East County Times Dining Guide

The Salmon St. Michael is spectacular!



By Allson McAlister

A Baltimore tradition, the family-owned and operated Costas Inn on North Point Boulevard in Dundalk has proudly served the area for 40 years now. Costas and Mary Triantafilos started out small when they first opened back in March of 1971 when it was just the bar, but over the years the business has grown and expanded to include a spacious dining room and a carry-out, plus they offer off-site catering and the ability to order their products, including their famous and award winning crab cakes and their very own brand of crab and seafood seasoning, online. Although both Costas and Mary are still an active part of the family business, their sons Pete and Nick and Marys brother Mike Kefalas shoulder much of the day-to-day operations of the restaurant these days. The third generation are on board now as well, to continue the familys commitment to the community to provide quality ingredients, excellent customer service and a friendly and welcoming environment for their patrons. Well known for their crab cakes and steamed crabs, Costas Inn features an extensive menu with everything from seafood, steaks and chicken to sandwiches, subs and pasta. They also have an open pit offering pit sandwiches like beef, ham, turkey and more, plus OC French fries. Items from the open pit are available from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Two co-workers and I visited Costas Inn for lunch on a recent weekday. The dining room was bustling with an impressive lunch crowd for a Wednesday afternoon. Apparently, Costas is the place to go for a business lunch. We started our meal with a cup of Maryland Crab Soup. Filled with tasty veggies and large chunks of tender crab meat, this soup was perfectly seasoned just the way I like it, with a little bit of kick to it. This is some of the best crab soup Ive ever had, one of my co-workers remarked. It was spectacular soup, as evidenced by the three empty bowls before us minutes later. Next we sampled a few of their bestselling appetizers - the Mushroom Caps, the Oysters Rockefeller and the Clams Casino. The meaty, tasty mushroom caps stuffed with creamy and delectable jumbo lump Crab Imperial were quite delicious. The Clams Casino, tender clams broiled with bacon and melted Provolone cheese, were succulent. My personal favorite, however, were the Oysters Rockefeller. The sweet and salty oysters topped with Amaretto creamed spinach and melted Provolone cheese were full of flavor and simply scrumptious. Then it was on to the main course where we had the opportunity to try three more popular menu items - the Jumbo Crab Cake, the Salmon St. Michael and the New York Strip Steak. Lets start with the Jumbo Crab Cake, Costas most popular seller, according to Mary. This eight-ounce beauty, chock full of sweet, tender jumbo lump crab meat, was seasoned just right and cooked to perfection. We all loved it! While we always end up taking leftovers back to our office to share with our co-workers, I should point out they did not get any of the crab cake. The fries we were served with it were really good too, crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside, like a good French fry should be cooked. Now to the steak. I am a steak lover, but my co-workers arent big beef eaters. The New York Strip Steak is 12 ounces of Certified Angus Beef sirloin grilled to order. I like mine medium, and it came out perfectly cooked. The steak was sotender and full of flavor. One of my co-workers did venture to try some and agreed it was really tender and tasty. My other co-worker missed out! I believe in saving the best for last, and thats how we felt about the Salmon St. Michael. Described on the menu as broiled Atlantic salmon, topped with crab lumps, diced tomato and lemon butter, this dish was to die for. This is one of the best things Ive ever eaten! exclaimed one co-worker. It was a huge favorite of mine as well. The sauce, which we would describe as a ros?auce, was incredible. This salmon entr?was awesome! If you love salmon and crab meat, we highly recommend this dish. In addition to the French fries, we also tried the saut? mixed vegetables, fresh green beans saut? with mushrooms and onions and the homemade pasta salad. Both vegetable dishes were very good; the vegetables werent overcooked or undercooked. I like when a restaurant can do vegetables well, said one of my co-workers, because not many of them can. The pasta salad, complete with a couple of kalamata olives, was really tasty. Instead of your normal garden variety pasta salad made with mayonnaise, Costas Inn makes theirs with Ranch dressing. Yum! Of course, we couldnt pass up trying a little dessert, so we opted for sampling the Creme Brulee and the Caramel Crunch Cheese Cake. The rich, creamy cheese cake infused with the taste of caramel was delectable. That is superb! is how one co-worker described it. And the creme brulee was delicious, heavenly smooth custard with a crunchy yummy vanilla crust on top. Our co-workers back at the office didnt get any of the desserts either. Costas Inn, located at 4100 North Point Road in Dundalk, is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. - 2 a.m., Thursday and Friday from 6 a.m. - 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, call 410-477-1975 or visit their web site at www.costasinn.com.

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