Sunset Restaurant & Lounge in Glen Burnie provides a hearty dose of character and charm, topping it off with a helping of nostalgia.
A Glen Burnie landmark, Sunset is tucked away on 625 Greenway Road. Open the thick wooden doors to find a foyer with plush seating and shiny wood paneling.
Tables are topped with white tablecloths and lit by Tiffany-style chandeliers and lamps. The restaurant has several rooms, but the most popular is one with a large fireplace.
Our hostess seated us in an airy room close to the front of the restaurant, decorated with gilded photos and wrought iron spirals around doorways. Art is everywhere in this restaurant. Large pictures depict Adam and Eve sent from the Garden of Eden, and a variety of land and seascapes, portraits and framed memorabilia.
On a previous visit, we enjoyed music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. This time, it was the late ‘70s and ‘80s. I would have at first expected maybe Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra, considering the décor, but the light pop and rock music fit the atmosphere just as well.
Karen, our waitress, was professional and friendly. Knowing the cream of crab soup is a restaurant favorite, I ordered a cup for my appetizer, and my companion went for stuffed mushrooms. Both arrived quickly.
The cream of crab soup was superior to any I've had since Bush's Chesapeake from many years ago. Flavorful and spicy with just the right thickness (the spoon didn't stand straight up but went down slowly), it was chock full of lump crab meat without a single shell. Our six medium-sized mushrooms were savory and stuffed with lightly spiced crab imperial.
Karen, when asked about customer favorites, suggested the stuffed shrimp. I took her suggestion and my dining companion went with an open roast beef sandwich. Our sides were mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, stewed tomatoes, and coleslaw. A few minutes after taking our orders, Karen presented the restaurant's complimentary cracker basket filled with a variety of wrapped crackers and a plate with dipping cheeses — a unique treat! She then brought a basket of homemade bread and butter.
Our entrees arrived piping hot; both were generous-sized portions, especially the open roast beef sandwich. The shrimp were large and succulent, packed full of backfin crab meat and imperial, all baked to a rich golden brown. Aromatic and flavorful, this dish was well prepared and perfectly tender.
The hot roast beef sandwich was served over white bread with gravy. Most folks won't cheer about vegetables, but I give a standing ovation to these. The mashed potatoes were a savory blend of fresh potatoes with fresh cream and butter all whipped to perfection. And I dare you to find better stewed tomatoes — these were slightly sweet, a little tart and just right. The coleslaw and cucumber salads were like mom used to make, both fresh. It was home cooking at its best.
I would never leave Sunset Restaurant without ordering their pièce de résistance: the best strawberry shortcake in town. This dessert, easily satisfying two or more people, is a perfect mix of biscuit and cake, just sweet enough to allow the juicy strawberries and heavenly, homemade whipped cream to take center stage. I'm willing to sacrifice an extra pound or two for this worthy treat.
There are many menu options: meat and seafood, pasta, dinner salads, sandwiches and even specialties, such as escargot and frog legs. There's also a full bar.
Note, too, that the restaurant hosts events organized by Do or Die Murder Mysteries that include the show and dinner for a reasonable cost.
The food altogether is excellent and reasonable. Our meal was $85, which included two appetizers, two entrees, dessert and drinks. There are many modestly priced entrees.
I'm so glad this restaurant stays the course, with excellent food, fantastic service and nostalgic grace. Visit www.sunsetrestaurant.com for more information, including the mystery events.