I had stuff to get done for work today, so I didn't feel like traveling around that much. I did get lots of junk, stopping for some CDs at the office supplies store and one or two donuts from Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts. It's for a project I'm doing (stay tuned). Feeling hungry for something a bit more sustaining than donuts, I headed down I-95, looking for something to eat.
Taking the inner loop (going from Exit 10 to 11), the first exit off I-95 South takes you to Sulphur Spring Road, back to Arbutus. The next Beltway post I do will take me back to Arbutus anyway, so why not go somewhere else? Just my luck: taking the outer loop (going from Exit 12 to 11), the first exit off I-95 South is Interstate 195. This takes you in one of two directions: MD-166, which leads to the local colleges, UMBC and CCBC's Catonsville Campus; and I-195 toward I-95, MD-295 and US-1. I veered left, and went the latter route.
The first exit puts you back on 95, so I took the next one, which heads into Elkridge. As you enter Howard County you pass by Patapsco State Park, the Thomas Viaduct, Old Washington Blvd and the site of what was once a drive-in, now a future site for condos (let's see how fast those sell in this market). Most of the eats here are the typical fast food chains: Burger King, McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Subway, Quizno's, Blimpie... Lots of subs, now that I think about it.
There is also a fairly new Chinese restaurant by the Super Fresh. The Chopstixx Café (map) has been there long enough for me to just never get around to stopping in despite several opportunities. Despite my past bad luck with strip mall Chinese I decided to go for it.
Just reading the menus in the window told me this was not your typical Chinese place. Many Chinese restaurants in the area are starting to offer additional things on their menus: dim sum, sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, even Korean. This place had a few of those, and something else I haven't seen yet: their special Street Meals selection. This special menu offers, as dine-in or take-out, "street vendor food" or gaai bin dong. They insist it's so good you'll want to eat it standing up! It's supposed to be snack-sized. These dishes are not snack-size, either in price or volume, but promising: Cantonese shrimp ($10), hot and crispy shrimp ($12), Szechuan ma po tofu ($8), Malaysian red curry ($7), etc. I got this last one, the Malaysian red curry, with big shrimp, red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and lots of string beans in a red curry sauce with lots of rice. With this came an 8-oz cup of milk tea, free of charge.
The one funny thing about Chopstixx: they gave me no chopsticks! Anyway...
So I got it home and hunkered down into my Malaysian red curry. Not bad. In fact it was pretty good. A little spicy but not horribly so. The green beans and onion slices were crisp and long, the tomatoes juicy, and the shrimp were juicy, a bit strong but that's a plus in my book - isn't shrimp supposed to taste like shrimp? And the milk tea was mellow and sweet. Ahem, I need to get some exercise in after this.
My one complaint was the overabundance of rice. So much rice! I was too full to finish it but I had to discard the rest, knowing full well that I wouldn't go back later just to eat warmed-over white rice with some veggies thrown in. Not a big complaint, but it's not a place where you can really save the rest for later.
Places I visited:
Chopstixx Café (Chinese / pan-Asian) - 7260 D Montgomery Rd, Elkridge, MD 21075; Phone: (410) 379-5566
- Would I eat there again? Yes
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Sure!