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1/2 Between Baltimore and Annapolis

Fellow hounds,

I need some recs for restaurants between Annapolis and Baltimore for a business lunch. Price isn't an issue, I prefer good food in a smaller place. Must be conversation friendly, not loud.


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  1. I haven't been in perhaps five years, but Alberto's was fairly good Italian and it's about halfway and right off of 97. The atmosphere is what you're looking for, maybe somebody out there has an update on the food.


    1. Agree on the Alberto rec. Also if you're closer to Route 2 there's Cynthias in Severna Park: www.cynthiassevernapark.com (don't let the strip-shopping-center locale dissuade you).

      1. Haven't been, but I've heard good things about Cafe Breton. Don't know if they are open for lunch. Woodfire might also be a possible, and I seem to recall a French/Vietnamese place (upscale, not a "pho joint") in a little strip mall right near the intersection of Benfield and Jumpers Hole in Severna Park. Perhaps a S.P. local can provide more info on any or all of these.

        Thai Gour in Glen Burnie might be a possible, or even Sunset, if you want to go for the "old school" appeal.

        For Japanese, Matsu in Linthicum (Camp Meade Road, right next to the Post Office) might be a good pick.

        As for the prior poster suggestions, a co-worker says good things about Cynthia's, and unless Trattoria Alberto has gone dramatically downhill in the past few years, it would also be a good rec.

        1. Right on Rte. 3 at Waugh Chapel in Gambrills/Crofton is a decent place called The Four Seasons Grille. I know they're open for lunch. Also, a quick place in the same complex (The Village at Waugh Chapel) is The Italian Market.

          1. Just so you know - the Italian Market is a cafeteria line "pizza by the slice" place.

            Between Baltimore and Annapolis via Route 2, I would throw in Garry's Grill and Woodfire.
            Or how about MJ Wagners Via Mia? http://www.mjwagners.com/

            7 Replies
            1. re: Denise

              Garry's Grill isn't that close to Route 2, is it? Isn't it more like Quarterfield Road next to I-97?

              1. re: Hal Laurent

                Garry's Grill's address is 553 A B&A Blvd. Severna Park - just a couple blocks off Ritchie Highway.

                1. re: Denise

                  There are 2 Gary's, one on Quarterfield Rd in Glen Burnie and the one who's S.P. address you give above. They also own Woodfire Grill in S.P.

                  All 3 are pretty good places.

              2. re: Denise

                Yes, the Italian Market is cafeteria style. It is still decent and in the area. It's not just pizza. Their pasta dishes are pretty good, and my husband loves their cheese steaks. I think it's good if time is more of an issue than cost.

                1. re: AlyKen

                  Italian Market is a quick, reasonably-priced spot for decent Italian food, and definitely worth a visit. Counter service, rather than "cafeteria-style" is a more accurate description, I think. The atmosphere and noise level is okay, too.

                  Gotta have the gelato on the way out. Superb. I'll never go to another ice cream parlor again!

                  1. re: Sal Gee

                    The Italian Market in Crofton offers pretty good fare, but it's severely lacking when comparing it to a real Italian Market. The Deli section is a joke, and the Gelato section seems bigger than the Deli section. On top of that, service is lacking as the people who work there (family members?) seem arrogant.

                2. re: Denise

                  We moved to MD about a year ago and fell in love with Garry's...we ate there several times a week. Mid-summer we had a baby girl so we stopped eating out altogether for about six months or so, and something happened to Garry's in the meantime. They changed their menu, the staff is all new, and the few times we've been back the food was okay at best. We don't think we'll go back again for a long time.

                3. In reply to warthog above the French Vietnamese plase is called Moulin de Paris. The address is 578 Benfield Village Shopping Center in SP. 410-647-7699.

                  1 Reply
                  1. On Rt. 175 in Odenton there are two good asian restaurants, a Thai one and a Korean one (with excllent sushi). I can't remember the name of the Thai restaurant, but the Korean restaurant is called "Okinawa".

                    At the Waugh Chapel Shopping center mentioned above, there's a japanese hibachi restaurant.

                    1. Thai restaurant on 175 in Odenton = Bangkok Kitchen. Don't eat off the buffet, but menu items are pretty good.

                      1. Unless I missed the suggestion above, the only other eatery that I know has a casual business atmostphere and the food of good local quality is Hellas. North of Annapolis, via 97N, off on ramp#11 (Ithink) onto Veteran's Hwy. Left @light, Hellas is immediate left. Has a bar area that business people like to gather and eat overstuffed sandwiches, Greek specialties and their crabcakes are of the best in the area. Hella's is about half way betwen Annapolis and Baltimore and rt. off the 97 exit. I meet friends and family there for lunch and dinners for the ease of locality, and of course for all crabcakes. Portions are large, so plan on a white box with your bill.

                        1. For those who like (or liked) G&M's crab cakes, Hellas reportedly is owned by somebody who once had some ties to G&M's. Memory fails me on the details, but supposedly, the crab cake recipe is the same. For those who say G&M's has declined, or for those who simply want to avoid the long waits that sometimes occur when G&M's is crowded, Hellas may be of interest - especially if it happens to also be closer to where one lives!

                          1. Kaufmann's in Gambrill's still does a pretty decent crabcake. They've been there forever.


                            1. Author has bias for slightly higher end with emphasis on ambience, servers being friendly, knowledgable and of course very good food.
                              1) Cafe Mezzanote, Severna Park Md, Large oval bar with seating sections on smoking side, non-smoking side is arranged in small sections raised sections. This is great because foot traffic is not disrupting conversations. Italian cusine but also spans regional tastes with standard american infusion. The highlight is a superb staff and the managment overlooks and stays on top of everything. Matt, Manager, Bonnie, Cara, Eric behind the bar. Food is excellent and med-hi
                              2) Severn Inn, at the east side foot of Naval Academy bridge. Great view of Annapolis via the all glass walls. Center section of resturant is more intimate, outside deck dinning, large L-shape bar with bar stool height dinning available. They have had a number of Mast Chef changes, currently the food is excellent, med-high price range. Favorite dinner servers: Linda & Connie. Linda's husband in in Navy Band
                              3) Gary's Grill and Woodfire Grill are both owned by the same owner and are right off of Ritchie Hwy. Both are pretty avg food fair and price but both are good for lunch stops. Seem to be the spot for the local real estate crowd. Woodfire Backroom is casual night time gathering.
                              4) Sunset, Glen Burnie "relic" decent & consistent food, avg price. Downside: Almost always terrible wait staff which seems to come from the ownership down. Does have two bars on opposite ends of establishment. Despite pesonal avoidance the Sunset continues to bring in the local, If you make dinner reservation, don't plan to be seated on time. In most of the sections the tables are too close so you feel crowded and share conversations.
                              5) Cafe Bretton is not open for Lunch however Victor the owner/chef will provide an excellent dining experience. Fabulous food, Very intimate, Preferred Server: Debra
                              6) Albertos in Glen Burnie is off the beaten path on Crain Hwy near, do not believe they are open for lunch. They are normally written up for their great food, which I agree is pretty good, the place is just too sterile inside although the staff is very competent and makes for a very nice dinning experience although at a price that is well above the total experience.
                              7) Not one for the normal chain-places but must admit that BoneFish (BestBuy-Target Shopping Center within 1/2 mile of MVA) has pretty dang good food, very reasonable price and as long as get one of the booth surrounding the walls the experience is pretty good. Good side bar section with booths and bar stool height tables available.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Flyin66

                                My husband and I went to Cafe Mezzanote for our anniversary last month. Neither of us were impressed enough to go back. We think the company's other ventures, 4 Seasons Grille and Squisitos, are better.

                              2. Christopher's in Crofton on Rte. 3 is really outstanding. Doesn't look like much from the outside, it's in a strip mall, but the food and atmosphere are top notch.