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Eat Feature

W is for Worth the Drive

Captain Billy's · Captain John's · Cantler's Riverside Inn · Gabler's · Baugher's Family Restaurant · Rudy's 2900 · Olney Ale House

John Davis Jr.

Eat Special Issue 1999

Alphabet Soup We know where we like to go for a good burger--and we'll bet you do too. Or a good omelet. Or a good...

A is for Appetizers The Helmand · Café Madrid · Henninger's Tavern · Café Zen · Grand Palace · Morgan Millard · Al Pacino Café · Sarah's Café · Iola Café

B is for Breakfast Jimmy's · Blue Moon Café · Golden West Café · Morning Edition Café · Helen's Garden Café · Hull Street Blues Café · Loco Hombre · Weber's on Boston · Suburban House

C is for Carry-out DiPasquale's · Cosmos · Rotisseria · Chow Mein Charlie's · Chokchai · Thairish · Caribbean Kitchen · Viccino's · Michaelangelo's · The Roost

D is for Dessert Vaccaro's · Cheesecake Factory · Adrian's Book Café · Moxley's · Louie's Bookstore Café · Coney Island

E is for Expensive Charleston · The Black Olive · Milton Inn · Polo Grill · Chart House · Oregon Grille

F is for Frugal Pete's Grill · Trolley Stop · Fazzini's Italian Kitchen · jr. · Rallo's · Mamie's Café · Caribbean Food Carry Out · Silk Road Café · Frisco Burritos · Winterling's · Valley View Inn · Fresh

G is for Guilty Pleasures Anne's Dari-Creme · Howard's Delly · Maria D's · Johnny Rockets · Thrasher's · Steak Out Express · New System Bakery · Krispy Kreme

H is for Happy Hour The Brewer's Art · Mick O'Shea's · Brass Elephant · Speakeasy Saloon · Calvert House · Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood Co.

I is for Incendiary Sushi Café · Ko Hyang · Joung Kak · Thai Landing · Sisson's · Café Tattoo · Austin Grill

J is for Java Needful Things · The Hidden Bean · City Café · Donna's · Empire Café · Xando · The Daily Grind

K is for Kids Friendly Farm · Hacienda Mexican Restaurant · Fuddruckers · Overlea Diner · Funk's Democratic Coffee House and Bistro · Mount Vernon Stable and Saloon

L is for Lunch Women's Industrial Exchange · Sascha's Daily · Mughal Garden · Akbar · Bombay Grill · Nate's and Leon's · Snyder's Cafe and Deli

M is for Meat Prime Rib · Shula's Steakhouse · Ruth's Chris Steak House · Alonso's · The Crease · Bill Bateman's · Lenny's · Attman's · Boomerang Pub

N is for New School Joy America Café · Spike and Charlie's · Sotta Sopra · La Tavola · Opa! · Viccino Bistro · Café Pangea

O is for Old School Haussner's · Tio Pepe's · Ikaros · Acropolis · Bo Brooks · Forest Diner · Angelina's · Kawasaki · Thai Restaurant · Perring Place Restaurant · Sanders Corner · Sabatino's · Matthew's Pizzaria 

P is for Pub Grub Peter's Inn · Simon's Pub · Duda's · Sobo Café · Koco's Pub · Kisling's · McCabe's · Dougherty's Pub · Charles Village Pub

Q is for Quirks Holy Frijoles · Ye Olde Malt Shoppe/Earl's Beauty Inn · Tamber's Nifty Fifties Dining · Captain James Landing

R is for Romantic Corks · Pierpoint · Banjara · Ambassador Dining Room · Tersiguel's

S is for Seafood Gunning's Crab House · Gunning's Seafood Restaurant · Faidley's Seafood · Legal Sea Foods · John Steven Ltd. · Anne Arundel Seafood · G&M Restaurant · Mo's Fisherman's Exchange · Bill's Terrace Inn · Bay Caf

T is for Tourists Waterfront · Hollywood Diner · Café Hon · Obrycki's · Bertha's · Lista's · McCormick and Schmick's · Wharf Rat · Gallery Sandwich Shoppe · Hard Rock Café · Planet Hollywood · ESPN Zone

U is for United Nations Restaurant · Silk Road · Braznell's Caribbean Kitchen · Orchard Market and Café · Ze Mean Bean Café · Saigon · House of Kabob · Desert Café · Restaurante San Luis · Little Havana · Café

V is for Vegetarian Golden Temple · Liquid Earth · One World Café · Wild Mushroom · Puffins · Sin Carne · Village Market

W is for Worth the Drive Captain Billy's · Captain John's · Cantler's Riverside Inn · Gabler's · Baugher's Family Restaurant · Rudy's 2900 · Olney Ale House

X is for XXL New No Da Ji · The Yellow Bowl · Micah's Cafeteria · Cactus Willie's

Y is for Yeast Baltimore Brewing Company · Big Sky Bread Co. · Stone Mill Bakery · Ellicott Mills Brewing Company · Capitol City Brewing Co.

Z is for ZZZ Sip & Bite · Double T Diner · Valentino's · Star Light Diner · Bel-Loc Diner · Gampy's · Nam Kang

Posted 2/24/1999

Not that Baltimore isn't a culinary cornucopia or something, but isn't there still that little zing of anticipation that comes with really going out to eat? Remember the feeling you had when Mom and Dad piled you into the car for that trek to "someplace special"? Yeah, we hated it too. But now we're old enough to sit in the front seat, maybe even steer, and we don't get as fidgety as we used to. So every now and then we pile ourselves into the car and head out on the highway to forage.

With all due respect to the place of blue crabs in local legend, we sometimes like to hitch up the wagon and hit the highway for our hardshells. Outside the city (and away from the tourist trade that pays top dollar to experience a "real Baltimore crab feast"), the crabs are usually cheaper and often (sorry) better. At least once a season we day-trip down to the far reaches of Charles County to satisfy our jones. Captain Billy's (Pope's Creek Road, Pope's Creek, [301] 932-4323), about a two-hour drive down Route 301, is a huge, chaotic, and crowded crab palace with a spectacular view across the wide Potomac and the most consistently excellent steamers we've found anywhere in the Chesapeake region. If the wait's too long there, trek another half-hour south to Captain John's (Route 254, Cobb Island, [301] 259-2315), which has a more serene setting (overlooking a marina on Neal Sound) but similarly high-quality crabs.

For the slightly less ambitious crab seeker, there's Cantler's Riverside Inn (458 Forest Beach Road, Annapolis, [410] 757-1311), a little less than an hour south of the city, and Gabler's (2200 Perryman Road, Aberdeen, [410] 272-0626), about an hour north. The former has perhaps the region's prettiest setting for waterside dining, in thick woods along peaceful Mill Creek; the latter has fine cream-of-crab soup and riverside tables for your bashing and picking.

During the summer and early fall, people head up to Baugher's, a Carroll County institution, to pick their own fruit. But the owners aren't just growers; they also run Baugher's Family Restaurant (289 W. Main St., Westminster, [410] 848-7413), a diner that owes more to country cooking than a rail-car-style greasy spoon, serving up hearty portions of farm-fresh American food. Save room for the flaky- crusted, fruit-a-licious pie, which is worth the long trek trip to the exurbs all by itself.

Of course, Carroll County cuisine isn't all about going down-home. You'll find sophistication on the hoof at Rudy's 2900 (2900 Baltimore Blvd., Finksburg, [410] 833-5777), where the cookery is Continental. Meaning you can sup on the likes of pheasant, duck, and innovative seafood creations in a sumptuous dining room that belies the restaurant's side-of-the-road location.

Back in the day, the Olney Ale House (2000 Olney Sandy Spring Road, Olney, [301] 774-6708), was a rough-and-ready roadhouse in the country. It wasn't unusual to see a pack of Harleys parked out front. Thanks to the proliferation of vinyl-wrapped tract houses, Olney (about 45 minutes west of Baltimore) isn't exactly the country anymore, and the venerable Ale House is more refined than rough. Folks of all stripes come here for fresh-baked oatmeal-molasses bread, an interesting array of micros on tap, and an eclectic menu featuring everything from burritos to free-range chicken to shrimp cakes. And in clement months, the whole toothsome operation spills onto an outside patio. The Ale House is actually way too cool for Montgomery County, but then, it makes a nice excuse to slip off I-95 and explore our dwindling rural back roads.

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