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Pictured are Bruce, Ms. Fran, Melissa, Jessica, Bryan and Barry on the deck at the Island View

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Starting May 23rd Breakfast on the weekends



Homemade Sour Beef & Potato Dumplings and More! at the Island View Waterfront Café

On Sunday, September 25, the Island View Waterfront Café will be offering Ms. Fran's Homemade Sour Beef and Potato Dumplings, first come, first served. It won't last long, so don't delay. Ms. Fran's recipe has been around since 1968 and she has finally whispered the recipe to the third generation of Laing's.

Island View Waterfront Café is now in their autumn mode and has just as much to offer now as in the summer. Think of sitting around the chiminea on the deck, sipping an Irish coffee while viewing the Chesapeake Bay and the harvest moon...

Every Sunday is Ravens day at the Island View. Join the fun and watch the Ravens on the new Flat Screen TV. Beginning October, Island View will be open Wednesday thru Sunday with many nightly specials.

Don't forget to book that holiday party. Before you know the holidays will be upon us!

Some events to look for in October: art show, Simple Saturday menus, Family Favorite Sundays, Halloween Bonfire, just to name a few!

Check out our website at www.islandviewwaterfrontcafe.com for more detailed information or look for the Island View Waterfront Café updates and pictures on facebook.

Review by Allison McAlister


One of the best things about eastern Baltimore County is our proximity to the water and dining at restaurants with a waterfront view. For delicious home cooking with a spectacularly sprawling view of the Chesapeake Bay, head on down to the Island View Waterfront Café, tucked away in a quiet, secluded spot in Essex.

Though it began as a dance hall and tavern in the late 1920s, the restaurant is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, under the ownership of the Laing family. Purchased by Tom and Fran Laing in 1968, the restaurant opened for business on Jan. 1, 1969 as Tom's Tavern. In 1983, the name changed to The Island View Inn and in 2000 became The Island View Waterfront Café. Three generations of Laings currently operate the business. Tom passed away in 1984, but Fran continues to be active in the day-to-day operation. At the helm of the family restaurant is Fran's son Bruce, his wife Melissa and their children, Bryan and Jessica

With the name change in 2000 came a complete renovation of the restaurant, which included the addition of a deck for outdoor dining. The many windows in the restaurant allow for a beautiful view of the Chesapeake and Browns Creek from almost any seat in the dining area, and the nautical decor makes you feel like you're on vacation at the beach.

Currently being featured on Maryland Public Television's "Eatin' Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had," Bruce says the most popular item on the menu lately has been the crab cakes. Seems the restaurant sells record numbers of crab cakes after that show airs. (Check it out on MPT Comcast Cable Channel 22 on Sunday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m.)

In addition to famous crab cakes, Island View offers a variety of mouthwatering appetizers, soups, salads, burgers & sandwiches and entrees featuring seafood, steaks, chicken, pork chops and more. If you enjoy a home cooked meal just like Mom used to make, chances are you'll find it here. Jessica said the pot roast is a popular choice among customers. "Everything is all homemade and made to order," she explained. (See their menu online at www.islandviewwaterfrontcafe.com.)

A co-worker and I dined at Island View on a recent weekday for lunch. For starters, my dining companion ordered the Maryland Crab Soup while I opted for the Hot Crab Pretzel, another menu item both Bruce and Jessica said was a popular seller. The crab soup was served nice and hot with lots of back fin crab meat. My co-worker said it was really good. The crab pretzel arrived perfectly browned on top and loaded with creamy luscious crab dip and ooey, gooey cheddar cheese. Unlike the usual crab pretzels made with cream cheese, this one is just the crab dip and cheddar and it's extremely tasty. It had just the right amount of spice with just a hint of a little kick to it. Delicious!

For our entrees, I chose the chicken salad croissant and my co-worker just had to try a crab cake. The chicken salad is made with cranberries and walnuts, which makes for some really tasty chicken salad. Yum! And the buttery, flaky croissant was delicious as well. My co-worker thoroughly enjoyed her crab cake and was nice enough to let me try a little. The crab cake was awesome, really flavorful, and it's easy to see why these babies are being featured on MPT's show about the best crab cakes in Maryland.

We ended our meal on a delightful note with dessert of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream. The cold, creamy pudding was simply delectable. What a perfect ending to such a pleasant lunch.

At Island View Waterfront Café, the view just can't be beat, the food is tasty, the prices reasonable and the service efficient and super-friendly. Get there by automobile - they've got plenty of parking, or by boat - they've got two piers for docking and are within boating distance of Hart & Miller Island.

The Island View Waterfront Café is located at 2542 Island View Rd. in Essex. For hours and directions or more information, call 410-687-9799 or visit www.islandviewwaterfrontcafe.com.


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