When I was a kid in Bowie in the 70s and 80s, if you wanted ethnic food in Bowie, pizza (Happy Italian) or Chinese (Golden Pavilion) was about as exciting as it got. But that was then.
Three decades later, we have Thai (East Moon); Japanese (Sakura); Mexican (Mi Hacienda) and great barbecue (KBQ). We can even get tandoori at the Bowie Town Center food court (White Tiger).
And this summer, our culinary options in Bowie will be expanded further with the addition of the Muffin Man Caribbean Cafe, which is slated to open in Hilltop Plaza later this year. The original “Muffin Man” is in a strip shopping center on Lanham-Severn Road in Seabrook. We decided to check it out this weekend.
Recognized as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “Cheap Eats,” Muffin Man serves up two dozen varieties of muffins – from the exotic (guava, mango, tropical lime) to the more familiar (blueberry, chocolate chip, banana nut) – and spicy Jamaican fare.
We had originally thought we’d go by in the morning to grab a muffin, but oddly, the place doesn’t open until 11 a.m. – a little late for breakfast. I don’t often feel like a blueberry muffin for lunch. But maybe that’s just me.
The place is decorated like you’d think a Jamaican joint would be – cool Island colors, the requisite Bob Marley mural on the wall, and reggae singer Shaggy tunes blaring.
If you go for lunch, be prepared. Like the softball-sized muffins, the portions are huge.
Unfortunately, when it comes to eating, our kids are typical kids. We aren’t like those pretentious Montgomery County types who brag about their kids’ adventurous palettes and eschew high fructose corn syrup. Without any familiar kid favorites on the menu, our kids ate chocolate chip muffins for lunch (bad parents).
We shared the ziggy (honey glazed) wings and jerk wings served with rice and peas and cabbage. While I’m not fond of chicken that isn’t white or boneless (I know. I hate me too), the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the jerk wings had a nice peppery bite. The cabbage and rice and peas were nice accompaniments.
We washed down our meal with sweet Jamaican pineapple sodas and limeades.
The dense muffins were so heavy; they were almost leaden, but moist and fresh. We’d definitely go back for those. But for one meal, sodas and three muffins, our meal came to about 30 bucks – not really a “cheap eat” for fairly simple fare at lunchtime.
We'll definitely give it a try when it comes to Bowie. Next time we'll bring our appetites and leave the kids at home.