Eat Special Issue
A GUIDE TO THE ICONS
$ = Inexpensive; “entrees” barely crack $10.
$$ = Entrees in the $10-$20 range, other than a few specials or the crab cakes.
$$$ Entrees $20 and up.
BYOB = The restaurant has no liquor license but allows you to bring your own booze. You may have heard of this.
P = On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
T = Valet parking (for most places, this is weekends-only).
Out = Outdoor dining in season. Note: It could be a lovely deck, but it may be just a couple of tables on the sidewalk.
10pm = Serves food after 10 p.m. Many local restaurants will serve until 11 p.m. on weekends, but spots bearing this icon go further somehow.
B = Breakfast.
L = Lunch.
D = Dinner.
Br = Brunch on weekends.
Vg = Specializes in vegetarian/vegan friendliness. Almost all restaurants these days offer vegetarian options, and when asked by someone compiling a dining guide, many restaurants say that they can accommodate vegans on request, but this icon indicates vegetarian/vegan friendliness as a primary mission.
Rsv = Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
Del = Delivery to a limited area, though many restaurants that don’t do phone-order delivery use web-based services such as carryout.com.
Published: March 2, 2011
11011 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com
$$ P Out L D
Everything is slow-smoked over hickory wood. Ribs are a must-eat, the pulled-pork sandwich is orgasmic, and all the homemade sides are fantastic. Wash it all down with some sweet tea.
2323 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 560-7900, thestill.net
$$ P Out 10pm L D Br
An Irish-themed restaurant featuring, besides devoutly tended Guinness, Harp, and Bass, a menu of both heavy-duty American tavern fare and such Old Sod favorites as bangers and mash, Irish stew, and shepherd’s pie.
7800 York Road, Towson, (410) 296-2737 (and various other LOCATIONS); billbateman.com
$$ P 10pm L D
This sports bar-qua-college pub is famous for making more styles of wings than Poland has kielbasas, but other menu highlights include its creamy soups, a superbly fresh California salad, and stand-out a grouper sandwich.
11 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium, (410) 561-1100, bluestoneonline.net
$$$ P Out L D Br
Though it looks cookie-cutter suburban chain, Bluestone is a dependably above-average destination for fresh, well-executed seafood. Fried green tomatoes with lump crab and the Bluestone salad with pecans are excellent apps.
31 Allegheny Ave., Towson, (410) 337-0133, cafetroia.com
$$$ Vg Out L D Rsv
Serious Italian cuisine in the suburbs, thanks to this long-lived (and recently expanded) family restaurant, and not just red sauce and so on. Two words: risotto menu.
500 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville, (410) 747-2610, ilovegrilledcheese.com
$ P Out L D
Who but the lactose-intolerant among us doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? You can order up “the original” here, as well as 10 schmancied-up variations. Also: tomato soup.
622 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-4422, tajrestaurant.com
$$ P L D
Festooned with Indian print cloths and Taj Mahal photos to obscure its strip-center surroundings, Indian Delight is predictable in its selection of staples but never disappointing in its flavors.
1 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, (410) 339-7500
$$ L D
The rotating self-serve sushi bar is pure instant gratification (you’re eating within seconds of sitting down) and the chief reason to go. There are few flaws with the sushi, and some of the chef’s special rolls are superfine.
25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills, (410) 356-3030
$$$ Out L D
Recent renovations have restored the shimmering suburban glamour to this well-tended classic. Sit at the grill line and watch a stunning seafood sampler, a heartwarming tomato tart, and a breathtaking Delmonico steak emerge.
1010 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 653-5151, mariluna.com
$$$ P Out L D Br Rsv
Chef/owner Jaime Luna has taken everything that worked at Mari Luna Mexican Grill and made it more sophisticated, but no less comfortable. Pan-Latin cuisine, with dishes from Cuba to Argentina, attentive service, and a chic dining room.
102 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 486-9910, mariluna.com
$$$ P Out L D Br Rsv
Reasonable prices and generously portioned, authentic Mexican food keeps folks coming back. Service is as warm as the restaurant’s sunshine-colored walls.
911 Reisterstown Road, (410) 484-7775, suburbanhousedeli.com
$$ P B L D
Suburban House is the place to get your arteries clogged. Even potentially healthy items like beet and potato borscht come with a sour cream side. Bring on the fried potato pancakes, the cheese blintzes, and the heaped-high Reubens.