New all-American sports bar

TABLE TALK

November 15, 2001|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Just when we're feeling particularly friendly toward things American, a Colorado-based chain has opened a new restaurant in The Mall at Columbia called Champps Americana. It falls in the swanky-sports-bar category, with frenzied action, large-screen TVs, karaoke nights and decent American food. (Although these days American food includes Italian pastas, Greek salads, Mediterranean tuna melt, Baja burritos and Shanghai steamers. )

The emphasis is on sandwiches and burgers, but you can get dinners like bourbon-glazed pork chops and Champps' meatloaf.

Prices are kept under $20 - the magic number that separates reasonably priced restaurants from the rest of them these days.

Thanksgiving dinner out

I've had several readers call or e-mail to ask about places to go for Thanksgiving dinner. Many more restaurants are open on Nov. 22 than on Christmas Day - too many to list here.

Area hotels have elaborate buffets; but if you want a sit-down dinner, I suggest you call your favorite special-occasion spot and see whether it will be open. Just to give you an idea: The Polo Grill (4 W. University Parkway) is offering both its regular a la carte menu and a fixed-price turkey-and-all-the-fixings dinner for $35.95. The Milton Inn (14833 York Road, Sparks) is doing it for $30.

Smile, you're in a diner

When diners were just, well, diners, no one imagined they would ever be trendy and retro. But it's a sign of the times that the Double T Diner at 8302 Pulaski Highway in Rosedale has become the Happy Day Diner, with a big smiley face as its symbol.

Come here for American, Italian and Greek specialties 24 hours a day.

New on Park Avenue

Joe's Dim Sum Palace at 323 Park Ave. is gone, replaced by the new Chinatown Cafe. Dim sum is still a specialty; the menu emphasizes Cantonese, Hong Kong and Sichuan cuisines. The new restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

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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