Make your own catch at 152

March 07, 2002|By Robin Tunnicliff Reid | Robin Tunnicliff Reid,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AS FAR AS surf-and-turf places go, 152 Seafood Restaurant in Fallston is better than average. The comprehensive menu offers the things you'd expect to find in such a place. Just about everything we tried - from sides to appetizers to entrees - tasted good. Service was solicitous. The overall look was relaxing and extremely neat, albeit unimaginative.

All those things aside, I'd return here because of the wonderful sense of control you get. You pick the kind of fish you want (including flounder, salmon, tuna, rockfish, swordfish and orange roughy), decide whether you want it broiled, grilled or pan-fried, and then top it off with one of six sauces.

We chose grilled tuna with red-pepper coulis sauce and broiled orange roughy with Cajun sauce. No sauce really was needed in either case, in part because the sauces were too salty and in part because the fish was cooked so well.

Other entree choices were fine, though less empowering. A 16-ounce steak came with a nice grilled crust on the outside and medium-rare pink flesh on the inside. By the time we did justice to the meat, we could hardly appreciate the slew of grilled jumbo shrimp strewn on the side.

The Rt. 152 combination was a large assortment of properly prepared seafood - clams casino, crab imperial, oysters Rockefeller, broiled shrimp and sea scallops.

Our appetizers included an overly thick cream of crab soup and a straightforward shrimp cocktail.

Quite often in restaurants of this genre, sides - especially greens - tend to be overdone afterthoughts. Not so at 152. Green beans and carrots had plenty of snap. Small bowls of nutty sweet potato casserole could have done double duty as dessert. Which brings up something other than sauces that 152 does not do well: desserts.

We tried two cheesecakes and a chocolate cake. All were dry and flavorless. There was more sugar (and infinitely more taste) to the rich, fruity raspberry vinaigrette and orange slices used in the signature salad appetizer.

Dessert and salty-sauce foibles aside, 152 Seafood does exactly what it sets out to do, and that is focus on serving good seafood in a family restaurant.

152 Seafood Restaurant

2403 Belair Road, Fallston

410-893-6666

Open: For lunch and dinner daily

Credit cards: AE, MC, V

Prices: Appetizers $2.50 to $15.95; entrees $4.95 to $22.95

Food: ***

Service: ***

Atmosphere: ** 1/2

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