Julian's keeps tradition of serving solid meals

It caters to locals, travelers on site of historic tavern

Restaurant profile

October 24, 2002|By Jody K. Vilschick | Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The crossroads of Washington Boulevard and Waterloo Road has always been a resting place for the hungry and weary.

At one time, travelers and locals would go to Spurrier's Tavern. Today, at the busy intersection of U.S. 1 and Route 175, a Holiday Inn stands where it is believed Spurrier's Tavern stood throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Julian's Restaurant, inside the Holiday Inn, has been owned and operated by Mark Stielper and his partners for 28 years. The restaurant is continuing the tradition of welcoming and feeding travelers to the area.

"General Washington's diaries record his stopping at Spurrier's at least 25 times before he became president," Stielper said. "In fact, I suppose that somewhere in the foundation [of the hotel], there're the bones of Washington's horse, which one of his [diary] entries says died after a hard day's travel. Travel in those days took a lot out of both the horses and the people."

While the restaurant caters mostly to business travelers who are staying at the hotel or attending meetings there, Julian's offers something for everyone.

Its breakfast buffet, which is available seven days a week, runs the gamut, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, French toast, grits, breads, muffins, bagels and fresh fruit.

On Sunday, the buffet also includes omelets cooked to order and fresh waffles with a variety of toppings.

"Our breakfast buffet, especially on Sundays, is very popular," Stielper said. "Some of our customers come to the buffet almost every week."

Stielper said the lunch buffet is also popular. It includes a choice of fresh soups and salad, three hot entrees, a selection of vegetables and side dishes, a sandwich station and a dessert bar.

"It's popular because people know they can come in, eat fast and get a good, solid meal for good value," he said.

The dinner menu offers New York sirloin steak (served on a bed of onion straws with salad and potato), Maryland crab cakes, chicken romano alfredo (sauteed chicken breast crusted with parmesan and romano cheese and served over fettuccini with an alfredo sauce), homemade baked lasagna, fried chicken and shrimp scampi (linguini and sauteed shrimp tossed in a light garlic-lemon butter sauce).

If you're looking for lighter fare, Julian's also serves sandwiches, such as its Cafe Club, sirloin burger, crab cake (broiled or fried) and grilled chicken breast. There is also a Caesar salad with chicken and 12-inch pizza pies.

"We've been successful for so long because we cater to our strengths," Stielper said. "We know our customers. And we provide pretty straightforward good value through a relatively low-key restaurant."

Julian's Restaurant

Where: 7900 Washington Blvd., Columbia; 410-799-7500.

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Prices: $5:50 to $20.95.

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.

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