Chris's Charcoal Pit

CARRY OUT

April 20, 1991|By Bruce Friedland

1946 West St. Hours: Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sunday. Call 266-5200 or 266-5201.

If you find yourself hungry in Annapolis and don't have the cash or inclination to visit one of the more upscale dining spots downtown, you should know about Chris's Charcoal Pit.

This family-run, family-oriented restaurant just outside of town is one of the few dining jewels on West Street, an otherwise congested stretch of highway marked by fast food joints and muffler shops. Tucked away in a small strip shopping center -- that can be difficult to enter and exit in the ever-present traffic -- Chris's has been quietly winning, and keeping, local customers for years with its homemade Greek and Italian food. As the carryout menu boasts, "You haven't had a Gyro until you've had ours!"

It's not an idle boast. Chris's signature meal, for me, anyway, is the Gyro ($4.10), a generous pita sandwich packed with strips of lamb, crisp cucumber, tomato, onion and cool tzatziki sauce. It's a bit messy to eat, but always excellent.

There are also the standard subs, sandwiches and above-average New York-style pizza ($8.50 for a large plain), along with Chris's variety of "authentic" Greek and Italian dishes, including Mousaka ($7.50), Souvlaki platter ($7.95), lasagna ($6.95) and manicotti ($6.50). Most are served with Greek salad and bread.

If you visit Chris's once, it's a sure bet you will return.

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