The chefs at Egyptian Pizza trace their cooking techniques to a different side of the Mediterranean Sea. Ancient Egyptians pioneered the practice of rising dough when they cooked crushed wheat germ and water inside early conical ovens. Honoring their forefathers’ methods, the versatile cooks pull more than 30 types of gourmet thin-crust pizzas out of their wood-fired ovens, along with a lengthy menu of Middle Eastern sandwiches and specialties. They take pains to use natural, fresh, and healthful ingredients to whip up plump fish kebabs, tender meat shawarmas and housemade sauces that have won over the palates of reporters from the Baltimore Sun. Their kitchen looks out onto the casual dining room, where servers help uncork BYOB bottles of wines beneath artwork depicting famous Egyptian landmarks, such as the pyramids, the Sphinx, and other toys left behind by aliens.
Neopol's smokery counter has taken on a functionally industrial aesthetic, a rustic, old-world look, thanks in large part to the russet red smoker that stands in plain view. Owners Barbara Lahnstein and son Dorian Brown's focus is on beautiful presentation and incorporating as many fresh, local, all-natural, and never-canned-from-leftover-space-missions ingredients in her dishes. During the week, stop by before heading to a Super Bowl replay party and choose from the plentiful lunch menu (though they're open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday, on which they close at 5 p.m.), which has more options than a chimney has chimney sweeps trapped inside. On the lunch menu, the salmon BLT ($9.95 whole, $5.50 half) consists of freshly smoked salmon, free-range bacon, tomato, and field greens with honey dijon dressing, all draped lovingly on sunflower-flaxseed bread. If seafood isn't your cup of sportsdrink, try the pork loin sandwich ($9 whole, $5 half), an organic and local slice of cherrywood-smoked meat crowned with fresh goat cheese, house-made tomato jam, red onions, and field greens, or the vegetarian sampling ($9.00), a variety show plate of smoked hummus, tofu, olives, and seasonal vegetables.
Zen West lassos together an assortment of Tex-Mex fare and American Western décor in a laid-back environment primed for dinner and drinks. Cowhands can tether their horses to a bike rack before sauntering inside to peruse the menu and fill up on tacos ($6.95+) and burritos ($7.95+) stuffed with steak, chicken, vegetables, and other tasty morsels. After an exhausting afternoon of throwing hay bales into an obnoxious neighbor’s pool, refuel with sandwiches such as the fried chicken sandwich ($8.95) and the grilled portobello sandwich ($7.95). Additionally, thirsty patrons can stock up on drinks at the bar.
The chefs at Yia Yia's Pizzeria toss specialty pizzas topped with imported ham and various cheeses and forge a menu's worth of pasta dishes and sandwiches. Diners divvy up a 14-inch cheese pizza ($9.99) or hire a geologist to identify the various layers of lasagna in meat sauce ($9.99). Five-piece chicken tenders quell poultry cravings beside an order of fries, and the lamb gyro ($5.99) complements a greek salad. Punch-card-carrying patrons can gather around a 16-inch rib-eye philly steak pizza inside the restaurant or await free delivery of a hawaiian pizza stacked with imported ham and fresh pineapple chunks. Diners can customize a 16-inch pie with any two desired toppings or by spelling out the name of their accountant in pepperoni.
The allure of Bill Bateman's Bistro increases exponentially with a glance at the wide-ranging menu. Locally lauded for its superlative wings, Bill Bateman's Bistro's offers glazed poultry in a variety of sizes and sauces. Combine cuisines with 10 ($8.49) of the Sweet Thai Chili Wings, or firmly uphold winged tradition with 30 original buffalo wings ($22.99). Fifty Wings from Hell ($36.99) will sate the fire-deprived tongues of fearless wing devourers and can be ordered via a Ouija board that until recently was just a game. The shrimp-melt wrap ($10.99), jalapeñoed Heat Wave Burger ($8.99), and grilled-chicken-topped California Salad ($10.99) are but a few of the numerous bites capable of complementing the various cold draft beers. For the full rundown of possible palate pleasers, see the complete menu for each participating location: Parkville, Severna Park, Glen Burnie, and Reisterstown.
The culinary wizards at Toss weave gourmet ingredients such as prosciutto, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and house-roasted bell peppers into mouth-watering pizzas and sandwiches. Specialty pies start with a base of fresh dough, made in-house daily to ensure that it's soft enough to safely throw at a glass house. Diners can also build their own pies from a list of six sauces and more than 30 toppings, which range from bacon to fresh basil. Chicken and portobello mushrooms add meaty textures to five types of salads, and a lineup of Italian sandwiches accommodate patrons who prefer not to make eye contact with ingredients before puncturing them with fangs.