Quantity, quality: No need to choose

TAKEOUT

Suburban House fare is good and plentiful

November 26, 2003|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The carryout food at the Suburban House brought with it an imperative: Go find a ruler.

Several of the dishes seemed a bit out of scale. Not absurdly out of scale like the touristy delis in New York - hey, who doesn't like a pound of bacon on a BLT? - but enough to let you know you are definitely getting your money's worth.

But the good news is that the quality of the food, as well as the size, is also above average at this longtime Pikesville eatery.

Carryout is handled in a separate room attached to the Suburban House's sit-down restaurant. There's no place to sit and wait for to-go orders, but the service was prompt and there was plenty of action to watch while we waited.

We started with matzo-ball soup ($2.99 for a pint). The broth was a schmaltzy gold and mercifully light on the salt. The matzo ball - which measured 3 1/4 inches in diameter - was so big it came in its own container and had to be reunited with the broth once we got back home. As an ensemble, it was just on the right side of bland, and quite comforting.

The combination appetizer of blintzes and noodle kugel ($7.25) featured a towering noodle slab and some good cheese blintzes. My older son tore through the hamburger ($5.95) but did allow me a small taste. It was delicious - a big hunk of charbroiled meat on a crusty bun. Unfortunately, he demolished it before I could get the ruler on it.

The corned beef Cloak & Dagger sandwich ($8.95) offered a 1 1/4 -inch pile of good corned beef, topped with coleslaw and Russian dressing - on rye, of course.

My favorite was the potato pancakes ($6.95) - a big pile of fried goodies that came with little containers of applesauce and sour cream. My younger son concentrated on the chicken fingers ($8.95), which were meaty and peppery and were served with french fries. He pronounced them delicious.

In addition to our big order, our server threw in a bunch of coddies - which were perfectly fine if not memorable - and a huge bag of pickle spears.

For dessert, we tucked in a chocolate eclair ($2.50), which was made elsewhere and was delectable. For the record, it stood nearly 3 inches high.

Suburban House

Food: ***

Service: *** 1/2

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ** 1/2

Where: 911 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville

Phone: 410-484-7775

Fax: 410-653-1729

Hours: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily

Prices: Hot dogs, deli sandwiches, salads and dinner platters from $3.75 to $10.95; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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