Oodles of noodles

TABLE TALK

November 12, 1998|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

The strip mall at 8865 Stanford Blvd. in Columbia has become quite the little restaurant center. The Hard Times Cafe, which specializes in chili, is there, plus two new restaurants, Noodles Corner and Hanamura.

Noodles Corner has all sorts of Asian pastas. There are also other Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and Thai dishes. Two can eat well for under $15 here, I've heard.

Hanamura is a traditional Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, with an extensive selection of yaki (grilled) dishes, including my favorite: broccoli-yaki. Try saying that quickly three times.

Coming in late December will be a fourth restaurant, MG's Mongolian Grill. It's a branch of the Mongolian Grill in Bethesda.

Halo, Sascha's

Visitors to the Walters Art Gallery's "Angels From the Vatican" exhibit can get a bite to eat at the new Sascha's Angel Cafe, which is sharing space with the newly reopened museum shop. Both are in the space where Troia the Bistro at the Walters used to be.

Sascha Wolhandler, owner of Sascha's Daily and Sascha's Catering, is offering what she calls "cafe cuisine": soups, sandwiches and salads ranging in price from $3 to $10.

What's in a name?

The name, Empire Cafe (5857 York Road), is more grand than the coffee bar and eatery across from the Senator Theatre actually is; but keep the newly opened Empire in mind as a pleasant place to have a cappuccino, pastry or sandwich. Also on the menu are several quite good Asian dishes, including won ton soup and steamed dumplings.

Healthy eating

And yet more cafe news: Michael O'Keefe, owner of Culinary Creations catering, will be opening the Centre Street Cafe soon in the Downtown Athletic Club, in the spot where the Surf City Squeeze used to be.

"I sort of fell into it," O'Keefe says, "when I catered a party for them." He plans to be open for lunch and dinner with a small menu of eclectic and healthful foods, including Mediterranean and Asian dishes.

Lunch on $5 a day

There ought to be a medal for restaurateurs like Oliver Rawlings, whose goal seems simply to be offering a good lunch for around $5. Oliver's in the Mercantile Bank Building (2 Hopkins Plaza) is open for breakfast and lunch five days a week. Every day a carver slices a fresh meat - ham, roast beef or turkey - for a sandwich while you wait. With a soda and chips, it costs under $5. Rawlings also offers a hot entree (lasagna, perhaps, or fried chicken) for around $5, two or three homemade soups, fresh dough pizza and other sandwiches, such as a crab cake for $6.

Oenophile heaven

Oenophiles will want to bid on this one. Dinner for eight at the Milton Inn with wine expert Robert Parker and $5,000 worth of wine is one of the items being auctioned tomorrow to benefit the American Institute of Wine and Food's local community outreach program. Call 410-244-0044.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.largaltsun.com.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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