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Dining in Westminster


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I've been driving to and from this town sometimes as much as once a week to attend graduate school and then teach graduate courses at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) for 8 years now. Despite the frequency, I've ventured little beyond Wendy's and McDonald's, though I once had a meal at Baughers and Johanssons, each with little to remember. Really, there's been nothing that has intrigued me no matter which direction I've driven in from. Now, I had some damn good fried chicken at the Royal Farms convenience store today, but I just feel like I HAVE to be missing something here. Am I? I actually don't care for fine dining considering how far I have to drive to and from, but that might enrich the board. I'd love to know a slightly-better-than-decent casual or carryout place to grab a bite to eat before or after class. Got any suggestions? Otherwise, it's Royal Farms every week.

Pax,

Brian

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I've been driving to and from this town sometimes as much as once a week to attend graduate school and then teach graduate courses at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) for 8 years now. Despite the frequency, I've ventured little beyond Wendy's and McDonald's, though I once had a meal at Baughers and Johanssons, each with little to remember. Really, there's been nothing that has intrigued me no matter which direction I've driven in from. Now, I had some damn good fried chicken at the Royal Farms convenience store today, but I just feel like I HAVE to be missing something here. Am I? I actually don't care for fine dining considering how far I have to drive to and from, but that might enrich the board. I'd love to know a slightly-better-than-decent casual or carryout place to grab a bite to eat before or after class. Got any suggestions? Otherwise, it's Royal Farms every week.

Pax,

Brian

As I have rarely gone out there I will refer you to Baltimore Magazine's listings... but if it's anything like Harford County... there isn't too much to offer, merely the finer establishments with the area.

Antrim 1844 Country Inn 30 Trevanion Rd., Taneytown, 410-756-6812. Intimate plantation-turned-inn. Cocktails, then a fixed-price menu; six courses, $62.50 pp. D daily. ✮

Baldwin’s Station 7618 Main St., Sykesville, 410-795-1041. American fare in a renovated train station on the Patapsco River. Call for schedule of live local and national musical acts. L,D Tue-Sun. $$$ ✮

Harry’s MAIN STREET 65 W. Main St., Westminster, 410-848-7080. Local institution offering steak, crab cakes, pasta dishes. B,L,D Mon-Sat. $$

Liberatore’s Ristorante 6300 Georgetown Blvd., Eldersburg, 410-781-4114. The third in the Liberatore brothers’ trio of upscale Italian restaurants. L Mon-Sat, D daily. $$

Maggie’s Restaurant 310 E. Green St., Westminster, 410-876-6868. French Continental: chicken champagne, crab cakes, prime rib. L,D daily. $$$

I can attest to none of these... but I will say I do enjoy a Royal Farms chicken box from time to time. I don't know if they have a Wawa in that neck of the woods, as they are ALL over Harford County, but I do enjoy some of their made-to-order sammiches. Their stuffed pretzels will do in a jiffy, esp. when they are fresh.

Hope that helps!

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Now that warm weather is nearly upon us, I should mention that one of the hidden treasures of north-central Maryland lies about 5 miles northeast of Westminster...namely, the seasonal, homemade fruit ice creams at the Simmons' Store (2841 Snydersburg Road, Hampstead, MD 21074). It sits on a nondescript stretch of downhill country road, surrounded by younger residential developments. A few years back, a friend of mine who grew up in nearby Millers led our touring caravan there for a delicious peach ice cream break. Hmm...might have to route myself through that distant area to see if they're doing strawberry now.

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There's an "Irish pub" downtown, across from Johanssens, if I remember correctly. We've eaten there a couple of times - the fish and chips were among the best I've had locally. Can't speak to the other items on the menu.

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...namely, the seasonal, homemade fruit ice creams at the Simmons' Store...

Sorry, belay that recommendation. I'm reliably informed that about a year ago, the Simmonses gave up on making their own and now dip a premium commercial product. Just not enough takers.

As a consolation, we grabbed scoops at Hoffman's (along Washington St. in Westminster), also all homemade, but I got blank looks when I asked which flavors were made with local fruit.

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The one place in Westminster that I recall as being exceptional is Paradiso, which serves good Italian, but I think it's more of a sit-down dinner spot. As for fried chicken, if I recall correctly we used to make the drive up there merely to eat at the KFC in Cranberry Mall for their all-you can-eat bar. All-you-can-eat KFC, how horrible and beautiful. In any case, also in Cranberry Mall, Brass Hen serves good fried chicken, more akin to the type you would find in a typical Baltimore City "Chicken Box".

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There's an "Irish pub" downtown, across from Johanssens, if I remember correctly. We've eaten there a couple of times - the fish and chips were among the best I've had locally. Can't speak to the other items on the menu.

O'Lordan's Pub, just south of Main St on Rt 27 is owned by the Johanssen folks and is very good.

We've had the fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and the huge appetizer plate of steamed shrimp (easily a dozen two-bite shrimp). Tuesday thru Friday they have happy hour 3-7, when the very reasonably priced shrimp got from $12.50 to $6.50 and the 1/2 pound Blarney burger (w/ cheese and bacon and a side of waffle fries) is a steal for $4.50, with $3 and $4 pints of various Irish brews. They may have added Saturday as well.

http://www.olordansirishpub.com/

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