The Kent Lounge
Ah, the Kent. This venerable tavern has been providing Towson college students with beer and eats since, oh, the Eisenhower administration, and that proud tradition still stands. Students and other economically-minded merrymakers still pack the Kent to eat, drink and smoke (a lot--those with cigarette smoke allergies should avoid the Kent's foggy, fuggy dining room) on the cheap.
The menu is surprisingly sophisticated for such a straightforward bar; you'll find mandatory pub-grub items like chicken wings ($7) but also a cabernet steak salad ($10), strip steak slices tossed with greens and a suave sauvignon vinaigrette. In observance of the Kent's vintage restaurant standing, we tried the Kent Club ($7), a classic triple-decker with turkey, bacon and cheese, and the mountainous cheese fries plate ($5). The sandwich was solid, definitely a club you'd care to join, but the fries are the real standout: fresh hand-cut potatoes fried to the perfect state of golden greasiness and smothered with melted cheddar and jack cheeses. These fries are the ideal foundation upon which to erect a long, long night of drinking.
From the arriviste side of the menu, we chose the southwest tuna ($7), a hearty hunk of ahi tuna cooked precisely to order (medium rare). Everyone seems compelled to offer seared ahi tuna these days, and it's often badly done, but the Kent deftly handled both the seasoning (a fine exterior crust of chile-scented spices) and the flaming (moist and tender, neither overcooked nor unappetizingly raw). Good job. For food this cheap we'd be willing to forgive a lot, but at the Kent we don't have to.