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Feb 11, 2009 06:53 AM

Anything Chow-worthy west of Baltimore?

I'm talking about lunch in the western 'burbs of Baltimore; Ellicot City, Randallstown, Reisterstown, or anything along that axis or close to the western part of the beltway. Anything at all.


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  1. Depends where/what you're looking for. Catonsville's right off the beltway, and I'm partial to the Pho at Pho Nam right there on 40. Other people seem to prefer the food at Pho #1 a little north of there. There's also an ok Jamaican chain, Golden Crust, right of 40 next to the H Mart. I've also heard good things about Pioneer Pit Beef, not too far from there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jason1

      Any highlights at Golden Crust.? From the name, sounds like they may have fresh Patties...

      1. re: Steve

        I'm sorry, I actually spelled it wrong. It's Golden Krust, and it's part of a larger chain.
        I thought their patties were decent, but they certainly didn't blow me away. Still, it's good for a fix.

        Also, not too far from there, out near Woodlawn (Windsor Mill), is Caribbean Food Store, which has very good Trini food. I like their roti and doubles. Overall, I probably prefer it, but it's further out of the way and only has one or two small tables.

    2. Pioneer Pit Beef is great for a take out lunch...Try Salsa Grill on Security Blvd just inside the beltway across from FOX Chevy

      2 Replies
      1. re: Hue

        Anyhting in particular you like at Salsa Grill? Nowhere to sit down at/near Pioneer Pit Beef?

        1. re: Steve

          Pioneer has a few picnic tables when the weather is nicee but thats about it,,,,
          Salsa Grill ...I enjoy the paella and the crabcakes and the desserts

      2. Liberty Road, w. of 695 - Up in Smoke Rib and BBQ truck, in Ollies/Shoppers Parking Lot, eat in car or take home
        Chick N Trout - 1 mi further west on south side of street -4.99 trout dinner, good chicken and sides.Few tables, no atmosphere

        1 Reply
        1. re: nickdanger

          And that BBQ place next to Chick N Trout - Kloby's.

        2. In Ellicott City, pick from Tersiguel's, Jordan's or Diamondback Tavern, depending on mood and price range. In Catonsville, consider Catonsville Gourmet.

          5 Replies
          1. re: billzinhoco

            Are all those places open for midweek lunch? Anything particularly special to order at any of those? I am a bit wary of blanket recommendations as I would prefer to take advantage of experienced guidance.

            1. re: Steve

              Sorry. Jordan's not open for lunch. Others all are.
              Tersiguel's is country French, a little pricey but very good. Their menu is online. The Alsace sausage, salmon and mussels, lobster omelette or crab crepe are all nice. Diamondback Tavern is a newer Maryland-based choice (website not up yet, but check for menu), less expensive. Rockfish wrap, shrimp and grits, and onion rings are tasty. Catonsville Gourmet focuses on seafood; menu's online. Go with what's fresh (they'll tell you, and there's a market in back) and they have a bunch of preparations to chose from.

                1. re: chowsearch

                  Here's one thread:

                  Here's an excerpt from my blog post:
                  I stopped in for lunch this week and found an eclectic and interesting menu of bar foods, sandwiches, salads and a homey set of reasonably priced ($13-18) entrees. Highlights include crab and corn fritters, scotch eggs, fried oysters, bangers & mash, shepard's pie, and shrimp & grits. The chef seems to have an affinity for the deep fryer, not that there's anything wrong with that. The cholesterol-wary can investigate salads, a rockfish wrap and a few other items. The ingredients are local and fresh where possible.

                  It's nice. Good bar area, separate dining area mostly for dinner. Upstairs, too. Friendly service.

                  1. re: chowsearch

                    Diamondback has a very nice bar atmosphere, but on multiple visits the food has been just average. An exception is the house-made applesauce which was really good.

            2. Thank you all for your suggestions. I made it to Pioneer Pit Beef.

              Holey Moley, where have you been all my life, Pit Beef? Thin slices of juicy, tender medium rare beef (you get to order your degree of doneness) shot through with an undeniable smokey flavor. Piled high, this enormous sandwich still makes for easy eatin'. There is even a large size, but I might have trouble lifting that one. Ordered mine with Tiger Sauce, which is a combo of mayo and horsereadish. No seating whatsoever, not even a lone picnic table as I've read elsewhere. Still, this is a Hall-of-Fame sandwich.

              Thank you nickdanger, third eye. To all the others, I will keep those suggestions on file.

              Just a note: years ago when I lived in Baltimore, I hit a Pit Beef place in S. Baltimore a couple of times. That operation bore no resemblance to the beautiful beef being sliced at Pioneer. That place made me think there was nothing special about pit beef. I stand corrected.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                Steve, glad you've now pioneered Pioneer. It did win CityPaper's Best Pit Beef last year.


                And I have hopes that the picnic tables will return come springtime.

                1. re: bordeauxfan

                  I will definitely check out Pioneer when I am up that way. By the way, the CP gives a call to Chap's (as did Guy Fieri in his DD&D B'more segment on Food Channel), and I found it to be one of the most disappointing sandwichs I've had since Jack's went franchise. However, I might check out the "club" next to Chaps sometime.

                  1. re: nickdanger

                    You should go to Pioneer. It's hard to believe this place even exists. It really is no more than a shack under the highway. True BBQ at its finest.

                    1. re: Steve

                      Steve - I think this marks only the second time in history that I found a hole-in-the-wall gem before you did. The other is a bet of mine, which is TECC, which I found in 2000 when he was still in a trailer across from Ft. Myers.

                      While known on CH, I had no such knowledge. I saw Pioneer when a coworker was driving after visiting a nearby client and she got lost. I saw the place and requested to pull over but she was not having it. Needless to say the next visit I drove and left her in the car while I ordered and ate (it was a nice late spring day).

                      1. re: Dennis S

                        I have Hue to thank for mentioning Pioneer Pit Beef in this thread, as well as Jason1. But not all pit beef is created equal. I can easily see why this place rated as best by City Paper. I think the Pit Beef (not their other sandwiches) deserve a place in great bbq lore.

                        I am now trying to figure out an excuse to get back to Baltimore.

                        1. re: Steve

                          Steve Raichlen highlighted them in NY TImes, I believe, as well. One of the many threads from last year had a link to it.

                          Actually - here's the link:

                          1. re: Dennis S

                            The irony of the article is that Pioneer Pit Beef is on the West side of Baltimore, not the east side.