Driving on the densely packed commercial strip along Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, it’s pretty easy to drive past the tall sign for Romano’s Restaurant without giving it much attention. From the street, the nondescript large building surrounded by a large parking lot doesn’t exactly reach out at you. The entrances are on either side (and you wouldn’t see them from the street). Our long time friend Jerry though had recommended the place and that was enough for us to at least give it a try (particularly when we’re hungry for dinner and desperate for something a couple notches above fast food joints!)
FYI – As far as we can find out, Romano’s restaurant has no link or association with Romano’s Macaroni Grill (which is a very large national chain of Italian restaurants)
Once inside the door, there’ a long hall which passes by the kitchen and which goes across the width of the building from one entrance to the other where there are small foyers (the hostess is only at the one on the south side but if you come in the north entrance you sort of need to figure that out on your own!). There’s a lounge and dining room off to one side which looked quite attractive and a very large kind of plain dining room. At 6 pm, Romano’s was jumping and we were surprised that we didn’t have to wait long before being seated ending up in the large dining room.
Romano’s menu is HUGE. There’s way over 75 dinner salads, main courses, Italian specialties (mostly $10-$15), Greek specialties ($6-$12; Our friend Jerry gives his Thumbs Up! to their Gyro and Souvlaki platters) and lots of sandwiches ($8 – $13 and include your choice of Fries, Mashed Potatoes or Coleslaw). Be warned though that the huge range of dinner entree options approaches $40.
We started by ordering some Buffalo Chicken wings ($9). They were average but surprisingly good. (Most other appetizer options range from $5 to $10)
While we wrestled with figuring out what to order from the big menu, there was dish served to the ladies at a table near us that definitely raised our eyebrows in amazement. Uncharacteristically bold, we said hello to the ladies and asked WHAT was that just got served to them!. They smile and told us it was the crab stuffed chicken breast ($24). (Oh, the specific lady who ordered told us that she had it before, it was delicious and that it was her favorite dish at Romano’s.
Trying to decide what to ordere for our main courses was a real challenge. Roman0’s menu is BIG. My buddy Tom – perhaps motivated by the fact that he had skipped lunch that day and was on the border of starvation – decided that was just the thing for him!. It turn out to be a BIG full chicken breast oozing with crab imperial and covered in a brandy cheese sauce!
You can get a better idea of the magnitude and scope of Tom’s dish from this photo showing a side view. If this monster, plate filling chicken breast wasn’t enough, it also came with two side dishes. Yes, you might infer from this that Romano’s serves up hefty generous portions and Tom ended up taking half of his dinner home with him.
Paul’s lasanga ($11) turned out to be a good, home style slab of lasanga (which he ended up taking a portion home with him) He liked it.
John’s Eggplant Parmigiana ($13) proved good and satisfying with another generous entree portion served on top of a bed of pasta.
By the time that we finished our entrees, we realized that we were too full to ever considering dessert. So despite some interesting looking desserts in a refrigerated case, we manage to by-pass temptation and skip dessert.
Service from waitress was attentive and friendly (why even the ladies at he nearby table who had introduced us to crab stuff chicken breast were friendly and wished us a pleasant evening on their way out!). Romano’s has been around for years and is clearly popular – their basic “home style” cooking and big portions are clearly a hit with the locals.
FACTS: Romano’s Restaurant – Glen Burnie – 6905 Ritchie Highway; 410-768-8188 ; http://www.romanosdining.com ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 10 pm ; Full Bar ; very limited vegetarian options; large adjacent parking lot. (Most recent DiningOUT visit: 5/10/14)