Barrett's On The Pike
Bel Air, MD
I have always wanted to see more eating establishments in Bel Air. Not so much fast food or family style franchise operations but good quality restaurants. Bel Air, doesn't need more auto parts stores or banks for crying out loud!. But the other day, Monday I went with a friend to the Barrett's on The Pike restaurant. I meant to go to this place but just been very busy. But at last, I had the opportunity. My buddy had gone to this place a couple of times and told me its pretty good. So, we went out of tall the days it was a Monday. Now for those that don't know, Monday going out to eat means, the restaurant is trying to get rid of what was remaining on the weekend. The food may not be the freshest and you can usually tell. I have to say when I walked in to the restaurant, the staff at the front desk was very hospitable and friendly. A great sign that shows they recognize patrons coming in and they appreciate it.
The dining room was decorated in a contemporary style very fitting for the atmosphere casual but not stuffy and a touch of class. Our waitress was friendly, informative and professional.
The menu was easy to read not cluttered yet very appealing to the palate.
I wanted to try the appetizer as I usually do. It's a sign of how the rest of the meal will be. I was curious about a certain appetizer, the Shrimp Gargot. Our waitress described the dish with excellence and clarity and she knew exactly all that was needed to describe this dish. In a nutshell it was shrimp placed in an escargot plate with butter and covered in cheese. it was excellent.
As usual I do try the soup. I decided to try the Crab and Roasted corn soup. The crab was lump crab meat and I have to believe the corn was actually roasted because some of the corn kernels had a small piece of the husk. That's fresh! The cream soup had a dsh of old bay and fresh sherry. It was marvelous.
I couldn't wait to get my entrée. it was the short ribs with a Mongolian barbeque sauce. topped with thin onion rings on top with a side of fresh coleslaw. Now, coleslaw is always a dead giveaway in terms of was the coleslaw made in advance or the same day. The coleslaw was made the same day. Crispy, crunchy, not too sweet and not to sour, just right. The short ribs came out and it was 2 nice size pieces of short rib. For me, it was a perfect portion. The short rib was braised perfectly, the meat flaked off with my fork but not totally, there was a slight tug of the meat but was perfect. Sometimes with short ribs, it can come totally over done and sometimes it comes way under done but at Barrett's it was perfect, the sauce wasn't overbearing.
To say that my Monday evening dinner was good, is an understatement. It was fabulous. There was the balance of great customer service, great hospitality and most important great food and atmosphere.
I only wish more of these type restaurants open up in Bel Air.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I rate Barrett's a 5+.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
-4 pmChinese New Year, January 25, 2020
The Year of the Rat!!!!!!
Are you born in the year of the Rat?
2020 is a year of the Rat, starting from January 25th, 2020 and lasting until February 11th, 2021. It will be a Gold Rat year.
If you were born in 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948... you are a Rat.
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.
Lucky things for Rats:
Chinese New Year is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. Observances traditionally take place.
Chop Stix Restaurant will be celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year there be a Lion Dance performing at the restaurant. There will be a 10 course banquet lunch for all Chef Woo Can viewers and the special menu will be under the Chinese New Year Celebration 2020 tab (upper left hand corner)
Perfect opportunity to introduce your children to the traditions of the Chinese New Year Celebration.
This is a very popular celebration, so don't delay in reserving table. The tables go pretty fast and sharing tables will be possible. Each table will accommodate 10 people.
Cost: $ 60 per person, Kids: $ 35/per person
Location: 1201 67th St, Rosedale, MD
Time: 12:30- 4 pm
BYOB: Wine and/or beer
Included: 10 course Banquet luncheon, Chinese Lion performance featuring 2 lions. (Click the Chinese New Year tab upper left corner for menu).
Any questions, feel free to email me. I will get back to you asap.
Jazz + Soju Korean Restaurant
Baltimore, MD (Near McHenry Row)
Sometimes I find restaurants in the weirdest locations that you never would expect to be there. Well, Jazz-Soju Korean restaurant is such place. Hidden at the ground level of an office building, the only way that you would know this is a Korean restaurant is someone told me about it. Once I Googled it, it showed its a Korean Restaurant.My friends and I went the other day during lunch. It wasn't busy but very clean and the waiter was very accommodating abd pleasant. The premises was very clean, the theme of the restaurant as stated in its name is Jazz, there's a way of vinyl records and jazz music is playing in the background. I didn't expect this at all. It appears their prize appetizer is Korean Fried Chicken wings. The had garlic flavor or spicy or a combo of both. The fried chicken is fried twice for extra crispiness. It was presented to us first because they would need to make it fresh and need t least 20 minutes notice.
Their luncheon special was Bulgogi, marinated beef with sesame, vegetables, rice and an egg on top.
For lunch thy offered various bowls and varieties of salad. Yes, they have the famous Korean Soju, but I was working. But, if you go there after work, try one, its very smooth and delicious.
The Bulgogi bowl was perfect. The marinated beef lived up to its reputation, the rice was perfect and the vegetables weren't overwhelming just to fill the bowl. It was equal proportions of meat to vegetable.
The Koren fried chicken wings, well, they were excellent. When wings are ever mentioned, its the actual wing that is deep fried no coating. But with their coating and twice fried and the sauce was just enough, not overbearing was excellent. The chicken was so moist and the coating was so crispy. The perfect combination.
So on the Chef Woo Can scale of 1-5 and 5 being excellent, I have to give this restaurant a "5". You gotta try it if you are near the Maryland Cruise are at McHenry Row.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Union Jack Restaurant
As everyone knows I love to try different restaurants and Union Jack was the place to go. It's located in Columbia and being familiar with the Columbia area I know they hve some very good restaurants.
Some of my friends were very familiar with Union Jacks and they all told me to try the Bangers and Marsh. Truly an English specialty. They raved about it and I figured with a name like Union Jack's, it must be delicious. Well, I am happy to report that their Bangers and Mash dish was excellent. Not only was the Bangars (English sausage) fresh and moist, seasoned perfectly but it was evident that the mash potatoes were made fresh with lumps of potato. Now, I am well aware that a lot of food manufacturers make mash potatoes but I know these marsh potatoes are the real deal.
The grilled onions were perfectly made along with the gravy that was light and tasty, not thick and heavy texture.
I reviewed the rest of the menu and although there was fish and chips shown, I noticed that instead of using cod, they use haddock. In my opinion, Union Jack is an English restaurant and they should serve their fish and chips with cod. It's worth it.
The rest of the menu had a variety of Maryland dishes and even Thai red curry over mussels. Interesting to say the least. While it was raining on the day we went, Union Jack's has an outdoor patio with a bar where you can sit and various tables all along the side of the restaurant.
The combination of great food, perfect atmosphere and professional service makes this restaurant to Mr. Woo a rating of "5", highly recommend this place. You won't be disappointed. Oh. on the scale of 1-5, 5 being excellent!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Timbuktu Seafood Restaurant
Just when I thought I had good seafood, I followed a tip to try Timbuktu in Hanover, MD. I've been told they have one of the best crab cakes in MD. I've become a crab cake fanatic!
Timbuktu is another legendary institution that has survived the good and bad times yet maintain their reputation through the years. When you mention Timbuktu, all fingers point to the one and only in Hanover, MD. Every place that I've been to I'm astounded by the way these institutions prepare their crab cakes. Some of the ingredients are pretty or slightly pronounced and others like Timbuktu have more mild seasoning but still pronounced. But they all include Jumbo Lump crab meat, chunks with very very little fillers. ALL JUMBO LUMP crabmeat!!!!!
I also was told they have great steaks so this is what I ordered. I have pictures of what I ordered and I will post it soon.
First I had to try the baked clams casino. I'm sure everyone at some time tried one. Usually they use clams that are the size of bigger than a little neck but smaller than a top neck clam. The ones I got was top neck size clams. The filling is most chopped up clams with bread crumbs, a little butter and white wine and minced onions and peppers and a slice of bacon. I'm used to bite size clams casino. Low and behold Timbuktu used the freakin whole clam with chunks of onion and peppers and a nice slice of bacon. Hot off the presses. They were spectacular!. If I go back I could just eat those delicious saavy clam casino. When I saw them I was salivating unconditionally. Yes, the whole clam that's baked might be a little chewy but where these days can you get a fresh clam and eat it whole, so as ironic as it may seem, it was a pleasure chewing on that deliciously fresh clam. Just fantastic!!!!!!!
I always order the Maryland cream of crab soup. Some mediocre put in a lot of cornstarch to thicken the soup and some make the cream of crab, so thick and some are kinda lumpy and it surely was the lump crab. At Timbuktu, their cream of crab was a silky, yet thick cup f soups with chunks of lump crab meat. Silky not thick or too thick in consistency. There was a hint of sherry wine. Where the hell are you going to get a silky consistency of cream of crab with chunks of lump crab meat with a tinge of sherry wine. YUM!
The main course, since I heard so much of the steak and crab cake I decided to get the surf and turf, One crab cake and a sirloin strip steam, medium. The steak came out medium and there was a nice salt flavor on the outside. Not overwhelming but just perfect.. The crab cake was perfect, every forkful was a huge piece of jumbo lump crab meat. Very little filling, seasoning was not overwhelming, it was the natural taste of the lump cab meat that came out.
And most important, the service was so professional, they were courteous, professional and times each course perfectly. Where do you get that these days. Either the waiter brings out all the dishes, WRONG and they all get cold waiting to be devoured or one dish at a time and they forget you while the food is sitting under a heat lamp drying out all the moisture.
Without a doubt Timbuktu was a great eating experience, the food, the atmosphere the service was first class and this was during the weeknight late.
On Chef Woo Can's overall rating scale I'm proud to give Timbuktu a 500+.
Good value, fresh seafood and just delicious. I definitely will be going back!!!!!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
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