Location: 21336 York Road, Parkton, Md.
Rebecca's pick: Crab cake sandwich (market value – about $15)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Price range: $7; soup du jour - $24 shrimp and scallop risotto
Alcohol: Yes, full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 443-491-3888 or search for Stonebridge Grille on Facebook
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Those who live in southern York County are no stranger to the businesses that rest on the Mason Dixon line.
They almost belong to no one – not quite Pennsylvania, not quite Maryland – but home on the border where people from both states can stop and say hello.
Stonebridge Grille, which reopened earlier this year after going through a major renovation, is happy to serve customers traveling from either state. The former Maryland Line Inn was sold last year. While the small convenience store that sells six packs and other snack items is still attached to the restaurant, and still goes by the name Maryland Line, the restaurant has been given a complete face lift – from décor to menu.
"It used to be a bar with a restaurant in the background," said Mike Alderman, one of three new owners. "It was a drinking bar that catered to fellas, often seen as a biker bar."
But the new owners wanted to do away with the practices of old.
Alderman, who has a background in the home building business, had a vision for how the restaurant would look from the very beginning. The new emphasis would be on the food, with the bar as the backdrop.
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It was transformed into a place where families feel comfortable stopping by for a weekend meal or Sunday supper, he said.
The gray walls and dark stained wood features give the restaurant a cozy feel. On a rainy Fourth of July, it was still serving quite a few customers who met at the restaurant to celebrate and catch up.
A mixture of reclaimed wood and granite were purposefully used to make the restaurant feel comfortable, Alderman said.
While a big focus was on redoing how the restaurant looked, even more thought went into transforming the menu.
Head chef Mitch Holbrook and assistant chef Edgar Knight both have years of experience working in the region.
Together, they seek out local ingredients to keep the menu as fresh as possible, Alderman said.
The lunch menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches, including the chop house wedge salad ($10) and a Thai chicken salad ($8). The crab cake sandwich (market value) and rib-eye streak sandwich ($12) are some of the more popular options.
Dinner entrees have a strong focus on comfort foods with a formal twist. The plating of each dish is carefully crafted.
Hunters chicken, featuring pan-seared chicken breast, wild mushrooms, roasted shallots and an herb pan sauce comes served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($18). The famous pot roast is an individually braised teres major simmered in stock and served with a beef gravy, mashed potatoes and vegetables ($18).
Stay true to its Maryland roots, Stronebridge Grille also offers a variety of seafood. The salmon is topped with a roasted red pepper and pineapple salsa ($17) while the Maryland crab cakes are served with hand cut French fries (market value).
Nearly everything is made in house, from the blue cheese dressing to the flat bread served to eat with the crab dip. It's those few extra steps in the menu that stand out to customers, Alderman said.
During a gray July 4 visit, my husband and I were happily served by our waitress, who made suggestions and was happy to help make our holiday visit special.
We filled up on an order of the crab dip ($11), a super creamy, cheesy concoction. When our entrees arrived, the seafood theme continued with crab cake sandwiches. They were devoured quickly. The hand cut French fries didn't stand a chance of being left on the plate.