I remember going to the Sunset as a youngster with my family. A client of my father's had a custom of giving Sunset gift certificates for the holidays. Always a special occasion.
My father and I went back to the Sunset on a recent Friday night, and the restaurant was as special as I remembered. The appetizers were delicious, the entree portions more than filling and the desserts sinful.
I called an hour or two ahead and was told the wait for a table would be a few minutes. We used those 15 or so minutes to admire the tiffany lamps, hardwood walls, etched glass and, opposite the bar, two pictures of Miss America pageants, circa the 1940s. And then there's Tilly, the widely celebrated reclining nude over bar.
Our waitress, Bev -- not Beverly -- quickly brought the relish tray. My father went for the garlic shrimp ($7.50) for an appetizer, eight or so jumbo specimen in a flavorful brown sauce delicately seasoned. I couldn't resist the cream of crab soup ($5.50), rich and well-endowed with sweet back fin.
After he watched the couple next to us enjoy prime rib, my father had to have the same -- a dish, I found out later, that has become his "usual." The extra-thick cut ($19.50) was served medium and au jus, exactly as ordered, and was a carnivore's delight.
I had stuffed fillet of rockfish ($23.95), a perfectly broiled striped bass, loaded with more than an inch of lump crab, flavored with Dijon mustard -- a welcome surprise.
Our side dishes -- a house salad, steamed Brussels sprouts, whipped potatoes and buttered corn -- seemed beside the point. With extremely generous portions, even well-done sides can be forgotten. Mere mortals typically are resigned to having parts of their entrees boxed up here.
That generosity carries over to the desserts we sampled. As she brought the homemade concoctions fit for two or more, Bev smiled and offered a "Good luck, gentlemen," appropriate for flyboys being handed a mission.
The signature strawberry shortcake ($4.50) didn't come with the Southern-style biscuit that defines the dish. But big deal. It's hard to notice or care about the distinction between biscuit and sheet cake when you have a 6-inch monument to sinful indulgence, decked with homemade whipped cream staring back at you.
That not withstanding, it was the pecan bread pudding ($3.75) that made my eyes roll back in my head. When the warm dessert arrived, the table was immediately engulfed in the aroma of its accompanying rum sauce. Two spoonfuls and I knew I would be back for more. And soon.
Where: 625 Greenway, Glen Burnie, 410-768-1417
Hours: dinner, 11 a.m. to 12: 45 a.m. Monday through Sunday; lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday
Prices: appetizers, $2.50-$8.50; entrees, $13.95-$23.95
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diner's card
Ratings: * culinary wasteland **** culinary heaven
Pub Date: 6/11/98