Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Exit 5 - MD-648 - Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd (to Ferndale)

I finally made it into Ferndale today, and I tried to find Willy's, which I saw along the road the other day. Too far from the exit, but turning left (from the inner loop) I ran across the Burwood Village Center, a shopping center that used to have a Metro Food Market. It's now a Food Lion. It also used to have a favorite Chinese restaurant of mine from when I was younger. There's another Chinese restaurant in it's place, too.

The shopping center at the corner of B&A Blvd and Furnace Branch Rd. has a few eateries. There's Burwood Deli (map) with subs, sandwiches, even chicken-fried steak. I wasn't in the mood for this today, so I walked to the other end to find Italia's Corner Café (no map - it's the same as for the deli, so why bother?). Italia's is right next to a Curves - a pairing of businesses that is either absolutely idiotic or positively brilliant - and it looks like a good lunch place. It has a buffet, something I rarely see in "ethnic" restaurants, other than the Indian or Chinese ones. And it's a bargain for only $9. But it ends at 2, and I got there a few hours too late. Perusing the menu told me to wait another day, when I could come for the buffet.

I did hit a buffet that day, in the same shopping center. It was the Beijing Buffet (again, see the deli for a map). I don't know if Italia's has a carry-out option for their buffet, but Beijing does. Before 3:30 the buffet is only $6.50; afterwards it's $9.50. Getting there late, I forked over the $9.50 and grabbed my styrofoam carry-out box and plastic lidded carry-out bowl. I hoped I could avoid a repeat of the bad food I had last week, and almost had at Hong Kong Restaurant.

Beijing has two things aplenty: variety and flies. Had I seen all the flies before I paid, I would've turned heel and went back to the deli. But I was stuck. Thankfully, I could just nuke it in the microwave at home. But I didn't want to touch the roast beef brisket / fly landing pad.

There were several types of food there. The Chinese was more or less standard buffet fare - egg foo yung (didn't try it), General Tso's chicken (again, good), fried shrimp (doable), stir fried veggies, shrimp and whatnot (tried none of them). There were also some more decadent items - Beijing (Peking) duck (bony, as is all duck, but good), crab rangoon (fattening and tasty), dim sum (yum), teriyaki chicken (didn't try it) and sesame balls (like little sesame rice flour balls - tasty). The sushi bar next to this section had nobody in it, but I try to avoid buffet sushi anyway (pace O-nami).

Then there were the salad items. I religiously avoided these.

Finally there were the non-Asian items: roast beef (too many flies for me), steamed crabs (huh?), macaroni and cheese (again, huh?), etc. Beijing Buffet is not lacking in variety. And I must admit, as far as buffet food goes, theirs was better than most.

But I still wasn't taking any chances. I nuked the hell out of it when I got it home. One full shrimp with the head still attached was a little difficult to get apart, but not tough. My cat enjoyed the tail - goofy cat, I didn't think he'd actually eat the tail, just eat around it.

Oh, and I didn't get sick this time. I guess 2 minutes on high in the microwave kills any fly residue well enough for me.

Places I visited:

Beijing Buffet (Chinese/American/Japanese) - 7089 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Suite A, Glen Burnie, MD 21061; Phone: (410) 691-2221

  • Would I eat there again? Sure, but only take-out
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Probably not - again, the flies are, um, unsettling
Places to look up later:

Burwood Deli (deli / American) -
7075 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Glen Burnie, MD; Phone: (410) 684-3757

Italia's Corner Café (Italian) - 7089 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Suite F, Glen Burnie, MD; Phone: (410) 684-3817