Get your spoons ...Ice cream lovers, rejoice. I've found a...

TABLE TALK

July 22, 1999|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic

Get your spoons ...

Ice cream lovers, rejoice. I've found a few more ice cream parlors out there as a result of my story "The Real Scoop" a couple of Sundays ago.

Sean Smeeten has recently opened the Sylvan Beach Cafe at 7 W. Preston St. It has homemade ice cream (13 flavors plus two sorbets), specialty coffee drinks and baked goods. It's open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

A reader wrote asking, "What happened to Hoffman's? This family-owned and run ice cream parlor has been around for over 50 years." It's still there at 934 Washington Road in Westminster. The specialty is hand-dipped homemade ice cream, but you'll have to find your own place to sit outside while you eat it.

I received a couple of e-mails praising the Ice Cream Cottage (1348 Stevens Ave.) in Arbutus. "It's family-owned (and not my family), friendly and not too pricey," said one. "My family as well as the rest of the community loves the place," said the other. It's a bit more than an ice cream parlor, though. You can also get sandwiches there.

... Or your crab mallets

Is McCormick & Schmick's (Pier 5 in the Inner Harbor) repositioning itself as a Baltimore crab house? Hardly, but this summer you can get steamed crabs at the upscale seafood chain restaurant, which originated in the Northwest. Hardshells are served only on the patio or in the bar, though. Fine dining uninterrupted by the banging of mallets is still available inside.

Imagination on the menu

Today is scheduled to be the first day of the Joy America Cafe's revamped menu. It was created by restaurateurs Spike and Charlie Gjerde, who took over the dining room of the American Visionary Art Museum this spring. The food is no longer as strange as it was under the original owner/chef, Peter Zimmer, but it is still imaginative and fun. Look for Southwestern and Caribbean accents, with dishes such as a grilled hanger steak, market greens and roasted pepper strips ($9) and lobster stew, plantains and sweet potatoes in a spicy tomato broth ($26). Another bonus: Prices are lower, although they aren't exactly giving the food away.

Way cool Cafe Hon

I recently received a fax from Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon (1002 W. 36th St.), which I'll print verbatim:

"I've previously lost quite a few customers in the summer months because my air conditioning was not powerful enough. In June I added 4 more tons of a/c -- thus my new slogan: 'Freeze your buns at Cafe Hon!'"

Table Talk welcomes tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.large@baltsun.com.

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