Bowie, MD: Best Pie Company and Pomo Grille
I had two new and very good food experiences today in Bowie, MD: I picked up a pie that I had ordered from the Best Pie Company and then stopped in the Pomo Grille for lunch.
The Best Pie Company looks like a mostly one-man operation working out of a small place next to a 7-11, but, wow, what a great pie! The crust - which to me makes or brakes the pie - is spectacular! It is light and flaky, but yet it holds together without cracking or crumbling too much. The edges are not too thick or too thin - they are just right.
I had hoped to get a cherry pie, but was told on the phone that they didn't have any fresh cherries, so I guess some of the pies are seasonal. I opted for an apple pie, which came with a generous portion of what look like hand sliced apples. The filling is sweet for my tastes, but they offer a reduced sugar version, which I will get next time. There is a spice in there that I can't quite put my finger on.
I ordered my pie for 10 AM, then got delayed and picked it up at noon, and it was still cooling. The man at the counter, who I assume is the owner, packaged the pie with the lid open to allow it to continue to cool down. He said he makes his pies fresh each day - no day-old pies. Sadly, he only sells whole pies, so I wasn't able to taste any of the other flavors.
On the way home, I stopped for lunch at the Pomo Grille. It is located in the Freestate Mall complex of stores, facing onto Route 450. According to signs in the restaurant, it is part of a restaurant group that includes the 4 Seasons Grille in Crofton, Squisito in Annapolis, and Cafe Mezzanotte in Severna Park.
The restauran't signature is "Fresh - Casual - Italian," and that nicely summed up my meal and the experience. I had a lunch combo consisting of the house bistro salad and a half pizza. I chose the wild mushroom pizza, which had a nice crispy thin crust, mushrooms, a flavorful mozzarella cheese, and pesto sauce. The combination of flavors was wonderful, and it really did taste fresher than pizza I normally get. I had two leftover pieces that I shared at home with my husband; he too raved about the pizza and loved the addition of the pesto sauce.
The restaurant was pretty full, including a party of 20 whom I sat next to, but my meal came quickly. The restaurant has a bistro feel to it, with an exposed kitchen, but considering how much was going on, it thankfully did not have the awful din that drives me out of a restaurant.
When I visited the Pomo Grille for dinner a while ago, the hostess tried to seat me (with Mrs. Gee and two Junior Gees in tow) down the narrow wing across from the bar and next to the restrooms, despite the fact that the restaurant was more than half-empty at 5:30 pm on a weeknight.
We politely refused that location and were seated next to the hostess stand at the entryway. Had I not been with hungry children, I would have refused that table too.
I ordered the veal parmigiana - my signature test for any Italian restaurant worth its salt - while my wife ordered the angel hair pesto and my kids ordered the pizza and eggplant parmigiana. I did not try their dishes, but they were pleased and the pizza looked good. Veal parmigiana was only average and the side of pasta that it came with was not worthy of Chef Boyardee.
Prices were reasonable, atmosphere was bistro moderne, and service was fine.
I have not returned. I found Pomo Grille to be a disappointingly average addition to a subpar dining scene. When in Bowie, the Old Bowie Towne Grille is a better option.
This would be a reply to the whole hostess issue. I was a hostess for many years when I was a teenager and every restaurant ( especially when slow ) has to follow a "seating rotation." They have waitresses/waiters who depend on them to sit people in their designated sections so that they can make money. When a person comes in and demands a seat other than the one offered to them, they are throwing the whole rotation off and causing a chain reaction of complaints from other staff members. So please keep this in mind when you get an attitude with a 16 year old girl/boy just trying to do their job.
I say "hard cheese." The customer should be able to object to a table if there are many other options. If you put your staff's table rotation ahead of your customers desires, you will soon find that you have fewer customers which will leave the tipped staff even less happy, not to mention the owners. Asking for another table is hardly "getting an attitude."
Last month I had a full slab of ribs from KBQ and they were very good - the best ribs I've had in this area outside of Charles County.
Nice dry rub and a very pretty smoke ring. Smokey flavor and tender, but not the "peel off the bone" and sauce-dripping variety encountered in the local chains.
Sides of waffle-cut fries and slaw were very nice too.
A big thumbs up to the ribs at KBQ in Bowie, MD...