Dining Out: Interesting eats at Stan and Joe's Saloon South

Last week after picking up my car from Nealy Automotive (our favorite mechanic), my son Calvin and I decided to grab some lunch. There was a long list of places to eat in Edgewater. After looking through my options, Stan and Joe’s Saloon South stuck out as the place to try.

Stan and Joe’s South is located in a nice shopping area tucked behind where the K-mart used to be. Stepping into the main dining area, we could see a bar toward the back and a stage to our left. The band that was going to play that night was setting up. I was impressed that there would be live music on a Thursday.

The place looked like a bar should look, with fun decor and lots of wood fixtures. It also looked clean and well-kept. After sitting at a booth near the stage, I ordered a beer and we looked over the menu.

It was hard to choose from such a large selection. We finally deferred to the server on which starters to get. She told us that we couldn’t go wrong with signature crab dip ($13, or $7 during happy hour, which runs weekdays 2 p.m.-7 p.m.) and said the Parmesan balls ($8) were the best fried mac and cheese she’d ever had.

The crab dip had a good balance of cheeses, but was a little lacking in crab. The Parmesan balls reminded me of fried mozzarella sticks, only with cheddar and macaroni. They were under-seasoned, but had a great texture and were very enjoyable.

As a main dish, Calvin chose the beer batter shrimp tacos ($12) on a soft flour tortilla. This had fresh tomatoes, sliced avocado and nice, crunchy fried shrimp. It was excellent, and we each ended up eating one of the two tacos.

I chose a cheesesteak stogie ($11). At first, I wasn’t sure what a stogie was. I looked it up to see if I’d missed some culinary terminology. As it turns out, Stan and Joe’s stogie is a fusion of an egg roll with various Western sandwich fillings. I could only suppose that its name came from the fact that it looked like a fat cigar. (The two other stogie varieties were chicken and cheese or corned beef).

The cheesesteak stogie was a really cheesy and flavorful chopped steak filling in a perfectly crispy egg roll shell. I felt that both the filling and the shell were excellent, but I wasn’t a fan of the two together. This may be one of those things that you have to try a second time before you can adjust to it. The quality was definitely there, but the cuisine clash threw me off.

For dessert, the options were limited. We decided on an apple crostata, which was supposed to be a rough-formed flat tart (like a French galette). This one was more like a pie. It had a mealy crust with a thick layer of soft cinnamon topping and was served stone cold. The sliced fresh apples would have been good, except it was obvious that this crostata was sitting in the refrigerator far too long. The taste was unpleasant. On top of all of this, the whipped cream was fake and they were out of ice cream.

It was an unpleasant end to an otherwise good meal. The server must have known how bad it was because when she brought us the check she left it off.

Bad endings aside, Stan and Joe’s is a great place to hang out, have a beer and grab some nosh. These guys don’t just pull things out of boxes — they actually make the food, and there is a whole lot more of the menu to check out. I look forward to going back for their many burgers, sandwiches, salads and interesting appetizers. The live music was a big plus, too. The next time my car needs work, I know where I’m going for lunch.

Stan and Joe’s Saloon South

WHERE: 173 Mitchells Chance Road, Edgewater

PHONE: 443-837-6126

WEBSITE: stanandjoessaloon.com

HOURS: Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

PRICES: $7-$14 for lunch, $10-$24 for dinner

RESERVATIONS: Not required

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards accepted

ACCESSIBILITY: Yes

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