Despite urgings from my buddy Tom, it took awhile for me to get comfortable with the notion of eating at Chappies. There was that sign on the door at the entrance that states “No Club Colors”. “Club Colors“? I had to do some googling to find out what that meant…
“What motorcycle club colors represent? Just like urban street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs use their colors to make their affiliation public to both fellow gang members and rivals. Sometimes, OMGs even have actual colors to go along with their “colors.” For example, Hells Angels wear red, and members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club wear green. Motorcycle gangs are extremely territorial of what they consider their turf. They use displaying colors as a way to define that turf. In the 1980s and ’90s, war waged between the Hells Angels and the Mongols for control of Southern California. When rival gangs like these tussle, they will try to remove and destroy the colors of their rivals by force”
Yikes! I’ll confess that I shared the trepidation of a diner who felt the trepidation but ate at Chappies anyhow (and lived to tell the tale!)
“They say first impressions can mean a lot. And when you go to an establishment and see sign on the door stating “No Club Colors” it leaves you with a bit of an unsettled feeling. But hey, so how bad could it be? And the answer, not bad at all.” (JasonB of Dundalk)
And then there’s that “M” in the huge neon “Motel” sign on top of the adjacent Beltway Motel that has been “out” for quite awhile. What does that say about the adjacent Chappies restaurant???
BUT… What the hey! I had picked up some stuff that I needed at the Home Depot that’s behind Chappies and the Beltway Motel and Chappies was a logical place to grab some diner, right???
I walked in and there was a diner-esque counter and booths. Not many people at 7 pm on a week night, but neither did it look at all threatening. There was a large dining room on the other side of the entrance and there was a family (a nice looking family that didn’t look like they arrived on motorcycles and weren’t all wearing the same “color”) that made it look more inviting! A nice waitress told us to pick where ever we wanted to sit and we picked out a booth upholstered in red leather. Opposite us, there was a nice long wall with a decorative mural of row houses that had real lamps cleverly placed next to the doors where there probably would be lamps…
The waitress came by, welcomed us and gave us menus! Somehow the idea of hard hat construction worker buddies appearing on the cover of the menu was re-assuring! Whew!
I decided to try a “Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad” ($10.49) and Tom opted for a Chicken Quesadilla ($8.49). I don’t know why but I thought for sure that he might have gone for the Beltway “Exit 10 Cheese Steak” sub; you can never predict what friends will order sometimes! On a whim, we decided to share a Chicken Wings appetizer a try. It turn out to have 8 nice wings with hot sauce and served with some blue cheese dressing. Pretty decent start! Of course, at that moment when I was really feeling secure, a loud shout/scream blared out of the kitchen! I stared at the window of the kitchen door half expecting that a bunch of marauding motor cyclists would come charging into the dining room! No, no, no! The waitress came by to remove our chicken wings plates and winked saying that the guys in the kitchen were getting all excited over a basketball game that they were watching on TV. <Sigh of relief> The smiling waitress returned with our dinners…
Geez! My salad looked pretty darn good with a good sized piece of salmon sitting on top of fresh green romaine coated with croutons and Caesar dressing. And it was good! The blackening spice on the salmon had a bit of an expected kick to it (but it could have been just a tad moister)
I’m not a big quesadilla fan but Tom seemed happy with it and polished it all off.
We passed our credit cards to our waitress and asked her to split the bill. No problem! That’s what she did and then smiled and told us to stop by again!
Hmmm… A nice dining room, a comfortable booth, a menu with stuff that I wanted to order (and mostly reasonable prices), good diner-quality food, pleasant helpful waitress… Why jeepers! I ate dinner at Chappies and not only survived it but I enjoyed it!
FACTS: Chappies Diner & Grille – Halethorpe – 3648 Washington Blvd;