Cheeburger is coming

TABLE TALK

April 18, 2002|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It's opening, it's opening. Cheeburger, Cheeburger, that is. The popular restaurant chain is debuting a franchise in the Baltimore area this Sunday. The '50s style diner has a spot in the Timonium Shopping Center - right across York Road from the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Krista Bedford - who owns the franchise with Rick Pannoni - describes the restaurant as offering "fun, casual, family dining ... with all fresh food, cooked to order." That includes fresh beef - formed into burgers varying in size from 5.5 ounces to 20 ounces - with your choice of more than 30 toppings, french fries cut in the kitchen, and onion rings battered and cooked to order.

Bedford also boasts that the real soda fountain offers root-beer floats, malteds, cream sodas and milkshakes made with a pint of Edie's ice cream.

The menu also lists half a dozen salads and several hot sandwiches. Nothing is priced over $10 (unless you go nuts with specialty toppings for your cheeburger).

Cheeburger, Cheeburger is at 2135-E York Road. (There's another in Annapolis.) Although the restaurant opens this Sunday at 3 p.m., its regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

New at Oregon Grille

Keep heading north from Baltimore for a change of pace - and menu - at the Oregon Grille (1201 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley). Almost all the appetizers there are changing. Gone are the tuna tartare, cold smoked salmon, oysters on the half shell, spring roll and grilled shrimp cocktail. Among the new arrivals - hot smoked salmon with lentil chili and jalapenos, crispy prawns with Oriental slaw and blueberry sweet and sour sauce, and grilled oysters on the half shell.

Chef Mark Henry says most of the salads are staying the same; he is, however, adding a buffalo-milk mozzarella and tomato salad. Fans of the Oregon Grille's classic entrees have nothing to fear. Those dishes are all staying put. But the rack of lamb is being replaced by a New Zealand rack of veal, the tuna steak will be prepared in an Oriental style rather than smoked, and a pan-fried pork chop is replacing the seared loin of pork.

Henry says the modifications are an effort to update the menu. While some changes have already taken place, the new menu should be entirely in place by April 24.

Freshness and Zest

If you're out Monrovia way, you might check out Zest. Keith Sleppy and David Jones, the chefs/owners, opened the Frederick County eatery three months ago, with an emphasis on fresh, fresh, fresh.

Jones says all their meats, dairy and vegetables are Maryland-bred or -grown, and everything is cooked fresh every day. He adds that they bake their own breads, make their own goat cheese and blue cheese and create their own desserts. OK, so they can't claim credit for the microbrews, but Jones assures me that they are locally made.

You'll find Zest at 11791 Fingerboard Road, Green Valley Shopping Center, Monrovia. It's open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. More information: www.eatatzest.com.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please fax suggestions to Sloane Brown at 410-675-3451 or e-mail her at sloane@livetabletalk.com.

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