Friday, August 24, 2012

Historic Ellicott City Main Street Appreciation Weekend

It's been a sad week in Howard County. A train derailment in historic Ellicott City took the lives of two nineteen-year-old girls Rose Mayr and Elizabeth Nass.  Not only did two people lose their lives, but main street was closed due to the investigation and clean-up of tons of coal that spilled from the overturned freight trains - forcing many businesses to shut down.

In the past year, the Ellicott City restaurants and stores have had other problems including a major flood and a power outage.

To encourage people to shop and eat in historic Ellicott City this weekend, one of our favorite bloggers Tom Coale of HoCo Rising suggested a Main Street Appreciation Week. Another of our favorite bloggers, veteran food blogger HowChow, joined forces with HoCo Rising and now the Main Street Appreciation Week is a big deal on Facebook with over 300 people committed to supporting downtown businesses this weekend.

My brother Thomas and I are joining the effort.  We decided to start last night.  After we attended Thomas's middle school open house event, we headed downtown to Ellicott Mills Brewing Company .  We remembered they have fabulous ribs and they didn't disappoint.
Ribs with french fries

A garden salad can 
be added to your entree 
for $2. 

Side sampler with shrimp & chicken salad. My
Dad said the shrimp and chicken were
well seasoned & honey mustard sauce
was good.  

My mom ordered a shrimp and chicken in a thai curry sauce.
She liked it but it was on the spicy side. 

The fall off the bone ribs have a slightly sweet but heavy smokey flavor. You'll need extra napkins with this finger licking good sauce.

We ate upstairs where we noticed a huge steel wheel in the corner of the room.  We knew the building was very old so we asked our waiter about it. He told us that it is one of the earliest known commercial  elevators.  A long time ago the building was a hardware store and the elevator was used for bringing lumber up to the second floor.  At one point, the Smithsonian was even interested in having it. 

While it's not being used anymore,
if you  look closely directly above the desk
you'll see old elevator's round wheels.  

There is a ghost rumored to be "hanging out" in the upstairs dinning room. Our waiter told us about it and recommended this new book sold at the restaurant (most EC shops sell it too).

It was such a nice night that we decided to walk around town.
We took pictures to show some of the great places to shop and eat.

Although we'll be back again this weekend, we encourage you to also make a reservation to eat at the one of the awesome downtown places including Rumor Mill, Portalli's, or Cacao Lane and shop at the many stores. It's a great way to give back to the community by supporting our local businesses.

Enjoy the photos....

- Charles


A memorial to Rose Mayr and Elizabeth Nass who
died in the train derailment. 

2nd Chance Saloon - Columbia

This past Wednesday, my brother and I went to the 2nd Chance Saloon where we participated in the Homeless Ending Happy Hour, organized by Tom Coale of HoCo Rising blog.

The party was to celebrate everyone who contributed towards the $5,150 raised to help Howard County homeless people off the streets and into group homes. Tom Coale set the goal at $2,500 but people continued to give money which resulted in surpassing the goal by 206%.  We helped in just a small way by selling home baked chocolate chip cookies and contributing $200  - see our post Hoco Rising blog fundraiser for the homeless

Rumor Mill restaurant in downtown Ellicott City was originally going to host the party. Unfortunately, the location was moved after the tragic train accident that claimed the lives of two local teenage girls in the historic district.

2nd Chance Salon is a cool place that seems like half pub and half sports bar. In addition to being filled with all sorts of creative decorations they have a dart board and pool table.

Since Wednesdays are half night burger night we decided order hamburgers.

This "Basic Burger" with cheddar cheese was chuck full of CHUCK.  It was a huge portion of well seasoned meat with a toasted bun. It was tasty enough not to need any condiments.

On the suggestion of Howard County blogger Kate Cary of we also ordered buffalo wings (extra crispy).  She is from upstate New York and said she knows what good wings taste like.  She was right!  These were medium spicy with a strong BBQ flavor.

We talked to and met some very interesting people. Tom Coale was very grateful that we came and had nice things to say about our participation in the fundraiser. 

We also met Tom Coale's mother, Christine Coale, who is an assistant director of Admissions at Lycoming College, who gave us helpful information and advice about getting into college. 

And we talked to Ellen Flynn Giles (who is running for re-election to the HoCo Board of Education) and Jessie Newburn of  hocoblogs. It was a really fun night and we look forward to participating in more fundraisers and attending more parties.