Now that it's the '90s, Baltimoreans need a new place to power breakfast. A '90s kind of place.
We need some place a little less high-powered. Somewhere rustic, but not too rustic, that puts us in touch with nature and our own spirituality. And, as the millennium approaches, a place with plenty of history, to satisfy the nostalgic longings in all of us. Also it has to have good pancakes.
I nominate Sanders' Corner.
This is the place near Loch Raven Dam that was built in the late 19th century. Along the way it's been a blacksmith's, a post office and a general store. In the '50s the Sanders family bought the structure, began making their own ice cream and expanded the general store into an ice cream and sandwich shop.
Now Sanders' Corner is a full-scale restaurant, with a recently acquired liquor license. The back dining room is the most appealing, with mirrored booths and lots of tables situated by open windows. Even better on a warm summer morning is the knotty pine second-story porch, which has a fine view of the woods and water.
The food is plain, inexpensive and as pleasant as the setting. This is not the place where you're going to get freshly squeezed orange juice, croissants or a cafe latte; but you can have home fries with onions or chipped beef over toast. You're won't pay big-city prices either.
A short stack of tender pancakes with real butter and a large, flat sausage patty made me happy. The cheese omelet comes with your choice of cheeses, and it's not bad. You can get it with toast or a bagel or a good blueberry muffin. And nobody rushes you if you linger over a second or third cup of coffee long after you're done eating.
Sanders' Corner also has a full range of salads, sandwiches and subs, which are served till closing.
I'm not sure many people go there for the entrees. (I better take that back, since entrees include a hot turkey sandwich smothered in gravy and a hamburger platter.) I tried the fried oysters, which were more fried than oyster, so next time I'd get a sandwich like "That Dam Reuben" (get it?), a great gloppy concoction overflowing with melted Swiss, corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on rye.
You can get a milkshake with your Reuben (extra thick or with malt) -- part of Sanders' ice cream shop heritage, I suppose. That alone makes the restaurant worth knowing about. After all, how many places serve a chocolate malt and a Washington state hTC cabernet sauvignon?
2260 Cromwell Bridge Road
Open Sundays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Major credit cards
Prices: Breakfast, $1-$6.75; sandwiches, $3.50-$6.95; entrees, $7.25-$16.95
Pub Date: 5/30/96