J.J. Muldoon's

American, Burgers, Steakhouse
$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

This restaurant and saloon boasts an elegant dining room, with tasteful framed prints and white lace window coverings; but the oversized bar and quarter-operated video machines are the first things diners encounter when they walk through the front door.

Some folks frequent Muldoon's for the steak and seafood served on linen tablecloths; others stop by to watch NASCAR sports racing broadcasts at the bar TV. Since local Maryland politicians have been known to stop by, small wonder it's touted as "the place to meet and eat." The huge green banner and stripes of white lights outside the restaurant may suggest there's a floor show taking place behind the front doors (sorry, just karaoke and the occasional paid singer). A sometimes wild bar on the right, a reasonably quiet dining room on the left, Muldoon's has lived a double life for years. It does both things well. Just note that while the bar keeps late hours, the dining room closes at 10 p.m. daily.

-- Scott Moore