George's blue cheese potato chip appetizer is the kind that tops homemade potato chips with a warm blue cheese fondue. A pico de gallo helped to cut the cheese's strong flavor.

Each of these was a treat, and any one of them would have been enough for a party of four.

Entrees are prepared well, and garnished with fresh herbs and served with crisp vegetables. The best of them was the steak and cake, a perfectly respectable petit filet with raspberry demi glace and a tasty crab cake prepared with a combination of lump and regular meat.

There is apparently someone in the kitchen with a knack for barbecue. We liked the peppery tomato sauce served with both a rack of ribs, a weeknight special, and Earls BBQ Chicken, a regular item. The ribs were tender, and the chicken, topped with frizzled onions, was juicy and flavorful.

The only entree that didn't work was the fresh salmon, which can be ordered grilled, broiled, blackened, teriyaki glazed or orange glazed. Our waitress recommended the orange glaze. It was not good — too sweet. And the salmon was farm-raised and flavorless.

By the end, there's the feeling of having experienced something pleasant but lackluster. Desserts at George's are brought in from outside and too uninteresting to consider trying.

The next time you're in Mount Vernon, though, consider stopping in.

George's on Mount Vernon Square

Rating: two and a half stars

Where: 101 W. Monument St., Mount Vernon

Contact: 410-727-1314,

Open: Daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Prices: Appetizers $7-$13; entrees $14-$29

Food: Classic American bistro food.

Service: Courteous and professional.

Best dishes: Earls BBQ chicken, seafood toast, mussels Ortega

Parking: On-street parking in Mount Vernon.

Children: There is nothing on the regular menu pitched to children.

Noise level/television: The bar can get noisy, but the dining room stays quiet. The sound stays off on the television sets, which are hard to see from the dining room.

[Key: Superlative: 5 stars; Excellent: 4 stars; Very Good: 3 stars; Good: 2 stars; Promising: 1 star]

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