You can sink your teeth into meat at Bare Bones

TAKEOUT

Ellicott City grill specializes in beef, ribs and chicken

February 16, 2005

It was Super Sunday and we were in the mood for meat - grilled, sauce-dripping, artery-clogging meat - to match the prevailing game-day mood.

So we headed out to the country - or at least Ellicott City - and pulled into Bare Bones Grill & Brewery.

Situated in a spanking-clean shopping plaza on Baltimore National Pike, Bare Bones features wood floors and a big bar with plenty of televisions and a pair of long horns over the door. There's also an alcove for carryout orders, which is where we headed.

The menu covers the beef/rib/chicken gamut. Everything was competently prepared, in a manly, no-risk kind of way.

We all loved the ribs, the house specialty, which were meaty, tender and fell off the bone, as the menu promised. The smoky barbecue sauce was inoffensive and we all wished we had ordered a second rack. But, we blanched at the price - $19.49, more than a good steak in many restaurants.

A big ole burger ($6.79) promised and delivered a half-pound of good meat, served on a kaiser roll. No complaints, although I would suggest the kitchen toast the thick rolls and maybe spread a little butter on them. But that's just me. A pulled-pork sandwich ($6.99) had plenty of meat, and a nice tangy sauce, also served on a thick roll.

The Bare Bones special salad ($8.79) was not particularly special - mostly iceberg lettuce with tomato pieces, cheddar cheese, bits of bacon and a few grilled teriyaki chicken strips.

Chicken wings ($6.99) were perfectly adequate and came with a slightly spicy sauce. We enjoyed the thick Cajun gumbo ($4.99). And Bones' Red Chile ($4.99) was plenty hearty, maybe even a bit spicy, but too salty.

Bare Bones had a bunch of different side orders. The fresh-cut fries were quite good and the baked butter beans had a nice tomato flavor. The corn fritters may have been fine if eaten in the restaurant but became little greasy pillows on the drive home. And the restaurant also offers applesauce, a nice homey touch.

There were plenty of dessert offerings, mostly cakes. We opted for a layered chocolate cake ($5.25), which was a pleasing, not-too-sweet concoction.

Bare Bones Grill & Brewery

Food: ***

Service: ***

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ***

Where: 9150 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

Phone: 410-461-0770

Hours: Carryout available 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Soups, chili, appetizers, steaks, burgers, chicken, salads and crab cakes, $2.99 to $19.99; credit cards accepted

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