February 13, 2010

Nordstrom Cafe

I was recently in Columbia, Maryland for a 2 part seminar. I'm not a big fan of Columbia, Maryland. It's a planned community and everything is hidden so that you can't find it. Then they import traffic so that while you're looking for things that you can't find there are hundreds of cars there to cut you off and distract you. It's a well-planned conspiracy.

Fortunately, my seminar was being held at hotel right across the street from The Mall in Columbia. If worse came to worse I could always eat at the Chick-fil-a in the eatery. However, when I got to the mall I remembered that the Nordstrom's had a cafe that's really good. So I stopped there.

Packed full of stay-at-home mom's and ladies' groups, I think I was the only male patron in the restaurant. Being outnumbered in that respect is usually not a bad thing. The gaggle of side-cheek kissing women in front of me let me go ahead of them, so I graciously accepted there pass and ordered the Italian Ciabatta and a drink. I figured it would be quick and easy.

I paid for my meal, quick and easy, and headed to a small table and broke out my book, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin (but that's a different blog). I wasn't there but a couple of minutes when a splendidly nice hostess (?) came by and asked if I needed anything before my meal was served.

Within a few more minutes my Ciabatta was served and let me tell you it was good! The bread so crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. The meats and cheese were fresh and delicious and a bit spicy, as they should be.

It was a perfectly tasting meal for a lunch break. At about $12, it was a little more than I would have spent on a chicken sandwich at the eatery, but let me tell you it was well worth the price. Additionally, the hostess (what is her official title???) approached me several times to make sure everything was okay. At the end of my meal she took my plate and gave me 2 of those delicious chocolate mint sticks. So yummy! I'd go there just for the chocolate mint sticks!

So if you are ever in the Columbia, Maryland area for lunch, check out the Nordstrom Cafe. Located right next to the women's lingerie section (hubba-hubba), it's the perfect place to get a great tasting meal and watch gaggles of women.

Asian Kitchen

9351 Lakeside Boulevard
Owings Mills, MD 21117-5063
(443) 394-2650

Located in the Brookside Center in Owings Mills off of Lakeside Boulevard, this is easily my favorite Asian restaurant in the world. Not only is the food fantastic, the prices are cheap. This is a common place for coworkers to meet for cheap good eats.

I recently went there with 7 coworkers. I like to try different entrees every time I eat there. But I ALWAYS get the Hot and Sour soup. This time I ordered the Hunan Chicken.

As always, the meals are quickly served. It's like they know what we want and have it ready for us. I understand that they probably have most of it premade. but when it's served it's always nice and hot and the portions are bountiful!!!

I was first served my cup (more like a bowl) of Hot and Sour soup. Easily the BEST Hot & Sour soup I've ever had. It's filled with hearty portions of mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots. And it's spicy. Not so spicy that you can't eat it, but just right!!!

Our meals arrived soon after the soups. The Hunan Chicken was piled high. And it was so tasty. Spicy and tasty. And good. And spicy. And tasty!!! There was no way I was going to be able to eat all of it. Julianne-style strips of chicken, mushrooms, and carrots were piled atop a mound of fried rice. Additionally, a fat hot and juicy spring roll was served on the side.

I could only finish half of my meal, which is fine with my wife since I bring it home for her to finish. Everyone at our table loved our meal. I think my portion came to about $6. How can you beat that for a fantastic meal?

So the next time you're in the Owings Mills area for lunch, stop by the Asian Kitchen. You will not be disappointed.