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January 15, 2010

A burger at Jilly's


The next in a recurring series of reviews of restaurants the Sun has neglected. In an earlier post, I asked for mini-reviews of places we may have missed. Here's Bryan with a mini-review of Jilly's in Pikesville. EL

It just dawned on me that I don't think the Sun has reviewed this place ever. It's situated on Reisterstown Road between the two Mari Luna's. I, and many other members of my reserve unit  often meet up for a snack after our drills on Tuesday evenings. ...

Jilly's,  located in the heart of Pikesville on Reisterstown Road, provides what could be defined as standard pub grub but with a dedication to quality. Over the course, my visits I have never once had a bad experience.

Burgers and chicken sandwiches are handled deftly and with a flare that sets them above the standard fare. Take for example, Jilly's "Smokehouse Burger"; a generous portion of perfectly cooked (and rapidly delivered) ground beef, well seasoned, served atop a kaiser roll with a hefty slice of smoked Gouda and Canadian bacon. The basic burger elevated to something somewhat unusual and with attention to detail.

French fries are nothing special, but crisp and perfectly seasoned. Wings are tender and meaty, though the Old Bay variety was a bit dry.

Prices are reasonable, the beer is cold, Tuesdays are trivia nights.

Jilly's delivers a satisfying comfortable neighborhood bar experience in a stretch of Reisterstown Road dominated by diners and delis.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 2:29 PM | | Comments (8)


As a frequent Jilly's patron, please allow me to add...

Their fries, to me, are the best I've gotten anywhere... crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, with very few burnt up dregs.

Must also mention that their quesadillas are huge, at least 3/4" thick, and very delicious.

Bryan, I agree with you that Jilly's definitely nails the burger. They are large without being too big and perfectly seasoned and cooked to exactly what you ordered ( ie- rare!). My son to this day still loves the "pizza burger". I don't know that I have a favorite but I remembered the other day from someone mentioning it, that the bison burger is awesome there too.

I think they do acoustic music on some nights now too. It's been too long, I have to get back there!

French fries are nothing special, but crisp and perfectly seasoned.

Au contraire! Finding crisp and perfectly seasons fried these days is an anomaly.

Thanks for the review, Bryan. And thank you all for doing what you do! (Reserves)

I agree that Jilly's does do a great burger. My son has been in love with their pizza burger since he was a small boy. They do give a generous portion but you can (with some difficulty) pick it up and eat it. They also cook it the way you ask (ie - rare!).

You've inspired me to get dad and go there for lunch very soon!

When my husband and I used to live in Pikesville (2003-ish) we used to go to Jilly's quite a bit and always had good experiences there. Jilly's is nothing fancy but just a good solid neighborhood restaurant. We would get the fajitas, which are served in huge portions -- we would order extra tortillas and split one order between the two of us.

sorry about posting twice, I thought the 1st one didn't work. The blogware has been strange today.

captcha-Govenor Courtier- really!

Jillys is definitely a neighborhood bar restaurant. Some of the workers and many of the customers come from the neighborhood. The ambience is nice and comfortable perked up by its many neon signs. The owner is almost always there and he's friendly, makes conversation and is attentive to his customers. These are the best things about the place.

The burger is pretty good although that's exactly what I'd call it. The fries? You've got to be kidding me. They are mediocre at best and that's just what they aspire to be too. Is there any excuse in the whole world not to have excellent french fries?

The food in general I would call mediocre as well with some poor thrown in, e.g. fried chicken very cold in the center and a "bucket of ribs pieces" just poor. I have heard the food described as good and I've heard it described as not too good. But I would recommend stopping in and deciding for yourself.

I used to go to Jilly's all the time when growing up. I remember most vividly their split pea soup, which was deliciously viscous and salty from the chunks of ham. Also, their flinstones ribs were awesome.

I'm surprised to hear people talk about the fries. They're the generic frozen kind.

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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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