East County Times Dining Guide



121 Earls Road
Middle River, MD 21220

By Devin Crum

Since Chug-a-Mug has recently undergone a change of ownership, a coworker and I decided to check it out recently for lunch. And I must say, it now has a friendlier, more inviting atmosphere than it previously did. First, I have to mention that although we went for lunch, they now serve breakfast everyday starting at 8:30 a.m. Too bad we didnt go for that because it sounded delicious, and apparently others think so too because from how co-owner Chris Cernek described it, they have developed quite a large breakfast following. Now, on to lunch. We started out with something weve seen nowhere else - the Seafood Skins. Think of your traditional potato skins, only with lump crab meat, shrimp, crab imperial sauce and cheese on top. At first we were unsure, but upon biting into them something different in our minds quickly became something delicious! We absolutely loved them, so much so that we had scarfed them down before we could get a picture (and this became a common theme for the meal). Next we decided to try an assortment of wings to see just what they had to offer, and I must say we were not disappointed. Of the varieties we tried, the Caribbean jerk was my personal favorite. They were baked in an almost sweet sauce and topped with a spicy jerk rub and the flavor clash was simply amazing. Not being much for spicy things, my coworkers favorite were the perfectly sweet honey mustard wings. I tried them too, and I couldnt find a flaw either. All the wings, though, (the other flavors we tried were buffalo and Old Bay styles) were large and juicy, but crispy on the outside - just how wings should be. Another thing worth mentioning is their fresh, hand-cut fries. Cooked in peanut oil to a very slight crisp, they went perfectly with the wings and a splash of malt vinegar - my favorite! With nine TVs to watch all NCAA [football] and NFL games, its a perfect match, Cernek said referring to the wings and fries. We aim to please. He also mentioned customers can get fries in any of their wing flavorings as well. And now for my favorite part of the meal: their fresh smoked, certified Angus pit beef. This had to be some of the best Ive had with its tantalizingly smoky open-pit flavor. Adding that it was so juicy and tender, there was no way it could last long on our table. Finally, who could go to a restaurant in Maryland with crab cake on the menu and not try it? Well we did and we were sure glad we did. It was huge! Packed to the teeth with meat and almost no filler, we struggled to get it all down, but we enjoyed every second of it. Well that was where our meal ended, but there was more fun to come. While there, we saw a group of women using their 10-percent-off coupons (which you can find in the Chug-a-Mug ad on this page) and we had to say something. One had a Reuben sandwich which she said was simply delicious, and another felt no shame in saying her burger was the best damn burger shes ever had! Since the other owner, Bernie Herold, is also the chef, you can be sure your food will always be top notch. After all, he has a direct stake in the quality of the food he serves. But the fun still does not end there. Chug-a-Mugs beach-themed outdoor area features a tiki bar and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy yourself as these late summer evenings become more pleasant. They will also feature a full lineup of local musicians for your entertainment. And if youre looking to host your own party or other event, theyve got you covered. Their newly renovated banquet hall has a full bar and can accommodate up to 100 people. So call Chug-a-Mug at 410-630-2458, or just visit them at 121 Earls Road in Middle River to see what theyre all about!

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