Written By Michael Vyskocil
Silver Run is an idyllic-looking community nestled between Union Mills and Littlestown, Pa. in northern Carroll County. Commuters whizzing up and down Route 97 (Littlestown Pike) drive through Silver Run each day, passing the familiar landmarks in town: Brewer’s Market, St. Mary’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the A.W. Feeser mansion. But there’s something else in Silver Run that awaits hungry road-weary travelers; just look no farther than the bottom of the hill.
Bud’s at Silver Run is the new neighbor in town. Located at 4115 Littlestown Pike, the restaurant is located in the building formerly occupied by the Silver Run Station restaurant.
Owner Ken Lurie is proud of his more than 30-year career in the restaurant business. With experience ranging from Seattle to the Virgin Islands, Lurie recognizes the value of a fine dining experience. But what brought him from big cities and exotic locales to the small town of Silver Run is a story worth telling.
Lurie, a former partner at Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant in Ellicott City, decided last year to broaden his horizons. The night before he made the trip up Route 97 and stopped at Silver Run, Lurie was talking with his accountant. The subject of restaurants came up.
“My accountant asked if I planned to stay in Maryland, and I said probably not. He asked if I was planning to stay in the restaurant business, and I said I hope not.”
But when he walked into the building at 4115 Littlestown Pike, memories came flooding back. More than a decade ago, Lurie and his parents dined at a restaurant that operated at the same Littlestown Pike location. He even remembered the spot where he and his family sat around the table and had dinner. So, when Lurie decided to open his new restaurant at Silver Run, he named the place after his late father, Bud. Hence, Bud’s at Silver Run.
Coincidentally, Brooke Hagerty, who is now Bud’s general manager, was also looking for a change. For nearly six years, she had operated a catering business called Dinner at Your Door, located at Baltimore’s Cross Street Market. When she closed up her shop and placed her kitchen equipment for sale, it was Ken Lurie who answered the ad. He not only bought the equipment, but sold Hagerty on the idea of joining him in his newest venture.
“I’m a city girl,” said Hagerty, “But I’ve fallen in love with Carroll County and Silver Run.”
Together, Lurie and Hagerty are working at building a reputation at Bud’s.
“We’re getting the word out that we’re a real restaurant,” Lurie said. “We’re refocusing the perception of what this place is: a restaurant with a pub.”
The main dining room, with chandeliers, fresh flowers and artwork from Carroll County artists, sets the stage for a spectacular dining experience. Bud’s at Silver Run offers a range of dishes designed to satisfy the hungry diner without putting a strain on his wallet or her purse.
“For instance, we’re doing a full dinner plate of salmon at $16.95,” said Lurie, who described the fare as “American bistro food.” The menu encompasses everything from chicken and beef to shrimp, tuna, and a Maryland favorite, crab.
Start your dining experience at Bud’s with one of the great appetizers. The crab crostini features jumbo lump crab mixed in an Imperial sauce, served on top of toasted Ciabatta bread and covered with melted Cheddar cheese. Alternatively, you can sample a towering chilled filet of beef and roasted beet Napoleon capped off with a rich balsamic vinegar-infused reduction glaze.
Once you’ve sampled the appetizers, you can select from among the many tempting entres, featuring prime rib, pork chops, chicken, crab, sea scallops, shrimp, salmon and tuna.
“It’s hard for me to pick a favorite,” said Hagerty. “The salmon is excellent and the prime rib is excellent.”
A delightful chicken dish, named chicken Nira, is a virtual kaleidoscope of colors and flavors on the plate. Boneless chicken breasts are sauted with a tomato sauce, combined with olives, capers and spices, and served with aromatic Basmati rice.
For seafood aficionados, the salmon is something to be savored: A generous piece of baked salmon fillet is topped with a flavor-packed citrus compound butter and served with a creamy vegetable risotto. And one cannot forget the crab cakes, made with jumbo lump crab meat.
During the winter, Lurie adds a few new dishes to the seasonal menu, including pheasant and stuffed pork loin. There are also “themed” dinners, which include special touches for Valentine’s Day.
“In addition to the regular menu items, we’ll have shared specials for two and some tableside cooking,” he said. (Visit www.budsatsilverrun.com for more information.)
And, if you have room for dessert, Bud’s delivers with a decadent chocolate cake, homemade tiramisu, New York style cheesecake and other sweet treats to round out the dining experience (ask your server for recommendations).
In addition to fine dining in the restaurant, Bud’s also offers the pub experience. It’s a great place to stop in, mingle with visitors at the counter and sample some classic tavern favorites, including buffalo chicken wings and a drink or two, with more than 60 varieties of bottled beers available.
And for diners who want the “Bud’s experience” brought to their home and office, the kitchen staff can do just that. In an effort to “expand the boundaries of the restaurant,” Lurie has rolled out a variety of catering services designed to meet the needs of those desiring “in home” chef services, a catered birthday or engagement party, or a special breakfast in bed.
From the beginning, Ken Lurie has been a believer in getting involved with the local community. He’s already called on area farmers and growers to provide produce for the seasonal specials that grace the menu.
“Ken loves changing the menu,” said Hagerty. “We like to use local as much as we can.”
In addition to entertaining guests at the restaurant, Lurie and Hagerty participate in various fundraisers to benefit Carroll County businesses and organizations. In December, Bud’s hosted a Breakfast with Santa, an event which netted $870 to support Charles Carroll Elementary School. In October, Bud’s participated in the annual Culinary Experience benefit for the Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County.
“I have to say a special word of thanks to Doug Brewer (of Brewer’s Market),” said Lurie. “He’s definitely helped us out and supported us.”
Support from others in the local community is something that Lurie and Hagerty admire. “The community here has welcomed us with open arms,” Hagerty said. Lurie estimated that between 50 to 60 percent of diners are repeat guests.
“I think this speaks to the quality of this place,” said Hagerty. “Our staff is wonderful. The food is excellent. It’s great being a part of this and I look forward to many years here.”