Driving back to Baltimore one evening, we were hungry and the usual suspects for dinner in Mt. Airy that we might have tried were busy and looking for a quick, non-fast food alternative, we stumbled by accident (and good fortune!) upon the Mt. Airy Tavern – located in a hidden corner of a very large “L” shaped strip store center a mile north of Rte 70. During warmer months, the Mt. Airy Tavern takes advantage of a huge chunk of unused sidewalk to create a pleasant shrub encased outdoor dining areas.
If you decide to enjoy the outdoor dining area though, you could miss out on discovering a lounge and couple of dining rooms inside that have an elegant and upscale feel.
Lots off items on the menu caught our attention which made decision making difficult. We decided to share an order of wings among the three of us as a starter but couldn’t decide which preparation to get. Our waiter offered a veritable Solomon-esque solution to us – instead of going all General Tso or all “Old Bay”, just request half and half and enjoy both! (I won’t even mention how Paul got that certain gleam in his eyes as he enjoyed our friendly waiter’s smile and banter…). I confess that we couldn’t quite decide which we liked better (but that didn’t stop us from nibbling all of them down to the bone!)
The menu offered lots of options to consider for our main course include half a dozen entree salads ($9 – $13), “made here” soups ($6/bowl), six types of pizza ($10 – $13), a dozen and a half sandwiches and burgers ($9-$12 including chips and pickle; fries are $1 extra), and about eighteen entrees ($12 – $25). John finally settled on the Steak Salad ($13), Tom opted for the Hot Turkey Platter ($12) and Paul decided on a Margherita Pizza ($10).
John thought his steak salad was memorable! 6 big slices of tender beef topped the greens and arrived medium rare as ordered. Mixed among the field greens, he found bits of sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and garlic croutons. Mmmmm!
Tom’s Hot Turkey Platter was a definite pleaser! A big mound of pulled turkey in gravy on toast made an impression along with real (not instant) garlic mashed potatoes and string beans (which didn’t see to have come out of a can…). The portions were quite large and Tom end up taking some home with him.
I think collectively we were most surprised by Paul’s pizza. It looked first rate and was bigger than Paul expected (he ended up taking some home with him)
We were sorely tempted by some of the dessert but all of us were feeling pretty full between our “starter” and our entrees and we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and passed on dessert.
We were so pleased with our meal, the atmosphere and the service that spotting a poster on the way out touting their week night specials, we were definitely thinking that we could turn into regulars here if Mt. Airy wasn’t quite so much of a drive from the Baltimore Beltway!
FACTS: Mt. Airy Tavern – Mt. Airy – 1001 Twin Arch Rd; (301) 829-3212; http://themtairytavern.com ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; Full Bar; Vegetarian Options; Abundant adjacent free parking
DiningOUT Suggestion: John’s a big fan of “Home Goods” bargains on house hold goods and – as fate would have it -there’s one an invigorating short walk from the Mt. Airy Tavern at the other end of the line of stores. In the opposite direction, there’s also an intriguing tatoo parlor store front worth checking out! <Wink>