howard county and the I-95 corridor
It has been a few years since I lived over that way, and I know there have been many restaurant additions in the Columbia area since then. At least, lots of chain restaurants, etc. But, it's not exactly the land of fabulous food finds.
Keeping that in mind, I still wanted to give a few suggestions:
In Columbia (off I-32 at Owen Brown - Old Columbia Rd.) is Bombay Peacock Grill. Good Indian food with a gluttonous lunch buffet (skip the dry tandoori chicken and go for everything else, especially if you hit a rare day with the lightly fried fish filets dusted in a slightly reddish coating - I wish I knew what it was!).
In Laurel, Pasta Plus (at Rt. 198 and Rt. 1 in a tiny strip shopping center in between the northbound and southbound sides of Rt. 1). The location and name don't give you confidence, but the food is nice, if not innovative. I've never found the red-sauce-based dishes as good as the veal or cream-sauced dishes.
A good lunch place for a sandwich and soup is called 700 South on Hammonds Ferry Rd. in Linthicum Heights. Their shrimp salad is made fresh-tasting shrimp almost too large for a sandwich. You can't do much better for many miles.
There is a nice restaurant in Elkridge (yes, Elkridge) called Elkridge Furnace Inn (somewhere between Rt. 1 and the BWI area - I've been there several times and still have no idea how I got there). It is in a large, old home or inn. There are several small dining rooms with well spaced tables - kind of cozy. Food is "current" but not too trendy and tortured. I've always chosen fish, and have been very happy.
Does anyone have updates on any of these, or additions? How about suggestions for my current wasteland in northern Montgomery County??
re: Terrie H.
OK, It may not be rocket science, but good food can indeed be found outside of the chain restaraunts in Howard County.
Asean Bistro (no that's not a typo) is a great little place nestled in a strip mall located central to both Columbia, and Elkridge, MD. The food is superb, but most surprising is the ambience. Who would expect a pianist in a restaurant located near a "Dunkin' Donuts" and "Wings to Go"? Worth a trip, try the lettuce wraps.
Along the same vein, both Noodle Corner and The Mongolian Barbeque both earn high marks from this reviewer. They are located in the Dobbin Restaraunt Park in Columbia.