Lansdowne - the most consistently misspelled place name in Baltimore County (as Landsdowne / Lansdown / Landsdown) - is very familiar to me. In fact, I grew up here. My parents still live here. I work nearby (total coincidence, I might add). And I am always crossing through. And yet, when I get to this exit for the Beltway Snackin' project, I just seemed to fall off. Don't know why, I just got busy I guess. It could also be that Lansdowne doesn't have that much in the way of food, and there is even less right off the exit that isn't fast food.
There is Victor's Place (map - note that Google Maps says this and all addresses in Lansdowne are in Halethorpe, thanks to the post office. It's not - it's Lansdowne), at the corner of Hammonds Ferry and Hollins Ferry, which is rarely open when I pass by it. There's also the Lansdowne Inn (map), on Hammonds Ferry between Second and Third. The Lansdowne Inn is not easy to miss. If you turn left from Hollins Ferry onto Hammonds Ferry from the Beltway it's right past the Ambrose funeral parlor (there's another one in Arbutus - wait, that's Halethorpe, too), on the same side as the train tracks.
The Lansdowne Inn is half bar, half restaurant. The bar half is, until next year, pretty smoky. The restaurant side, however, is non-smoking. I've never set foot in the bar half. But I've been in the restaurant side a few times. My grandmother and her sister - God rest their souls - even brought me here for my Confirmation. Today, I just stopped by for some takeout. It's not a takeout place, but like many restaurants you can order most things to go, except their shrimp and chicken specials.
The bar was pretty busy, but there was room in the restaurant. The waitress gave me the menu, and I remembered whiy I had been avoiding the place - the prices. I had forgotten just how not cheap the Lansdowne Inn is. Okay, it's not the Brass Elephant. But a typical entrée runs $12 - $22, with veggies but before drinks, appetizers or dessert. Some of their cheaper offerings: the Maryland Fried Chicken (not in any way to be confused with Chicken Maryland - I didn't even know this dish existed) at $10, the fried clams at $12 and the single crab cake platter for $13. I've generally liked their crabcakes in the past, so I got that with stewed tomatoes and fries (plus two rolls and obligatory sliced beets). Fifteen minutes and $14.07 (with tax) later, I had my food and I headed home.
The crabcake isn't the best in the area, but I would order it again. Lots of crab, though the breading is noticeable. It's a little dry around some of the edges, but very moist inside, and it comes with a tub of tartar sauce. I didn't use much. The fries were your average fries. Thankfully, they weren't all stringy, salty and dried out. The thing that surprised me, however, was the last side dish, the stewed tomatoes. I have eaten lots of stewed tomatoes in my life. I have not eaten any with stewed bread cubes mixed in. The Lansdowne Inn puts bread cubes into its stewed tomatoes - it must've been that, or else I have no clue what it was. It was different.
I'll likely go back to the Lansdowne Inn again. But I'm amazed that, with all the time I pass through the town, I never go in. Maybe next week they'll have the sour beef special?
Places I visited:
Lansdowne Inn (American/Maryland cuisine) - 2710 Hammonds Ferry Road, Lansdowne, MD 21227; Phone: (410) 247-1163
- Would I eat there again? Sure
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? I don't need to, but I probably would
Victor's Place (takeout) - 3100 Hammonds Ferry Rd, Lansdowne, MD 21227; Phone: (410) 247-5311