Top Ten Diners/Greasy Spoons
Why do I think it might be a good idea to remind new readers of my Official Disclaimer before they read this list? For one thing, I rarely eat at diners. (I'm not a complete snob about it; if I had a good one conveniently in my neighborhood that might be a different story.) I don't review diners, with one exception. (See below.) I like to eat breakfast at home. But I talked to the foodies I trust here at The Sun and listened to what you folks had to say before I came up with this list.
There were many suggestions under the previous post that sounded good; I just didn't have enough information about them to include them. But if you like diners and greasy spoons, it's well worth your while to go back and take a look at what the real experts have to say.
By the way, I'm calling these diners and/or greasy spoons because we never agreed on a definition. I still feel a diner has to involve at least a little bit of chrome and neon. ...
* Best bargain omelet: Bel-Loc Diner, 1700 E. Joppa Road, Parkville. When he was doing his takeout column, Midnight Sun Sam anointed the Bel-Loc's Western omelet. That's important because about the only characteristic everyone agreed on was that diners serve breakfasts all day.
* Best chain: Double-T Diner, area locations. When I asked a friend in Annapolis for a recommendation for there, this was not only the best diner, it was the only diner she could come up with in the area. Other suggestions welcome.
* Best diner with entertainment: Forest, 10031 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. OK, at the moment the Thursday Night Dinner Shows for $25 are on hiatus, but they should be starting back up in the spring.
* Best charitable endeavor: Hollywood Diner, 400 E. Saratoga St., Baltimore. It benefits the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development. The program teaches at-risk teenagers job skills, and some work there.
* Most famous breakfast in Baltimore: Jimmy's, 801 S. Broadway, Fells Point. Low prices, a beer and wine license, and a fine spinach pie are also noteworthy here.
* Only diner reviewed by me in recent memory: Nautilus, 2047 York Road, Timonium. Why? Because it was new and it billed itself as an upscale diner, with everything from eggs to lobster tail. The best thing we had was the lump crab cake.
* Best place to spot a sports celebrity having breakfast: Pete's Grille in Waverly. The owner of Darker Than Blue a few doors down told me he decided not to open for breakfast because everyone, including him (and Michael Phelps), eats at Pete's. I thought that was quite an accolade.
* Best clean classic diner decor: Silver Moon, 9605 Pulaski Highway, Middle River. The owner runs the kitchen, always a good sign. When LIVE reviewer Karen Nitkin wrote about it recently she had a somewhat uneven meal but particularly liked the Maryland crab soup and shish kebab.
* Top city landmark in the greasy spoon category: Sip & Bite, 2200 Boston St., Canton. I couldn't sell it as a Baltimore icon when I listed it on my Top Ten Late-Night Places, but maybe I can get away with it on this list.
(Doug Kapustin/Sun photographer)