Open 6 a.m. to midnight daily except some holidays. Luncheon specials Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner specials 5 to 8 p.m., except 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. No credit cards. Parking on sides and to front.
Wayson's Corner is not on most maps, but is should be. In addition to the Maryland Tobacco Growers Association building and a few other establishments, it has Wayson's Restaurant. That, alone, is worth the trip 11 miles east of Beltway Exit 34 on Route 4.
The restaurant, with its neon signs, sits just across the Patuxent River in Anne Arundel County, the first turnoff over the river, at the intersection of Rtes. 4 and 408.
Open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, Wayson's accomodates early morning and late night truckers, lunchtime eaters from the nearby Prince George's County seat of Upper Marlboro, and families out for dinner.
This down-home country restaurant has just a touch of city slicker. Fishermen returning from a day on the Chesapeake mingle with county officials and local farmers on any given night. And the large bar area off to one side is often filled with folks drinking with friends and watching the game-of-the week.
It is not fancy, inside or out. Wood-paneled walls, a counter and plain tables fill one room; leather booths and more tables fill the slightly fancier main dining room. Traditional oil paintings, which are for sale, hang on the walls. A back room, complete with fireplace and wall mural, is available for larger groups.
What Wayson's may lack in ambience, by some standards, it more than compensates for with excellent home-cooked food, pleasant waitresses and reasonable prices. Although there is no children's menu, children are charged half-price for portions that are supposed to be less but seem almost adult-sized.
During the week, there are $2.75 luncheon specials including entree, vegetables, rolls, beverage and dessert. The daily dinner special costs $3.95 Monday through Saturday and $4.95 on Sunday and includes all fo the above except beverage.
Before bringing my family to dinner at Wayson's, I had enjoyed two lunches at the restaurant - fried oysters and spare ribs. Both were excellent, and I expected no less from our family dinner one Sunday.
We arrived about 4 p.m. to a restaurant at least half empty. There were other families eating - the restaurant has high chairs and booster seats. We found ourselves a booth and soon a waitress arrived with menus.
The dinner specials this day were roast duck with rice stuffing, half of a Southern fired chicken, roast beef and fried crab cakes. My wife and I each ordered crab cakes, a Wayson's specialty. Our five-year-old son ordered roast duck. He and I also asked for glasses of iced tea. He had wanted chocolate milk, but the restaurant's supply had run out.
The iced tea came immediately. My son, the food critic, complained that it tasted "a little bit watery," and he was impatient for our meal to arrive. "Hurry up, order," he commanded of no one in particular.
The dinners arrived soon enough, along with a basket of eight fresh-baked biscuits.
My wife found her two crab cakes to be "the lightest I've ever eaten." They were deep-fried without breading and heavy spices to obscure the flavor of the crab meat, which was all there was inside.
Our son said the duck would be "the last thing on my menu. "I'm too busy with other things," which were some of wife's beets, french fried potatoes and cole slaw.
"You want some of my home home fries They taste homemade," he said. "It's about the goodest cole slaw I've ever tasted. Try some."
The cole slaw, which I also had ordered, was delicious - finely chopped cabbage with a sweet taste. I did not taste his french fries.
Both my wife and I had baked potatoes with our meal. The potatoes came with sour cream and butter, and were cooked just right in aluminium fell. All dishes were served with lettuce and a slice of tomato.
Our son finally sampled his duck, which he said "tastes just like good chicken." It old not consume his interest, however, and we wound up eating most of it.
"You all finished? You did a pretty good job, didn't you?" the waitress said to him when she came to clear away our plates."Yeah, and I even ate most of my cole slaw," he said, [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
For dessert, he ordered jello but, since the restaurant was out of it, settled on bread pudding with us. The pudding was good with a soft vanilla sauce and many raisins. Neither I nor my son like raisins, however, I managed the separate the pudding and the raisins, while he simply forfeited his desert.
Despite the raisins and the "water" iced tea, our son noted approvingly, "This is a good place. It certainly isn't like (name of task food chain)."
Service was considerate and well-paced. Our bill came to $13.42, including tax. With tip, the meal cost a total of $15.42.