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Recommendations for Ellicott City dining?

Looking for a place that would be "friendly dining"- atmosphere and price wise for college students.A nice meal without chain restaurant dining. Thanks.

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  1. If you like mexican, La Palapa's is good. Top of the hill in Main St.
    Also, Tiber River Taven on Old Columbia Pike is good. There is a seperate (and cheaper) menu in the bar. Very good, non chainy, pub food.

    1. If you're talking very good but cheap eats rather than a swanky atmosphere then some places to try are:

      Trattoria da Enrico (Italian, in Dorsey's Search)
      Hunan Legend (Chinese, in Dorsey's Search)
      Solana's Pizza and Subs (St. John's Plaza; a little spartan inside but their pressed-meat lamb gyros are good because of the fresh toppings. Nothing beats Marathon Deli for real gyros but that's in College Park.)
      Noah's (Rte 40; looks like they just re-opened for sandwiches. Haven't been since the Grand Re-Opening, but they used to be great.)
      An Loi (Vietnamese on Snowden River in Columbia; I don't care for pho but they have a superb grill special where you pick any three of grilled beef, pork, chicken, shrimp)

      Also, just because it's so good:

      Cafe de Paris (wonderful French food but not inexpensive, though you can get out for under $15 apiece at lunchtime).

      7 Replies
      1. Go to Tersiguel's at lunch

        1. re: 2stepper

          Noah's is back? That's very newsworthy! We need more info. If their sandwiches haven't changed, that's easily my recommendation for a casual place (with limited seating).

          1. re: Jason1

            Sorry, I went by the other day and it's different owner in the same storefront. Their sandwiches are OK but nothing memorable.

            It looks like the old chef is cooking at Salt Tavern(?) in Baltimore.

            1. re: 2stepper

              Yeah, I passed by and thought I check it out. They just left the Noah's sign up, and added deli and grill. It looks completely un-noteworthy...until I noticed the Korean signs and the signs for Korean fried chicken. I didn't get a chance to try it out, but it looks to now be a stand-alone (not in a grocery store) Korean fried chicken restaurant, along with a deli and grill. It's not Noah's, they probably have terrible sandwiches (but I have nothing to base this on), but maybe the chicken is worthwhile. Has anyone been yet?

              1. re: Jason1

                I had one of the paninis at the new Noah's and while it wasn't bad I wouldn't go out of my way to try another one. I didn't see Korean chicken but that sounds interesting.

                On the other hand I gave Johnny's Bistro on Main Street in Old Town Ellicott City a try and found their char-grilled flank steak on ciabatta to be noteworthy. It's got very robust flavors and I especially liked the unusually strong charred flavor. The crab cake wasn't bad and they also have a line of tapas and pizzas that I haven't tried yet.

                There really aren't many choices in Old Town for a nice casual meal or sandwich and they're a definite step up from chains, though the sides need some work (the fries don't tatste as good as they look, and I guess I just don't like Williamsburg slaw). The creme brulee was decent.

          2. re: 2stepper

            Hve you tried the Cafe de Paris crepe cafe? I haven't made it there yet, and I was wondering what the offerings were like. It might be cheaper than the regular restaurant. I know when they had the sandwich deli there it was very good indeed.

            1. re: JonParker

              I have been to the crepe wing several times. It is very quick and reasonably priced. The crepes were very good (especially the smoked salmon), although on one occassion the fillings hadn't been heated enough.
              I would recommend.

          3. Another place that might work is Dimitri's about a mile into Baltimore County on the other side of the Patapsco. Looks like a dive from the outside, but it's pretty warm inside and on nice days they have patio dining with a nice view. Also, it's an "old Baltmore" place - you can get Sour Beef and Dumplings there.
            The food isn't fancy or trendy, but it's not bad either. A nice place for a casual meal.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dzoey

              "The food isn't fancy or trendy but it's not bad either" just about sums up Dmitri's. When I lived in the area it was a good option to have, and their french fries were some of the best I've ever had.

              Stick to beer from the bar though. I ordered a Tom Collins once and the waitress came back and said that the bartender didn't know how to make one. I got something else -- can't remember what -- and it was just awful.