Saturday, December 20, 2014

Johnny's Bistro on Main & Bean Hollow - Historic Ellicott City, MD

Located in the heart of Ellicott City's historic district, Johnny's Bistro on Main is a quaint eatery that serves traditional favorites with a creative twist.  

The restaurant, named after owner and managing partner Johnny Breidenbach, serves rustic sandwiches, paninis, tapas, innovative salads and gourmet pizza "with a creative touch."

I was joined by Gracie on this culinary adventure. We both decided to order a sandwich from "Between the Bread" selections listed on the menu that arrived with skinny fries and a pickle. 

The "It's a Wrap" caught my eye - a grilled Tuscan chicken, fresh mozzarella, sliced proscuitto, mescaline greens, roasted red peppers, herbs and garlic aioli ($9.99).  The saltiness of the proscuitto and seasoned, tender chicken combined with the fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers packed a nice a one-two punch of flavors in my mouth. The ingredients were extremely fresh. I would have preferred less garlic aioli but that's just my preference.  Next time I will ask for the spread on the side.
It's a Wrap 

California Dreaming
Gracie ordered the California Dreaming sandwich - roasted turkey with apple wood bacon, guacamole, lettuce and tomato served on rustic herbed ciabatta ($9.99). It was a hit with Gracie who decided to opt out of the bacon slices. I took a bite and agree. The bread was outrageously good. I could have eaten just the bread and been one happy Dude. 

Creme Brûlée 

For dessert, the "Freshly Made Creme Brûlée with Vanilla Bean" ($5.99) was calling our names from the "Sweet Temptations" menu. We gave it a shot.   Although it was a small portion and we were full from the sandwiches, it was so well made with fresh ingredients and so tasty that we didn't leave a morel.

We continued our evening in historic Ellicott City by walking around the downtown area admiring the antique stores and restaurants all dressed up in Christmas fashion. We stopped into a nearby coffee house (we both have a passion for coffee) called Bean Hollow Coffee and Connections - a cozy vegetarian and vegan coffeehouse/restaurant that serves a ridiculous variety of coffee all day long (up to 10 pm except on Sundays) along with a selection of food including desserts, sandwiches and salads (last order taken at 9:30 pm).

Gracie was filled with mucho happiness from her coffee 

Bean Hollow dressed in its holiday finery

Gracie ordered the Americano- a full-bodied espresso shot poured into a cup of hot water. This coffee keeps the integrity of the espresso taste without the strength of a regular, unadulterated espresso shot. I ordered the triple Americano (an americano with three espresso shots).

Bean Hollow was a terrific place to end our historic Ellicott City journey.

Before the night ended, we took a ride to the Christmas house in the near-by Beaverbrook neighborhood in Columbia, MD to visit the Christmas house at 5034 Durham Rd. 

It looked exactly how I remembered the house - just spectacular with what's reported to be over 200,000 lights.  I think Gracie was impressed too. 

Sadly, we learned from the people we met walking around the Christmas display that this is the LAST year the house will have a big show for the holiday. Read more about the house here  I highly recommend you visit this Christmas light display before it shines no more.

- Charles 

Johnny's Bistro on Main on Urbanspoon

Bean Hollow Roastery & Espresso on Urbanspoon