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Gathering place with wide appeal

June 02, 2003|by E.T. MOORE

Walking into The Station Grill is like walking into a neighborhood gathering place, the kind of place where you feel comfortable even if you don't live in the neighborhood.

The grill has the kind of atmosphere I like - casual, comfortable and easy to be in.

On this night, there was a mixed crowd of young, old and everything in between. Blue collar and white collar workers fit easily into the same space.

At the Station Grill, you can sit with your friends at the massive bar or in the dining area. You can listen to the music or watch a variety of scenes playing across at least eight to 10 television sets hanging from brackets in the ceiling around the bar and along the edges of the room.

The rich wood of the massive, oblong bar is the dominant piece in the overall decor. It is punctuated by golden hues of paint and wallpaper on the wall and heavy mirrors hanging above each of the numerous high-top tables flanking either side of the bar.

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There is a small dance floor at one end of the bar and a stage area where some nights a DJ entertains, bands play or people get up to participate in Karaoke Night.

At the other end of the bar is a dining area.

The menu is as eclectic as the customers.

You can order an appetizer of spinach and artichoke dip ($5.95) or crab dip for two ($9.95). You can have a Station Grill sandwich (prices range between $5.95 for a burger to $11.95 for a crab cake sandwich) or you can go with one of the regular entrees like the salmon ($14.95) or the fettuccini alfredo ($10.95). There are nightly specials that have included roast duck or grilled lamb.

The most expensive item on the menu is the surf and turf for $29.95. The least expensive is a cup of the soup of the day for $1.75.

On this night, I ordered the Nachos Grande appetizer for $5.95. The tortillas were fresh and crisp, the cheese was melted just right and the sour cream was dabbed generously. But the chili topping tasted like it came straight from a can and detracted from what should have been a messy but delicious start to the meal.

My entree was the Station Grill Filet with a salad and vegetable - I chose the baked potato - for $19.95.

The salad was crisp, fresh and good. A large bowl of fresh greens, cucumber, red and green peppers, and carrots, the salad could have been a meal all its own.

But the filet was worth saving room. It was a petite cut, nearly 2 inches thick and grilled to perfection to match my request for medium rare. It cut easily and melted in the mouth.

My dining companion went with the tuna, listed on the menu as Asian Marinated Yellow Fin Tuna Steak, for $14.95. A large tuna steak, it was tender and delicious.

Along with the meal came a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread that was piping hot.

The restaurant offers a variety of desserts (we were just too full to try one) and has a full selection of beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

The presentation of each entree was appealing and our waitress watched closely to see if our drinks needed to be refilled or a plate needed to be removed.

In all, a visit to the Station Grill can be a pleasure.

Restaurant reviews are contributed bi-weekly by Herald-Mail staff writers, editors and freelancers alternating under the pseudonym E.T. Moore. For questions or tips, call Lifestyle Editor Jake Womer at 301-733-5131, ext. 2340, or e-mail lifestyle@herald-mail.com.

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