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Last Updated: Jul 29, 2010 09:15PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

Power Lunch: Giolitti's Deli

Welcome to Power Lunch. Each week we’ll review a restaurant in Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore from the perspective of nine-to-fivers getting lunch in the middle of their workday. Hence, pace and cost will be factored differently than you’d expect from a typical restaurant review, which is usually from the perspective of a dinner experience.   How we got here: Giolitto Delicatessen can be found near the Towne Center at Parole, just across the street from Whole Foods. The parking lot is snug, and you might have to battle over a spot during a popular mealtime, but if worse comes to worse, you could always park in the structure across the street. We strolled inside the deli and craned our necks to see the menu written on the chalkboard above the ordering counter.   What we got: Apparently we have a thing for crab soup, because James chose the Maryland Vegetable crap, while I went for chilled gazpacho with crab (one of the day’s specials). The gazpacho was smooth – I prefer it with chunks of celery and cucumbers for a little crunch – but the taste was bright and flavorful. They certainly didn’t skimp on crab, as big lumps of meat filled the soup.   For my main dish, I selected a Cuban panini, a pile-up of grilled pork roast, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayo for $6.95. The combination of ingredients melted together, creating a delicious filling on toasted bread.       James ordered a small cup of Maryland-style crab soup and a calzone stuffed with bell pepper, sausage, and mozzarella, two dishes he hasn’t had is several years.   “I’ve always shied away from Maryland-style crab soup because, at most restaurants, it’s simply Campbell’s vegetable soup with backfin crab meat harvested from Gulf waters thrown into the mix and sparingly so,” he said.    While a bit unattractive, the crab soup had decent flavor; a touch of Old Bay goes a long way toward accentuating the crab flavors. However, it was, indeed, of the blasé fare James expected. The calzone proved hearty and quite tasty. Although the dough was a bit on the rubbery side (James claims to have had softer crusts), it was packed with rib-sticking mozzarella enveloping the plentiful peppers and sausage stuffing. These two items, plus soda pop (root beer!) to wash it all down, made for a “mildly-amusing-sort-of-satisfying-but very filling” lunch.   What we paid: Our total for two soups, a panini, a calzone and two sodas was a diminutive $23.16. That’s certainly in the budget. Each soup – we got the smalls – cost just $2.95, but came in a good portion for a side dish. If you’re only having soup for your meal, go for a larger size.   How long it took: There was a short line to order when we walked in, but it would have been much faster if we hadn’t pored over the menu for a while. After we filled up our soft drinks and sat down at a table, it was just a few minutes before someone was over with our food. We were out within about 30 minutes, an excellent time span when it comes to a lunch break.   The verdict: The food, as you can see, can be hit or miss but the timing and price is just right for the mid-day meal.  Giolittis is very special and authentic, depending on what you order. Stick to the daily specials board and several proven dishes that are hard to mess up, and you’ll leave Giolittis satisfied and thinking of returning very soon.

Lures Bar & Grill schedules August Beer Club event

Lures Bar & Grill in Crownesville just announced the date for their August Beer Club dinner. Head over to 1397 Generals Highway from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, and enjoy Evolution Craft Beer -- one of my favorites, by the way. The price of the event, $38.50, covers the beer, buffet food, tax and gratuity.

Sip wine on the dock of the bay

Lower Shore residents and visitors have a chance to taste some wine and have some fun this weekend at Olde Crisfield Crab, Steakhouse and Tiki Bar's first Winefest on the Bay. The event will be held from 3-9 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the restaurants. The Winefest will feature tastings from wineries such as Sterling Vineyards, Rosenblum, and Chalone Vinyeard, all in California, and Casa Lapostolle from Chili. In addition to the tastings, you can enjoy some grub, play some games and take in live entertainment.

Capriotti's opens an outpost on Kent Island

Kent Island residents, if you've been craving a taste of Thanksgiving, then you're in luck -- Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, home of the The Bobbie, has opened a new store in Red Apple Village. I've never tried The Bobbie -- made with homemade turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo -- but I have heard about it, despite never having lived near a Capriotti's. Apparently this sandwich was named "The Greatest Sandwich in America" by an AOL reader poll. That's quite the recommendation. Because this new shop is right off Route 50 and within view of my commute home at the end of the day, I just might have to stop in to try it. Don't worry -- I'll let you know if it's as good as the hype.

Ruth's Chris Steak House Announces New Lounge Menu

Ruth's Chris is a place where casually dressed friends can gather for a laid-back evening of great food and drink.

Free Queso Today at Moe's: No String's Attached

Moe’s Southwest Grill chain is celebrating its tenth anniversary by giving each guest a free six ounce cup of its famous Queso at all locations all day on July 21 – no strings attached; no purchase necessary. “This once-in-every-ten-years offer will be the first and only nationwide giveaway since the company’s inception,” explains Paul Damico, president of Moe’s Southwest Grill. “We are excited to share this company milestone with our guests by giving away one of our best loved and most celebrated products.” Additionally, Moe’s is encouraging fans to express themselves and their love for Moe’s hot, flavorful, melted white cheese sauce by entering the I Love Queso Video Contest at for a chance to win $1,000 and free Queso for a year. Our local Moe's Southwest Grill is located at 122 Dock Street in Downtown, Annapolis.

Mexican Cafe Update: Getting Closer to Relocation

It seems like ages ago when we first reported that the Mexican Cafe, everyone's favorite little slice of Tijuana, would be relocating from it's quaint Annapolis digs near Bay Ridge to West Annapolis at the former site of Northwoods; the move being forced by the land/building owner's sale of the property to corporate CVS, which is planning to bulldoze the site and build, you guessed it, a CVS. But I digress; here's an update from Mexican Cafe's owner Pam Gladfelter (not to be confused with the owner of the property, whom she rents from):

Power Lunch: Pauls' Homewood Cafe a Safe Bet

Welcome to Power Lunch. Each week we’ll review a restaurant in Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore from the perspective of nine-to-fivers getting lunch in the middle of their workday. Hence, pace and cost will be factored differently than you’d expect from a typical restaurant review, which is usually from the perspective of a dinner experience. How we got here: Easily! Paul's Homewood Cafe is conveniently located adjacent to our offices. We've been enjoying Paul's for years, but it has been several months since we last had a bite here. For those more than a skip away, Paul's has ample parking to the rear of its West Street-side entrance. Since it was a blistering hot day, we opted to stay indoors and enjoyed a table for two in the contemporary (and recently renovated) main dining room (there are pockets of tables throughout the premises and even a new second level of seating). If it weren't so blazing, we'd have likely opted for one of the outdoor patio tables overlooking bustling West Street. On to the meal.

Brique opens to a Packed House in Centreville

The much anticipated opening of Brique in Centreville (formerly Julia's) did not dissapoint. With what can only be described as a great success, Brique has matched the hype that has surrounded its opening...and then some. As a frequent patron of Julia's, I walked into Brique and wasn't sure what to expect in terms of decor, but the new owners, Billy Fairbanks and Tommy Inzer, stayed true to the building's historical charm--highlighting the original brick wall, and painting the opposite walls a nice off white color (to match the table cloths, napkins, and leather chairs), with the trim and parts of the ceiling accented with a muted royal blue color. Our waitress, Bridgette greeted us with a friendly smile and offered to help us pair our dinner with an appropriate wine selection.

Power Lunch: Waterman's Tavern a ringer!

How we got here: Waterman's Tavern has been open for about one year at their Edgewater location, which is a 15 minute clip from Annapolis. We breezed over the South River Bridge on a sunny day and the views of the vast river put us in a waterman's state of mind. Off Route 2, you jut east on Mayo Road and the tavern is about 2 miles upward on the corner of Mayo and Ridgeville Rds. Take note: it's very easy to whiz right by it; much easier to look for Londontown Wine & Spirits (bold blue building on the right), which is directly adjacent to Waterman's. If you hit Adam's Ribs, you've driven a touch too far.



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