The Best And Worst Of Summer

Critic's Top 10 List: Where To Eat, What To See And How To Cheat Death

July 28, 1991|By Phil Greenfield

I recently took a break from helping the governor select the new cherry cabinets for his kitchen to compile my Top 10 list for the summerof '91. Here goes.

* Best "Cheap Eats" Find: Morrison's Cafeterias in Annapolis and Pasadena. Both are homey, pleasant and all that stuff, and the food isn't bad at all.

The kids love the macaroni and cheese; a "side order" big enough to satisfy the little tykes runs all of 89 cents a bowl.

Supper for one adult and two kids: Liver and onions with seasoned rice, two dishes of the macaroni, an order of green beans (Mom was in San Francisco on business but her presence was felt), two soupy egg custards andtwo sodas. Price? $9.37. And we coulda done without the beans, if you want to know the truth.

A passable dinner for three for under 10bucks here in Price Gouge's County. Pinch me.

* Best New Spot Fora Fender Bender: The Parking Lot at Annapolis Harbour Center.

This place is a living monument to somebody's stupidity. Nothing feeds logically into anything. To get out of the Pennsylvania Dutch Market lot, you have to navigate to the rear, up through Arbutus and then double back. Take the orange cones away, and Lewis and Clark couldn't find their way out.

I bet this entire mess is dug up and redesigned within a year and a half.

The Severn River Bridge, U.S. 50 itself,Broadneck High School, and now this: Can't anybody around here do something right the first time?

* The Summer of '91 "Cheating of Death Award": I accept on behalf of all the residents of Cape St. Claire. I'd always assumed I would die in a traffic accident at the corner of U.S. 50 and Cape St. Claire Road, an interchange designed by Beelzebub's own corps of uncivil engineers. But as this Dodgem ride is about to be cloverleafed out of existence, I live to face tomorrow.

Imay still croak two miles west of the Bay Bridge, but it's more likely to be from natural causes now that the ramps are functional.

* Best Bargains: You had to ask? Tower Records, of course.

The most extraordinary Brahms' First Piano Concerto in the catalog (Gilels/Jochum) on Deutsche Grammaphon) for nine bucks. From the cut-out bins, agorgeous disc of Benjamin Britten's music featuring tenor Neil Mackie (Angel), an anthology of the works of Gerald Finizi (Nimbus), and aterrific Mozart recital by pianist Emile Naumoff (also on Angel). They're $6.99 a throw, by the way.

How are things at the mall anyway? I haven't been there in weeks.

* Best Performance: David Reynolds as "Tevye" in Annapolis Dinner Theater's production of "Fiddler On The Roof."

I wasn't sure a twentysomething-year-old kid could bring it off. He's wonderful. If you've not seen him, you should. Tradition, Tradition.

* Second-Best Performance: Phil Greenfield, thank you very much, as "Mr. Mom." In two stints as a "single parent" (God forbid) totaling some 13 days, I was an interested, conscientious, affectionate daddy most of the time and even prepared most of the meals at home. (Teachers don't get paid in the summertime.)

I didn't start whimpering and kicking pillows until well after Joann and Benjaminwere in bed.

* Best Idea: The Annapolis Chorale's "Summer Sings."

Conducted by Ernie Green on Tuesday nights at the Great Hall at St. John's College, these informal, informative read-throughs of Mozart, Bach and Faure have been a blast.

Singers interested in warbling through the super-charged Verdi Requiem Tuesday and Carl Orff's lusty, raucous "Carmina Burana" on Aug. 13 should show up ready to sing at 7:30 p.m.

O Fortuna! (Can't wait for "Carmina"!)

* Second-Best Idea: The Face-lift for Parole.

Tentative plans were recently announced to remake Parole into a less higgledy-piggledy, more upscalecommunity complete with a town center, tree-lined walkways and otheraesthetic and cultural amenities.

Bravo! May I humbly suggest a Japanese tea garden nestled midway between Trak Auto and Popeye's Fried Chicken?

Question: Shall the group of planners at work on this remarkable project be known henceforth as the Parole Board?

* Most Heartless Suggestion: No, Ellen! Please! Don't take my highbrow Annapolis mailing address away from me! I beg you! I'll never be able to face my family again! They think I live in swanky, upscale Annapolis.

Please don't consign me to (sob) Arnold. How could I ever hold my head up living in a town named after a Jewish accountant. I have so little to live for as it is. . . . Please don't take Annapolis away from me! Please Ellen! Don't!

* Most Boring Performance: The weatherman. 98 and hazy. 98 and hazy. Get a life, dork! Learn some new lines!

When he isn't rating summertime activities, Phil Greenfield is rating local theater and classical music performances for the Anne Arundel County Sun.

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