Kevin’s Korner Kafe opens in Leonardtown

Friday, May 30, 2008

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The husband and wife team of Kevin and Barbara Thompson recently opened Kevin’s Korner Kafe in Leonardtown on Park Avenue behind Bell Motor Co. With everything made fresh and a salad bar, shown here is the softshell crab sandwich with jumbo shrimp, a crab cake sandwich and a chicken salad sandwich.

Kevin’s Korner Kafe

41565 Park Ave., Leonardtown Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays Entrée prices: $4-$12 Credits cards: V, MC, C Reservations, carry-out: 301-997-1260

You might not notice Kevin’s Korner Kafe from the Square in Leonardtown. But if you happen to be wandering around the square and looking for a nice place to eat, you might consider a walk down Park Avenue past Bell Motor Co. for quality, fresh food that seems to arrive at the table in a matter of minutes.

This quaint, new restaurant is open during the week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and while the one-page menu might seem slightly bare-bones at first glance, on second-glance you might be surprised by the variety of options Kevin’s offers, from an all-you-can-eat salad bar ($6.99) to fresh daily seafood ‘‘from the steamed pot” ($7.99-$12) to the standard deal of a sandwich with soup, which at Kevin’s comes with a trip through the well-stocked salad bar ($7.99).

Kevin’s, it should be noted, located on the corner of Park and Lawrence avenues, does have plenty of parking space, although most were taken when I visited during the lunch rush on a recent weekday.

Half of the dining room is outfitted with large round tables. The other half, with booths and smaller tables, has an open ceiling with bare wood beams. The cozy interior is homey yet clean and bright. Fishing equipment and a few relics of the shore line the walls and counter. With the prototypical elements of both a seafood restaurant and a more minimalist café, Kevin’s presents the diner with an opportunity to sample a little bit of both worlds.

Menus are spread across the counter. Daily specials, posted on a chalkboard, included soft shell crabs with French fries ($8.99) or tilapia with a salad or two sides ($9.99). The soup special was tomato basil with semolina bread and cheese ($5.99). Kevin’s has a menu for children, and the salad bar can be added as a side to any meal for $3.99.

I placed an order of a chicken salad sandwich with a cup of cream of crab soup and the salad bar. For sandwiches, I could have chosen crab cake, fish, chicken breast, a burger, wing dings or egg, tuna, shrimp and crab salads ($4-$6.99)

By the time I prepared a plate of salad, with croutons, sunflower seeds, crushed egg, and some ranch dressing, and made my way to the drink station, my food was already waiting for me at the table.

At the counter, you can a purchase a small, medium, or large cup to fill with water, soda, or iced tea. There is coffee as well.

The soup was rich, creamy and piping-hot. The chicken salad, which had a pleasant sweetness, was piled high between two slabs of white bread.

On another day, or perhaps if I had eaten with a group, it might have been tempting to order ‘‘from the steamed pot.” Served with two sides or a baked potato for an extra dollar, these options include a sample platter of baby scallops, clams, shrimp, and jona claws ($12.99), steamed scallops ($10.99), a steamed shrimp basket ($9.99), and steamed fish ($7.99). Sides, which include coleslaw as well as potato, macaroni, and pasta salads (69 cents), can be added to any meal.

If you happen to step out of Kevin’s with a sweet tooth, Linda’s Café awaits on the other corner of Park Avenue on the Square. Open for about two years, Linda’s has Blue Bunny hand-dipped ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes, not to mention a long list of special desserts. In comparison to Kevin’s, Linda’s expansive restaurant is more like a diner.

But good prices, a convivial atmosphere and friendly staff waits for you in either establishment, and with the red and white streamers fluttering in the breeze outside of Kevin’s, it seems like either corner of this road in Leonardtown is now officially a good pick.