Tamber's 3327 St. Paul St. Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call: (410) 243-0383
If you're in the mood for home cooking, but not in the mood to cook at home, stop by Tamber's after work and pick up the kind of meal that Harriet used to make for Ozzie, or Mrs. Cleaver made for the Beav.
Although the peas and carrots in the chicken pot pie ($5.95) aren't fresh, June Cleaver probably didn't use fresh, either. And the soothing yellow gravy, chunks of chicken and potato and tasty crust more than compensate. The smothered burger ($4.75) is so thoroughly smothered -- in mushrooms, onions, green peppers and gravy -- that you have to eat it with a knife and fork. And the deep-fried chicken ($7.95) is golden and crispy without too many spices to interfere with the good old 1950s flavor. Only the meatloaf ($5.95), made with beef chopped so fine it was almost pureed, proved disappointing.
The meatloaf came with a choice of potatoes; the mashed were pleasantly fluffy. Two side orders came with the chicken; applesauce and macaroni and cheese were both ideal comfort food. We added a side of french fries ($1.50) to the burger; they were as crispy as the chicken.
The best dessert was a gooey, custardy bread pudding with lemon sauce ($2.75), although blueberry pie ($2.25) was also satisfying without being overly sweet. Classic layer cake ($2.50), yellow with chocolate frosting, tasted a little too much like a mix.
The carry-out section is located behind the restaurant; take a peek before you leave. The 1950s decor, complete with neon signs, a jukebox and an honest-to-goodness soda fountain, may convince you to loiter over an ice cream soda.