Lu and Joe's isn't owned by Lu and Joe anymore. And while some locals and motorcycle fans might bemoan that fact, Anna Chanyasulkit, owner of the restaurant for the past two years, thinks that the changes she has introduced have been good for local families.
"You don't walk in and get stared at anymore if you're not dressed in black leather," she says. "We see a lot of families now - more and more all the time. It's not the scary place it used to be."
Lu and Joe's offers a variety of food. From appetizers such as jalapeno poppers and Louisiana-style wings (in either mild or spicy) to steamed shrimp (mild or spicy), raw or steamed oysters and clams, the menu emphasizes comfort foods that "people from Maryland are used to enjoying," Chanya- sulkit says.
There are 6-ounce, fresh ground beef burgers such as Captain's Choice (topped with choice of cheddar, provolone or Swiss cheese), the BC Classic (topped with cheddar cheese and crisp bacon), Moody Blue (topped with chunky blue cheese) and Mama Lu's Pizza Burger (topped with provolone cheese, grilled onions and green peppers).
If you go to the restaurant on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, you can expect live music. "Sometimes it's karaoke," says Chanyasulkit. "Sometimes it's country or good old rock `n' roll."
On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant offers a prime rib dinner special.
Entrees are served with a choice of baked potato or fries, vegetable or coleslaw, fresh rolls and a salad. These include New York strip steak, T-bone steak, crab imperial, soft shell crab platter, fried shrimp platter, crab cake platter, Alaskan crab legs, fried seafood platter (breaded clams, fish, oysters, shrimp and scallops) and fried chicken.
A variety of sandwiches, including crab cake, fish, grilled cheese, grilled chicken breast, barbecued chicken breast and grilled teriyaki chicken breast, are offered.
If you're looking for a submarine sandwich, you can choose from roast beef and cheese sub, steak and cheese sub, or hot or cold ham or turkey and cheese sub.
"Something different about Lu and Joe's now is that we offer some Chinese dishes," says Chanya- sulkit.
"Oriental Specialties" include shrimp fried rice, pepper steak on rice, shrimp with bell peppers, shrimp lo mein, General Tso's chicken, Kung Pao chicken and stir-fried mixed vegetables. "We get some families where one person will say `let's go for Chinese food' but the rest say they don't want that. We're the perfect answer to that problem," she says.
Chanyasulkit is planning changes. "We hope to start some renovations and expansion in the spring," she says. "We'll redo some of the interior, too. And soon, there'll be a new menu with all the old favorites and some new good entrees."
Lu & Joe's
Where: 1024 Ridge Road, Mount Airy; 301-831-5577.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Prices: $2.95 to $16.75.
Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard