March 9, 2012

Tark's Grill at the Station

2360 West Joppa Road, Suite 116, Lutherville, MD  21093

When I arrived at GBMC for my doctor's appointment yesterday, I headed to the front desk to figure out in which direction I needed to walk.  Come to find out, I needed to be at Greenspring Station, where apparently my doctor had an additional office.  *Big sigh*

The weird thing about my going to the wrong place was - the place I needed to be, was somewhere I had been meaning to visit for a while now.  Greenspring Station, located off of Falls Road in Lutherville, is home to many small shops and boutiques, as well as Tark's Grill, where I chose to have a bite to eat after my appointment. 

It seemed to be a nice day, so I decided to sit outside on the patio.  After a few minutes I realized it might be a little bit too windy, but I didn't want to be a pain, so I dealt.  And I never really get to enjoy the daytime, so I wanted the fresh air. Anyway, my [very pretty] waitress approached me and I asked for an iced tea while I looked over the menu.  I had heard many, many good things about Tark's.  (Not only have I heard that their food is delicious, but I have heard that are also an amazing place to work.) After perusing the menu, I discovered they were very pricey.  Although, I guess being in the neighborhood I was, it is something I should have come to expect.  However, $6 for a cup of Black Bean Soup... or $21 for a salad with some crab on it?  Come on.  Granted, I hadn't seen the portion size of these items, but I can only imagine, they weren't huge.

I opted to start with an appetizer - Broccoli and Spinach Quesadillas.  I will say, this was a very nice portion for an appetizer ($9.95) in comparison to what I imagined I would get.  It was served with a cute trio-bowl with sour cream, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole.  The quesadillas were stuffed with large chunks of broccoli florets and sauteed spinach, as well as melted cheddar cheeses.  They seemed to be grilled perfectly, melting the cheese just right, and leaving the outside with a nice crunch.  The guacamole was the perfect touch, and I ate every last piece. (Surprised?)

For my main course, I couldn't make any decisions.  They had a fresh Ahi Tuna Wrap with Wasabi Green, Asian Dressing, and Red Cabbage.  This seemed like the perfect dish for me, but I always get fresh tuna when I go out... so I tried to opt for something different, for research purposes obviously.  They also had a "Black Bean Burger" on the menu, which was a veggie burger, and something I really wanted to try.  However, I got the combination platter, in which you could choose soup, salad, or sandwich (2 out of the 3).  I chose "Lindsay's Chopped Salad" and a Chicken Salad Sandwich on sourdough bread.  Apparently, here's where the extremely small portions come in to play. My salad, consisting of chopped iceberg lettuce, pickles, jalapenos, bacon, cucumbers, tomatoes, bleu cheese crumbles, balsamic vinaigrette, and parmesan cheese on top (whew!), was extremely underwhelming.  I asked for no bleu cheese, although, I'm pretty sure they thought that meant I didn't want any dressing at all, because they left off the balsamic, too.  Oh, well... the chicken salad made up for it.  I know chicken salad is just chicken salad, but this had large chunks of chicken, an appropriate amount of mayo, and it was served on fresh sourdough bread.


 Just for my own taste, a nice bit of shaved parmesan on top of the salad, instead of grated cheese, would have been nicer touch.  Truthfully, it's my fault that this salad may not have been up to par, because I don't like bleu cheese. I can imagine it would have better in it's normal format... with the bleu cheese crumbles, and the bleu cheese dressing mixed in with the balsamic, and it's normal size. 

I definitely would like to go back to Tark's.  They had some really great sounding appetizers, such as the Spanish Mussels, which are sauteed with chorizo, saffron, and white wine.  And I also heard the neighboring table's waitress tell her table that the Popcorn Shrimp is really good.  Too bad my waitress didn't mention anything on the menu that stands out to her, or tell me any specials they had for that day.  Although friendly, service was especially slow, but I think that was because I was on the porch, and they had said they weren't really set up for outdoor seating yet, however, with the weather, they allowed for a few tables out there.  And they also said the computers took a nose-dive right when I was about to pay.

All-in-all, I'd give Tark's a solid 4 out of 5 stars.  Everything that seemed to be negative during my lunch, was mostly my fault (sitting outside without them being ready, and not liking bleu cheese).  I would definitely go back if not for the good food I had, and the potential for even better food that I didn't have the chance to order, but for the sheer atmosphere of the outdoor seating, quaint brick fireplace, and fountain a few yards away.  Very nice, Tark's, very nice.

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