Experience Authentic International Cuisine Along the Golden Mile

Fajita Grande restaurant on the Golden Mile is a local favorite with colorful decorations and daily specials.

Experience Authentic International Cuisine Along the Golden Mile

By Michelle Kershner, City of Frederick Department of Economic Development
Originally printed in the Winter 2015 Frederick County Guide

Stretching towards the mountains, the Golden Mile is a major retail district in Frederick. Representing a portion of the historic National Road, it naturally connects Downtown Frederick with points westward, such as Braddock Heights and Middletown.
Winter 2015 Frederick County Guide
Locals flock to this corridor, also known as Route 40, for retail stores and services. But insiders know that tucked inside the shopping centers, diners can find some of the most delicious and authentic international cuisine in the region.

“Nearly half of all establishments along the Golden Mile are associated with retail trade,” said Economic Development Manager Bobby Baumler.  “Additionally, accommodation and food services represent nearly a third of all employment in this area, a strong indication that people are heading to the Golden Mile to dine.” 

Amid the numerous strip-style shopping centers, standalone specialty stores and authentic international cuisine can be found.  From freshly baked breads and sweets at La Colmenita Bakery to international grocery stores, flavors from across the globe can be found along the Golden Mile. Diners can try Pho TNT’s banh mi, a crusty Vietnamese-style sandwich, Peruvian-style chicken at Sardis Pollo a La Brasa, warm naan bread and butter chicken at Clay Oven, or gyoza and sushi at Roppongi. 

Established in 1987, Casa Rico has been an anchor on the western end of the corridor for decades with gourmet tacos, tequila, and traditional Mexican favorites like chile rellenos. Fajita Grande offers up fresh salsa with their sizzling platters, and Santa Rosa restaurant and Ana's Papuseria serve pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, handmade corn tortillas.  On select summer nights, a taco truck parks at Dutrow’s Sales & Service at the end of the Golden Mile, and dishes up favorites like tongue tacos and tamales.

The Golden Mile could very well be dubbed the “International Mile” for the corridor’s concentration of global flavors and offerings. 

La Colmenita Bakery is tucked in a
storefront at the Willow Tree Shopping Center
and offers freshly baked breads and sweets.

“The authentic international food scene on The Golden Mile is exploding,” said Justin Kiska, president of the Golden Mile Alliance and owner of Way Off Broadway. “These gems are tucked into traditional shopping centers, and new places are opening all the time. We recently welcomed Modern Asia Bar & Restaurant to our dining scene.”

Traditional favorites also have flourished on the Golden Mile over the years. The Barbara Fritchie Restaurant has been serving home-cooked meals since 1910.  This retro diner features comfort foods and freshly baked desserts.  Nearby, Il Forno Pizzeria has served their famed wood-fired pizza for over 18 years. 

For over six decades, Red Horse Steak House has been considered a family dining tradition for their open-flamed grilled steaks and seafood.   Doc Geiser’s Carryout & Catering is home to Watson’s famous fried chicken, and Mountainview Diner is a local favorite as well. 

“There is this perception that the Golden Mile is mainly a big-box destination, but small and family businesses, like these restaurants, also thrive alongside the larger retailers and chains,” explains Baumler.  

In the City of Frederick, 95% of all businesses are small businesses, and the Golden Mile is no exception.   Thanks to business investment, planning, and community involvement, this traditional retail corridor’s future is bright.  The Golden Mile, along with portions of Downtown Frederick, was recently accepted into Maryland’s Sustainable Communities program, which will open up additional resources. The Golden Mile Alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of business owners, property owners, and residents, also is working to strengthen the thoroughfare. 

The Golden Mile Alliance is reviving Pangaea, a festival celebrating heritage and diversity, with the next celebration slated for Oct. 4, 2015.

“We are looking forward to bringing back this cultural event,” Kiska said, with international cuisine featured prominently.  “Food brings communities together, and it will be a great time to celebrate all that Frederick’s Golden Mile has to offer in this area and others."

To learn more about the Golden Mile and business in Frederick, visit www.businessinfrederick.com.