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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Martha and Mary's

Armed with another Groupon, we set out from Towson (did you know that AMC theaters has $5 movies if you get moving before noon? How awesome is that?) to hit up Martha and Mary's Bistro.

Pulling into the parking lot we saw a newly built restaurant complete with umbrella-ed outdoor seating. There were quite a few customers enjoying the fabulous weather outdoors munching away happily on fries, salads and sandwiches. Hopeful, we walked in.

To a disaster.

The huge LCD tv screens meant for their menu was frozen, locked on breakfast at 1:30 in the afternoon. Kids were screaming and stampeding about. The tables were jam-packed with families and we stood there hopelessly looking for any sort of lunch related menu. Finally we spotted a stack up by the cash register. We spent a few minutes looking over an expansive menu (they have everything from fried clams to pizza and sandwiches, soups, salads and tons of delicious looking desserts). Then we stepped up to the register to order.
After about 10 minutes of standing there one of the teenagers came up to take our order. Presenting her with two Groupons, we needed to divide our check. We placed our order and she asked for assistance from the manager on inputting everything to allow us the use of both Groupons. She was pleasant and friendly the whole time. We paid, she stood there. We asked for cups, she gave them to us. We got our drinks and I pointed out the obvious problem of "How will they know what food is ours and how will we know what food is ours?" So we asked, she handed us a table marker with "66" on it and the manager quipped "You're number one!". We immediately took sanctuary outside, away from all the tiny people.
Once we were in a calmer, quieter environment we started to remark on the place. It was clean (plus) the food looked really good (plus plus) the staff was friendly (plus plus plus). We also noticed that this place was in total chaos. I have to ask, how long has Martha and Mary's been open? It appeared they were on day 2 and the staff was in total disarray (also completely staffed by what appeared to be 14 year-olds except for the manager and some cooks). It did not appear that anyone really knew what they were supposed to be doing, and then add to that that the place was packed. Really packed. (In fact, we waited until after we ate and it had thinned out a little to take the pictures)

Despite all of this, our food came out very quickly and was hot and delicious. The menu is simple so you won't find elegant elaborate meals here, but it's all really good. It's inexpensive (which is probably the appeal to all of those families we saw) and it's fun. Decorated in bright colors and kid friendly-chalk menu, you can see the appeal to people with kids.

My cheeseburger sliders were wonderful. Topped with american cheese, grilled onions, pickles and ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun, the flavors went really well together. Dave got the Chicken Caesar wrap and an order of fried clams with fries. The clams were fabulous (not chewy but tender and crispy) and his wrap was excellent. Crisp lettuce, juicy chicken and tangy dressing.

I do recommend trying this place out. The menu is really good, the food is good, the staff is nice. However, go at a time where you won't be interfering with family lunch time. Like, 2:30 -4 in the afternoon. Or any day where school is happening and the kids will be there. Unless you have kids, then by all means go at any time and enjoy.

3 Noms

Dave's 2 Cents:
Infested with children, this place is. Did I step into Chuck E. Cheese by accident? Nope, no pool of plastic balls. Were the patrons annoying? yes. Was the front of the house staffed by just-turned teenagers? YES. Is the food good though? Hells Yes!
After selling over 1000++ groupons a few weeks ago, I am sure this place has been inundated with new customers and swarms of penny pinchers. With that being said, this is the only negative. The food was Fast, hot, delicious. I got a Fried Clam appetizer, piping hot, not chewy at all (chewy=freezer burn). I also ordered a Chicken Caeser wrap, which was very nicely seasoned, and not too much dressing.

All in all, this place really is great. We will be retuning again for Breakfast. Evidently this place has signature breakfast pizzas that bring people from all over. NOM NOM!!!

Martha and Mary's on Urbanspoon


CALVIN said...

Thanks for a great recipe.I Love the recipes and the photos are awesome!

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