It's always breakfast time at Granny's


June 04, 2008|By ELIZABETH LARGE

When I called Valari Dorsey to talk to her about her new restaurant, Granny's (10995 Owings Mills Blvd., 410-654-0101), I twice heard someone banging on the door to get in even though the place was closed. That's how much people like the concept of breakfast all day and down-home food with a Southern accent cooked from scratch. She hadn't even put out the "open" sign yet, Dorsey says, and the restaurant was already a hit.

"Granny" is Dorsey's 103-year-old grandmother. She was a professional cook in her day and still cooks all her own meals.

"I followed in her footsteps," says Dorsey, who was a caterer before she opened the restaurant.

Her specialties are chicken and waffles, brown-sugar lemonade, fresh catfish, calf's liver and onions, sweet potato pie and banana rum bread pudding. Dinner entrees average about $14, with the most expensive thing on the menu being the crab-cake platter for $25.

The breakfast choices include corn bread or sweet potato pancakes, omelets, strawberry shortcake waffles, lump crabmeat eggs Benedict and country fried steak and eggs.

Dorsey says she's working on a liquor license, but right now Granny's is BYOB. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Everything is prepared to order, so don't go when you need food fast.

GOING, GONE --Without much fanfare, Nasu Blanca in Locust Point closed its doors for good on Friday. Owner/chef David Sherman cooked a last meal for fans of his Spanish and Japanese cuisine, an eight-course dinner with wine and sake pairings. He blames the economy for the restaurant's failure.

Sherman did something few owners do: He announced the closing in advance and said that if anyone has a gift certificate, he or she "will be honored with cash back or wine worth equal value."

Call him at 410-962-9890, and he will make arrangements.

RAISING THE BAR --Dionysus (8 E. Preston St., 410-244-1020) has become more of a lounge and less of a restaurant. That doesn't surprise me. When I reviewed the food three years ago, the bar downstairs was hopping, while the dining room was empty except for us. Dionysus is owned by two former bartenders who brought their clientele with them. Now that the front of the dining room has been converted to a lounge area, patrons have more room upstairs when the bar gets crowded.

SHORE GOOD --Chestertown now has its first waterfront restaurant, the Fish Whistle (98 Cannon St., 410-778-3566), with a deck overlooking the Chester River. It's been an instant success, says manager Donna Frey. The food is traditional Eastern Shore cuisine with a French flair. Specialties include crab cakes (of course), curried chicken salad and pulled-pork barbecue. Dinner entrees run from $9 to $26.

The dining room is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner. On Sunday, lunch and dinner are served from noon to 7 p.m. A bar-food menu is available until midnight every night.

Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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