Mom Ward's Sub Shop 5910 Ritchie Highway, Brooklyn Park. Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (410) 789-4000. After 30 years in the business, Mom Ward's Sub Shop knows exactly what it is: an unpretentious place with decent food and reasonable places.
Sure, it has its quirks -- location for one (it's across from a cemetery and next to a car wash); ambience (the walls, decorated with posters of kittens and monkeys, resemble a preteen's bedroom); and a menu that harks back to the days when people ate roast beef and gravy without guilt.
Since 1962, when Charles and Kay (Mom) Ward took over this former pool hall, the sub shop has been popular among folks in northern Anne Arundel County, particularly because of its friendly service and old-fashioned diner food. Today the eatery is run by Christine, the second oldest of the Ward children, who has remained true to her parents' vision.
But is Mom Ward's, as the sign out front promises, "the home of the super sub"?
Judging from my cheese steak ($3.20), no. It was what you'd expect from a sub shop -- satisfying but not exceptional. The hamburger ($2.40) was better, made with good quality meat and fresh lettuce, onion and tomato.
A side order of french fries with gravy ($1.20) was a meal in itself. And we also liked the crunchy coating on the mozzarella sticks.
There's lots more to choose from here. Breakfast options include bacon, eggs and ham. For lunch and dinner, there are platters, sandwiches and subs. At $4.50, the specials are the most expensive items on the menu.
The final decision: Ice cream or pie for dessert? We chose the latter -- a light pumpkin cream and tangy lemon meringue -- and were glad we did.