by Cathy Adams

     The Peppermill, on York Road in Towson, can be described as "the quiet place," said Dave Jones, one of its owners. There is no happy hour, no early bird dining specials, and no splashy advertising. What has kept the Peppermill successful for the past 17 years is the philosophy that if you offer your customers a comfortable dining room, well prepared food, fair prices and cater to your customer's needs, you don't need gimmicks to keep your dining room full for lunch and dinner.

     Jones, one of the original partners, credits the restaurant's longevity with a loyal neighborhood clientele and caring and devoted staff. Jones got his start in the restaurant business working with his father-in-law at the Turf Inn. When the Turf was sold, Jones opened the Peppermill.

     The restaurant is located on York Road, just to the north of the Beltway. It has become a suburban classic with a loyal and regular clientele. One long time customer comes in for lunch five times a week, Jones said, and is upset when the restuarant is closed for Thanksgiving.

     What keeps the customers coming back is a traditional menu of seafood, beef and veal. The Peppermill also makes a big deal over the seasonal delicacies of shad roe, oysters and soft shells.

     Bluepoint Oysters (unfortunately soon going out of season) are available on the half shell, fried and in a rich, creamy stew. But soft shells will be in season next. Lump crabcakes are always one of the biggest sellers. Jones has his computerized ordering system programmed with an option key for the "old way", which Jones said means tightly packed, like the way it used to be done.

     Stuffed shrimp, with lump crab meat and imperial sauce, broiled salmon, orange roughy and lobster tails all are favorites. Filet, prime rib, lamb chops and calves liver also are popular.

     Roasted fresh ham, batter-fried shrimp and meatloaf are regular specials. Since the Peppermill believes in fresh food, the specials are "prepared to be sold out", not sit around. Some customers have taken to calling to reserve orders.

     The lunch menu offers entrees as well as a wide assortment of salads, burgers, and sandwiches.

The Peppermill Restaurant
1301 York Road
Towson, Md
(410) 583-1107
Appetizers and Salads: $3.50-7.25
Entrees: $11.50-24.95

Clams Casino(recipe not from the Peppermill)
serves four



  1. Combine softened butter, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and breadcrumbs in a small bowl, and set aside.
  2. To open clams: Clams are easiest to open when they are very cold, so either keep them buried in ice or put them in the freezer for about 1/2 hour before trying to shuck them. Hold the clam in the palm of your hand, and slip the clam knife between the shell, cutting the muscles that hold it closed. Pull off the top shell, and loosen the clam from the bottom shell. If you don't have a clam knife, there is a way to cheat. Put a splash of white wine in a sauce pan, add clams, and heat enough so that the clams just barely open, enough to be able to slip a dinner knife in, cut the muscles, pull off the top shell, and loosen the clam from the bottom shell.
  3. Top with garlic butter and a piece of bacon. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  4. Preheat broiler. Place clams in individual broiler proof dishes. Broil about 6 inches under the flames until the bacon is crispy and the butter is melted.

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