East County Times Dining Guide

The Chefs own Grilled Caesar. A definite must-try at Carsons Creekside.



By Allson McAlister

On what was probably the last warm day of the year, I was fortunate enough to enjoy lunch outside on the deck overlooking Dark Head Creek at Carsons Creekside Restaurant. Theres just nothing quite like waterfront dining. Although it may be a little too chilly to dine outside in the coming months, you can still enjoy the beautifulwaterview from inside Carsons cozy dining room where youll stay toasty warm thanks to the indoor fireplace. Its really quite romantic during the colder fall and winter months. Or dine out on their newly enclosed deck with heaters! Though the spectacular views and ambiance might draw you in the first time, the delicious food will keep you coming back again and again. Not to mention the attentive service offered by the wait staff. In addition to great steaks and seafood, the menu at Carsons Creekside features a number of items you just wont find anywhere else. Take the salad selection, for instance. Far from the ordinary garden and Caesar salads offered at most restaurants - though they have those too - the salads featured here and creative and enticing concoctions. My co-worker and I sampled two of the choices on our recent visit - the Grilled Caesar and the Black and Blue. The Grilled Caesar was unlike anything I'd seen or tasted before. Executive Chef Damon Jackson's own creation, the "salad" is grilled romaine lettuce served with a tomato and cilantro salsa and a six-ounce crab cake. The presentation of this dish was magnificent, and the taste incredible. The grilled flavor of the Romaine was amazing. This dish was really, really good. It's definitely one to try. Our delightful server Heidi did a great job of taking care of us during our visit. Our drinks never ran dry, she made suggestions and answered questions about the food, checked on us often and made pleasant conversation. She also mentioned she thought the Grilled Caesar was pretty tasty, too. The Black and Blue salad features blackened chicken, peaches, candied walnuts and crumbled blue cheese over Romaine lettuce. It comes served with a raspberry vinaigrette on the side. This salad is another spectacular creation that I would highly recommend. The fusion of different flavors is incredible. There are a few other salads on the menu I'd love to try, like the Asian Sesame and the Salad Kirbella. Next time for sure. Before I move on to the entrees, I have to mention the soup. We started off our scrumptious meal with a cup of the Maryland Crab Soup which was very tasty. Chock full of vegetables and tender crab meat, the soup was seasoned just right, with a bit of a kick to it. After our soup and salads, we sampled the seafood club and the Maryland crab cake, both of which were delicious. The seafood club was piled high with crabmeat and shrimp salad, made with nicely sized succulent shrimp, lettuce and tomato on toasted bread. The crab cake was large, browned to golden perfection and had great flavor to it. Though we were full, we could resist tasting a couple of the dessert choices. Damon brought us out a generous slicebread pudding, drizzled with a caramel glaze. It was nice and warm; the perfect fall comfort food. Yummy! We also got to sample the Rocky Road brownie, which was a huge, chocolately brownie sprinkled with miniature marshmallows and nuts and drizzled with chocolate sauce. If you like chocolate, this one will hit the spot for sure! Carson's Creekside is thriving under the ownership of Gary and Debbie Houck, who purchased the restaurant back in July 2006. Chef Jackson has really outdone himself, leaving me eager to try more of his splendid and unique dishes on my next visit. The extensive menu features appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, pastas, chicken, steak and seafood entrees and more. Whether you're in the mood for a tasty burger and fries or a juicy steak and baked potato, Carson's Creekside delivers. The restaurant is both a casual, family-friendly place and a great place to spend a romantic evening. In addition to their regular menu, daily specials are featured every Monday through Thursday. And don't forget the entertainment - Texas Hold'em on Mondays, Karaoke on Thursdays and live entertainment on the weekends. The lounge features five large screen televisions, perfect for taking in the Ravens games this season. Carson's Creekside Restaurant and Lounge is located at 1110 Beech Dr. in Middle River. Fall and winter hours are last seating in the dining room at 9 p.m. daily, with lite fare available in the lounge until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Friday and Saturday. On-site and off-site catering is also available. For more information, call 410-238-0080 or visit www.carsoncreekside.com.

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