Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Food Court Makeover

The food court in the Mall is getting a makeover. It’s been a few years since the last one. Part of the renovation includes new flooring which appears to be some type of polyurethane poured floor. My guess is that this will be easier to maintain than the wood flooring it replaces.

And speaking of the food court, now that Five Guys is open I can share something I learned about their French fries. While some folks rave about the fact that they are fried in peanut oil, they still pack a wallop to the waistline. A regular order of fries has 620 calories and 30 grams of fat.

My cardiologist would not approve.


John G. Boyle said...


Speaking of the Food Court, have you ever come across any sort of listing of the places that preceded the current lineup? I know that these lists pop up on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

The other day I was trying to remember the name of the bakery/cafe that preceded Vie de France (where Sbarro and the newsstand now are), which led me to trying to remember what the old lineup looked like.

It's a silly exercise, but I thought that some of the old-timers here might remember ;)

wordbones said...


I had to dig deep into the gray matter for this one but I believe the predecessor to Vie de France was La Petite Boulangerie.


Hope this doesn't make me an old timer said...

Vie de France used to be Michelle's Baguette, not le Petite Boulangerie.

John G. Boyle said...

Aha! Many thanks. Related question: Chik-Fil-A has been there for as long as I can remember. I don't know if it's an original occupant, but that's the longest operating restaurant there, right?

Seriously, not an old timer said...

McDonald's could be a contender, but they left their space next to the Gap before returning to the food court in its current incarnation. Chickfila is in the same general area, but may have shifted locations slightly in the last food court makeover. They used to have an eat in area, as I recall.

I used to love the Friendly's that was there. Though in its last years, it grew dirty. It was also nice that food options were spread out throughout the mall, as opposed to the current arrangement.

Spencer's (not food, I know) was there in the mid 80s, next to Friendly's. I think they left for a period of time before returning to where they are now.

Chuck said...

Anyone remember Beefsteak Charlie's when it took up the entire space across from the old Bun Penny? I think they were done in by the all-you-can-eat shrimp and salad bar.

The mall had many more sit down restaurants in the old days, including a Chinese place (near Disney store) and of course Woodies was always busy with their brunch's. Chef Paolino's had the best pizza and tried a later unsuccessful move to the eatery. The main guy Nick can be found these days at the pizza place in the Dorsey Hall center.

wordbones said...


If you really want to go back...to the mall beginning in 1972...there was a restaurant called "Barry's" that was probably Columbia's first family restaurant.

By the way, the original Chinese restaurant was called The Jade Palace, the Woodies restaurant was The Patuxent Room and the Hochschild Cohn restaurant was called The Lemon Tree.

Another original mall restuarant was Friendly's on the lower level about where Williams Sonoma is today.

I'm starting to feel a whole blog post coming on this...


Anonymous said...

What was the pizza place that used to be in the food court? They had really good deep-dish pizza by the slice...

Also, regarding Five Guys fries: that 620 calories may be for the amount of fries in a regular cup, but note that Five Guys makes a practice of dumping a second scoop of fries into the bag! Peanut oil is no joke, anyway.

John G. Boyle said...

Anon 9:54 - I'm guessing that you're talking about Mama Illardo's. That was my favorite food-court spot back in the day.

Chuck - I had forgotten all about the Chinese place. I seem to recall it had an unusual (roundish?) entrance.

Anonymous said...

Just the mention of Bun Penny makes me really miss that place...one of my favorite spots (and favorite place to work), I'm now saddened every time I see that stupid kids clothing store there!!

And I remember going to Friendly's, Woodies, and Vie de France as a kid...sometimes all the change they go through is really for the worse (though I do love Chipotle and Five Guys!)

Anonymous said...

I believe the kid's clothing store (Pumpkin Patch) that took over Bun Penny spot is now going out of business or may already be gone.