Archive for the 'Sandwiches' Category

Rudy’s Mediterranean Grill & Bar

7185 Columbia Gateway Drive
Suite D
Columbia, MD 21046
410-290-2004 / 410-290-2010

Pros: Doner kebabs, seafood

Cons: Other dishes may need more flavoring

We have been longing for a good diner in Columbia, and we may have finally found one. I have to admit that it took us a few visits to really fall in love with this place. One thing this place suffers from is the standard Columbia curse: hard to find. You really have to hunt for this one, but we hope word of month will help them out.

We tried first some of the more standard and some not-so-standard diner dishes. The crabcakes, and stuffed mushrooms, and calamari were quite tasty, but sandwiches and wraps were thoroughly mediocre. A lot of the side dishes could use more flavoring; the table-side salt and pepper will be your friend for the lentil soup and breakfast potatoes.

The dishes that finally won us over, however, were the doner kebabs. For dinner, the Famous Iskender Kebab is pretty close to perfection. Think of it as an open-face gyro pita sandwich drenched in a tasty tomato sauce. The garlic yogurt helps balance out the peppers on the dish. The gyro, itself, is perfectly prepared, and the toasted pita adds a welcome crunchy texture.

The place does quite well with its seafood, such as the Crabcake Benedict and Fried Calamari, but the doner kebabs are what have my taste buds talking for days.
Rudy's Mediterranean Grill & Diner on Urbanspoon


Elevation Burger

Wheaton Mall
1160 Veirs Mill Road
Wheaton, MD 20902

(and several other locations)

Pros: very much the same feel as In-N-Out

Cons: not enough locations as In-N-Out

Ask just about any Californian, and he/she will tell you that the pinnacle of fast food burgers is In-N-Out. As a Californian transplanted here on the East Coast, I have longed to find something comparable. Whereas some East Coasters live and die by Five Guys, I actually feel overwhelmed by their burgers and fries. The lone FatBurger in Columbia, MD definitely comes close to that West Coast magic, yet they are rather limited in their burger toppings.

Enter Elevation Burger, which we found by way of Groupon. The Wheaton Mall Elevation Burger definitely feels like In-N-Out with a different color scheme. You get the added bonus that all ingredients are organic, and they boast an environmentally-friendly agenda, something that these two quasi-hippies definitely appreciate. And their toppings…you actually get a pretty wide array of toppings, probably a little bit more than your typical fast food place. You also have the opportunity of stacking your burgers with a customizable number of patties and slices of cheese (up to 10 each). So the In-N-Out’s double-double (aka Elevation Burger) is a standard menu option, and you can add on more, if you choose to. All in all, I still prefer the taste of the meat patties from FatBurger, but there’s not much to really complain about with Elevation Burger’s actual burgers; they are beautifully juicy and hand-rolled! The fries are very thinly and freshly cut. The olive oil base for the fries makes it wonderful for my wife who has peanut allergies (look a little more deeply, and you’d be surprised by how many places boast frying their fries in peanut oil).

I have not yet tried to find out if Elevation Burger has a secret menu much like In-N-Out’s not-so-secret menu. They definitely have the ingredients to simulate “Animal Style,” but they probably would look at me weird if I requested my fries such. Still, I would welcome readers to let me know if there is some comparable secret menu.

For this West Coaster transplanted to the East Coast, Elevation Burger is definitely approaching the feel that I grew up with, especially with an environmentally-friendly and organic kick.

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
Pros: Fresh and local, healthy, lots of vegetarian and vegan options
Cons: Long waits
If you are a student at George Washington University, this place needs to be on your list of local restaurants to frequent. So far we have only had the breakfast, but if that is any indication, the lunch and dinner options should be amazing!
This is located not too far from GW campus, and the location is perfect also for the local government and office workers. You can tell that this is likely a place where a lot of schmoozing happens, and with good reason! They offer a huge range of drink and dessert options for the casual eater. Likely because of this, be ready for long wait times. But don’t be too shy, because the wait time is definitely worth it.
If you are a fan of healthy and locally grown/harvested food, you will not be disappointed with this restaurant. They actually pride themselves on their green attitude and their mission towards local sustainability. You can taste the freshness in each dish too. If you come here from breakfast, one dish that absolutely MUST be on your order is one of their New Orleans-style Stuffed French Toast dishes. The brandy-creme that lies inside each french toast is painfully addictive. Fresh strawberries on top provide an excellent complement to the french toast. If you want to become delightfully overwhelmed with sweetness, try covering your french toast with bananas foster, and you will drift off into a blissful heaven. If you decide not to indulge in the french toast, another recommendation is the Fried Chicken, Eggs, & Waffles. This is a southern dish at heart. You’d be amazed how well fried chicken tenders, waffles, fresh maple syrup, and gravy go together!
We cannot wait to come back here to try lunch and dinner dishes. With the promise of freshly baked bread everyday and handmade pasta, it won’t be long before we get these into our mouths.

Bon Fresco

6945 Oakland Mills Rd
Columbia, MD 21045

Pros: Amazing bread, great prices!

Cons: Slightly hidden location

Yes, it has been a while since we’ve added anything to our list. We took a break and wanted to return with a place truly deserving to be on a best of list.

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? And what you will find here are some phenomenal sandwiches! The bread alone is worth the price admission! The bread is made fresh daily, and you can taste the freshness. We’ve made a few different visits here to try a breadth of different sandwiches and bread types. Even with flatbread, which I normally don’t expect much from is just amazing. Your sandwich will be packed with different ingredients, and feel free to ask to customize your sandwich a bit. Given how good the bread is, we really need to go back to try some of their baked desserts. They usually offer some sides along the lines of chips, lentil salad, and potato salad. The potato salad’s ingredients are very subtle, to the point that you would swear that you are simply eating freshly made mashed potatoes (which I actually loved).

Truthfully, in trying to come up with some cons for this little restaurant, I was hard pressed to find anything wrong with them. Their location is a little out of the way and hidden, but honestly, what isn’t hidden in Columbia? On a good spring day, Bon Fresco is the perfect place to pick up a couple sandwiches to take for a picnic.