All right, they're everywhere now, but let us pay tribute here to the first, the original, the still wildly popular Double T Diner (6300 Baltimore National Pike, Catonsville,  744-4151). Yes, wildly popular often means wildly crowded, but don't worryif you have to wait in line, you can get a head start perusing the 400-plus-item menu. It's hard to order anything but breakfast (available 24/7), especially if you've sampled the Double T's omelets, but lunch and dinner appetites will be appeased by homemade soups, big salads, tasty sandwiches, and hot platters, with an emphasis on Greek, Italian, and American comfort food. Specials are numerous and specially (i.e. low) priced.
It looks a bit incongruous from the roada log cabin surrounded by a parking lot. Inside, though, Hunters Lodge Restaurant (9445 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City,  461-4990) really does have the feel of a country lodge, complete with stone fireplace and hunting décor. You don't have to shoot your own meal or anything, just decide between any number of new American dishes and traditional Greek fare. Even the more adventurous entrées are hearty, so go hungry, loosen that belt, and be glad you're the hunter, not the hunted.