Sister just moved to COlumbia,MD
Can you tell me where to eat when I drive up to visit her next week. We like everything. I'd like a couple of take out places, a nice moderately priced place for lunch, and where to food &foodie shop.
There are several recent chains that you may wish to use the search funtion to locate eats and shopping. I personally like House of India and Maiwand Kebobs for carry out.
For your lunch you may wish to drive to Ellicott City and have lunch around the antique stores, up to Baltimore or over to Annapolis. All very easy drives.
Columbia is in the process of getting a Harris-Teeter, Wegmans, and Trader Joes. But none are open. In the mean time there are a couple of "natural" markets (Davids and the Produce Market) in Wilde Lake, a MOM organic market at Rtes 32&1. The closest Trader Joes is down Rte 29 in Silver Spring just north of the beltway. Whole Foods is in Towson, Rockville, or Gaithersburg.
Funny -- I also have a relative who just moved to Columbia, so I'm up that way every so often. Here are a few places that I've tried: Sushi Sono is a quite good sushi place right in central Columbia; Maiwand Kebob is a very good hole-in-the-wall, and if you drive south for about 5 minutes on 29, you'll find Smokey Hollow, a really good barbeque place where they know what they're doing. Ribs and pulled pork are excellent here.
Yes, I love Sushi Sono. We live in DC but go there anytime we're going to a concert at Merriwether Post. I actually think it's better than any of the sushi restaurants we've been in DC. Also, they take reservations for larger parties (maybe 5 or more?) but will do call ahead seating for smaller ones. Website: www.sushisonomd.com.
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Cafe de Paris
Pho Dat Thanh
House of India
I think the food at Clyde's is pretty good actually. Good lunch spot.
CLYDE'S OF COLUMBIA
10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044
Phone (410) 730-2829
Columbia is home to my favorite Chinese restaurant. Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro off of Rte 108. Delicious Crispy Eggplant!
Columbia is laden with highly-visible chain restaurants. Don't be afraid to try some of the independent ones in shopping malls because they are often good finds.
That same shopping center has a Thai restaurant (can't remember the name -- it's farther back in the group, near a Quizno's) that we like a lot. Their veggies are nice and fresh! Drunken Noodle is yummy.
Mirchi Wok (off Dobbin Rd, next to Mango Grove in the plaza with the Wal-Mart) is the most authentic Indian subcontinental food I've had anywhere in the region. So much so, I find it better than anything I've had in Manhattan and Queens. Ignore the "fusion" items, even though I find most of them pretty good, and just order the "regular" stuff. In fact, the fusion dishes take up only one page of their menu.
Everything I've ordered there, I have eaten an almost exact version of that dish at at least one Hyderabadi house or Gujarati house or Punjabi house or South Indian house, etc. For example, Chicken 65 is a very popular dish in India. Everyone makes it different. I associate it with Hyderabadis cause from the people I know, only Hyderabadis make Chicken 65 at home. Even among Hyderabadis, everyone makes it different. The one Mirchi Wok serves, I've had that version at at least one Hyderabadi home. And it's like that with all their menu. I don't know how their cook does it. It's very, very hard to be authentic across such a broad spectrum.
Also, if you aren't a wimp, ask them to make everything with the proper amount of spice . Even then, they might tone it down. Just let them know you really want it. Make up some story about how you were adopted by a Punjabi family. Make them believe you can handle it.