Mallard's, New Market

Was anyone else as confused as I was by the review of Mallard’s in New Market that was in this past week’s Next 72 hours Weekend Guide in the Frederick News-Post?

First of all, the picture of the dining room in the article looks very homey and welcoming. But the review was confusing.

This paragraph was a bit forboding:

The sign outside is proof that looks can be deceiving. Elegantly painted, decked in Christmas lights, my friend and I were led to believe that though it said “casual dining,” we were in for a classy-yet-comfortable dinner.

Huh? What does that mean? Why is the sign so darn misleading?

Then there was this little tidbit about the beans:

Green beans, though cooked with ham, still carried the lingering metal taste of the can. The biscuits, also storebought, were excellent, served hot and fluffy with four kinds of jam in little packs. And the hamburger the man at the next table was eating looked downright scrumptious.

Slam the beans, but the hamburger over at the next table looked good. OK. My guess is they don’t grind their own meat on site either.

Then comes the point where the restaurant was out of things on the menu:

I was considering trying the Salisbury sandwich ($6.95), comprised of tender chicken, barbeque sauce and melted Muenster cheese, but the waitress said they were out of French fries, normally $1 extra, to substitute for the standard chips. My friend was very excited about the sweet tea, which not all restaurants carry, but they were out of that also. Likewise, Mallard’s was out of chicken dinners at 6:45 p.m. on a Thursday night.

Regrettable, indeed to be told that a restaurant is sold out of whatever it is you had your heart set on. I’ve had that happen to me before and it’s hard to regroup and pick something else. It’s never going to be as satisfying when you have to pick something that’s way down on the list as your second choice.

And yet, here’s where I get confused:

For a family meal on a winter night when you want fast, stick-to-your-ribs country fare, Mallard’s is the place. Bring the kids, there’s a menu for them, and plenty of ice cream. Blue jeans welcome for adults.

After all the disappointments in that meal, the reviewer declares Mallard’s is the place.

I don’t know about you, but that review made me want to go check it out, just to see if Mallard’s is really as um, good? er, bad? Heck, I don’t know what to think about it!

Anyone been? Can you shed some light?



0 thoughts on “Mallard's, New Market

  1. To be honest, I’ve never found the restaurant reviews in the FNP to be all that helpful. They are rarely critical of most places, so the reviews seem very filtered. It is as if they don’t want to offend potential ad buyers. This review IS confusing. I think the author was trying to be tongue in cheek or sarcastic, but trying to keep with the paper’s no criticism policy, he/she had to end the review on an upbeat note.


  2. If I’m not mistaken, the reviews in the FNP have a disclaimer that they are not meant to be a critical review, just an observation of a drop in visit (my paraphrase).

    I enjoy reading the reviews, but this one confused the heck out of me.


  3. You will never find honest restaurant reviews in small-town publications. Ever. The quest for ad revenue always trumps integrity, resulting in incestuous advertorials disguised as honest, objective journalism.

    Publishers weasel out by describing the write-up as a one-time visit not intended to be a critical review. But publications concerned about journalistic integrity would do well to run a disclaimer that clearly labels the piece “Advertisement.”

    As long as publications run inaccurate, exaggerated, wildly complimentary puff pieces that steer customers to businesses–and as long as families make their “purchases” relying on these glittering reviews–outraged readers need to speak up and call the publishers on this sham.

    This good-old boy system is nothing less than fraud and it has been going on for years.


  4. Nothing like letting the ol’ bi-polar slip out every now and then. Almost as confusing as Homer Simpson as a restaurant reviewer (5 thumbs up!!)


  5. I also read this review and found it to be very contracdicting of itself. I also was under the assumption that even though they are disclaimed as to not bing “critical” it was not a “smash-up”, make everyone want to try it article.

    On the flip side, I have been to Mallard’s. I was nervous about another restaurant entering New Market that woul potentially compete with the ever famous Mealey’s (which no one could do.) I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are black and white, two different worlds and will not compete with each other. I though the food was great and yes they were out of a couple things, but I think any new restaurant struggles with ordering until they know their level of success.

    My final thought is that Mallard’s is good food, a great environment and very resonable prices. I highly reccommend it to anyone in the area looking for a quick bite.


  6. Hey Reader, thanks for that. I was hoping someone who had been to Mallard’s would chime in with a real opinion. I look forward to trying it. I’ll probably start with lunch first.


  7. I’ve noticed this post has been popular, hits-wise for people looking for info on Mallard’s in New Market. Obviously the FNP doesn’t keep the same link for restaurant reviews and so if you click on my link, it doesn’t take you to the review that I mention in the post.

    Hopefully some of you that are looking for info on Mallard’s will come and post your reviews of the restaurant here. Suffice it to say that the review that I cited wasn’t all that flattering…I think? I’m still confused!


  8. Liz – we LOVE Mallard’s. It is basically the Tea-room transformed so the family can live in the historic house that originally housed the Tearoom. The menu is fun, varied, and feels home-cooked. I think of it as an upscale diner or family restaurant, but it’s definitely casual and comfortable. We love the desserts (a hold-over from tearoom fame) and the kids’ choices – different from your run-of-the-mill options. The food is always satisfying and the atmosphere is welcoming.

    And you’re right – I was trying to find the hours and I clicked on your link. Go figure!


  9. I have been to Mallard’s 3 times (2 were regrettable).

    First time, the chicken was great. Second time, they were out of chicken despite the menu being almost all chicken and a sign saying they had chicken. Third time my wife and I had been looking forward to having some of their chicken (since it is a chicken place) and they were out of chicken again. The waitress kindly informed us as we were leaving without dinner that in order to get chicken we would have to get there by 5:00pm. The last time I ever mentioned Mallard’s again was when we tried once again in vain to order chicken as a take out item (at 6:30pm) and once again they were out. I don’t know what kind of idiot is running that place, but to have chicken as your main menu item and then never stock enough for your patrons is ridiculous. I will never again consider them and I hope they go out of business soon so another restaurant will move in that knows how to please their customers.


  10. The reason they ran out of fries & chicken dinners, is that they have never had them to begin with. They do not own a fryer yet, but have these items still on their menus (2 years now)


  11. Been there several times – the food is good home-cooking and am planning to stop by tonight on my way to my daughter’s – did that reviewer get hit in the head too many times??!!


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