11 Allegheny Ave. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Call: (410) 823-2030; fax, 823-FOOD.
Parker's grocery store, tucked into Towson's quirky business crossroads, where old and new cluster on winding blocks, touts itself as "A Towson Tradition for Over 50 Years." With its wood floors, dependable meat counter and decidedly unslick ambience, Parker's is true to its claim.
Much the same can be said of its lunch offerings. They are fresh, filling, dependable and unsensational: the stuff staid tradition is made of.
Maryland crab soup ($1.99) was a bit on the salty side, short on crab shreds and brimming with celery chunks. Nevertheless, it wasn't half bad. The same can be said of the chicken soup; full of white meat and veggies, but not a standout.
The corned beef sandwich ($3.25) with honey mustard, on the other hand, talked. The corned beef was lean, thinly sliced and ample. A chicken salad sandwich ($3.25), was stuffed but bland. An herb or two, or at least salt and pepper, would have livened it up.
Dessert -- tapioca pudding and apple cobbler (both around $1, priced according to weight) -- were "pretty E-flat," to quote a companion. But we gobbled them up anyway. Parker's also has a bakery on the premises.
Cold and hot platters -- mostly in the $4 range -- as well as submarine sandwiches, salads, and side orders like cole slaw, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes fill Parker's menu. Customers can also eat-in or carry-out breakfast, which consists mainly of variations on bagels, eggs and English muffins.
Those in a rush should know that Parker's has a separate check-out line for breakfast and lunch customers. And there is free parking in the rear.