Six miles north of Route 695 on Bel Air Rd (aka Route 1) and just before you pass over the Gunpowder River, we stumbled on a pleasant bar and restaurant named Gunpowder Lodge after an afternoon of shopping at nearby Whitemarsh mall. Gunpowder Lodge is surrounded by the Gunpowder Falls State park and is almost hidden from view particularly when the big trees along the Route 1 are in leaf. The building structure probably was built in the 1950’s and has a classic woodsy charm . At one point, it had a reputation for being popular with bikers, but now you’re more likely to find the customers from the sprawling new housing tracts off of Honeygo Blvd or horse back riders from the adjacent Gunpowder state park who hitch up their horses in back.
Inside, the dining room with its rustic large stone fireplace has been walled off from the bar and provides a pleasant casual dining space. (When it’s warm out, there are a few tables outside on a deck with a view of the park)
You can check out the whole menu online.
Some highlights of the menu include 6 appetizers ($6-$10 including unexpected options like Crab Bruschetta and Hearty Hiker Nachos topped with smoked chicken or chili), personal pizzas (mostly $8 including again unexpected choices like Pesto, Crab Alfredo and Hot & Sweet Pepper Sausage), soups including Maryland Crab as well as Cream of Crab or a blend of both Crab soups and Kingsville Beef Chili (Cup for $4, Bowl for $7) , several salads available with grilled or blackened chicken or Ahi Tuna (mostly $13), and a dozen plus burgers and sandwiches ($9-$10 most available with grilled chicken or beef) which come with home made German potato salad, cole slaw or chips. (FYI – there are no fried foods including french fries on the menu – the official explanation of why not is that big fryers in the kitchen raised environmental concerns because of the proximity to the river; sounds kind of plausible but left me wondering if the owner just doesn’t like French Fries or fried foods?).
John and one friend tried a Pulled Pork sandwich special ($9) with the potato salad; the sandwiches were stuffed with lots of tasty pulled pork barbeque that was right good. Our friend also ordered a “Grilled Veggie Skewer” side dish which he enjoyed; there’s also a side of “Mac & Cheese” (both $4). Hungry Marty started with a cup of the Maryland crab soup which really hit the mark and opted for a Shrimp Salad wrap with cole slaw ($12) which earned high marks from him as well for the large chunks of spicy shrimp inside and the home made creamy slaw. On recommendation from a friend who’s a big fan of this place, I’ve tried the “Pot Roast Sammy” sandwich with the potato salad. ($10); it was well stuff with lots of good sliced beef topped with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, melted provolone cheese and a creamy horseradish sauce. – the advice was definitely worth listening to and that sandwich is recommended and got my Thumbs Up!
Surprisingly for a place with such a woodsy feel to it, we’ve tried the pizzas a couple of times and been pleased that we did. During the meal, servers make a point of touching base and keeping water glasses and soft drinks filled up.
While typically, our main course at Gunpowder Lodge leaves us filled up and satisfied, we recently threw caution to the wind and shared an apple crisp that made for one sweet end to our dinner:
Gunpowder Lodge is find worth discovering with good satisfying food, friendly service and a pleasant casual space to eat in.
FACTS: Gunpowder Lodge (Kingsville); 10092 Bel Air Rd; 410-256-2626; ; Open 7 days/week for lunch & dinner 11 am – 10 pm; full bar; veggie options; located immediately south of the Gunpowder river on Rte 1; adjacent free parking