Dining review

Iron Rooster in Canton charms with Southern favorites, house-made pop tarts

For The Baltimore Sun
Don't miss the plate-sized pop tarts at Iron Rooster in Canton.

Admit it: You've scrambled an egg or two for dinner or hauled out a box of cereal after a long workday.

Kyle Algaze, the owner of Iron Rooster, was pretty sure the concept of all-day breakfast would appeal to diners when he opened Iron Rooster in Annapolis in late 2014.

"I thought there was an overwhelming need," he said. "I thought it just might work."

Add a big helping of Southern comfort food to the menu and a charming wait staff, and soon Baltimoreans were driving to the state capital for "brinner," a word Algaze uses to describe his flavorful meatloaf nestled with two poached eggs and a coating of gravy.

Now, they just have to drive to Canton.

Algaze opened his new spot in the closed Farmstead Grill space in November, offering the same convivial atmosphere and large portions of chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, challah French toast and more. There are also salads, soups, burgers, sandwiches and supper entrees.

Don't miss the house-made, plate-size pop tarts—toasty pockets filled with your choice of flavors of the day and drizzled with a sugary glaze.

"It takes everyone back to their childhood," Algaze said. "It's a cool thing to do. Everyone says, 'Wow,' when they see it."

Scene & Decor The former Farmhouse Grill's architecture was stunning, with high-peaked ceilings, elegant stone, an open mezzanine level and expansive windows. Iron Rooster capitalizes on the setting with bare wood tables and booths, presenting an artistic barn theme with decorative roosters throughout the dining area.

Appetizers We started with praiseworthy fried green tomatoes stacked atop each other with tangy Boursin cheese and garlic aioli and crowned with corn salsa ($9.95) and the mouthwatering BLT and deviled eggs with chopped bacon, micro greens, cherry tomatoes and an herb oil ($7.95).

Entrees This is a case of too many good things to choose from on the supper menu available after 4 p.m. We opted for the breakfast shrimp 'n' grits ($13.95), offered all day. Five jumbo shrimp were tucked into a mound of creamy stone-ground grits resting in a zingy chipotle bacon butter and white-wine broth. Gently break open the two poached eggs on the plate for a golden glaze of yolk. We also had the above-mentioned brinner meatloaf ($21.95), which is made from brisket and wrapped in bacon for an extra flavor jacket. The two fat meat slices were doused with a black pepper pan gravy, flecked with crispy fried leeks and staged next to smashed red bliss potatoes and steamed broccoli. Two poached eggs were blissful additions.

Drinks A small selection of whites and reds by the glass, though the menu notes there is a "captain's list" available with draft and bottled beers and fun cocktails. The Iron Rooster bacon Bloody Mary ($9) garnished with pickled asparagus, bacon, an olive and an Old Bay rim gets rave reviews.

Service Our personable server kept assuring us that we would like everything we ordered. He was right.

Dessert You can eat the house-made pop tart ($5.95 each) any time during your meal, but we chose to have the sweet treat at the end. And what a reward. We indulged in the maple bourbon bacon but would have been happy with any of the other flavors of the day: mixed berry, coconut pineapple and brown sugar. Other desserts include coffee and chocolate creme brulee, a red velvet waffle ice cream sandwich and a flourless hazelnut chocolate cake. But we're still dreaming about that maple bourbon bacon pop tart.

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Iron Rooster

Backstory: Owner Kyle Algaze had the idea of an all-day breakfast restaurant brewing for a while, he said. With the help of his business partner, Carl Werner, he opened the first Iron Rooster in downtown Annapolis in late 2014. Having a restaurant in Baltimore wasn't a new plan for him. He originally explored a location in Brewers Hill, but that fell through. When the space at the short-lived Farmstead Grill in Canton Crossing became available after it closed last September, the restaurateur said yes immediately.

Parking: Shopping center lot

Signature dish: House-made pop tart in a variety of flavors.

TVs: Two in the bar area

Where: 3721 Boston St., Canton Crossing shopping center

Contact: 410-762-2100;.ironroosterallday.com

Open: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Credit cards: All major

Reservations: Yes, Monday through Thursday and for dinner only Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Bottom line: Iron Rooster elevates the concept of all-day breakfast by offering a Southern comfort food menu and friendly, down-home hospitality.

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