Shakes: It's the real deal

TAKEOUT

July 13, 2005|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

First of all, I love the name. Beef Shakes.

There are a few ways to interpret this minimalist title. Is it a two-word sentence? A partial listing of two beloved food groups? A hearty blender drink?

Whatever it means, Beef Shakes in the Reisterstown area is the real deal - an appealing carryout offering inexpensive, hunger-busting food, with friendly service.

Open since last fall, Beef Shakes occupies a small building on a grassy lot off Old Hanover Road outside Reisterstown. Some black and white tiles spruce up the front area.

You order through a window and wait outside on a stone terrace while the food is prepared. We plopped down at one of the tables, listening to oldies played over the intercom. Service was friendly, and the food was ready quickly.

So far so good, but we were skeptical, thinking that this would be one of those places where the grease hadn't been changed in weeks and the burgers are frozen pucks the thickness of a compact disc.

We were pleasantly surprised that the food, while entirely familiar, was fresh, well-prepared and quite good.

All of our sandwiches were big but not disgustingly so, with toasted rolls and good-quality meat: sliced beef with mustard and raw onions ($4.95), a decent-sized Beef Shakes burger ($3.45), an Italian sausage sub with peppers and fried onions ($4.95) and a tangy pork barbecue ($4.95).

French fries ($2.50 for a large order) were fresh-cut and put me in the mood for the boardwalk. A fried crab cake ($7.95) was surprisingly tasty - made with plenty of crab and precious little else, which is a good thing.

As for dessert, there are, of course, milkshakes - $3 apiece, thick and delicious (but none made with beef). There's also a full ice-cream selection, including banana splits, smoothies and sundaes.

Beef Shakes opens early for breakfast - eggs, bagels, bacon, etc.

What are you waiting for? Pile the kids in the car and find out the real meaning of Beef Shakes.

Know about a good carryout? Tell us about it by e-mail: carryouts@covad.net.

Beef Shakes

Food: ***1/2

Service: ***1/2

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ***

Where: 13022 Old Hanover Road, outside Reisterstown

Phone: 410-833-6650

Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Burgers, cheese steaks, sandwiches, salads and crab cakes, $1.50 to $7.95; breakfast menu of eggs, pancakes and sandwiches, $1.52 to $5.95; no credit cards

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