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Jennings Café

Address:808 Frederick Road
Catonsville, Md 

More on Jennings Café.

By Erin Sullivan | Posted 7/16/2008

It was a little old lady who regaled us with tales of a delicious braunsweiger on rye that drew us to Jennings, a fairly nondescript tavern/restaurant that's been open for half a century on Catonsville's main drag. It's been our experience that little old ladies are rarely wrong about where to find good, cheap, old-school fare, so we stopped in recently to grab a quick dinner on the way back to Baltimore from Ellicott City. Braunsweiger on rye with onions was indeed on the menu that night ($4.95), but we opted for heartier fare. We ordered the meat loaf dinner ($11.95), which turned out to be three delicious slabs of meat loaf drenched with thick, heartstoppingly rich gravy, served with real mashed potatoes (skins on) and sweet stewed tomatoes, and the homemade Salisbury steak served with fries, mushroom gravy, and steamed broccoli ($9.95). The meat loaf was all the things we've always wanted our homemade meat loaves to be (but rarely are): moist, dense, and surprisingly flavorful (bits of carrot and herb, yum) without being fancy or gourmet. But the Salisbury steak--oh my, where to begin? The giant hand-formed chopped-beef steak, cooked to your liking (we ordered medium rare, but next time we'll probably go with medium), doused in mushroomy and decadently buttery gravy so good we asked for extra on the side so we had enough to take home with our leftovers.

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