Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bowie Restaurant Project: (BB5) Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, 14106 South Main Chapel Way, Gambrills
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 10/27/2013
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 2
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Bowie could sure use a Mediterranean restaurant. Now, my preference would be for Lebanese Taverna -- if you have the time, the closest one is the Cafe in Annapolis. But since I tend to restrict myself to a shorter radius around Bowie for these reviews, Garbanzo is a nice substitute.

Christina and the boys enjoying their meals
Garbanzo opened its Gambrills location in July of this year. It has twenty-some locations, mostly in Colorado, but appears to have an ambitious expansion plan. The basic way to order is to choose, pita, laffa or a plate and then add a protein. The first time I was there, the guy behind the counter advised the plate, since you get a pita with that anyway. The proteins are basically falafel, shwarma or "falarma" (a combination), with a couple of other options. The kids meals are a grilled cheese pita, a chicken or steak rice bowl or a stuffed half pita.

I should note that Salem and I suffered a little bit of discomfort the night after eating the baba ghanoush, so make of that what you will.

Overall, I was very satisfied. I like Mediterranean food. This is good-but-not-great Mediterranean food, and reasonably priced. Given that it's next door to where the kids get their haircuts, I think we'll be going there again. I will also be recommending it to people from work, particularly for its good vegetarian options.

Bowie Restaurant News

I'm still awaiting the opening of three new Bowie restaurants -- Irie Cafe, Olive Grove, and Anthony's New York Pizza & Pasta. Irie Cafe looks almost done when you peer in the window. Olive Grove has made steady progress and stated a November opening date. Anthony's was doing a lot of work for a while, but it seems to have ground to a halt for some reason.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Tour Du Port 2013

Last weekend I rode the 2013 edition of the Tour Du Port, a bike ride through Baltimore. There were 15, 25, 40, 50 and 60 mile options. I felt good to say that I didn't take the shortest option. On the other hand, it looks like the extra 10 miles on the 25-mile ride were just a tour of Dundalk, which wasn't particularly exciting. If you did the 40-mile ride, you got to see North Point State Park, which is probably nice, but the second part of my ride seemed sort of tacked-on.

I don't know how many of my fellow riders were in it for the scenery. At one point, everybody seemed to be ignoring the cue sheet directions, but somehow following the painted arrows on the street. I figured out that the directions had us take about a 1/3-mile loop through Federal Hill Park, and most people just skipped that.

View from Federal Hill Park
The view of the harbor from the park was one of the highlights of the trip, so I don't quite understand that. Patterson Park, Fort McHenry, and the rest stop at the Aquarium were also quite nice.

There's another ride through Baltimore called "Tour Dem Parks, Hon" that I think I'd prefer, if I do another one there next year. While some sights on the urban part of the ride were interesting (someone tailgating in a random street parking space for an away game, a couple still dressed in their going-out clothes after likely having been up all night), I'm not a huge fan of city biking compared to being in parks.

Registration at Canton Waterfront Park
All in all, it ended up being my fourth-longest ride, after the ride in Chestertown in June, the ride in Switzerland, and one in Santa Barbara. I think the only way I could do anything significantly longer is if I knew I'd have a long break in the middle (which I did in Switzerland and Santa Barbara).

It was nice doing two of these long rides this year, and I hope I can do two or three of them again in 2014.