Café Hon has long been a favorite stop for dessert or a sweet snack--the homemade pie is truly outstanding, the bread pudding ambrosial--but it had been a long time since we sat down at one of the Hon's Formica tables for a meal.
The Hon does a great job with diner classics--there are no better french fries in Baltimore, and best of all is the plate of "Hon fries" smothered in chili, cheese, and onions ($5.50). They arrive heaped high on the plate looking rather like the volcano we made for our third-grade science fair experiment, but this mountain is rapidly and deliciously demolished. Chicken salad is another right-on rendering. The all-white meat is just the way we like it: simply spiced, lightly dressed, and delicious as a sandwich with chips and pickle ($6.25) or served on a bed of greens ($6.95). The cheddar cheeseburger ($6.50) tastes of quality, cooked-to-order beef, and piquantly sharp cheddar and is quite simply a great burger. An extra $2.95 allows you to "platter it" with fries and slaw, a very worthwhile investment. We never dreamed we'd shell out $11.95 for meat loaf, but Café Hon's version--moist, well-textured, and flavorful slices covered with fantastic pan gravy and accompanied by beautifully lumpy mashed potatoes--is so good we were happy we did. We cleared the generous plateful, ignoring the menu's exhortation to "save room for dessert, hon!" Well, darn. We'll just have to go back.