Tony's Grill701 Washington Blvd., (410) 234-9930
When we used to commute to a job in Southeast Baltimore, we always noticed a sign reading "BREAKFAST" in a window right at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Washington boulevards. Recently, on the hunt for a quick, cheap breakfast on a Saturday (the worst day for morning eaters in Baltimore, with brunch crowds backlogging our usual haunts), we decided it would be a prime time to sample the Pigtown joint's offerings. We arrived around noon and were relieved when the genial lady behind the counter confirmed, yes, they were still serving breakfast. We ordered an eggs, sausage, toast, and hash brown platter ($4.59) and one of those Everfresh juices ($1.70 for the white, 100 percent grapefruit varietal); our companion got eggs, bacon, toast, and grits ($4.59). While we waited in Tony's McDonald's-esque seating area, we eyed its hot buffet, stocked with Salisbury steak, cheesy broccoli, chicken quarters, meatballs, etc. Our food came up after five minutes, and we were content to eat in, using the squeeze bottle of watered-down Tabasco and the salt-and-pepper shaker to dress up the meal. The hash browns derive from boiled potatoes, but they were very airy. The eggs-we forgot to specify our usual over-medium-were cooked in a default omelet (nice and creamy), with a slice of orange cheese melted into the center. The sausage patty was of good quality, peppery and not at all grainy or lumpy in the disturbing way of low-grade sausage; the bacon was thin and crisp. The grits were creamy and served with a large pat of margarine. We were mildly disappointed with the toast because it only had butter on one side, but in the end, we just didn't eat the unbuttered pieces-saving ourselves the nominal calories. So thanks, Tony's.