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Looking for good chow stop along I95 on my way to DC

adamp83 Oct 31, 2008 07:46 AM

My fiancee and I are traveling from North Jersey to DC next Friday evening and I'm looking for a good stop along the way for dinner. Looking for something moderately-priced and local.

I've been reading good things about Frank's Diner in Jessup, MD. Any thoughts on Frank's? Any other recommendations?

  1. 2
    2stepper Nov 3, 2008 08:28 PM

    I'm not sure what you're looking for or how much time you have, but I would have some quite different recommendations. I don't care for either Samos or Frank's, whose food is of the heavy/hearty variety.

    MD-295 runs parallel to I-95 so depending on where you're going I think it's a viable alternative too.

    Speaking only of central Maryland moving from Baltimore toward DC, these places mostly run $10-$15 per person except as noted:

    - A little further east just off of MD 295 is Maiwand Kabob next to BWI airport. Take the Nursery Road exit going south and then turn right on Elkridge landing road. The lamb and chicken kabobs are excellent (as are the chow pan, or lamp chops), though really I like everything there.

    This location closes at 7 pm and runs out of things on Fridays because they close on weekends. The original location in Columbia is open till 10 pm and is much better stocked.

    - Going down I-95, take MD 100 west to Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, and two blocks south is Victoria Gastro Pub. They're slightly pricey and their entrees are just OK, but their small plates and appetizers are really good. I'd recommend the mussels ($11) and the poutine ($8).

    A couple of exits further west on 100 is Cafe de Paris for excellent French food. But they're not inexpensive unless you catch them for lunch or go to the crepe cafe.

    - Back on MD 295 again, many on this board have been recommending Grace Garden in Odenton for Chinese. Take MD 175 east to a really seedy strip mall across from Ft. Meade. The fish noodles are highly unusual and this family-run place far outclasses its location.

    - Over on I-95 once more, take MD-32 west and go to An Loi (see above) for Vietnamese grill. I also like Trattoria da Enrico on the south side of MD 32 in King's Contrivance for Italian, but it's probably not any better than what you can get in NJ. Bombay Grill is also nearby for Indian but it's good rather than great.

    - On 295, keep going south and then head east to KBQ BBQ in Bowie. This one's a little further off and the most straightforward way is to take MD 193 east from near the beltway past Goddard Space Center, maybe about 7-10 miles till you hit 450. But Google Maps will get you there. I think this is the best barbecue in the area.

    - Finally, back over on I-95, just after you cross the DC Beltway (495), follow the signs to College Park and take Rte 1 to the south side of University of MD, where Marathon Deli has a great gyros and fries special. No public bathrooms though so do a pit stop somewhere else first.

    (If you're coming from 295, take Kenilworth Ave to Paint Branch Parkway for the back way into College Park, then turn left on Rte 1 at the U of Md gates.)

    - Also relatively near the intersection of I-95 and the beltway in Silver Spring are Urban BBQ and Ray's the Classics. I haven't been to the latter yet but after having one of the best burgers I've ever had at Ray's Hell Burger this past weekend it's high on my list to try. I'm not sure what the prices are like (I don't think they're cheap) and there's no web site.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 2stepper
      2stepper Nov 5, 2008 11:05 PM

      Here are links to the places mentioned above:

      Marathon Deli
      4429 Lehigh Rd, College Park, MD 20740

      Ray's the Classics
      8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

      12500 Fairwood Parkway, Bowie, MD 20720

      Cafe De Paris
      8808 Centre Park Drive, Columbia, MD 21045

      Urban BBQ
      10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

      Trattoria E Pizzeria
      8630 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046

      An Loi
      7104 Minstrel Way Ste 9, Columbia, MD 21045

      Maiwand Kabob
      839 Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

      Victoria Gastro Pub
      8201 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia, MD 21045

      Grace Garden
      1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

      Bombay Peacock Grill
      10005 Old Columbia Rd Ste L260, Columbia, MD 21046

    2. e
      Ellen Nov 2, 2008 10:57 PM

      I like Woody's Crab House for Crab Cakes, cole slaw, fries, and local brews. It's about 5 minutes off of 95 in North East Maryland on Main Street. Very easy to find as its a straight shot from 95 going east into North East. There is also an oyster restaurante next door but I haven't tried it.

      1. h
        HowChowBlog Nov 2, 2008 02:25 PM

        Two other thoughts for the Jessup area if you take the east exit onto Rte 175 from I-95 and go a block to Rte 1. Try either El Patio Restaurant for empanadas and Argentine food (a block south on Rte 1 next to the El Patio market) or the Fortune Star Buffet for Chinese (just across Rte 1 in the shopping center on the right).

        If you can afford a few more minutes and want a quick meal in Howard County, I would also suggest either Indian vegetarian food at Mango Grove (which is off Rte 175 a few minutes west of I-95) or Vietnamese at An Loi (which a few turns off Rte 32 west of I-95)

        You'll find Chowhound posts on all these places. Or some links --

        Fortune Star: http://howchow.blogspot.com/search/label/Rest%20-%20Fortune%20Star%20Buffet
        El Patio: http://howchow.blogspot.com/2008/06/delicious-empanadas-at-el-patio-market.html
        An Loi: http://howchow.blogspot.com/search/label/Rest%20-%20An%20Loi%20Pho
        Mango Grive: http://howchow.blogspot.com/2008/05/m...

        An Loi
        7104 Minstrel Way Ste 9, Columbia, MD 21045

        Mango Grove
        6365 Dobbin Rd, Columbia, MD 21045

        El Patio
        7968 Washington Blvd, Jessup, MD 20794

        Fortune Star
        7361 Assateague Dr, Jessup, MD

        1. h
          Hue Nov 1, 2008 05:34 AM

          SAMOS is on Oldham Street in Baltimore about three minutes off of I-95
          (Just a mile or so before the Fort McHenry Tunnel) From I-95 south take the exit for Odonnell Street (west towards Canton) go past Ponca Street (1st light) over thr railroad tracks and make a lefyton Oldham Street. SAMOS is about 5 blocks on the left on the corner. Great Greek food and if the are crowded there are several other Greek Restaurants within a block or two , Ikaros, Acropolis, Zorbas all on Eastern Ave...

          1. c
            charmgirl Oct 31, 2008 03:16 PM

            both the Canton & Fells Point neighborhoods in Baltimore are right off of exit 57 (canton is closer, fells is under 10 min). this board is full of suggestions for those neighborhoods. a few suggestions:

            canton: mama's on the half shell
            fell's point: mezze (tapas), red star or koopers

            1. j
              jcwexler Oct 31, 2008 02:25 PM

              There is always Pat's, Geno's, Jim's or any of the other cheesesteak places in Philly. Will probably add 1 hour driving time on to your trip though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jcwexler
                MarcDC Oct 31, 2008 02:41 PM

                if you're gonna do that, do yourself a favor and forget those tourist traps and either head to John's Roast Pork or Tony Luke's

                1. re: MarcDC
                  adamp83 Oct 31, 2008 02:59 PM

                  Ha! I went to school in Trenton, NJ so I am very familiar with all of the great places in Philly (Pat's, Geno's John's and Tony Luke's...all very good). I was hoping for some place along the I95 corridor in more of the DE or MD areas.

              2. k
                katecm Oct 31, 2008 11:34 AM

                If you can veer a bit off-track to Wilmington, the Columbus Inn has an awesome snapper (turtle!) soup. It's more expensive than a diner will be, but still reasonable.

                1 Reply
                1. re: katecm
                  adamp83 Oct 31, 2008 03:00 PM

                  Anything else noteworthy besides the turtle soup?

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