Burgers, more made to order

TAKEOUT

Respectable food at newest addition to dining options at Kenilworth shops

July 27, 2005|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson has a new restaurant launched by the folks who run the mall's mainstay restaurant, the Italian Gardens.

It would have been nice to see something out of the usual in the new operation - Thai? Cuban? - but instead we have another burger place called the Burger Bistro. The bottom line? It's a perfectly adequate place for a sandwich or burger.

Walking into the bistro stirs some confusion. With its salad bar and low-slung counter, it looks like a thousand fast-food places I've had the misfortune of entering. But, the bistro is aiming a bit higher and prepares food to order. And the preparation of our admittedly large order wasn't exactly fast - more than 15 minutes.

Of course, the menu features several varieties of hamburgers, as well as hot dogs, fried fish and chicken, salads and wraps. (Can someone explain to me what is up with this wrap craze?) We enjoyed everything we ate, although nothing left much of an impression once we were done.

The burgers were respectable - good-sized meat patties on tasty, huge sesame-seed buns. The classic burger ($6.50) came with American cheese and lots of unexceptional bacon. The mushroom burger ($6.50) was loaded with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. While the prices seemed a bit high, the burgers did come with a lot of peppery curly fries.

The four-piece fried chicken platter ($6.50) was tasty enough but too dry. The salmon that came with a Caesar salad ($7.95) was also a bit dry, although we liked the peppery seasoning. Chili ($3.25) was plenty meaty but had little zip.

One of the sons happily wolfed down a fried shrimp platter ($8.50), which came with plenty of onion rings and fried zucchini sticks. Another taster was pleased with his rib-eye steak sandwich ($6.95), although I found the meat too chewy.

There wasn't much for dessert, so we opted for milkshakes, which were well done. In nice attention to detail, the bistro provided those wide stiff straws for the shakes, which don't collapse during use.

Burger Bistro opens early in the morning to serve doughnuts and other breakfast goodies, as well as coffee drinks. There's plenty of parking in the mall lots.

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

Burger Bistro

Food: **1/2 (2 1/2 stars)

Service: **1/2 (2 1/2 stars)

Waiting area: *** (3 stars)

Parking: *** (3 stars)

Where: The Shops at Kenilworth, 814 Kenilworth Drive, Towson

Phone: 410-828-5559

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Burgers, fried chicken, sandwiches, salads, wraps, hot dogs, chili, soups and appetizers, $1.95 to $8.50; credit cards accepted

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

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