Open Thread January 2014 Edition

These open threads provide a chance for us to chat with our neighbors. Ask questions, share news, or whatever you want. As long as it’s central to Frederick County and civil, anything goes.

Have at it in the comments!

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65 thoughts on “Open Thread January 2014 Edition

    • I went for their soft opening and wasn’t impressed, they are just like any other chain restaurant in that area. Nothing was bad, but nothing was worth writing home about either. Also, they are not a brewpub, they don’t have their own beer.

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    • We went about 3 weeks ago and loved it. We used to go to BJ’s in California and Colorado. So what if they don’t have “their own beers”? They have an excellent selection of tap beers and there ARE brew tanks that you can see thru a glass wall so I would imagine that they will be making their own beers. Frederick County makes doing anything so stupidly difficult and getting the permits and all is time consuming. We get very tired of going to restaurants where the “selection” is “Bud, Bud Light, Michelob, Michelob Light, Miller, Miller Light” – that’s not beer. The Germans have a name for that and I can’t write it here. We had salads (one with chicken and one with Ahi tuna) and they were excellent. We were seated right away and the service was attentive and fast. We’d go again anytime.

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    • Have not been, but our friends went last weekend. They did “call ahead seating” which did nothing for them. They still had over a 40 minute wait once they got there at their “call ahead time.” They were out of several beers and seated next to a vent/blower that made their table cold.

      Would really like to see Frederick get some more unique restaurants like Project Pie, Souplantation, Mellow Mushroom, La Madeleine etc. If you build it, they will come.

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      • BJ’s does have their own beer, but it is horrible. I couldn’t tell if the tanks behind the glass were real or mock-ups. I’m thinking the latter. They have a large menu, but it isn’t anything better than Applebees or TGI Friday’s. With Roasthouse Pub and Barley & Hops so close by I don’t see why people would settle for this.

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    • Pam, it reminded me of a Gordon Biersch, if you have ever been to one of those. Yes, it is a chain, but we liked it better than any of the others here. Nothing ground-breaking, but we found it pleasant enough. In addition to their own beer, which is brewed by the company, but not on site, there is a decent selection of non-macro taps from other breweries. I would do the call ahead seating, because the wait can be long.

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    • We went recently and were not impressed. The place is really lovely inside. And the food we had was flavorful but that was it. The service was very slow. My pizza was lukewarm, my son’s pizza was too hot for him to eat (kid’s menu pizza) and tasted like burnt oregano. He ended up with pizza because they were out of his first choice. And they were also out of french fries! They have at least two different kinds of fries and were out of both, in the middle of the week! They offered my husband “smiley fries” off the kid’s menu or a baked potato to go with his burger. He was not too pleased with that. A place known for beer and burgers runs out of fries on a Wednesday!?!?! My husband and I have both worked in restaurants in the past. Every manager we’ve ever had…..when you run out of a major menu item you send an employee to the nearest Costco or grocery store and get enough to make it through the night!

      We did not try the beer but I had a house made cream soda which was good but syrupy sweet. And they didn’t put any ice in it, so halfway through the huge mug it was getting a bit warm.

      We’ll go back again, because it deserves a second chance and there are some other entrees I’m interested in trying. But if the next time is not better we probably won’t bother again.

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  1. I went to their ribbon cutting and had a great lunch where we sampled several items. I have also been two or three times since. They have great service, a large bar and a huge menu. I’ve enjoyed the pineapple mahi mahi which is light and delicious. They atmosphere makes it stand out from other chain restaurants as it’s very modern. I forget that it’s a chain when I’m there because it is different from other restaurants in the area.
    I think it’s definitely worth checking out for yourself. If you have kids that have a great kids menu as well as a lighter fare option and something for everyone.

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  2. Went to BJ’s a few weeks ago, got a few appetizers and split a salad. Not impressed at all. As stated above, just another chain. Beer was also just ho-hum

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  3. Does anyone here live in the Villages of Urbana? We are considering moving there and I would love an insider’s opinion, especially with regard to how kid friendly it is.

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  4. I finally went to the new bakery on the Golden Mile today. The bakery is called Manna Bakery and the nice lady (probably the owner) who helped us said that their inventory was a little sparse because a new baker had just started today. From the baked goods that were available – I thought there were actually a fair amount of stuff – all looked delicious! There are many latin pastries, some sweet, some savory; cakes; cookies; doughnuts; european pastries like elephant ears and some white rolls that were on sale. The rolls were the only bread I saw, although my companion and I both had sandwiches made there for lunch and our breads were different than the rolls and excellent. I hope they will have more bread for sale when the new baker gets the hang of things. Also, although not available today, the owner said that they usually have homemade soups of the day. I will definitely be back to see how things are progressing. The seating is limited, and you pretty much look into the kitchen wherever you sit. Some people might call that a plus, some a minus. Everyone was very, very nice and helpful.

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    • Jenny, I have been going to Manna Bakery for a few months. We usually pick up a few things to try each visit, and my husband thinks they make the best torta sandwich in town. (I am partial to Café Bueno on that point, but they each do it a bit differently.) I hope they succeed.

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  5. Just wanted to let everyone know we are having a workshop called Building Wildlife Habitat in your Backyard this Sunday, Jan 12, 1-3pm. Learn how to create easy, sustainable, and educational wildlife habitat in your backyard.

    It will be at the Fox Haven Farm and Learning Center in Jefferson (15 minutes from Frederick). You can find out more information here: http://bit.ly/1fQP94Q

    Hope to see you there!

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  6. Visit Brewer’s Alley today (Tues. Jan 7th) and a portion of all profits will be donated to the Frederick Bicycle Coalition (FBC). Just buy some food and/or beer, it’s that easy!

    FBC is a 501(c)3 non-profit cycling advocacy group working to continuously improve cycling in Frederick County. This has been a very successful fundraiser in years past, hope to see you there.

    Thanks for the support Brewer’s Alley!

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  7. Does anyone know when the filming begins for the horror movie being filmed at the Frederick Towne Mall? Are they recruiting folks for parts like extras etc.? I’ve tried to google information on it, but can’t find anything current.

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  8. Anyone know of an indoor community center, “gym” or hall for rental that doesn’t require catering? We’ve already looked at the county and city gym spaces. Thank you.

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    • BK, I understand that the plan is still to build a new Walmart on 40 where Fredericktowne Mall is. The one on 26 is a different one. (So the existing Walmart across the street will close and a bigger one built.) A tremendous waste.

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  9. Does anyone know if Zi Pani will be moving when they tear down the two side sections of Rosehill Plaza? One of the docs at Parkview (they recently moved into a new building) told me that the the section where they used to be and the other section of Rosehill Plaza are not structurally sound and that they are going to be torn down. This does not affect the section of Rose hill where FMH is, as they are only one story.

    So, I am curious if they will rebuild or if places like Zi Pani will move. I truly hope they do not close.

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  10. I was out of town Jan 4 – Jan 11. I had been to FSK mall right before Christmas. Went today and McDonalds is gone! What happened?? It was always busy that I could see.

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    • I emailed the mall. This is their reply:

      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately McDonald’s lease expired and they chose not to renew. We were also sorry to see them leave, but our leasing representatives are working diligently to find a replacement that will also appeal to the needs of our customers. While it’s not a fast-food operator, BJ’s Restaurant recently opened at the mall and we do plan to add other dining options.
      Have a great weekend,
      Caroline Quinn
      Regional Marketing Director

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  11. Any ideas on how to permanently remove the road/sidewalk salt stains from a hardwood floor? I don’t let anyone past the area carpet in the entry with their shoes still on but still water and salt puddle up on the floor but I can get to it. I’ve used various floor cleaners and they appear to be gone, but later they’re back and all smeared. 😦

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  12. Market Square has listed some new stores/restaurants on their site plan. Black Hog and Pizza Five are new restaurants that are coming. New stores include Advanced Auto and New Balance. There is one more logo listed on the site plan that I can’t make out.

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  13. Anyone know of a reasonably priced place to have my roots bleached? I have maybe an inch to 1.5 inches of undyed roots also any good places to get hair extensions put in?

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    • I’ve never had hair extensions, but I know Studio She on Market Street does that, and they work a lot with ladies with hair loss. I had a Brazilian Blowout there years ago. Christina, the owner, asked me if i wanted coffee. I said “sure”, thinking she had a coffee maker there. She said “OK, be right back, I’m running down to Starbucks!” 🙂

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      • Evelyn, you might also want to check out the Paul Mitchell beauty school on 22 West Church Street. I went once with a beauty emergency when a (former) hairdresser made a color mistake. It took a long time, because the student had to check what she did with a supervisor, but she did a great job for less than 1/3 of what a salon would have cost.

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