Howard Magazine - Page 18 - Stepping up to the plate

Howard Magazine
- Page 18
Stepping up to the plate
Urban Plates balances healthful ingredients and home cooking

By John-John Williams IV
Howard Magazine

From the moment I tasted the tender, seasoned steak, buttery-rich mashed potatoes and firm, flavorful mixed vegetables I realized that Urban Plates in Columbia had achieved a rare balancing act of capturing the comforts of a family meal with cost-effectiveness and healthful food benefits.

I have to admit that I didn’t quite know what to expect when I entered the chain restaurant that boasts making everything daily from scratch, recipes with fresh ingredients and the ability to offer meals for people with dietary restrictions.

What I didn’t realize was that the restaurant excels with its customer service, which is impeccable.

It started when we entered the brightly lit restaurant, which is filled with a series of hanging lamps, exposed light bulbs, thick, nautical ropes and rustic wood mixed with a hint of industrial d├ęcor. We were immediately greeted by a friendly hostess who continued to check on us throughout our dining experience. It was like being welcomed to the Sunday dinner of a hip, loving grandparent.

The restaurant, which works like a made-to-order elevated food hall, features an open kitchen plan where customers can watch their meals being created before their eyes. It’s comforting and entertaining.

Despite our lengthy order, the cooks were patient and eager to whip up some of their culinary masterpieces. When we asked if we were missing any standout menu items, we were immediately told that we did a good job of getting all of the greatest hits. And we weren’t disappointed.

We quickly learned that the restaurant excels with many meals, whether that be its main plates, bowls, sandwiches or desserts.

The chimichurri grass-fed steak ($14.95) was the star of the night. The tender beef hardly required a knife to cut.