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Dec 10, 2007 08:46 AM

Lost in the <insert decade here>

I recently went to Snyder's Willow Grove in Linthicum, more out of curiosity than anything. I live nearby, but never heard much good or bad about the place, yet there always seem to be plenty of cars in the lot when I pass by on the ramp from 695.

In short, it was not a bad meal. Actually, it was a pretty good meal, if not particularly creative. What struck me, though was the general vibe of the place - the sort of "supper club" that our family used to go to for "special occasions" in my youth. The sort of places that used to be a fixture on the dining seen - reliable "neighborhood instituions" aimed at an "upscale, but not *too* fancy" dining experience, usually with a lot of wedding reception and banquet business in addition to the normal dining room trade.

It's not a genre that's much in vogue these days, but I'm curious if there are any examples of this niche around that are worth Chowhound exploration, as long as one knows going in what to expect (quality) and what not to expect (an abundance of "cutting edge" culinary creativity).

Any guilty pleasures in this niche that anybody out there wants to 'fess up to enjoying, or places that you know enough about to mention?


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  1. Haven't been there in a while but the SUNSET RESTAURANT in Glen Burnie kinda fits this niche

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hue

      Or the Rose. There was a place that I went to based on a good Sun review that was just boring as can be. I wish I could remember the name of it, but it fit this description to a T. I think it was in Linthicum.

      1. re: JonParker

        And bingo. After not hearing the name of the place for at least two years, it pops up in another thread. It was House of Welsh. Utterly forgettable.

    2. Oh my gosh! Makes me think of Tom Sarris' Orleans House in Rosslyn, VA. I thought I heard they were closing soon. Does anybody know? Last time I ate there, with extended family after a funeral, I saw Madeline Albright at a table next to the big salad bar shaped like a riverboat.

      1. The Golden Bull in Gaithersburg? I've never been there, and never heard of anyone who has been there, but it has the look to me. No idea if it's good. Also, Mrs K's Toll House in Silver Spring. I went there once about 20 years ago. It's probably the same.

        Golden Bull Grand Cafe
        7 Dalamar St, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

        Mrs K Toll House
        9201 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

        1. Oh and also Anna Maria's in Dupont Circle.

          Golden Bull Grand Cafe
          7 Dalamar St, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

          Mrs K Toll House
          9201 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

          Anna Maria's Italian
          1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

          1. Ferdinand's in Wheaton is definitely in this category. Their business took a hit after the smoking ban went into effect. Location-wise they are surrounded by strong competition: the original Hollywood East, Suporn, Max's Kosher Cafe, Nava Thai and Ruan Thai.