Everything was hearty and good

Little adventure, lots of taste at Stables

Takeout

July 24, 2002|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Iam pleased to be able to recommend the Stables Country Kitchen in Westminster. However, I would advise you to consult a cardiologist before you try this no-frills, high-cholesterol eatery.

The Country Kitchen occupies a small two-story house, clad in yellow siding and decorated with fading American pennants. It sits at the well-traveled intersection of East Main Street and Maryland Route 97 on the outskirts of downtown Westminster, and is connected with the full-service Stables Restaurant and Lounge.

Seven tables sit in a small room dominated by an open kitchen. At one end, a rack holds the restaurant's potato chip "selection" - dozens of bags of Utz's plain chips.

The Country Kitchen offers a basic breakfast menu - French toast, eggs, omelets and bagels - and an even more limited lunch menu of overstuffed sandwiches, subs and salads. We decided to sample both the breakfast and lunch offerings. Our wide-ranging order was ready promptly; even so, the cook apologized profusely for the modest wait.

Nothing we tried was adventurous in any sense. But everything was hearty and good. First up was a fried-egg sandwich: two large eggs, wrapped in bacon, on white toast - greasy, delicious and a bargain at only $1.75. Home fries ($1.75) were also yummy - a large serving of well-cooked potato slices and shredded onions grilled in oil.

From the lunch menu, a cheese steak ($5.95) reminded me of the real thing I used to buy in central Jersey: a huge roll of chopped meat smothered in yellow cheese and doused in fried onions, all on a hoagie roll. A tuna-salad sandwich ($4.95) featured a mountain of tuna salad - predictably doused in mayonnaise and laced with celery bits. The large sandwich should satisfy a hearty appetite.

Finally, we sampled the chicken Caesar salad, a dish that seems to have made its way onto every restaurant menu in America. The Country Kitchen's version ($5.95) was the usual: fresh romaine lettuce drenched in a tangy dressing. The chicken strips were plentiful and grilled nicely with a hint of, I think, oregano.

One small drawback: The Country Kitchen's parking lot, by busy Main Street, is cramped and hard to reach for westbound traffic.

Stables Country Kitchen

Food:

Service: 1/2

Waiting area:

Parking:

Where: 452 E. Main St., Westminster

Phone: 410-840-3131

Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday

Prices: Breakfast from $1.75 to $5.25; lunch from $3.25 to $7.95; no credit cards

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