I had a quick lunch today off of Camp Meade Road. I almost took MD 170 towards Odenton, but found that the Exit 6 splits off into two exits. So I got out of the exit only lane toward Odenton, and headed off of 6A towards North Linthicum
I usually look for food I can take home, but today I felt like sitting down. And the very first restaurant that you run into off of Exit 6A is The Rose Restaurant (map, though the map on The Rose Restaurant's page is a bit more accurate - Google Maps just sticks you in a garage up the street. It's at the confluence of Baltimore-Annapolis, Camp Meade and Belle Grove, and is impossible to miss if you're coming from the Beltway because it is right in front of you, with a big sign that says "The Rose Restaurant" ). Very convenient! Why not sit down at this most easily accessed restaurant, instead of, say, Boagie's Hoagie's, which is right across the street (map - again, Google Maps puts it a little bit down the street. But it fared way better than Yahoo Maps Beta, which couldn't find it at all)? Well, we'll get to that.
I walked in the front - there is also a less obvious side entry - and looked around to find nobody. I eventually saw the sign at the end of the hall pointing me in the direction of the hostess. Said hostess, along with a waitress, greeted me and I said I was here for the luncheon buffet ($8.95, not counting drinks). She showed me to a table and I ordered a Diet Coke ($2). After that, I hit the buffet. And the variety of foods was - well, underwhelming. My first thought was "$8.95 gets you this?" I can count today's offerings on two hands and still have fingers left over: scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, lasagna, some kind of baked fish, succotash, and I think there was something else I forgot. There was also a skimpy salad bar, pieces of chocolate cake and soup with hard rolls. Okay, no fingers left over. Actually, I burned my thumb on the soup while I was pouring it, but that was totally my clumsiness, and not the Restaurant's fault at all.
So on to the food. Since there was so little of it, it had to be good, right? Um, well... Let's start with the baked fish. It was every Top Chef judge's worst nightmare: tough in some places, dry in most, flavorless all over, with some little bits of what used to be red and yellow bell pepper that were so small and so thoroughly cooked through that they lacked any flavor whatsoever. In fact, I was hard pressed to identify them as bell peppers by their flavor. And I still have no idea what type of fish it was! If you go to The Rose Restaurant, don't get the baked fish. It is inedible.
A bit better was the fried chicken. I had one drumstick, which was actually moister than most drumsticks I have had - certainly more so than the fish. The coating was also tasty, though a bit greasy.
The potatoes, both scalloped and mashed, were filling and pretty good, too. It's a tie between the potatoes and the drumstick as my favorite part of the meal. Not so the succotash - just a half-hearted mixture of corn and lima beans, lacking much flavor at all.
The soup was pretty good. I think it was Maryland crab, because it had a crabby flavor. But I found no crab, and there was a hunk of something beefy in my bowl. So I have little idea what the soup was.
It's pretty difficult to ruin salad, and they didn't ruin it. How could they? All I did was put some baby greens on my plate with an egg slice, red onion and some croutons, and covered it in some Italian-ish dressing.
For dessert, I had the cake, a square of chocolate cake with deep chocolate icing. Very good cake, but easily found in any box of Entenmann's. Actually, it was a little bit dry.
Please note, the servers were pretty attentive. This was despite the fact that I got the buffet. Again, the food was at best forgettable, but I don't tip based on the food. I tip based on the service, and I left $2.25 on a bill of $11.50.
Please note that The Rose doesn't just have a luncheon buffet. It also offers a full lunch menu. If I did go back, I would order from that. I just hope the food is better than what was on the buffet table.
One last note: I did eventually take 6B, toward Odenton. I found some houses, a Greek Orthodox Church and a back way to the restaurants that are more easily accessible from Exit 8. So I'll skip Exit 6B for this series, and jump ahead to the next exit.
Places I visited:
The Rose Restaurant (American) - 6075 Belle Grove Road, Baltimore, MD 21225; Phone: (410) 636-0300
- Would I eat there again? Probably not, but I would if I had to
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? No
Boagie's Hoagie's (subs and sandwiches) - 458 North Camp Meade Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090; Phone: (410) 609-0980