Tony’s Baltimore Grill is a restaurant that has been in Atlantic City since 1966. Since then, it has managed to stay in the family and become a landmark.
Because of that family foundation, the service at Tony’s is friendly beyond comparison. Although servers can get a little chatty, they know how to keep their customers happy with prompt service and honest suggestions.
The dining room is covered in wood paneling and doesn’t offer too much to look at. As far as historical restaurants in Atlantic City go, this isn’t usually the trend. Others, such as Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern or White House Sub Shop, adorn the walls with historical photos from its storied past. Although, those other restaurants have been around much longer.
What we liked: The bread served with dinner is from Formica Bros. in Atlantic City, the same bakery that produces the rolls for White House Sub Shop, so you know they’re good.
Pizza is the best option at Tony’s. It only comes in one size: about 12 inches. Slightly thicker than a thin-crust pizza, it’s enough food to share between two people, or to eat on your own if you’re really hungry.
The pizza is made to order, so the server gave a warning it could take up to 20 minutes to cook thanks to their smaller oven and line of pizzas, but the pie came out hot in about only eight minutes.
When it comes to the pizza, everything is make-your-own. The only special is cheese, mushroom and sausage for $11.50. Otherwise you can add toppings to half the pie for $.75, or the whole thing for $1.50. Starting at $9.25 for a plain cheese, that’s not too bad a deal, but there is no discount for the fifth, sixth or seventh topping if you wanted a loaded pizza. Toppings include everything from meatball to bacon to pineapple.
Another thing Tony’s has going for it is its marinara. Thick and not too watery, it added the perfect taste to al dente spaghetti and dipped fresh bread.
If you’re heading to Tony’s to drink, you’re making a smart decision. The bar has more than 40 bottles and seven drafts to choose from. Drafts include some variety with Blue Moon, Anchor Steam and Victory Golden Monkey. Plus, there’s a wine list with about 20 different bottles.
Tony’s also is one of the few places that lists its alcoholic drink prices right on the menu. Bottles of beer are $2 and up, while draughts are $1.75 and up. Cocktails are $5 and up, while brandy and whiskey are $3.50 and up.
Other options worth trying are the open-face roast beef sandwich ($7.40) and the Italian sausage platter ($9.65).
What we didn’t like: Starting with the bread basket, the butter was hidden underneath in an extremely old-fashioned packet. The packets were made of the same kind of paper that wraps an entire stick of butter, but held just a thin pat underneath. At just a glance it could fool you into thinking it was a tea bag. It was tasty butter, but it was a surprise they still use these.
We took a chance at the Baltimore Grill seafood special ($17.65), which comes with fried shrimp, crab cake and scallops, plus french fried potatoes and cole slaw. You can opt to substitute spaghetti for the fries and cole slaw.
The fried shrimp came out so heavily breaded and deep-fried, it was hard to find the shrimp among all the breading. The scallops were cooked well with a a lot less breading and were the best part of the dish. The crab cake was mostly filler and breading and didn’t have too much crab, but had a lot of flavor.
A server recommendation led to an order of Tony’s homemade meatballs. The order comes with two large ones covered in the restaurant’s tasty marinara. But depending on what you’re used to at home, you might feel differently about the meatballs. They were flavorful, but extremely soft. So if you’re used to a tougher meat mixed with bread crumbs and herbs, the softness may shock you a bit. But otherwise, they were tasty, especially when placed into some of Formica’s bread.
Insiders Tip: Parking isn’t tough at this Atlantic City landmark. There are two lots meant just for Tony’s customers behind the building and right across the street.
Bottom Line: Make your way over to Tony’s to try some of their delicious pizza or a nice hot sandwich. Your wallet will thank you when you’re done.