I am somewhat familiar with the Golden Ring exit. I sometimes work off this exit and my brother-in-law's family has spent many a night at Franklin Square. Plus, it's conveniently close to Route 40 (see the next two weeks' installments off of Exit 35), Eastern Avenue (see Exits 33, last week, AND 36, sometime around the end of the month), and Martin State Airport. Close to everything in and around Essex, Middle River, Chase and Rosedale.
Regardless of which direction you come from, inner or outer loop, the exit empties out onto the Centre at Golden Ring (map), site of the former Golden Ring Mall. It's not only a convenient way to get to Home Depot and - GASP! - the evil Wal-Mart, but an even more convenient way to avoid all the lights along Rossville Blvd between Philadelphia Road - MD-7 - and Pulaski Highway - US-40. Whatever I write from it I will save for next post, since most of the eating options are on the Pulaski Road side of the Centre.
Cutting through this shopping area to get between MD-7 and Route 40 is good advice, since the area surrounding "the Centre" seems to be cursed. Based on my experience sitting in traffic it is hands down the most accident-prone area I have ever seen. In just one day I saw three accidents, two at Rossville and Pulaski, the other at Phila. Road going into the Centre. This las one I saw as it happened right in front of me. Some numbskull ran the red light and cut off three lanes of traffic in the other direction, allowing two cars who had the right-of-way to crash into him despite their slamming on their brakes. If you have to get to CCBC or Franklin Square, good luck. Lately, to get to CCBC's Essex Campus I just avoid this exit altogether and take Bel Air Road. It's just not worth the aggravation.
I still headed up Philadelphia Road toward Rossville Blvd, CCBC and Franklin Square. And I was surprised at how many of the businesses were just totally shuttered. One of the few that isn't is the Kasai Seafood and Steakhouse (map), a sushi and hibachi grill near the Giant that claims to have "just opened", even though it's been open for at least a year. Continuing down Phila. Rd. you smell the promise of pit beef at Ross Village! Or maybe that's just your imagination, since both Kombert's Pit Beef & Seafood and Vinny's, which I think was a sub place, are both now closed. As in forever. To wit, Kombert's today:
The only dining option left? The Subway.
Not to despair, because there are other things to eat across and down the street. I've written about Yia Yia's before. Binkert's Sausages and Lunchmeats (map) is a German deli that I had meant to explore earlier. It's a small place with a dizzying array of lunchmeats and wursts. I got a pound (package of four) of their weisswurst (white veal sausage), which they made themselves and which I will eat soon**. Almost everything seems to be $4.60 per lb, and everything is sold by the pound (no 1/4 pounds here). I will return as soon as I can for more. By the way, conveniently located next door is a shaved ice place that also operates a snowball stand.
Across the street is the Delli's Bar and Grill (map). Not "deli" and not "Delhi" but "Delli's", and it serves both standard American food and popular new additions to the American menu - Maryland crab, quesadillas, Buffalo wings, burgers, Reubens, meatloaf, etc., etc. I rarely can figure out what I want but the waitress, who was very helpful, mentioned a great-sounding French dip sandwich with provolone on it ($9) with fries AND slaw AND horseradish. I got an iced tea ($2.50) to go with. What shocked me the most was the turn-around time: just five minutes of waiting and it was right in front of me.
The French dip was tasty, if a little soggy on the bottom. And they gave me a big bowl of au jus to dip it in. The meat was moist and the provolone only added to it. The fries were tasty, and I ate many of them, but not as good as some I've had lately. The one thing I did not enjoy was the pickle, which was a little warm for my taste. Total cost with tax = $12.50, left $15. IN short, the service was FAST, and friendly. One small downside: the flies trying to get out of my window. They were few but mildly annoying. Still, don't let that be a deterrant.
I originally did not even think of going the other way, into Rosedale, but it dawned on me later that I may find a few more dining options that way, and I did! Just a few of them:
- The Spartan Pizzeria (map), off Golden Ring Road. This is one of a few Spartans in the area, with other locations in Canton and Essex (if they are indeed all the same corporation). It's next to the All Nations International Market.
- Pastore's Italian Deli (map), which was closed when I got there. It looks bigger than the German deli down the street. I have to stop in here, too, as I'm always looking for a good Italian market, and Little Italy is so difficult to park in! A pizzeria is also next to this market, and a Chinese take-out is next to it.
- There are not one but two Mexican restaurants in this area. I had to choose between the Burritos California Mexican Grill (map) and the Fiesta Mexicana Fast Food (map), across the street from a chocolate shop. BC Mexican Grill is sandwiched between a Philadelphia Pizza and Subs - there seems to be one off every other exit - and, quite cruelly I might add, a Curves. Maybe they're familiar with America Ferrera's earlier work?
I ate the pambazo at home. My God, I never thought I would need to describe a sandwich roll as tender but it was so nice and tender, soft but hardly soggy. The flavors are all very mild, both in terms of heat and subtlety. The potatoes really catch you off guard - who expects potato on a sandwich? It's a carbalicious South Beach nightmare, but very tasty and very worth it. I ate only half of it, plus not much of the guacamole - so much of it! - and shelved the rest for later. As an aside, the owners hoped I would come by again, which I said I probably would (they also asked how I heard about them - "Just driving by"). After eating this pambazo, I am coming back, ¡es cierto!
** By the way, here's a fun video showing the correct way to cook and eat a Bavarian weisswurst. No forks - I never would have known!
Places I visited
Binkert's Sausages and Lunchmeats (deli / market - German) - 8805 Philadephia Road, Rosedale, MD 21237; Phone: (410) 687-5959
- Would I shop there again? Ja!
- Would I go out of my way to shop there again? Again, yes. There's just too much there to try at once.
- Would I eat there again? Yes
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Eh, mmmmaybe
- Would I eat there again? ¡Sí!
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Otra vez, ¡Sí, es cierto!
Burritos California Mexican Grill (Mexican) - 8224 Philadelphia Rd, Rosedale, MD; I have searched in vain for their phone number. Can somebody help me out?
Kasai Seafood and Steakhouse (Japanese / sushi / hibachi) - 8645 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, MD 21237; Phone: (410) 780-7778
Pastore's (deli / market / bakery - Italian) - 8442 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, MD 21237; Phone: (410) 686-1884
Spartan Pizzeria (pizza) - 6401 Kenwood Avenue, Rosedale, MD 21237; Phone: (410) 866-6061