Bar food with cachet - and 92 TVs

TABLE TALK

September 06, 2001|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

When general manager Larry Shyman says that he's never seen a sports bar like the new Coliseum in the Cranbrook Shopping Center in Cockeysville, I believe him. It has 92 televisions (no, that's not a misprint), two separate bars, a dance floor and DJs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There's seating for 310.

Customers have been going there to eat, not just drink, during the Coliseum's first couple of weeks of existence. There's a separate nonsmoking dining room where people can get steaks hand-cut in the restaurant's kitchen and dishes like "gator bites," made from fresh alligator flown in from Florida.

The Gold Medal burger is a fan favorite; it's a hamburger topped with a crab cake and melted jack cheese. The Coliseum's ribs are from a Memphis recipe. In other words, this is bar food - but bar food with cachet.

Dinner entrees run from $7 to $25. The Coliseum is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Changes in O.C. landmark

The Crab Bag at 13005 Coastal Highway - an Ocean City landmark of sorts - has gone upscale. But don't worry, you can still get steamed crabs at the new Key West Crab Bag. It's owned by Patrick Hegarty and Christopher Rounds. (Rounds also owns Tutti Gusti in O.C.) The two spent much of the summer renovating the space and redecorating it in bright Key West colors.

The menu has such traditional favorites as fried chicken, crab cakes and hush puppies, but you can also get a crab-meat salad with Key lime vinaigrette, and the piece de resistance, a Grab Bag. This is a lobster tail, a blue crab, Alaskan king crab, snow crab, clams, shrimp, corn, tomatoes and watermelon for $34.95. Other dinners range in price from $11.95 to $21.95.

The Key West Crab Bag is open for dinner every night but will close for the season around Thanksgiving.

`Unfit for Print'

The other day I started browsing the Zagat Survey's Web site at www.zagat.com (where you can get information on restaurants and rate them for future surveys). My favorite part of the site is "Unfit for Print." These are the critiques that were too libelous to use in the reviews.

You have to love these:

Buy a six-pack and eat at Burger King instead.

Great portions. Car was stolen from lot.

They put the salmon in salmonella.

Must be laundering money.

Body piercing - today's special.

The average age here is deceased.

Food is icky, tables are sticky, waitress has a hickey, stay home if you're picky.

If I want a fatty sandwich served by a walking attitude, I'll go to Mom's.

I'd rather sit in traffic.

Like a skunk, it's small, it's cute and it stinks.

"Hi, I'm obviously underage. Margarita, please."

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; or e-mail to elizabeth.large@baltsun.com.

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