Baltimore County Restaurant Week, which runs through Aug. 18, is bringing fixed-price, two- or three-course meals to 61 restaurants across the county from Catonsville to Towson to Cockeysville.
For between $15 and $35, Restaurant Week patrons can dine on fixed-item menus for brunch, lunch or dinner. Most of the 61 participating restaurants allow diners to choose between at least two options for each course.
Marjorie Hampson, director of the county’s tourism office, said she works with restaurateurs to determine when the promotion should run. In Baltimore County, that’s been the dead of winter and the heat of summer since 2010. The current Restaurant Week started Aug. 3.
“August and January are very slow for some reason,” Hampson said. “It also brings in some new clients or new visitors simply because this might be an opportunity for someone to visit a more expensive restaurant … at a reasonable price, and often that means more return visitors.”
At Nacho Mama’s in Towson, 2 W. Pennsylvania Ave., the “still relatively new” Tex-Mex restaurant is trying to reach new customers and build overall awareness. The Towson restaurant opened in November 2016.
“We felt that it was a good way for us to branch out a little bit,” said Kallie Amentas, director of marketing for Nacho Mama’s.
Amentas said the restaurant, which also has a location in Canton, is using Restaurant Week in Baltimore County to highlight its new California Burger, which comes with avocado and fried jalapeño straws, and to focus on seasonal items, like gazpacho.
Nacho Mama’s is offering a three-course dinner menu for $30.
The only participating restaurant in Catonsville is Dimitri’s International Grille, 2205 Frederick Road, which is offering two-course meals with an optional third course. The price for the meal ranges from $18 to $21..
Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar, with locations in Cockeysville, at 550 Cranbrook Road, and Parkville, 1725 Taylor Avenue, was one of the first restaurants to participate with the county when Restaurant Week began eight years ago, according to managing partner Justin Windle.
“It was a way to kind of partner with the county in a positive way, and I like that,” Windle said.
Windle said Restaurant Week helps bring people into Pappas when it could otherwise be a “tough time” for the business. Pappas is offering $23 lunch menus and $33 dinner menus.
“I think people get excited to do something special,” Windle said. “It gives them a reason to go out.”
The deals and special menus have been successful in boosting business in Baltimore County, according to Hampson.
January’s Restaurant Week saw a “14 [percent] increase in total average sales for lunches and dinners during the event’s time period,” she wrote in an email, adding that restaurants saw a 27 percent rise in new customer traffic.
“It’s good for the restaurant, it’s good for our beverage and food tax man,” Hampson said. “It’s good for the customer; they benefit getting a good meal at a good price.”
The Baltimore County Restaurant Week website and a list of participating restaurants can be found at https://www.baltimorecountyrestaurantweek.com/index.html.