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Feb 12, 2002 01:31 PM

Restauants near Columbia, Md.--Any Recommended?

  • j

Either family or not, either budget or expensive. I wonder what is good, besides the chains. We have had some good meals at Ferarri's in Laurel. Any other choices? Thanks.

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  1. Good food and good specials, with surprisingly nice decor given its strip-mall location. I recommend the Leek with Chicken.

    3 Replies
    1. re: snax

      Thanks. We will try it.

      1. re: Johnlw

        One thing about Asean Bistro, though: they have all these really amazing sounding appetizers that make you think, "hey let's get a bunch!" Don't do it! Their entrees are great (love the tea-smoked duck, very rich and unusual) but their apps are pretty forgetable. At least thats my experience there.

        1. re: peckish

          Columbia is restaurant hell. Just about any terrible chain can make a fortune here.

          The two places I do like are Baja Fresh, which is the best fast food joint around, and Sushi King, just across Dobbin from Dobbin Center in this little hidden strip mall, next to the MVA Express. It's getting to the point where I just won't eat sushi anywhere else. It's always fresh, and the staff is incredibly friendly.

          In fact, we're going there tonight.

    2. Well, if you like Ferrari's in Laurel, you'll LOVE Pasta Plus--it's in this little dingy shopping plaza with the Arby's on Rte. 1. It doesn't look like much on the outside, is soooo delicious. Anything on the specials (the printed one, or the many additional ones your server will tell you about). The salads leave something to be desired, though.

      In Columbia, the best pizza can be found at Trattoria y Pizzaria in Kings Contrivance Village Center. They also have wonderful pasta specials. Go past the place where you are supposed to place your order, and check out the write-n-wipe board with the specials. They also have some of the yummiest (read: garlickiest) bruschetta. Yum! Any pizzaria that has a framed picture of Al Pacino over the cash register is OK in my book!

      Up on Rte. 40 in Ellicott City, there is Shannon's in the Village Green shopping center. They have the best crab dip I have ever had (even better than my own). They also have great sandwiches and seafood. They regularly feature spiced-steamed peel-and-eat shrimp--usually as an appetizer, but the price is so reasonable that I've been known to order just that and a beer for my dinner. Ask if they have their bread pudding for dessert, too.

      As far as the chains go, we like Carraba's in Ellicott City in Long Gate. It does run hot and cold, as most chains do, though.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dstultz

        In Columbia, the best pizza can be found at Trattoria y Pizzaria in Kings Contrivance Village Center.

        You are so right about the Trattoria y Pizzaria. They have the best pizza, and their marinara sauce is better than most of Little Italy's. Where else can you go in an instantly be a Paisano, and say Ciaou (cannot spell it) on the way out.

        I have heard about Pasta Plus, we will have to go there, thanks.

        1. re: dstultz

          Does that Kings Contrivance pizzeria still have a Brooklyn Dodgers pennant hanging up? My father gave it to the owner for Xmas, like 12 or so years ago; until it opened, my New Jersey-born family was starving for good pizza in Columbia.

          I haven't been back since I moved back to Baltimore. Guess I'll have to make a visit now.

          1. re: c_skok

            I will have to go look for that pennant. I know there is pizza in my near future!

        2. I've been meaning to try the Malibu Grill, which is evidently a Brazilian steak restaurant and which got a good review from the Sun (cut and paste this web address-- Sounds like a fun place to go.

          Also, if you consider Olney nearby to Columbia, there's two restaurants I've heard about and one I've been to. About six months ago, I ate at the Inn at Brookville Farms. It's an old farmhouse turned into a French restaurant. Expensive, but not as expensive as say the L'Auberge in D.C. It was certainly not flawless, but everyone had a very enjoyable meal.

          Also in Olney is Le Mannequin pis, which is a Belgian restaurant with Belgian beer. I believe people have commented on this restaurant below.