Kaufmann's Tavern gets details right


Tucked into a forested, undeveloped corner near Odenton, Kaufmann's Tavern can be easily overlooked -- until you try the food.

This relaxed and understated restaurant serves great seafood and hefty portions for reasonable prices.

Don't let the wooden shingle exterior fool you. It might look like a quiet ski cabin, but inside it's hopping. The dining room is jammed with a jovial crowd seated at large wooden tables under stained-glass lights.

A friend and I tried the place for dinner on a Friday night. We stuck to seafood and were not disappointed. The Maryland crab soup for $2.95 was well-seasoned and, most important, full of crab. No watered-down vegetable base here. Then we shared the $9.95 tomato stuffed with crab. The sliced tomato came with a heaping pile of lump crab meat perfectly chilled and moist, with just the right spices. I bit into only one tiny piece of shell.

Just to make sure we were eating enough crab, we ordered a half-dozen medium-sized crabs for $9.95. We also shared the shrimp combo -- the biggest hit of the meal. For $15.95, the plate comes with seven shrimp -- one stuffed, two steamed, two fried and two barbecued. But you also get a cup of soup, a large baked potato with a variety of toppings, a salad with homemade dressing and a broiled tomato topped with browned cheese.

We were pleased.

We liked the wait staff, too. But there were a couple of strange things about the place. For one, because the restaurant accepts only cash and checks, an automated teller machine stands in the corner of the dining room. Also, the droning elevator-music renditions of alternative rock songs seemed a bizarre choice for any room, but especially one with filled with older customers.

Mostly, though, we noticed the restaurant's attention to detail. We will definitely go back to Kaufmann's.

Our dinner bill, without drinks and tip but including a large,

scrumptious piece of Snickers pie, came to $38.60.

Kaufmann's Tavern

Where: 329 Gambrills Road, Gambrills, 410-923-2005

Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight.

Prices: Entrees, $15.95-$19.95

Rating: ***

Ratings: * culinary wasteland **** culinary heaven

Pub Date: 12/04/97

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