For the most part, Coins puts a lot of tasty food on your plate

August 15, 1993|By Audrey Haar | Audrey Haar,Staff Writer

COINS

L Where: 2820 Coastal Highway (at 28th Street), (410) 289-3100

Hours: Dinner 4-11 p.m. daily

.` Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard

Walking through the doors of Coins Pub & Restaurant transports you from a bustling resort town into the atmosphere of a comfortable neighborhood restaurant back home.

The substantial oval bar, which occupies about a third of the restaurant's floor space, is staffed by a bartender who recognizes many of the customers. The dining area is pleasantly noisy and frequented by diners who call out to each other by name. Nearby, a small dance floor awaits the combo and patrons who gather there later.

Besides a full dinner menu, Coins offers steamed shrimp, buffalo wings, zucchini sticks and deep-fried mushrooms on its lite fare menu.

For our dinner, we started with the seafood gumbo ($2.50) and shrimp cocktail ($7.50). The thick and spicy soup had an almost stew-like consistency, and came packed with plenty of shrimp and scallops. But the shrimp cocktail was a disappointing mix of rubbery shrimp and bland cocktail sauce.

Soft, chewy loaves of sourdough bread accompanied our meal, and it wasn't long before we sent the waitress back for more.

ZTC When the veal parmigiana ($14.95) arrived, the cutlet completely filled its large serving platter. Besides size, the tender veal had a mild sauce and thicklayer of cheese to recommend it.

My friend and I have tasted a lot of crab imperial but this one ($16.95) is better than most. Each mound of crab was perfectly browned. And the fresh, flavorful lump crab meat was held together with a light sauce.

Garnishing each entree was a slice of fresh watermelon that could have provided a refreshing end to the meal if we hadn't decided to go with something sweeter. The chocolate layer cake ($3.95) had a rich chocolate taste and the apple crumb cheesecake ($3.95) consisted of a creamy cheese base with a good apple crumb topping.

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