Sunday, November 11, 2007

Exit 17: MD-122 (Security Blvd, to Woodlawn)

Exit 17 branches off into two distinct directions - towards Security Square Mall, and into Woodlawn. Since I knew of good places in either direction, I broke this up into two trips.

I don't really know Woodlawn side of Exit 17 as well as the Security Square Mall side. I do know that there is the big City View Bar & Grill (map), which seems to offer just about every generic item of American (and specifically Maryland) food there is. But I've never gone in. I almost did, however, until I caught a gander of a brand new Indo-Pakistani buffet across the street. Since I'm a sucker for South Asian food, I headed right, to the IndiClub.

A combination banquet hall and restaurant, IndiClub (map) - which looked emptier than it was, probably due to the size - serves foods from all over South Asia, with specific Southern Indian foods I had never before tried (and I've eaten a lot of Indian). Best was the uttapam, a savory pancake with leeks and other vegetables inside. A bit more sour was the idli (rice cake), though the texture was unusual and interesting. I didn't like that too much, but it wasn't awful, and everything else was quite good. I liked their sambar (a type of curry) quite a lot.

Other items in the buffet were a bit more familiar to me - two types of naan bread, chicken tandoori, various curries and vegetarian dishes, chutneys, basmati rice and the standard desserts (including a very satisfying gulab jamun). All of this came to a mere $8.95 (is that the set price for Indian buffets in Maryland? It seems like it). And, as I did, you can get the buffet as take-out, only in this case (as with most carry-out buffets) it is all-you-can-fit-into-one-styrofoam-container, instead of all-you-can-eat.

A few days - okay, a whole week - later (I've been busy, alright? Don't judge me!!!) I headed in the opposite direction. I could've headed towards Security Square Mall (map) again, but mall food is not typically on my radar (it's just not very good), though there is a restaurant or two I should probably explore, including Shaheen (another Indo-Pakistani place; mall map), and maybe the Cactus Willie's (mall map; I've talked to people that like the place, but I have never bothered to try it out). And of course, there is the Seoul Plaza (mall map), the City Paper's Best Ethnic Shopping Enclave of 2006, which has tons of goods for the Korean-American crowd. Nearby are some strip malls with other places to eat, one with a Panera Bread and a deli, still another up Rolling Road with a halal market and deli, next to the Salvation Army.

I, however, headed up Dogwood Road for some restaurants I had seen before and wanted to try out. Two on my list (map for both): Buon Giorno (traditional Italian food) and Lake Trout (traditional, well, lake trout, with various Southern and soul food accoutrements, even though lake trout itself is typically found farther north). I opted for the latter, and headed in for some lake trout.

A report some years ago in the City Paper mentions what good lake trout should be like: fried on the spot, with two pieces of white bread, as few bones as possible, etc. and so forth. At this Lake Trout, which is apparently the third location in what is now a local chain, they did indeed fry it up on the spot. For the price, I got a good bit of food - $6 or so bought me two pieces of trout (they also offer whiting), with two sides (I went for the greens and cornbread), plus a 24-oz Diet Pepsi for which I paid extra. I got it back to work and started in on it.

In retrospect, looking at the criteria for great lake trout, this didn't really fit the bill. Every other bite - I am not exaggerating, every other bite - had lots of little bones and often some bigger bones. Maybe my idea of "as few bones as possible" is different from most lake trout aficionados, but by most standards, it had a lot of bones. For the amount of work I spent picking bones out of my fish (and spitting them out of my mouth), I had relatively little fish. There was no way I could expect to eat this on the bread they gave me. Well, that is what the cornbread was for anyway, but it was small, dense and sweet, kind of like a cornbread brownie (a cornie?) than anything else. The one real bright spot was the greens, which were butterier than I normally expect greens to be, but quite tasty anyway.

I don't know. Maybe next time I'll just head back on over to the IndiClub.

Places I visited:

IndiClub (Indian / South Indian / Pakistani) - 1660 Whitehead Ct., Woodlawn, MD 21207; Phone: (410) 594-9600

  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Sure would
Lake Trout (lake trout / seafood) - 6860 Dogwood Rd, Woodlawn, MD 21207; Phone: (410) 265-0122
  • Would I eat there again? Maybe to try the whiting
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Um, no
Places to look up later:

Buon Giorno (Italian) - 6860 Dogwood Rd, Woodlawn, MD 21207; Phone: (410) 298-7781

Cactus Willie's Buffet and Bakery (American) - located in Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21244; Phone: (410) 265-1205

City View Bar and Grill (American / Maryland) -6700 Security Boulevard, Woodlawn, MD 21207; Phone: (410) 944-4013

Seoul Plaza (Korean market) - located in Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21244

Shaheen (Indian / Pakistani) - located in Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21244; Phone: (410) 265-6666

* Exit 17 sign adapted from


Fairfax said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You went to all of the wrong places. You should have gone to the Salsa Grill across from Fox on Security. It's a Peruvian place with amazing food.

John said...

Hey, I'm not perfect! Is it in that Panera Bread complex?

Fairfax said...

No... When you come off the beltway, take the right exit to security blvd... away from the mall. go down past the first light and look to the left... there's a cheezy shopping center there.. it's just beyond the city view. directly across from fox chevy.

K8teebug said...

Shaheen is one of my favorite places to go for lunch. Just be aware that their buffet is more expensive on Friday, because they have more offerings. I love it there.

John said...

K8: So, more stuff or more money in my pocket? I don't know. But I'm always looking for new and interesting South Asian places, so I'll head for Shaheen next time I want something Indian. Thanks!

DAS said...

Just tried IndiClub based on your comments, and it was a winner: better than average Indian food at the same prices as everyone else. A friend and I went for dinner and everything was a little lighter, a little more complex in its spicing, etc. than, say, Indian Delight on Frederick Road or Akbar. We were the only people there on a Thursday night until one other group of three walked in.

John said...

I'm glad to find out I could help! It worries me that there are so few people there. Not enough folks know about this place! Here's to gettin' the word out...

Lobbelou said...

I work in this area so have eaten at many of the restaurants around here. You definitely should have gone to buon giorno instead of lake trout. Buon Giorno is my favorite pizza place in either baltimore or dc. it is definitely worth a trip back. I eat here at least 1-2 times a week and never ever get tired of it. Also Salsa Grill is very good. There is also a great pub called Monaghan's pub, 2121 Gwynn Oak Ave. Do not go to Cactus Willie's, it is disgusting. Basically the same thing as old country buffet. Shahi Grill is good, 1729 woodlawn dr., lastly, Peju's Kitchen Restaurant and Lounge 1724 Woodlawn Dr. (same shopping center as Shahi grill).

elovinglife said...

I agree with the person that commented about Buon Giorno. The pizza is excellent and so are the other food items.