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Help! I'm Afraid Of The Suburbs!!!

I'll be moving from Washington DC to Sparks MD (just north of Baltimore) in a few months. I'm panicking. Please make me feel better. I'll be living up the street from the Wegman's on York Road. And I know of the cool little coffee shop called The Filling Station.

Let me put some things in perspective for you- Frankly, I think Fazzini's on Cranbrook Rd actually sucks. I know people think it's great, but the red sauce is horrible and the bread is ridiculously bad. Everything else is just 'eh.

I know the The Milton (yawn) Inn. I've had a couple drinks at the bar and some appetizers. I had fun because of the company. It is what it is. Pretty standard. Pretty old school. Some decently done things but a place I'd expect to run into my great aunt or my grandfather or be forced into some cheesy wedding shower situation.

Serpico works for me as far as regular old, take out pizza night. I'm not bowled over but it works.

Vito's in Cockeysville is offensive to me. Overpriced. Not that good. Also had a server who was so snide and condescending and impatient and obnoxious that it was actually comical in that setting. It feels like a glorified diner in there to me trying to be "high end."

Bagel Works is cool and the lunch counter at the Dutch Market makes great omelets.

I've had a couple decent Thai experiences in Towson/Baltimore? I don't remember exactly where and their names and same for Indian in those areas as well.

Please. I'm looking for places that will be in the Hunt Valley/Sparks area first and then I know there will be more/better choices in Towson, Baltimore, Fell's Point which I can just search the board for unless you have some burning hot point to make about something in those areas you think I should know about right out of the gate.

I love Mezza in Fell's Point and Stuggy's is cool. I'm happy to see Patango there also and the other small plates place next to Patango was also good. (not great, but good. I like Mezza better so far.) The newly reopened Laughing Oyster or whatever it's called right next to Jimmy's is supposed to be good. I ate a few bar things they were passing out for free one night that were tasty.

I read about Springfield Farms today on line and like the idea of buying some meats/poultry from them occasionally as a treat instead of just going to Wegman's all the time and would like to know if you have opinions on Farmer's Markets that are very close to Hunty Valley.

So please help a city girl out and don't let me panic.

Filling Station
13501 Falls Rd Ste 1, Cockeysville, MD 21030

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  1. I live out that way. We go into the city 2 or 3 times a week. We do like Greenleaf for sushi and you are very close. In a pinch we will go to Bluestone. Milton Inn has a bar menue and it is nice to sit at the bar . Cafe Troio is ok but you might as well go a little further and hit the city

    The Milton Inn
    14833 York Road, Sparks, MD 21152

    1 Reply
    1. re: sas

      Thanks, Sas. Sounds like I'm sorta screwed! Ha ha! I'll check outGreenleaf and I don't knowwhat Bluestone is. I agree about Milton Inn and don't know what Cafe Troio is so I'll look that up too.
      Thanks again.

      The Milton Inn
      14833 York Road, Sparks, MD 21152

    2. I work in the area, and the best thing around here is Andy Nelson's BBQ on York Road. Other than that there isn't much. I could however, give you a list of places to avoid.

      I agree with you about Fazzinis, although I found their sandwiches better than the pasta. I also agree about Vito's. That place is useless.

      1. I think you're gonna have to go a bit south from HV/Sparks.

        Andy Nelson's is good, so is Charcoal Deli (Cockeysville) for pit beef, turkey and ham sandwiches.

        For Thai, I like Thai One On in Towson.

        Pho can be had at the place next to the Recher Theatre in Towson.

        For Indian, Khatmandu Kitchen in Towson is my favorite IN THE AREA. Cafe Spice seems to be closed for renovations. (But I miss Mango Grove in Columbia!)

        Sandwiches and soup: Atwaters in Kennilworth.

        Dutch Market: killer pretzels and pretzel rolls

        Pizza is an intensely personal thing, but I like Pasta Mista (Timonium or Towson).

        Burgers: I'm not a huge burger-head, but Five Guys is fine with me (Cockeysville or Towson).

        The Tropical Grill in Cockeysville has great pupusas, paella, tamales, chicken stew, etc. (I believe their outside sign still says "Maria de Los Angeles")

        Bluestone in Timonium can be nice. I've liked their seafood stew.

        Milton Inn is a nice special occasion place. I had a great rack of lamb there a couple years ago.

        1 Reply
        1. re: placidothecat

          Yes to Andy Nelson's!

          Cafe Spice is my absolute favorite Indian. The owners actually went back home for a couple of months and will reopen sometime next month.

        2. I work at HV and it's pretty thin on the ground out at that end. However, all is not lost as there are some pretty good farm stands around there. If I remember right, there's a stand right by the Filling Station (or pretty close to it). Up Hereford way there should be some more. Last year Mingodale Farm off Mt. Carmel had pick your own berries and pre-picked produce and flowers at their property. Plus the fairgrounds is supposed to have farmer's market on Weds. 2-6.

          Filling Station
          13501 Falls Rd Ste 1, Cockeysville, MD 21030

          1. Mia Carolina in Glyndon isn't terriblt far and well worth the ride!!

            Mia Carolina
            4844 Butler Rd, Glyndon, MD 21071

            1. Definitely check out Springfield Farm. Great beef, poultry, eggs, etc. And you can get chicken backs, feet, beef bones and what not for stocks. They are only open Fri-Sun though.

              Pasta Blitz in Timonuim is my go-to place for pizza when I'm in the area. Pasta Mista is good, too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chowtimore

                Ditto on Springfield Farm. I love their meats, and their ground beef is like crack to me.

              2. Down the road from Springfield Farm is a terrific organic farm:


                1. Agreed on Andy Nelson's for BBQ...the best and we typically bring a small cooler of beer when we visit to wash down ribs. Captain Trey's on York Rd. in Cockeysville does good steamed crabs to order....dependable but pricey. Pasta Blitz in Timonium is OK for pizza but I prefer Pasta Mista in Towson better....but too far for pick-up from Sparks. My family likes the California Pizza reataurant in HV but not my cup of tea. The Christopher Daniel Steakhouse on Padonia Rd. is good high end and is a great place for sitting at the bar for drinks and apps.....better than my hated Oregon Grill and it's attitude. Bluestone is a little more casual and easy on the purse but for me lacks the wow factor...apps seem better than entrees. Lots of good sushi in area.....San Sushi on York Rd. in Cockeysville is my favorite and once again BYOB..yeah! Check out a place nearby you called Friendly Farms..family style and reliable for things like crab cakes and real fried chicken. SOme people like it, others do not ....but I spent many a Sunday lunch there with my entire family after church. Hope this gets you started.....

                  Pasta Mista
                  822 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson, MD 21204

                  Captain Treys
                  10625 York Rd, Cockeysville, MD 21030

                  Pasta Blitz
                  11550 Philadelphia Rd Ste 100, White Marsh, MD 21162

                  Christopher Daniel
                  106 W. Padonia Rd., Timonium, MD 21093

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jck

                    Thanks everyone. I'm excited about all the farms/farmer's markets.

                    1. re: jck

                      Ditto the thumbs down on Oregon Grill.

                    2. I have worked in the area for the past 20 years. Here are some observations.

                      Fazzini's - I agree overrated. Of course, I like my pasta al dente and am not big on fresh pasta.

                      Bluestone - A very nice bar for appetizers and drinks.

                      Andy Nelson's - great lunch fare. Their brisket and smoked catfish are good for dinner as well.

                      Soup R Natural - Just opened North of Mt Carmel Rd. Their soups are delicious and chock full of fresh vegetables. great lunch place. They now serve dinner, but the entrees were a bit salty to me.

                      Ocean Pride - Just north of 695 is probably the best bet in the area for dine in Crabs.

                      You not only have Wegman's, but there are 2 Graul's markets within several miles of you. Just be advised that the they are run by two different ownership groups so their specials are never the same.

                      Au potein stil (sp? - A great irish pub right across from the fairgrounds. Spectacular Irish stew when they have it.

                      Hope these ideas help a little. If you want to travel further, you can experience a lot of great places in the city. I am partial to Greek and also like the diner atmosphere a lot.

                      1. Close to you: Go to Bluestone on a Tuesday night, half price wine. Decent food. Get pit beef and pulled pork sandwiches at a place that looks like an old gas station on Falls Rd north of Padonia, used to be Shorty's but now it's his son's, Jake's, maybe? Tark's food is reliably good, not amazing, decent bar crowd on Thursdays. Maria's on York towards Timonium has good pizza, half price Sun & Mon.

                        A little further: From HV just get on 83 and go down to Hampden area for Woodberry Kitchen or Dogwood. Those are better bets. Best pizza is a further drive, continue down 83 to North Ave and hit JoeSquared.

                        Woodberry Kitchen
                        2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD