East County Times Dining Guide

Try an appetizer! The calamari, coconut shrimp and the stuffed mushrooms are all a delicious way to start your meal



Review & Photo by Allison McAlister

For truly delicious food in an atmosphere that makes you feel like you're eating a meal at your own dining room table, head on over to Long Beach Restaurant & Tavern. You'll be glad you did. For the past three years, owners Bob and Marion Utter have worked to make Long Beach the kind of establishment that makes a community proud. Besides the consistently fantastic food and great customer service you'll find at the restaurant, Long Beach is the kind of place that makes you feel right at home. Everybody knows everybody here, explained Marion. Its just that kind of place. The restaurant is quite involved in the community as well, holding various fundraisers throughout the year to benefit organizations like St. Judes Children's Research Hospital and the Baltimore Outreach Food Program on Orville Ave., plus they sponsor three families from Seneca Elementary at Thanksgiving and other three families at Christmas. Long Beach is also home to Ravens Roost #71. As a business owner, if you don't give back to the community, you don't have a business, Marion stated, adding, I really appreciate people still coming in during this economy. Even though folks may have tightened their purse strings a little more lately, enjoying a meal at Long Beach is well worth including in your budget. My co-worker and I visited Long Beach for lunch on a recent weekday afternoon. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, boasting a nautical theme. I was immediately struck by the tables and chairs arranged throughout the dining area, wooden furniture that likely resembles the dining set you probably have in your home. There is also a bar located off this main dining room, although there is a subwall between the two. The tavern part of Long Beach is located upstairs in what is affectionately known as The Utter Bar, where customers can enjoy live music on the weekends. To start our meal, we both had a cup of the Maryland Crab Soup. Served nice and hot, the soup was completely chock full of chunks of lump crab and lots of tasty vegetables. I've never seen a Maryland Crab Soup so full of crab and veggies! Very flavorful with just the slightest kick, this was easily the best Maryland Crab Soup I've ever eaten. Next, we sampled a few of the appetizers including coconut shrimp, fried calamari and the stuffed mushroom. Each one was very, very good. The shrimp, arranged on skewers, were crispy, coconutty and yummy. The calamari was fantastic. I'm a big fan of fried calamari and these did not disappoint. And the mushroom - well, the mushroom was huge! Stuffed with delectable crab imperial, it was creamy and delicious. For our main entree, we had the pleasure of trying the stuffed shrimp and the New York Strip steak. The huge jumbo shrimp, stuffed with that delectable crab imperial, were very tasty - I'm talking melt-in-your-mouth good. And the steak - wow! The steak was scrumptious. Tender, juicy and full of flavor, this steak was incredible. I'm not sure with what they marinate or season their steaks, but you certainly don't want any A-1 or Heinz 57 to mask the flavor. Even though we were pretty much stuffed by this point, we still made room for dessert. How could we not? It was fried cheesecake, after all. Wrapped in a flour tortilla, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, its delectable creamy cheesecake wrapped in flaky goodness. This dessert is incredible, a definite must-try! Its OK, indulge - you can burn it off later. Long Beach is hosting a special wine tasting event, something they try to do twice a year, on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. Its a six-course meal, with each course paired with a different wine. Its just lovely, Marion said, describing how they decorate with linens on the table and mosaic candles. Its a nice, elegant evening. For more about the Wine Pairing Six-Course Dinner, see their ad on page 28. Long Beach Restaurant & Tavern is located at 818 Bowleys Quarters Road. For more information, call 410-335-9444 or visit www.longbeachrestaurant.net.

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