by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov
If you’re a longtime reader of Carroll Magazine, you may remember our profile story on Bud’s at Silver Run (“American Bistro Cuisine in a Small Carroll Town,” February/March 2009). Located on Route 97 between Union Mills and Littlestown, Pa., this bon vivant restaurant has been serving Carroll Countians for more than a decade with attention to high-quality ingredients and exceptional guest service.
With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, owner Ken Lurie and his team have cultivated a loyal customer base from the Carroll County community and beyond. But if you haven’t had an opportunity to dine at Bud’s at Silver Run recently, you’re missing out on a new element of the menu: the “Just Right Plates.”
“They are smaller versions of our entrees which are nice to mix and match” in a tapas-like style, Lurie said. The duck confit pairs a leg-quarter slow-roasted duck served over wild mushrooms with tomatoes. If you like chops, you can choose from among elk, pork and veal selections, with delectable accompaniments such as wild rice, spinach and mushrooms.
Customer favorites like the Chicken Chesapeake and filet mignon are still on the menu, but Lurie said that the weekly specials have been well-received. “They give us flexibility with respect to what’s fresh and in season,” he said.
Inspiration for the dishes that grace the menu at Bud’s at Silver Run, he said, come from almost anywhere. “I can be at a friend’s house or visiting other restaurants and see something I like. We look at Carroll County Eats, and we try to figure out how we can execute [a dish] and execute it well.”
Part of this execution lies in selecting the finest, freshest ingredients. The Farmstead Butcher in Gettysburg, Pa., and Five Cedars Farm in Hampstead are among the local purveyors Lurie uses as ingredient sources.
As autumn turns to winter, Lurie said that he could feature local pork products and fall root vegetables in dishes such as pork chops with vegetable stew and hearty specialties that showcase the inimitable flavors of wild mushrooms.
Happy experimentation in the kitchen often leads to palate-pleasing discoveries. Lurie’s fondness for egg rolls led to the development of the crab egg roll on the appetizer menu. These egg rolls contain seasoned jumbo lump crab meat rolled with red peppers, Napa cabbage and celery, then are deep-fried until crisp and served with Old Bay aioli and sriracha bourbon sauce.
Another showstopping dish is the grilled Chilean sea bass served with flash-seared Asian slaw, a touch of Korean barbecue flavoring and avocado mousse.
Lurie and his team are also proud to create chef’s tastings menus for special requests. “We did a chef’s tasting that incorporated some ideas we’ve been thinking about: a pork chop with vegetable stew, an appetizer with seared scallops and ginger and a sprouts salad with Five Cedars Farm sprouts and goat cheese.”
Presenting offbeat and distinctive combinations of textures and flavors is what defines the dining experience at Bud’s at Silver Run. Lurie believes that this focus will be what propels the restaurant business forward as the industry tries to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Restaurants are changing a lot now. People just don’t want destinations when they dine out. They want experiences,” he said. “A place like Bud’s at Silver Run is an experience, the kind where people want to ask, ‘What’s your team creating today?’ I think there will always be a need for the locally driven restaurants that focus on the quality of service and the quality of the experience.”
bud’s at silver run
4115 Littlestown Pike, Westminster • 410-346-6816 • budsatsilverrun.com