Since I discovered that the Subway inside the Sunoco isn't actually in Bowie, I'm replacing it as #36 on my list with this review of the Uptown Cafe, which opened last year. I'm hoping to resume my regular numbering system with #43 next week.
For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.
For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.
Uptown Cafe, 16701 Melford Blvd.
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 02/06/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 29
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Like One Town Center Deli, Uptown Cafe fills a particular niche -- a deli in an office park. I think Uptown is miles ahead of OTC Deli, though, for a number of reasons.
The first is location. While OTC is across the street from about a quarter of Bowie's restaurants, Uptown is one of only three Bowie restaurants east of Route 301. (For the other two, you have to use 301 to get there from the part of Bowie containing Uptown.) If, like me, you work in the Melford office park, Uptown is a) the only place you can realistically walk to, b) by far the quickest place to drive and c) an easy place to stop for lunch on the way into work.
Another advantage is that it's a better deli. The sandwiches are nice, the beverage and snack collection is impressive, and they take credit cards. As an added bonus (worth half a star), they have Korean lunch specials, making it the only place in Bowie to get Korean food. If you have a craving for bulgogi, there's no guarantee they'll have it that day, but you are guaranteed not to be able to get it elsewhere.
The prices are a little high -- if you want a cheaper, bigger sub, go to Subway. But I expect to pay a little more for a more convenient option. As you can see from my number of foursquare check-ins, I'm a regular customer (and the mayor). If I didn't work down the road, I don't think I'd ever have a reason to visit here. But it fits comfortable into its niche, and I'm very happy it's part of the Bowie landscape.
(I have e-mailed the City of Bowie to point out that it does not appear in their restaurant guide. I got an e-mail back thanking me for my corrections; I'm waiting to see what happens with the updates.)