Restaurant review

Glyndon Grill a casual spot with classy food, drink

The Baltimore Sun

A couple of years ago, when my better half and I started thinking seriously about relocating from Baltimore City to the bucolic countryside of Worthington Valley in Baltimore County, we decided to check out Glyndon Grill. We were curious to see what sort of vibe we’d get in a place that could turn out to be our new neighborhood go-to restaurant (which it did).

As it happened, it was a Thursday, burger night at Glyndon Grill, and that meant a crowd. Though we had no reservation, we were quickly accommodated and made to feel very welcome by the personable staff. That positive first impression was reinforced on return visits, including our most recent, which, once again, turned out to be a Thursday.

On these “Burger and Beer Bash” nights, a hefty assortment of burgers are priced at $8 or less, several brews at $3 a can. The patties, toppings (fried egg, Hawaiian, Greek, etc.) and brioche buns are of excellent quality. You can add very good, non-greasy shoestring fries for just a buck.

But there’s much more to bite into than burgers at Glyndon Grill, a simply designed space with a front room holding high-top tables and a bar, and, in the back, a couple of generic-looking dining rooms that could use a makeover. Decorative touches give a nod to the local equine industry.

The regular menu was recently tweaked to include some things — among them the highly satisfying escargot-style shrimp and the bacon-wrapped scallops — available at Barrett’s Grill in Hunt Valley, an excellent restaurant under the same ownership. The result is a sizable assortment of casual pub-level items, as well as fine-dining selections.

That mixture gets a thoughtful treatment at Glyndon Grill, starting with appetizers. You can’t go wrong with the tangy Tex-Mex egg rolls, packed with chicken, black beans, spinach and cheeses; or the wonderfully textured beef short rib quesadilla, which exudes a vibrant, onion-rich flavor.

A newly expanded list of small plates now offers another slew of temptations. We savored the succulent coconut shrimp and the likewise delectably crispy arancini — panko-coated, rich-tasting risotto balls (we only wished for a little more of the lovely rose sauce underneath them on the plate).

Among main dish choices are some that have been popular with Glyndon Grill-goers since the place opened five years ago. They’re among my favorites, too, especially a hearty chicken pot pie that comes with a decadent crust, and scallops served in a thick, earthy bacon-mushroom risotto.

We also enjoyed building a light entree starting with the stellar kale salad — a vivid peanut dressing helps make this a winner on its own — and adding tenderloin tips. Those beef bites were a little too aggressively seasoned in garlic, but their tenderness impressed. Another whole-meal-in-a-salad, the crispy chicken cobb, provided abundant flavor and texture.

For dessert, pineapple upside-down cake proved light and invigorating. We loved a Napoleon featuring blueberries, luxuriant whipped cream and the most delicate of tuile. Triple cookie pie, with its chocolate chip cookie crust, crushed Oreos, caramel, and a whole lot more, was too much of a good thing for me, but is bound to thrill the sweet-toothed.

Except for a couple of times when young servers were being trained to mix drinks (a worthy task), we’ve always had the benefit of enlightened bartenders here — our latest meal got an early lift from muscular martinis and Manhattans. We had good luck with wine, too, an easy-drinking Malbec (misidentified as Californian, rather than Argentine, on the wine list, but we got over it).

In short, Glyndon Grill continues to offer a satisfying bill of fare, attentive service and decent prices — an ever-appetizing combination.

Glyndon Grill

4844 Butler Road, Glyndon.

443-881-4183, glyndongrill.com

Cuisine: American

Prices: Appetizers $6 to $13; burgers/sandwiches $13 to $21 ($7 and $8 burgers on Thursday nights); entrees $14 to $30

Ambience: Un-fussy, casual, neighborly

Service: Invariably friendly and earnest

Reservations: Yes

Parking: Lot

Special diets: They can be accommodated.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

tim.smith@baltsun.com

twitter.com/clefnotes

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