East County Times Dining Guide

Homestyle cooking and a friendly, cozy atmosphere await you at Uncle Eddie’s Restaurant.





By Allson McAlister

Serving up homestyle cooking for more than 57 years, Uncle's Eddie's Restaurant is an institution in the Essex community. Its history dates back to the 1930s when it was known as Kalb's All American Restaurant. When Ed Hockiday purchased it in 1948, he changed the name to Uncle Eddie's. When he sold it to Antonio and Imelda Liberatore in 1978, they kept the name. The restaurant remains in the Liberatore family today, with Imelda's brother John Pierorazio and her and Antonio's son Dan Liberatore and his family at the helm. Other family members are involved as well, as Uncle Eddie's is truly a family-owned and operated restaurant. And the family has deep roots in the Essex community - Imelda's parents are from the area, and many family members still reside in Essex today. Surely no one knows local clientele better than fellow locals. Uncle Eddie's remains a popular location for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After a co-worker and I visited for lunch on a recent weekday, it's easy to see why the restaurant has its share of devoted regulars. And it's not just the locals who come to Uncle Eddie's. One of the waitresses told us folks come from all over to partake of their infamous sour beef and dumplings. Other popular sellers are the steaks, crab cakes, pan-fried haddock and their platters, like the hot roast beef platter that's served with your choice of two vegetables and a drink. I'm also told the creamed chip beef is delicious. The menu is varied, from homemade soups and salads to burgers, sandwiches and seafood. We had a difficult time deciding what to order. In the end, we went with the fried shrimp, pan-fried haddock, crab cake, ham and cabbage and a couple of sides. While my co-worker sampled the jumbo butterfly shrimp, I had the smaller gulf shrimp featured in the Shrimp Basket entrée. Both are hand-breaded and were really tasty. The light batter was very flavorful. The crab cake, handmade by the chef, was also yummy, with no shell in the cake we sampled. I just had to try the haddock, described on the menu as “an Uncle Eddie's favorite for over 40 years.” A mild-tasting fish, the filet was cooked to perfection and served piping hot. I ate the whole thing, even after I'd devoured almost the entire plate of shrimp. My co-worker loved the ham and cabbage dish, plus the mashed potatoes she ordered as a side, describing them as “homemade and delicious.” Their coleslaw is pretty darn good as well. When we were finished all of our sampling, we were too stuffed to indulge in dessert. Maybe next time. In addition to the restaurant, Uncle Eddie's also has a bar, multiple televisions and Keno for your entertainment. If you're looking for some good old homestyle cooking in a restaurant with a cozy atmosphere, try Uncle Eddie's. You may just become a regular, too. Uncle Eddie's Restaurant is located at 424-1/2 Eastern Blvd. in Essex. The restaurant is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Call 410-686-1321.

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