Bay Bites
Double T Diner:
Too Much of a Good Thing

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a craving for Belgian waffles and ice cream? Maybe the meeting ran late and you yearn for Greek comfort food? Perhaps your family just can't agree on what or where to eat. The answers to all these cravings can be found at the Double T Diner in Parole.

Part of the ever-expanding chain of Double Ts (a Bel Air location opens next month), the Annapolis restaurant opened last December with little fanfare but great anticipation. The Korologos family started their Baltimore dynasty with the Catonsville location some 12 years ago and continues to keep an active hand in all five locations.

It's hard to imagine a diner that seats 240 people as homey, but somehow the Double T pulls it off. Certainly, it's not intimate, charming or romantic, but it serves a wide range of classic diner fare and obviously, based on the crowds that swarm, fills a void in our community. It is clean, efficient and comfortable , though the pace is fast and the lines can be long (especially on weekends). With its tremendous variety of good, favorable, non-gourmet food, the menu can be overwhelming, but I doubt anyone will fail to find a desirable nosh.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (closed only for Christmas day), the Double T achieves manager George Marneris' goal of offering "just about any food at anytime."

Double T is decorated in the art-deco retro-diner style, with neon and stainless steel accents, the requisite (yet small) counter and a tasteful wall mural of Annapolis. Roomy booths feature the ever-popular personal jukebox. A separate glassed-in smoking section provides a win-win for both smokers and non-smokers.

Upon entering the Double T, you will immediately be drawn to the large tantalizing bakery case. The quantity and variety (like everything else) is impressive, and all are made in-house. I caution you to maintain will-power and delay dessert until after your meal. Take out is always available.

Once you've torn yourself away from the case and you're comfortably settled into your booth or table, pull out your reading glasses and prepare for a long read.

It's difficult to know where to begin. You can elect to start or end your day with breakfast: It's available 24 hours. There are omelets, pancakes, waffles and French toast. And, of course, they can all be prepared in many different ways. Mix and match to your heart's desire, or, as I do, order the Double "TT" Diner Breakfast Special ($6.75), which includes two eggs (any style), two buttermilk pancakes, sausage, bacon, home fries and toast (or pita). It sounds like a lot and it is, but the pancakes are awesome and the sausage is great. The eggs were perfectly cooked (over easy) and the bacon had just the right amount of fat. It's all great, so eat all or some.

The French toast made of challah bread is also a winner. You can make it a deluxe platter by adding bacon, sausage and a piece of ham ($7.05). There is also a kid's menu for breakfast for 12 and under.

Once you've made it past the breakfast items, you'll find a large variety of sandwiches, burgers, salads, appetizers, steaks, seafood, Italian and Greek dishes (to name a few of the kinds of food on this giant menu). There are 10 different kinds of grilled chicken sandwiches alone.

So it's hard to know in which direction to turn.

On a recent visit, a friend and I decided to sample the Greek specialties. It was lunch, so we weren't prepared to commit to a large meal like the combination Greek platter ($11.95), which includes spinach pie, moussaka, grape leaves and feta cheese served with a cup of soup and small Greek salad. Instead we chose the Greek gyro platter ($7.25), slices of seasoned beef served with tomato, lettuce and onion and a Greek yogurt sauce known as tzatziki generously drizzled, all wrapped in a warmed pita bread.

We also sampled the Greek chicken (pork tenderloin is also an option) souvlaki platter ($7.25), which partners grilled chicken breast with the same ingredients as the gyro and was every bit as good. Both platters included French fries and a wonderfully fresh Greek salad of cucumber, tomato, onion, olives and feta. Paired with a super-thick chocolate shake ($2.75), this lunch made the dessert case a distant and disturbing memory.

Dinner entrees are generally served with a bowl of soup or salad, potato and vegetable. The most expensive item on the menu is two jumbo lump broiled crab cakes ($18.45), which according to Marneris, get rave reviews and are an item limited to the Annapolis diner.

Beverages, like the rest of the menu, come in many shapes and sizes. A full bar serves until 2am. A decent bottle of wine can be ordered for under $13.

12 Defense Street Parole 410/571-9070

Proprietors: The Korologos Family et. al.

Reason to go: A plethora of food cravings can be unleashed.

Something to think about: Turnover is big business. If you want to hang out, stop by at 3am.

| Issue 45 |

Volume VII Number 45
November 11-17, 1999
New Bay Times

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