There's a small shopping center just off of Johns Hopkins Road in North Laurel that has some of the best restaurants in the area. My daughter and I have tried most of them, and a few of them many times, and I have yet to have a bad meal. The only bad thing about the center is that there isn't enough parking. In fact, on a busy Saturday night, it's downright frustrating, and it becomes necessary to park down the street. It was pretty cold this past weekend, and that isn't fun.
Anyway, the center includes Facci, an Italian place that gets great reviews; Kloby's Smokehouse, which has pretty great barbecue; Ginza of Tokyo, a Japanese steakhouse; and La Palapa Too, which has fantastic Mexican food. We at at Facci once, and while it was good, it wasn't memorable. We haven't eaten at Kloby's other than for carryout, but it is some of the best barbecue in the area. Ginza is a favorite, even if it isn't a special occasion, and the food is always great. The chefs are entertaining, and the owner is as nice as they come. But it's La Palapa Too that we enjoy most of all. We were there most recently this Saturday evening.
My daughter, Melody, and I attend Grace Community Church and go to the Saturday evening service each week. Afterwards, we like to eat out for dinner. Due to it's location near the church, La Palapa Too is a favorite choice. After finding a parking space, which is always a challenge, we went into the brightly colored and decorated interior. They were still celebrating Halloween, and the whole place is filled with fake spider webs and a moving skeleton, along with scary makeup on the staff. It was very crowded on this night, but we were seated right away.
Complimentary chips and salsa are served right away, and our server took our order. My daughter had her favorite, the cheese quesadilla from the kid's menu, and I ordered the Burro Loco Burrito, which has fast become my favorite. It is described on the menu as, "traditional steak and chicken cooked fajita-style, topped with chili con queso". It includes Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. It is sooooo good! I've tried other menu items, but this really is my favorite and I can't resist ordering it the last few times I've been there. As a type 2 diabetic, I tend to avoid the desserts, but my daughter loves the chocolate cake. The always bring two forks and I always have a few bites. It's a standard chocolate cake, with chocolate icing and drizzled with chocolate sauce. It's really great.
We almost always see folks from Grace at the restaurant, so it's apparent many of our friends know how great this place is. It they could just fix the parking issues at the shopping center, it would be even better. With Chick-Fil-A right across the street, and the restaurants over at Maple Lawn, the entire area has become a great location for some really good meals.
Have a great evening, everyone!