Restaurant Review: Ale House Columbia

Last week a friend and I finally had the time to grab lunch at the new Ale House Columbia. We arrived around 1PM and were pleasantly surprised there was not wait, although as expected the parking lot was insane! There really isn’t enough space for everyone, and I am sure at night this is a problem. We got lucky because someone was pulling out so we took the spot and didn’t have to walk very far on the chilly day.

We were seated and attended to pretty quick, although the person taking our drink order would not ultimately be our server. We then heard about the daily specials and took some time to look through the menu. I must say it’s pretty extensive! I really can’t wait to go back and try more options. I had a really hard time deciding on what to get, but in the end was pretty happy with my choice. Our server was very attentive, never letting our glasses go too low and constantly checking to see if everything tasted good. We also had a visit from a member of the management team (my guess the social media person) because I tweeted that I was having lunch there.

I started with the French Onion Soup, which uses the 3Lions Ale and Sherry to make the broth! Wow the flavor was phenomenal! I could taste the sherry, but it wasn’t over powering. It was topped with a toasted crouton, swiss cheese and onion straws (a nice added touch). It was really warm and gooey, the perfect thing for a cold December day.

Photo Dec 28, 12 52 07 PM

Next up was the main course. I had a really hard time deciding, but ultimately chose something a bit lighter since I had the soup and went with the  Grilled Salmon BLT (minus the T, I don’t love tomatoes on my sandwiches). The sandwich was served with seasoned fries. To be honest the fries were just ok, they were lightly seasoned with pepper and sea salt so nothing too exciting. I did like how they are skin on potatoes. The salmon was cooked well, the perfect amount of flakiness for the fish. I liked the maple smoked  bacon, but felt the fresh herbed aioli was a little too much. If I got the sandwich again I would likely as for the aioli on the side so I can control the amount.  I typically have half the sandwich as is then take a part the second half, which is exactly what I did.

Photo Dec 28, 1 07 13 PM

Out of 5 stars I definitely give it an overall 4 for now…and I look forward to going back to try some of the extensive libations they offer and some more of the food that sounded so tasty. I am particularly looking forward to the braised short ribs and fish tacos.

Did you try any new restaurants recently? How was it? Should I go too?

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Summer Lovin!

Summer Lovin’ had me a blast – Summer Lovin’, happened so fast…Ahh how I love summer! It has been an amazing few days and I feel so lucky to live the life I have. Let’s do a quick recap then feel free to share your summer fun.

Thursday night I headed to the Green Turtle to listen to one of my favorite local cover bands The Project. You should check them out, the next show is Thursday at Clyde’s in Columbia. They are an acoustic group of guys (Bob, Eric & Jason) that play all the hits you love to sing along too…just what I love about live music. They even ask for audience participation.

Friday…well I worked, which wasn’t bad, but after that the fun began. Visited with a dear friend and her adorable baby…I cannot get enough of this kid! She has to be one of the best babies I have ever met…and I really don’t like babies. Yes I know, weird, but they aren’t too interactive. Except for this one. She is super active, smiles, laughs is already trying to stand up (and she’s only 5 months old) and she is just generally AWESOME! Here’s a quick look at the cutie!

Saturday’s plans were some what delayed by bad weather…it rained almost all day. We had grand plans to head into DC early, enjoy the sites and walk around but that didn’t happen. But a friend and I braved the elements (maybe I melt in the rain, ok no I don’t but my hair frizzes) and headed down to DC to get our culture groove on. We went to the Capital Fringe Festivalto see Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue presenting The Brontes. It was a great show, it made me laugh, it made me want to sing, they had me clapping along…totally recommend it (although there is only one show left). We topped the evening off with my favorite fro yo Yogi Castle!

And finally we had Sunday Funday! I did a living social deal for the day of fun. It was crabs, hamburgers, salads, beer, wine, and more for 4 hours….and live music by Millennium at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club just over the Bay Bridge. It was a fun day…despite the lack of sun.

Here was our view (yes that’s the Bay Bridge):

Sadly I don’t swim in the bay…and it had lots of jelly fish, but I did touch sand…so success and closer to my goal of 5 times this year!  I know I can get at least 4 so I need to figure out how to get my 5th time.

So what did your weekend hold?

 

 

 

Wegman’s craziness!

It’s open, it’s official, Wegman’s in Columbia is open! I was part of the excitement when the doors opened at 7AM today. Yes I was/am one of those. I actually expected it to be a lot worse but when I got there at 6:20 there were probably only a couple of hundred people in line. I was surrounded by some very nice people as I waited with my Starbucks coffee.

Here’s are some pics from the waiting game:

the line in front of me

cars still coming in just before 7…can you see the Howard County Police controlling traffic?

As we started walking in only a few people got upset. Why you may ask? Sadly as we all waited in the line to get in a bunch of others found another door they opened and were bypassing the line to get in that door. Let’s just say it didn’t make some people happy, which I totally understand, but it wasn’t like they were giving away free laptops. Once inside I was greeted by lots and lots of smiling employees. I also saw Ken Ulman (our Howard County Executive) and he said hello. I continued through to the baking section knowing my first stop was some pretzel rolls.  I also figured why not try a bagel, but didn’t expect them to be that good…here’s an everything bagel I had for breakfast once I came home!

It was delish! Just like I was home in NY having a local bagel, almost as good. Although a little softer than typical NY bagels. I was happy that I found a new replacement though since I don’t make it up to NY nearly as often as I should.

Next up was some fresh produce. I almost bought some cheese too, but decided to hold off for now. I did snap a quick picture though.

Would you like a potato too?It was a great opening day shopping experience and really liked how calm and friendly everyone was. I was helped by 3 employees without even really trying. It was also a breeze to check out, perhaps because I only actually spent 30 minutes looking around. I figured it was not the best day to do real grocery shopping. I didn’t want to walk through with a cart because it was too crowded for that and I like to be able to jet up and down the lanes. The only area that was really busy was the produce and prepared food sections.

I loved the store mainly because it was so pretty and shiny! But really I will love it for the convenience once the crowds settle down. I love the idea of picking up some fresh prepared food on my way home, or sitting out on their patio to have a lunch on the weekend.
What do you love about Wegman’s? What are you excited about?

I know where I was on 9/11/01

My guess is you (if you are old enough) remember too. It’s similiar to how previous generations remember where they were on the day Kennedy was shot or when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I don’t need to watch all of the memorials because there really isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for happenstance.

  • I am grateful that my dad moved his office uptown and was no longer in 7 World Trade, as he was for some many years.
  • I am grateful that my uncle a member of NYPD didn’t end up in Manhattan that day.
  • I am grateful my best friend (working at the capital) wasn’t hurt by the terrorists from Flight 93.
  • I am grateful that MY FRIENDS from NY made it out of the towers that day.

But then I am sad for the blonde young man, who just got married and I had known since I was a small child because he didn’t make it out of the towers. I am sad for the firefighter I knew that perished trying to save others. I am sad for the countless others that made the ultimate sacrifice racing into the Towers and the Pentagon but didn’t make it out. I am sad for the employees, visitors, and onlookers that didn’t get out in time. I am sad for the troops we have lost fighting for our freedom and I pray for the safe return of all those still fighting for our freedom.

We not only can never forget those that are gone, but we need to remember those that are still here. We need to remember to love and be kind to those around us. We don’t know how long each of us has on this great earth!

Take a minute to say a prayer, hold a door, say thank you or just smile. Slow down and appreciate all that life has to offer, don’t over analyze every situation wondering what the future holds, because we only have the present to live the future is a gift that we may not get to open.

Go out today and hug a loved one,
send a message showing you care, make a plan to honor someone you love!

crazy 24 hours in Howard County

First a hurricane, now apparently there is a hostage situation down the block from me! Roads are closed, heard an explosion. I am trying to be calm and stay inside, but every ounce of me wants to go see some action! They have started the noise again, we had a brief break for about 10-15 minutes. I wonder how long this is going to last! Apparently it’s been over 3 hours already, personally I think it’s been even longer than that!

I have already been out once earlier this AM to see any damage, tress down and such. Things look pretty good. It was amusing to see the snow plow out to move debris out of the roadway.

Do you have any news? How did you area deal with the storm?