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May 21, 2009

$4.99 filet mignon at the Sunset Grille

SunsetGrille.jpgI just finished lunch at the Sunset Grille in what they call West Ocean City. I know I said I wasn't going to blog about the food until Beach Week, but this was so surprising I have to write something.

The menu the waitress put down in front of me just had the $4.99 lunch specials on it: the Italian chef's salad, the fish and chips, the half a tuna sandwich with a cup of soup, the barbecued ribs and homemade macaroni and cheese and...the six-ounce char-grilled filet mignon with maitre d' butter, french fries and cole slaw?

For $4.99? ...

Now after my dainty breakfast this morning, I wasn't planning on eating much more than a few lettuce leaves for lunch, but your restaurant critic had to check out the $4.99 filet mignon for you. And you know what? It was excellent.

It was indeed six ounces, and the char and the maitre d' butter gave it good flavor. It wasn't the most tender filet mignon I've ever eaten, but I didn't expect Kobe beef here. I'm still shaking my head in awe.

With it came crunchy, twice-fried french fries and cole slaw that was a little too sweet for me but tasted freshly made.

It's strange to order an entree that costs $2 less than the soup (Maryland crab) and $2 or $2.50 less than the desserts: creme brulee, a turtle-brownie sundae and cheesecake, all made daily on the premises.

And, no, I didn't indulge.

Of course, I left my camera in the car so I couldn't take a photo of the beautiful plate, but then my food photos are usually terrible anyway.

(Photo by me)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 2:33 PM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Beach Eats


Filet mignon isn't my favourite cut, by far, but that doesn't sound bad at all. Definitely a nice price for a lunch.

Wow, I frequent the Sunset Grille and had no idea...although I must admit that I frequent the bar :)

I had lunch in the bar upstairs, but it was offered downstairs, too. EL

What a wonderful way to start your mini-getaway.

Well, you would be remiss in your responsibility should you have skipped the special. Thanks for taking one for the team!

West OC is growing up isn't it. I figure once they've filled every available inch of property with condos, etc., there will be the next Great Storm of the Century to clean things out again.

$4.99 filet mignons, well now we know what happened to the horses that finished out of the money at the Preakness.

Horse is too tasty to pass as filet mignon, RoCK.

RoCK ... now, now!

A possible explanation for the price: I can't vouch that he even remembers the conversation, but I did once tell my nephew (a sous chef at Sunset Grille) where I get beef tenderloins at $5.99 a pound. It's a long way from OC to the Korean grocers in Catonsville/Woodlawn/Ellicott City, however, and the HMart website is (how shall I put this) ... inscrutable.

The HMart website is an example of how to not do bilingual websites. Which is kind of charming, in a twisted way.


I had Icelandic pony sushi in Reykjavik and it was delicious. It's really horse, but pony is more fun to say. Well if you'bve seen it it is somewhere in between. They roam wild and have to be culled. Tasty.

I''m just guessing but I would bet that Iceland horse meat is about the most healthy red meat in the world. Eating wild natural grasses in a cold climate?

Bring it

Icelandic horses are really, technically ponies, but never, ever say that. Icelanders are dead sure they are horses.

I'm not just saying that because one of them tried to murder me.

The mutton, lamb and beef there is just as healthy, and very tasty.

Horse is unusual in that you don't want to eat the young ones. They taste better if they are old.

A meat that gets better with age? Go figure. Horse the Scotch of the butcher shop.

Sunset Grille is consistently good. I usually have lunch at the 2nd floor bar, happy hour at the 1st floor bar and late nite drinks at Teaser's (the outdoors bar)--sometimes all in the same day! The fried green tomatoes and mahi 'fingers' are good, the burger is great. The orange crush at Harborside is awesome.

good, great, awesome.

If I found a place with $4.99 filets, I'd order two...maybe three...of them.

Owl Meat what happened to that pony you had???

Owl Meat what happened to that pony you had???



I live real close to here and this is where I eat all winter. Monday-Friday they have $4.99 lunch specials, usually different and always great. They have Italian night on Tuesdays off season ($8.99-3courses, $10.99-4courses and Seafood night on Thursdays ($10.99-3courses, $12.99-4courses) And its creative food.

Looks like the $4.99 filet causes some sort of elaborate stuttering disorder.

This is great -- you can't get a sandwich for $4.99 in many parts of New York. I miss Maryland!

Off topic by, what, about 20 miles? I was in Rehoboth Beach last night, and actually had an edible meal with excellent service at Go Fish. It was a little pricy, but not outrageous for a half block off the boardwalk.

My beer battered deep fried pork sausages were light, crispy and not greasy. The chips were ok - I've had better and worse. They had malt vinegar on the table (big win - it is the One True Chip topping). The cole slaw was not bad. My partner said her fried fish was excellent.

The waitress was friendly, attentive but not hovering, noticed our order hadn't come out before we complained, checked why, told us and apologized (the ticket thingie in the kitchen ran out of paper), refilled drinks and, in general, gave the kind of service I'd expect at, say, Brasserie Tatin, not at the beach.

I'd cheerfully eat there again, should I find myself at Rehoboth Beach. Yes, there were loud children and louder drunks, but that is to be expected. But, someplace that excellent battered and fried (a genre that is harder to get right than one might think at first) and has excellent service in a tourist town? They are a keeper.

"Battered and fried" describes pretty much 80% of every single restauraunts offerings down here.


I'm with you, if there are $4.99 filets to be had, I'm stocking up!

Arrrrr! and for the landlubbers at Go Fish, we offer some some deep fried pork sausages.

It does sound pretty good. I know that if I ordered something like that my partner, also known as my wife, would no doubt be there to remind me how my suits don't fit as it is. I wish she wouldn't say such things in front of the pork products.

Anyway, this means if I want to get one of these, I'll have to do it without my wife. I'm sure I wouldn't be the first guy to sneak off to Rehobeth without his wife's knowledge, but I may be the first to do it for deep fried sausages. Then again, uhhhh, maybe not.

RoCK, the battered fried sausages were amazingly light, and they were thick, brat-width (but a little shorter) sausages. Very little breading, just enough to give it some crunch.

PCB Rob, how many of those 80% change their oil often enough, don't overload the fryalator and keep the temp right?

I saw a recipe today for something called brownies in phyllo dough. I was intrigued, but not convinced. It involved a lot of butter between the phyllo too.

I'm guessing that very few of the 80% change their oil often, much less enough.

Then again, I so rarely eat that stuff I wouldn't really know for sure. I do see that the deep-fried food is quite golden brown but not nasty brown, so maybe they do change the oil often. Those who order that stuff sing its praises so perhaps it is fresh oil.

mmmm. brownies in phyllo dough, a lot of butter....mmmmmm.

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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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