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MT. VERNON CAFE 5716 York Road. Open...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

MT. VERNON CAFE 5716 York Road. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; lunch served after 11 a.m.; limited breakfast menu. Phone (410) 323-1995. FAX (410) 323-2085.

Looking for a lunch-time escape? Somewhere quiet and friendly with a nice choice of tasty food?

You might want to try the Mt. Vernon Cafe, which is miles from Mount Vernon in the Govans-Belvedere Square strip of York Road. It's sort of an unlikely place for a cafe and carry-out, but worth your time to stop there.

The Mt. Vernon Cafe is bright and sparkling with a black-and-white checkered floor and a dozen or so white tables, if you want to eat in. The menu is basic with the usual hot and cold sandwiches -- ham, roast beef, turkey, egg salad, among them -- a few salads and desserts. But there is also a selection of hot foods that changes daily. Not only do these look and taste good, they also lend lovely aromas to the already pleasant atmosphere.

On a raw, rainy day, I enjoyed chili ($1.95), an appropriate special. It was thick with beans and meat and had a savory flavor without being fiery. The timid could probably partake. On another day, the specials included spaghetti and meatballs and a meatball sub ($3.60), with the meatballs doing double duty. Again, the sauce was rich and nicely flavored and the sauteed green peppers and onions on top were terrific.

The tuna salad sandwich ($2.75) was thick with a mild-tasting tuna; the bread was a little dry. For those who want to indulge a sweet tooth, there is a large selection of yummy-looking cheesecakes, puddings and cookies.

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