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Looking for Best Restaurants in the Columbia (Maryland) area

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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 01:59 PM
Original message
Looking for Best Restaurants in the Columbia (Maryland) area
Edited on Wed Dec-22-04 02:09 PM by madinmaryland
I've been here about six months and looking beyond the standard chain type restaurants. Open to recommendations of any kind.

On Edit: Maryland
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Goathead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. South Carolina os South America?
:shrug:
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DebJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My guess is my old 'home town' of twenty years, in Maryland
Right?
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Maryland
I guess that's why i have the maryland avatar and am "madinmaryland" /snark off
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Goathead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Where the heck is Columbia, MD?
My sister lives in D.C. and I have never heard of it.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Its halfway between DC and Baltimore
Its between I95&RT29 and between Rts 32 & 175

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/refreshmap.adp?z=6&rand=31...
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Columbia is Not a Good Place to Look Beyond
the standard chain restaurants. You're almost better off driving to downtown Baltimore -- it's not that far away, and there's a much better selection.

One place that's a lot of fun is Blob's Park, right near I-295 and Rt. 175. It's a big Polka hall which also serves beer, bratwurst, and weinerschnitzel.

If you're into crabs, there are lots of good crab houses around, such as Buddy's in Laurel. The best is probably O'Brycki's just past the Inner Harbor on Pratt St. But dives are everywhere.

Lots of good ethnic food. Indian restaurants have gotten much more authentic because of the larger numbers of Indian customers to attract. There's one -- Akbar Restaurant -- on Snowden River Parkway, next to the Japanese steak house Nichi Bei Kai(which is also fun).
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DaveinMD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. in Baltimore
go to little italy and find Ammichi's. Its a great italian resturant.
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ImADeanDem Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Oh, Amicci's is one of our faves, too!
There are lots of bigger and more well-known restaurants in Baltimore's Little Italy, but IMO, Amicci's is by far the best!! They are at 231 South High Street in Little Italy.

Yum -- now that I'm thinking about it, I'm craving it! Gotta convince my hubby to go there this weekend!
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DaveinMD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-05 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. we went New Year's Eve
and then on to Vacarro's for dessert. I love Baltimore. It beats the crap out of DC.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. How far is that from the inner harbor?
That's really the only part of Baltimore I know (the convention center and Camden Yards).
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Little Italy is like 3 minutes from the Harbor.
Edited on Mon Jun-12-06 10:07 PM by nickshepDEM
Its actually right across the street from the Aquarium.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-22-10 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
48. Little Italy in Baltimore is good
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3days Donating Member (463 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Thank you for this
Blobs Park here I come.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm in Ellicott City. Here's a few .......
In Columbia, try Asean Bistro. It is just off 108 where the old Columbia Palace 9 theater complex was (building is still there but they closed about a year ago). Anyone will know where that is. Asean (not Asian) Bistro is in the part of the center that is right on Rt 108 and is visible from 108. The menu is PanAsian, not any specific cuisine.

In that same shopping center, but further up the road (toward the entrance to Rt 100) is a Thai (Bangkok Delight?) restaurant that is beyond excellent. And really good prices.

In downtown (Old) Ellicott City there are a couple of nice places. Down near the bottom of the hill, just off Main Street is Side Streets. There are two places on Main Street, virtually across the street from each other that are very good, too, but I'll be damned if I can remember the name of either one of them! They're toward the bottom of the hill, too. One is a steak house and lounge - excellent steaks but a little pricey. The other place is more bistro fare and more moderately priced. Even though I can't recall their names you really can't miss them. They and a coffee bar are the only eateries down that far .... except for Phoenix, which is **right* at the bottom of the hill across from the old railroad station (and about 500 feet downhill past these two restaurants). It is easier to find them than to follow what I'm trying to recall here now!

Also in old Ellicott City is the Brewery, still on Main Street, but toward the top of the hill. Again, you can't miss it. Bistro/bar fare and on site brewery. Reasonable prices for both lunch and dinner.

Two places on Rt 40 in Ellicott City are also worth it. Both are neighborhood restaurant/bars .... but never any rowdiness and excellent food in both places. If you have kids, they'd be just fine there, too. Shannon's Pub is in a shopping center about 100 feet west of Chatham Rd, on the westbound side. (Next door to a big Crown gas station). Great crab cakes. Actually everything is good and they always have a nice daily special. Moderate prices.

Going the other way on Rt 40, you'll find Kelsey's Pub. They advertise a lot on cable here. They're actually in Normandy Shopping Center at the corner of Rt 40 and Normandy Road. All you'll see from Rt 40 is a Ford dealer and an older Safeway store. They're at the back of that shopping center, in the small separate building aaaaaall the way back and to the left. Good food and good prices, and again completely okay for kids, too even though it is another restaurant/bar.

Although a chain, the Carrabba's in Long Gate Shopping Center (at the intersection of Rt 29, Rt 100, and Rt 103) is excellent. The prices are what you'd expect. It is really the best Italian chain I'm aware of. It is right next to the Outback Steak House.

For cheap eats Chinese ($14/person, all you can eat - huge buffet selection), try Panda Buffet in Triangle Shopping Center at 29 and 40. From 29 North, exit onto Rt 40 East but stay in the left lane. This will take you right into the shopping center and the Panda Buffet is on your left.

For really, really good Japanese food, try Fuji Restaurant. This is a tiny place, maybe 40 seats, tops. Prices are higher but not overly so, but are very much reflected in the quality - top notch. NOT an exclusive place, just a little roadside family joint that is woefully undiscovered. This is also on Rt 40 West. Go past everything in sight ..... pass the Crown Gas ...... pass the Enchanted Forest Safeway .... keep going ....... pass a Sunoco station and look quick to your right. There is a very small shopping center (don't know the name) right next to the Sunoco station. They're in there (see also Mullinex auto body at the far end of the shopping center). The place is a true mom and pop. The food is completely authentic and served very, very much in the Japanese manner. They also have one tatami table, if your into pain and stiff joints when you eat!

Anyway ..... there are many others, too, but this should get you started. If you have anything special you prefer, say so and I'll try to come up with something.

Enjoy!
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Pendrench Donating Member (729 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Jordan's Steakhouse
I'm guessing that you're thinking of Jordan's Steakhouse - you're right, the food is very good (but a little on the expensive side). My wife and I usually go there on our anniversary.

Across the street from Jordan's is Cacao Lane...I haven't been there in a few years, but I seem to remember that the food was pretty good.

Of course if you go up the street (across from the Ellicott Mills Brewery) there is Tersiguel's...I'm not much for French food, but my brother and sister-in-law love it, even though it can be pricey.

I'm glad you mentioned Kelsey's...I've been there many times, in fact, one of my friends from grade school/high school is the owner. Very good food an atmosphere.
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aintitfunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Is Side Streets still open?
Last I looked they were closed, but maybe they came back. They used to serve the best omelettes. I second Kelsey's and Shannons, I believe they are owned by the same people.

In Ellicott City the other bistor place is Cocoa Lane (really good crab dip and caeser salad)and they have a sister restarant in Catonsville - Matthews 1600 which is good.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-22-04 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. Another one just occured to me
Jilly's is in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, all the way in the back left corner. It is also a bar and restaurant, but the food is very good and the work hard to please. I love the ribs there. The burgers are huge and hand formed.

Enchanted Forest Center is on Rt 40 at Centennial Lane.
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DaveinMD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-23-04 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. In Burtonsville
there is a great family resturant called Seibels. Its on rt 198. Its a right turn off rt 29 coming from Columbia.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-04 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. Other recommendations
I'll second that the old Ellicot city restaurants are good. I've been to the Brewery and several of the others. There is a nice wine bar on rt. 32 between Clarksville and rt 29. Also in Clarksville is a vegan restaurant called Great Sage. I'm not vegan but the food was pretty good but pricey. I would NEVER go to Buddy's, the food is awful, I've been serverd crabs that smelled so bad I don't know how they allowed them out of the kitchen. I Obrikis(sp) in Bmore is good and so is Cantler on the water near Annapolis http://www.cantlers.com/index.shtml
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hertopos Donating Member (715 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-11-05 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. Come to Baltimore City
I live in the city.
Yes, we do have to pay attention what not to leave in a car and stuff. Well, after living here for 6 years, I don't want ever move.
It is not just little Italy and Inner harbor.
My favorite area is actually Mt. Vernon.

There are:
Brass Elephant,
Brewer's art
Ixia ( looks so Sohoish!! Great service. We went there for our anniversary.)
XS ( casual Espresso bar/24-breakfast/Japanese combination. )
City Cafe ( One of the best brunch place.)

Plus, there is one our neighborhood ( Bolton Hill ) restaurant, B!!

Try www.baltimoresun.com
And click restaurant section. You gonna love it.

And if you can, move to the city. It has so much to offer.

I love Baltimore. And guess what I love our mayor. ( Things has improved quite a lot after he became a mayor.)

Hertopos
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. XS is right next to my school (U of B)
They have good breakfast food. A little pricey, but good.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
18. Kicked. Anyone have any new recommendations.
I've been here now over two years.

:kick:
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aintitfunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. When I worked in Columbia
we lunched out all the time. Hunan Manor has great Chinese and the atmosphere is more formal with cocktails and tablecloths. Wok 175 has the best combination Szechwan Lo Mein ever - or did, it has been a while.

Other then that, the landscape in Columbia is pretty much chain restaurant, although many are good.

If you like bar food I got some great recommendations in Catonsville and vacinity.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. In Catonsville ....... Dimitri's
Here's their web site:
http://www.dimitris.us/catonsville_baltimore/mediterran...

They want to think they went upscale by adding a new dining room (the orginal was VERY crowded) but at heart they're still 'old Baltimore' in style. The Greek food is excellent, but so is most of the menu.
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aintitfunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Yes, I forgot Dimitris, just over the county line
and if you like steamed crabs - The Ship's Cafe (Frederick Road and Winters Lane in Catonsville) is reported to have great ones. I am not a crab aficionado myself, as I tend to only eat 2-3 before I give up and wash my hands, but others rave about them. Other food there is pretty good as well.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Some of those dishes look awesome.
Thanks!!
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. King's Contrivance gets pretty good reviews. I ate there once but can't
remember what I thought of it and anyway it was a long time ago.

King's Contrivance
10150 Shaker Dr.
Columbia, MD
410-995-0500

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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I've heard its a bit on the pricey side, though the food is supposed
to be excellent. BTW we live in Kings Contrivance!
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I had two bad experiences there .....
... and see no reason to return. I found them to be pompous, pretentious, overpriced and overrated.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
44. Yes! Quintessential Columbia. n/t
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
29. Ive great things about the following places...
Edited on Mon Jun-12-06 10:12 PM by nickshepDEM
All located in downtown Baltimore

Nick's Fish House in Federal Hill.
Rusty Scupper.
Sabatino's in Little Italy is great.
Mo's Seafood.
Theres also a Cheescake Factory in the Harbor.


Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Theres this new really hip place in Canton/Fells Point called 'PAZO'. Never ate their, but I heard its great for food and drinks.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-13-06 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory last Saturday.
Food was good, though the proportions were huge.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Nick's Fish House is great
So is Olives in Fells Point.
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-06-06 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
31. Mongolian Grill, Noodle Corner, and Riverside Coffee
Are all in the same strip mall off of Dobbin Road just past the MVA office. I believe the center is called Lakeside. I get to it by turning off of McGaw onto Dobbin, then hanging a right. There's also a Hard Times Cafe (chili, burgers, etc) and Frisco Burritos. But Mongolian Grill is make-your-own stir fry. Noodle Corner is all kinds of Asian noodles. Good and inexpensive. And Riverside Coffee puts Starblech's to shame!
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. I'll also endorse both the Mongolian Grill and the Noodle Corner
Both do a really nice job at what they do. The noodle place has **got** to be the best cheap eats in the state!
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Is the Noodle Corner in the same plaza
as the hard times cafe? I could walk there in about five minutes from where my office is!

BTW: the hard times cafe is not very good.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Yes, they're all in the same place
The Hard Times is at the bottom, end of the "L". The noodle place and the Mongolian Grill are in that same part of the center, as is a sushi place.
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-28-06 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
36. if you like good vegetarian fare..try the Great Sage
in Clarksville, MD. Just a hop down 32west from Columbia. Here's a link to their webpage: http://www.great-sage.com / They're part of a group of businesses that comprise the "conscious corner", which include a natural foods market called "Roots", a natural pet food store, and a handmade gifts shop. Roots, the wholefood market is NOT part of a chain either.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
37. Let's try this again..
:kick:
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Ready4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
38. Kick, and comments.
The afore mentioned Hard Times is, I believe, no more. I've not tried the Noodle place, but it's an easy trip from my work, so I'll add it to my list. I need to try that Riverside place too.

My wife loves the texmex place in the same strip of shops. I wasn't as amazed by it, but it wasn't awful either, and apparently they have some live music and fun events from time to time.

I've some friends who like Sushi King a little ways down Dobbin (Road? Parkway?)

There's a couple of Indian restaurants on Snowden Parkway right near there. Coworkers have liked them both. I tried one for lunch and it was good, and they said it wasn't the better of the two, so I'd say either of those is a good bet.

How far afield you interested in going? Laurel? Olney? Frederick? Looking for expensive but fine dining? Good eats?
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bottomofthehill Donating Member (578 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-24-07 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
39. C.J. Ferrari's
When I have a good day at the Laurel Race Track, I stop at C.J. Ferrari's on Rt1 on the way home. I have had some really good meals there. Mid week, if you order a entree, the wine list is half price.

Good food, Cheap Wine, should be somewhat close to where you are.

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sbj405 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-24-07 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I love Ferrari's
Love the half price wine! The fried mozzerella is the best. Cheap, friendly, and without the wait of Pasta Plus.
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gbate Donating Member (900 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
41. Red Brick Station in White Marsh. Good beer and not a chain.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
42. Kicked again for the new Maryland folks.
:hi:
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
43. Have ever looked at Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining blog?
When we moved here, a few months ago, friend of ours recommended it. It's been helping us explore the area. http://www.tylercowensethnicdiningguide.com/
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-09 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
45. Kicked for TZ!
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
46. Dammit, Stinky! Why couldn't you have responded earlier?
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. You asked about *restaurants*. Trinacria is *not* a restaurant.
I did, however, respond a haffa dozen other times to your actual query.
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