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April 28, 2009

Top 10 Restaurants You Haven't Thought of for Mother's Day



When I asked for suggestions from readers for Mother's Day in an earlier post, I only got two. Thank you, NotableM and Matthew. (I did get more recommendations for Colorado -- don't ask -- but I'm trying to pretend that didn't happen.)

I was interested in the range: Friendly Farm and the Milton Inn. So I started with those two for the list and then I thought, why not make the rest of them restaurants people probably wouldn't think of. If you're only getting around to planning Mother's Day now, you may not be able to get reservations at the obvious, famous-for-their-Sunday-brunch places.

Anyway, here's my list. I tried to give you something in all price points, as the marketing people say, and in various areas: ...

* Cafe Bretton (849 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., 410-647-8222) in Severna Park. Charming decor, French-inspired food, including vegetables and herbs from the large garden out back.

* Carlyle Club in Tuscany/Canterbury. Yes, it's an Indian restaurant, but for Sunday brunch it has multiple carving stations, omelets, Belgian waffles, eggs, bacon and sausage, a dessert bar and alcohol for $19.95. The Mother's Day brunch will be more elaborate, I've just learned, and will cost $34.95.

* Crush in Belvedere Square. A brunch buffet for $24.95 and a special Mother's Day dinner menu offered. 

* Da Mimmo in Little Italy. Mothers and grandmothers get 20 percent off their entrees. Special Mother's Day desserts like zabaglione with strawberries.

* Friendly Farm in Upperco. Family style eating, but serving Mother's Day dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The special will be the highly regarded crab cake with scallops, but the regular menu will be available. No reservations!

* Kent Manor Inn in Stevensville. If you feel like a bit of a drive, this is just past the Bay Bridge. The elaborate Mother's Day brunch is $39, half-price for kids (under six, free).

* Lucy's Irish Pub & Restaurant downtown. If your mother has any Irish in her, consider the all-you-can eat brunch here for $16.95 as well as bottomless mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis.

* Milton Inn in Sparks.  A lovely country drive this time of year. Brunch and dinner will both be served; the Mother's Day menus will be online in the next couple of days, I was told when I called.

* Paul's Homewood Cafe in Annapolis. Usually closed on Sunday, this charming Greek/New American restaurant will be open Mother's Day with an a la carte menu.

* Restaurant Sabor in Lutherville. If you don't like all-you-can-eat buffets, Sabor will be having several seatings and Mother's Day specials but an a la carte menu. I had a very good meal there.

(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:04 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


I thought the Carlyle Club was closed - has it reopened?

We took my mother to the Mountaingate Restaurant in Thurmont a few years ago for Mothers' Day. It was a nice little ride out there, and the food is yummy, old school country buffet. It was a nice way to spend the day with family.

If the Kent Manor Inn's brunch is as expansive as it was when my company had its overnight Christmas party there, $39 is a good deal.

I was only responding to a question.

Maria, Carlyle Club closed as a Lebanese restaurant but re-opened featuring Southern Indian cuisine. A friend and I are planning on dinner there tonight to check out the dosas. Mmmm!

Where is the picture from? It looks like a dish my wife would love.

I was working from home and didn't have a Mother's Day looking photo I could get to, so I chose one from a now-closed restaurant rather than use one from a restaurant that was open and not on the list. It was my little homage to Fin, which would have been on my list if it were still around. EL

Yay! Thanks for this, EL. I think we may try Crush in Belvedere Square, as I've heard lots of good things. Now for the gift... I'm thinking maybe a little herb garden in a pretty pot? Mothers in the group, are crafts an acceptable present from a 25 year old, haha???

CantonKate, I hope so -- I gave my mom homemade jam for her birthday last year!

I don't understand the appeal of family style seating. I don't like dining with strangers. And, I don't frankly think Friendly Farms is all that, but then again, it's a place that has a huge wait and you know what I think about waits when I'm hungry!

I don't even like family style seating with my own family. :-)

I just visited the Friendly Farm website and it sounds just like Greenwood Farms outside of Ocean City.
This is what Greenwood is like:
Your party has its own table, you don't dine with strangers. You order your entree like any other restaurant. It comes with a bunch of other stuff (veg du jour, french fries, cottage cheese, relish tray, apple butter, rolls, etc.) that your table shares.

The food is good, but if I'm going out to eat, I'd like something a bit more special.

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of Greenwood Farms at all, but the rest of my family likes it a lot.

@Joyce W.
Friendly Farms family style dining refers to the "food", not the "seating." You most certainly do not sit with anyone but who you arrive with, or alone if you choose so. Family style dining means that you choose your main dish and the side dishes (french fries, veggies, cottage cheese) are served on the table in bowls like you would serve your family at home. No seating with strangers.
BTW - Friendly Farms is all that.

Friendly Farm is the perfect place to take Mom for Mother's Day. Delicious food, friendly staff and great country atmosphere. The beautiful drive to the restaurant is an added bonus.

Just curious - has anyone been to Cafe Bretton lately? My family used to go there all the time when I was in high school and college, but that was 10-15 years ago.

It would be nice to try it again, especially if Cynthia's really is closing...

Sounds like Friendly Farm and Greenwood Farms are the same place as the "family style" items are the same.

If you want comfort food and a "down home, old time" atmosphere, that would probably be the place.

Hopefully, Family Farm is a little better than Greenwood when it comes to portions. A group of eight gets the same-sized sides as a couple might. They are supposed to refill the bowls when they are empty but don't always do.

At Greenwood, you can also buy little cups of feed to feed the goats and other animals they have on the property.

Cafe Troia in Towson is my Mom's favorite and they're open for Mother's Day. You can sit out on their pretty deck and you feel like you're somewhere in Italy.

If I were a mom and to be taken out on Mother's Day, I most certainly would not want to go to Friendly Farms. Bland, mediocre food and atmosphere.

Hull Street Blues, the Wine Market, and Miss Shirley's would all have more appeal for a nice brunch.

I'm taking my mom down to the taco truck on Broadway.=)

RayRay, honey... how generous of you!

RayRay - I hear that taco truck has a new chief named Joshua.

I took my wife, daughter and mother in law to Woodberry Kitchen in Hampden today. Food was outstanding, and they had the best bloody mary I've ever tasted. Name of the drink was "The Full Monty". Came with a nice thick piece of pork belly and a Natty Boh chaser. Sounds really strange but it worked. Believe me. The bread basket was really good too. First time I had ever been there. Looking forward to going back for dinner.

I LoL@U, Trixie!

It's spelled Joshau and he's moved. I went to get a Snickers bar at work yesterday and he was inside the vending machine.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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