Thanks for your replies. It helped to calibrate my own opinions over the last 12 months. Basically, the choices are slim. Interestingly, nobody mentioned any of the seafood places that claim to be worthy - I haven't found one yet. And my two-cents worth on Fazzini's (and Maria's) is they only count if your idea of Italian is Ragu sauce.
Here are some places worth looking into (although sometimes the experiences vary...). In Towson, a neat little carry out or eat in (stand up) joint for specialty Pizza (try the Cabrese sticks) is "Pasta Mista" in the strip mall at Dulaney Valley and Towsontown Blvd (by Superfresh) Also in this mall is the recently moved "Razorback's" - used to be in Canton. Good burgers and ribs are their specialty. Not that it's my thing, but a place w/ a differnt menu (lots of vegan dishes) is the "York Inn" at York and Cranbrook (just north of the Corner Stable). Further up York Rd. at Ashland Rd in Hunt Valley is "Baja Fresh". In other cities, the concept of all-fresh ingredients grilled to-order in a clean setting is very successful (great). In Hunt Valley, the results are solidly good - held back by the high ratio of gringos working the kitchen. For upscale, my wife and I like the "Oregon Grill" on Shawan Rd. and the "Milton Inn" on way-north York Rd. As for breakfast, the chioces are slim but the Ashland Cafe is good. My only question is, why doesn't a state that lies south of the Mason-Dixon line serve Grits?!! Thanks folks, I'll continue to read your postings and start heading in-town more often!