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Columbia/Ellicott City Dining? We need new places!

Hi there,

My husband and I live in the Columbia/Ellicott City area of Maryland (basically at route 100 and 29 in Dorsey's Search) and often eat out on the weekends. We both work in downtown Baltimore, thus, unfortunately, we often do not feel like driving back downtown to eat. We have found a handful on "non-chain" restaurants that we like around here (e.g., Iron Bridge Wine, Zapata's Mexican, Dimitri's Greek, Donna's ,etc.), but was wondering if there were any other places to eat that we should try...

Can anyone recommend any good to great restaurants within a 15-20 minute driving radius from the Dorsey Search area (e.g. route 29 and 100)??? We are also unfortunately pretty poor and try to spend under $50 total for a meal out for two (for two entrees and sodas basically). "Non-chain" restaurants are preferred, but honestly, at this point, we would be willing to try a chain restaurant that was considered pretty good bang for the buck that maybe we aren't used to (we are from Florida originally)! ;)

Thanks for any ideas!!!

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  1. Hello - I just moved away from that area and there are a few places I will miss (and will return to) that you should try. First try Leelynns right off Old Annapolis Road (http://www.leelynns.com/) Be sure and try the homemade potato chips and lolipop lamb racks... You should also hit a couple of places on Historic Main Street in Ellicott City... Tiber River Tavern has pretty good sandwiches. I've had a good Salmon BLT and Blackend Beef Tenderloin sandwich there. Jordans is fantastic but certainly out of the $50 price range for meals. But stopping in for a Tuna Tartar appetizer and a glass of wine is still worth the trip. For a good pub atmosphere "burger and beer" meal try Kelseys (http://www.kelseysrestaurant.com/). For a decent pork Barbeque sandwich go to Bare Bones both in Ellicott City...Back to Columbia, Sushi Sono is still the best sushi I have come across -And yes! I still haven't tried Matsuri so please no comments regarding "how crazy" i am!! :)--- But to me it is the best in Columbia area!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: tapas gal

      Tiber River Tavern had decent food on their bar menu, and a very good (hand formed) burger when the first opened. But it's been going downhill since. About a year and a half ago they began using premade/frozen burgers, and it's been awful since. I also like Bare Bones, especially their enormous onion loaf, even though their barbecue always reminded me more of midwestern barbecue than Southern. I also wasn't a fan of them kicking their brewers to the curb when they stopped making beer on site.

      1. re: tapas gal

        I live in Catonsville Ellicott City area.I agree we are hurting for good places to eat for sure. I go to the Tiber River for the bar food too. Good muscles and burgers. I also like Iron Bridge, on 108 and Great Sage in Clarkesville .

        1. re: mlanda

          Another fan of the bar side of Tiber. La Palapa's on Main St. is good for Mexican. Also Bangkok Delight for Thai on Center Park Drive.
          If you want Japanese, Nichi Bei Kai on Snowden River is good too. They do the typical Benihana style Teppan Yaki thing but also have a sushi bar.

      2. Definitely do a search on here, as this subject has been covered quite a few times recently! But......to give you a few:
        Sushi King (Dobbin Rd)
        Pho Dat Thahn (Snowden River, in shopping center with the TCBY)....really cheap and good
        House of India (Snowden River, shopping center next to the one with TCBY)
        Cafe de Paris

        1. Have you tried Great Sage in Clarksville?

          1. Highly recommend Tersiguel's on Main St in Ellicott City. Tereffic French country place, exc menu, and w/in your budget if you go for lunch

            1 Reply
            1. re: tartuffe

              I heartily concur! Tersiguel's is wonderful French country food. I also recommend Great Sage in Clarksville.

            2. How about Rooster Cafe, Aida, Jordan's and Cacao Lane?-

              3 Replies
              1. re: lovemywft

                Rooster Cafe has been closed for a few months now.

                The Chinese restaurant at Dorsey's Search VC is probably the best in the area. (I wasn't impressed with Asean Bistro or Hunan Manor.) In the same center, the Trattoria de Pizza, or something like that, has good thin-crust pizza. T-Bonz, at 103 and 104, is pretty good too. Their BBQ sandwich platter is only 7.95 for a huge sandwich and 2 sides.

                1. re: little audrey

                  I agree with Little Audrey. Both the Chinese restaurant and Enrico's Trattoria in the Dorsey's Search village center serve very good food. Enrico's has excellent and reasonably-priced pasta entrees in addition to their pizza.

                  1. re: elgringoviejo

                    I third this, Hunan Legend is delicious and I think the best Chinese in the area as well, and also serves more authentic entrees off the menu if you request them. The Trattoria pizzeria/pastaria is also a true chowhound bargain, with real Italian pasta entrees that are really reasonably priced for how tasty they are. Try the gnocchi ciociara, yum!

                    I also really like the Thai restaurant near the Oakland Mills Village Center, Bangkok something, it's quite authentic, try the chili fish. (It's much better than the one off Rte 108 IMO).