There are a lot of places to go in Baltimore for a power breakfast or gourmet brunch. But sometimes you just want good old-fashioned morning fare.
The aptly named Simply Marie’s in Canton is just the spot for the latter. It offers an unpretentious setting with a low-key decor, a few tables and counters with stools.
You’ll find only breakfast foods here, from various omelets and pancakes to creamed chipped beef and corned-beef hash. Owner Marie Branch, who spent 20 years working in other people’s kitchens, does the cooking.
The weekdays are laid-back; on a recent Wednesday, we were the only customers at the tiny restaurant.
Branch was taking orders behind a counter before heading back to the kitchen to make our plates.
When we returned on a Saturday, more people were lined up to order their wake-up meal. But the pace is unhurried.
If you’re looking for speedy dishes and the latest trendy egg creation, you won’t find it here. This is simple home cooking. And that’s just the way Branch planned it.
“I created an idea in my head, and it worked,” she said.
SCENE AND DECOR The small dining area has two tables and two counters — one facing the windows; the other, a wall. There’s outdoor seating that’s available in nice weather. One wall of the restaurant is dedicated to Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
APPETIZERS Not applicable.
ENTREES Chicken and waffles has become a Baltimore menu staple. But Simply Marie’s version ($13.95) stands on its own merits. It takes 20 minutes for the kitchen to prepare — and they tell you that when you order — but your patience is rewarded with three crispy wings and a thick waffle showered with powdered sugar. The eggs Benedict ($11.50) was also delicious. Three poached eggs were draped over English muffin halves, bathing in a pool of thyme-laced hollandaise sauce that’s thinner than most, but still offers a delicate bit of flavor. On another visit, we had the Linwood omelet ($9.50) with mushrooms and cheese. The portion was generous, but the mushrooms looked and tasted like they were canned. The accompanying grits weren’t doctored in any way and were terrific. We also had two noteworthy pancakes with strips of flavorful bacon ($9.95).
DRINKS Sodas, juice, coffee, tea, milk and hot chocolate are offered. Our iced tea ($1.25) was pre-sweetened, which many people may appreciate. But we would have liked a heads-up since we like our tea minus sugar.
SERVICE We ordered at the counter and picked up our food there when it was ready.
DESSERT Not applicable.
Backstory: Marie Branch, who was born in Baltimore and raised in South Carolina before returning to her home state, opened Simply Marie’s in 2011.
Signature dish: Chicken and waffles
Where: 3023 Elliott St., Canton
Contact: 410-342-0822, simplymariesbreakfast.com
Open: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Credit cards: All major
Reservations: Does not accept
Bottom line: There are no frills here, but if you’re looking for straightforward breakfast fare, stop by Simply Marie’s.