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Salisbury MD restaurants--Cactus Taverna, Grill Kabob, etc.

  • i

I'm on a lengthy visit to my original hometown of Salisbury, MD, so here's my comment on the current state of food here. It's just 30 miles west of Ocean City MD, so if you're in O.C. and everything's too packed, or you're staying in Salisbury b/c you can't find a hotel in O.C., here you go.

Probably the best restaurant in town is the excellent Cactus Taverna, located on U.S. 13 on the busy north side of town, across from the Centre at Salisbury Mall and just north of the Business-Bypass 13 split. They have very good Mexican, South American, and Mediterranean food. The specials are the best, but maybe a bit expensive depending on your budget, as they generally run about $20 or so. Just last night we had outstanding tuna (ask for rare), rockfish, and paella. The guy who owns the place is actually from Lebanon, I think, but there's really nothing Middle Eastern there except for the occasional Mazza appetizer special, which we also had last night and which was really great. He's probably correct to think that Salisbury is not sophisticated enough to dig Middle Eastern food, as a whole. I was born there and grew up there and most Salisburians just aren't into anything offbeat at all. (I'm surprised a Barnes & Noble dared to open in this town. It'll fail.)

If you just want regular Mexican fare, though, there's a much cheaper option, La Tolteca. Very cheap and above average, on Business U.S. 50 near the intersection with East Main St.

Brew River gets a lot of hype, and it's not bad, but Cactus Taverna is much better.

Boonie's is very good but it's a serious detour down MD Route 349 to Tyaskin (15-20 minutes from Salisbury).

Hunan Palace (Business Rt. 13 a few blocks south of Salisbury University) has good Chinese food and very good sushi.

And for really excellent Pakistani/Indian cuisine, there's Grill Kabob. Somebody please support this place. I don't think it gets much business. It's really more a lunch or takeout place because there isn't much in the way of decor. But it'll do for a very tasty and inexpensive dinner if you don't need any ambience. Call ahead for faster service (about 30-40 minutes) because they don't make the food quickly.
Everything is made to order, which is why it's so good. The number is 410-341-6767. They're at 203 E. Carroll St., at Business U.S. 13 (catty-corner from the hospital, PRMC). The chicken marsala is especially good.

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  1. I was doing research for my upcoming book and came across this posting. You seem to be very familiar with the area, so I thought I'd ask for your recommendations on restaurants in historic buildings. The eateries don't have to serve historic food -- they just have to be housed in something around 100 years old or more, where at least part of the building looks like it did way back when. If you have any input, I'd really appreciate the insight from a local.

    Thanks.

    1. b
      bryan mullins

      I agree with the above statement... for the most part... the grill kabob, while a below average looking restaurant, has some of the best food in the area. The food is best if you order in and eat it there. Take-out just doesn't do it here. Kahn and his wife cook the food from scratch, so it will be slow. Very few people support this place because it is run-down looking, but don't let that stop you. Chicken Vindalo, Chicken Masala, Biryani, are all tasty. Tell them Bryan sent ya!!

      1. b
        bryan mullins

        I agree with the above statement... for the most part... the grill kabob, while a below average looking restaurant, has some of the best food in the area. The food is best if you order in and eat it there. Take-out just doesn't do it here. Kahn and his wife cook the food from scratch, so it will be slow. Very few people support this place because it is run-down looking, but don't let that stop you. Chicken Vindalo, Chicken Masala, Biryani, are all tasty. Tell them Bryan sent ya!!

        1. To update my post, Grill Kabob has closed, but now there are two other Indian-Pakistani restaurants in Salisbury, both of which are just as good or better than Grill Kabob was. See these posts:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34831...
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/187324
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/354047

          Enjoy!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Ike

            How is Brew River? My son and I came upon it the other day and it looks like a lot of fun.
            That view has got to be special but I was wondering about the food.

            1. re: Lewes17266

              When I tried it a couple of years ago, the food at Brew River was OK but nothing special. It's not worth going out of your way for. I vaguely recall eating a reasonable hamburger there. One of my family members who lives in Salisbury has a similar opinion, but another hates the place. I can't remember why -- I'll ask him. I think he might have gotten some overcooked salmon, or maybe a salad full of crummy iceberg lettuce.

              Brew River seems to get a lot of business, but based on the boisterous noise level, it's mostly a loyal bar crowd. And probably also unadventurous eaters, and people going for the view (which isn't even that great in my opinion, but then I don't go to restaurants for the view, and if I want to see the river then I'll go for a walk in a local park).

              Interestingly, Brew River has gotten a lot of negative reviews on Google and Yelp, much more negative than mine, and I'm usually very critical.

              If you like Korean food then you should go to Seoul on Business Rt. 13 near the university instead.

              1. re: Ike

                Hi Ike. We will most certainly try Seoul and Cactus Taverna. We drive to Salisbury occasionally because of the airport and Gander Mountain and it is nice to have some suggestions.

                Brew River is probably popular with the college crowd. I like your comments!

                Thank you!

                1. re: Ike

                  Seoul has apparently gone out of business and Cactus Taverna is not open for lunch.

                  -----
                  Cactus Taverna
                  2420 N Salisbury Blvd Unit 15, Salisbury, MD 21801

                  1. re: Sensuous

                    Arrrrrrgh, I'm very sad that Seoul has closed.

                    Very close to Seoul's old location, there is an excellent Middle Eastern/Iranian place which, oddly, is named Tuscany Grill. (They also have Italian food.) I highly recommend it. Here's my review:

                    http://www.chow.com/restaurants/80187...

                    1. re: Ike

                      To update: Tuscany Grill became Mediterranean Grill. For a while they were closed, but they just re-opened. I'm glad they're back!

            2. Any updates on this area? Going to be spending a weekend in Salisbury, and on the lookout for places worthwhile for dinner.

              Willing to drive a good bit, but don't want to head to OC.

              Thanks!

              2 Replies
              1. re: DanielK

                Salisbury is still very limited for good dinner spots. I rarely eat dinner in Salisbury but my top choice is Sushi de Kanpai in the downtown plaza. They serve very fresh sashimi and rolls. As a matter of fact I think they are one of the best sushi places on Delmarva (probably second to Misaki in Bethany beach). My only other recommendation is in Cambridge which is about 30 minutes west of Salisbury. There is a casual french bistro with excellent food called Bistro Poplar.

                http://www.sushidekanpai.net/index.html
                http://www.bistropoplar.com/

                It seems like most people in Salisbury frequent the Market Street Inn which I have never tried or Sobo's which I thought had average food and poor service the few times that I have been.

                Hopefully you will get more ideas from other chowhound posters!

                1. re: lisaoceancity

                  Thanks so much! I definitely don't mind driving 30-60 minutes for a place to eat - just don't want to deal with the shore crowds.