Friday, May 29, 2009
Breakfast With the General's Ghost
At The General's Kitchen: House of Chipped Beef, the house specialty is—as the name hints—a dish called Creamed Chipped Beef, which sounds about as terrifying as it actually is, and slightly less terrifying than it actually looks.
It comes on a white plate, accompanied by either grits or hash browns, but you will hardly notice them when it arrives, because it is the other pile—the chipped beef pile—that will draw your attention and refuse to let it go. It's hard to describe. The cream mentioned above is not quite cream. It is probably some combination of Bisquick and dairy, fried with a small mountain of chipped beef and served over biscuits or toast. If you get it on biscuits, like I did, it is sort of like eating a biscuit on a biscuit. It is salty and meaty and biscuit-y and remotely delicious, and I add the qualifier only because, at some point, it stops being delicious and just starts being excessive. I repeat: Your $7.50 will buy you a small mountain of it. Let's just say that if I had a cholesterol check scheduled any time this week, I would reschedule. But really, any pretenses about health should be checked at the door of the The General's Kitchen. That's not the point. This is throwback dining at its finest.
We visited The General's Kitchen on a Sautrday morning just in time for the breakfast rush. Indeed, we waited 20 minutes for a table and were subjected to the restaurant's weirdly strident waiting rules. (At least one person in your party needs to wait on the ramp outside or you risk losing your table. This despite the fact that there were only three parties waiting.)
The carpet is filthy and the walls are covered in fire fighter memorabilia and a vast array of baseball caps. The General himself passed away several years ago and now his wife now walks around the dining room during the breakfast shift, checking on patrons, unsmiling in a velour track suit. Our waitress, however, was quick to take our orders and to refill our coffee.
It's worth mentioning that several members of our party opted for another breakfast option: the chipped beef omelet, in which creamed chipped beef is both spread out over the top of an enormous omelet and inside it, for double your beefy, creamy pleasure. In that case, your biscuit or grits comes on the side.
The General's Kitchen: House of Chipped Beef serves its many loyal patrons at:
7032 Coastal Highway (at the Beachmark Hotel)
Ocean City, Maryland 21842