store and I thought it was cute.

This is a shot from outside the store. I considered taking pictures inside the shop. It’s a small shop and very tight. I have to duck while I’m in there, since the buildings back then weren’t necessarily built for 6’5″ people. I ordered a Cookies and Cream Frappe. This had nice flavor to it, nice consistency, and was a good pairing with my breakfast. I’ve been to the Little Market Cafe several times, and I will continue to come back. Good food and drink as well as wonderful scenery made for a positive start to the day!

A Visit to Old Ellicott City – November 10, 2019

On Sunday morning, I decided to make a relatively short drive to Old Ellicott City (Maryland) for a visit. I lived in Ellicott City prior to purchasing my house, and I had made a few trips to Old Ellicott City (Ellicott City Historic District).

Ellicott City has quite a bit of history with it. It was founded in 1772 when John, Andrew, and Joseph Ellicott founded “Ellicott Mills”, which became one of the largest mill and manufacturing towns in the East.

In 1830, Ellicott City became the first section of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to open (B & O Railroad for you Monopoly enthusiasts). The station is the “Oldest surviving railroad station in America”.

Ellicott City has been in the news for flooding the last few years. There was a flash flood in July of 2016 that resulted in two deaths and major property damage. The town and the small business owners worked to rebuild (if they could). In May of 2018, the area was flooded again, due to the area getting 8 inches of rain in just over two hours. This resulted in one death and major property damage.

Some of the small business owners could not rebuild again. Some of the buildings are still not able to be occupied. There had been plans in place in 2017 to protect against the floods, but a project of such a large scope takes time. The town has been rebuilding, and there are plans in place to help provide protection in the event of future floods.

While I was there, I took a lot of pictures. I’ll share some of these with you now.

This is not the building of one of the original founders (he passed away in the late 1700s), but this just brings a little bit of historical attachment to the name.

I thought the sun coming over the building was a nice touch to the picture.

This is not named for Walt Disney. The Tavern came in the 1840s, but the building is from around 1790, which makes it one of the older buildings, and I think that’s pretty cool.

I think this former hotel looks great!

Every so often, you get these little nooks between buildings, some of which have stairways to go to the hills above.

This is another one of the older buildings.

This is one of the stairways that goes to the upper hills.

This is another nice looking building that’s more than 150 years old.

I’m half-way over a bridge that is over the river (I was walking, so there was no traffic stoppage for this picture).

Coming on the other side of the bridge to go back to the Historic District. Those are train tracks above the sign.

Just a couple of pictures regarding the B & O Station.

These two pictures are just to show the river running underneath the buildings. These buildings are at the lowest point of the area. They are sitting about 8-10 feet above the river, so it takes a lot to get this so high that it not only causes flooding for these buildings, but the others along the street that are on slightly higher ground.

I was definitely keeping myself busy taking pictures and enjoying the history that this town has to offer. I did stop at a couple of local places for food and drink, but I’ll write about that later. I hope you enjoyed me sharing a little bit of the town’s history with you!