BLUE CHANNEL INN
College Parkway Center, Arnold. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays; 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call (301) 974-0777.
The Blue Channel Inn is a wonderful place that seems effortlessly to manage as a family restaurant perfect for kids, a seafood restaurant that could satisfy the most discerning of old salts, and a friendly place to have a beer and a sandwich while watching sports on the large-screen television in the bar (with the volume respectfully muted).
The restaurant's casual atmosphere is reflected in any number of small ways -- the chalkboard menus listing daily specials, the working fireplace, the popcorn maker in the bar. But, of course, it's the food that counts, and in quality, quantity and price, the Blue Channel Inn receives high marks. You come away from the restaurant feeling as if you've not only gotten a good meal, but also your money's worth.
This is a fun place to visit for lunch or dinner, but happily, everything on the menu is available to take out.
On a recent visit, we opted for sandwich fare. Hot and cold sandwiches are served with french fries billed as "potato wedges" and cole slaw. Burgers ($5.50) are big, served on good poppy seed rolls and cooked to order. Chicken nuggets for the kids ($5) come with curly fries and applesauce, and one order easily fed a hungry 4-year-old and her 2-year-old sister. The homemade soups -- cream of crab ($2.95 for a cup), vegetable crab ($2.50), baked French onion ($1.95) -- are all excellent, and there are several salad, including chef salad ($5.95) and Caesar salad ($4.95).
If you fancy seafood, the Blue Channel Inn has shrimp, clam and calamari appetizers and a number of entrees in the $10-$15 range that include salad and vegetables.
The restaurant also has a nice variety of desserts -- how many places offer a root beer float these days?