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A cozy neighborhood bistro in Bolton Hill. Voted Best Neighborhood Restaurant, City Paper Reader’s Poll.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for lite fare and dinner ¯pm. Sunday brunch am¯ pm, dinner ¯pm.

 Bolton Street Baltimore, Maryland  Phone:  www.b-bistro.com

Tuesdays half price wine bottles with entree

A BOLT ON HI LL BI STRO

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THE HELMAND „„„„ 41

806 N. Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 410.752.0311 Sunday –Thursday 5 –10pm Friday –Saturday 5 –11pm www.helmand.com

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THE HELMAND IS THAT RARITY, A RESTAURANT THAT DOES WHAT IT SETS OUT TO DO SUPERBLY...NO EATING PLACE IN BALTIMORE GIVES YOU BETTER VALUE FOR YOUR DINING OUT EXPERIENCE ELIZABETH LARGE THE BALTIMORE SUN

A PERENNIAL CONTENDER FOR CITY PAPER’S ANNUAL BEST RESTAURANT HONORS... NEWLY AWARDED BEST RESTAURANT FOR VEGETARIANS CITY PAPER DINING GUIDE

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E AT • C I T Y PA PER’S DINING G UIDE

COOL COMFORT City Paper’s annual dining guide KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU REALLY HUNGRY? Reading more than 170 restaurant write-ups. Just like you shouldn’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach, we highly recommend that you get a snack before perusing our annual guide to as many good Baltimore City eats as we can jam in. This year, we have organized the restaurants by type of cuisine, so you can consider restaurants based on whatever culinary itch needs scratching at the moment—you know, for those nights when nothing but a criminally spicy Thai curry will do, or a truly extraordinary slice of pizza, or a burrito that’s practically splitting at the seams. In doing so, we came to this realization: If last year was the year of farm-to-table restaurants, this year was all about upscale comfort food—so much so that we gave it its own category. Seriously, there’s a lot of fancy mac ‘n’ cheese, chic homestyle platters, and sliders with toppings that are more White House than White Castle in Charm City these days. Not that that’s a bad thing, unless you’re our bathroom scale. As always, there are way more noteworthy restaurants than we can fit in these pages. This is merely a sampling of places we enjoy. Hope you like ’em, too. EAT 2009 was written by Jeffrey Anderson, Michael Byrne, Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Zachary Evans, Lee Gardner, Fawn Gwynallen, Tim Hill, Henry Hong, Chris Landers, Randianne Leyshon, Bret McCabe, Molly O’Donnell, Van Smith, Erin Sullivan, Joe Tropea, Wendy Ward, and Mary K. Zajac. Interns Matthew Garland, Kim Irwin, Jami Katz, Randianne Leyshon, Kathryn Mastandrea, Awis Mranani, and Chidinma Okparanta checked all the foodrelated facts. Photos by Frank Hamilton, Frank Klein, Christopher Myers, Rarah, and Jefferson Jackson Steele. Cover by Frank Hamilton, with thanks to Henry “E” Hong, Allen “A” Savage, Linda “T” Bernstein, and Lee “!” Sinoski. F R A N K H A M I LT O N

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

WEST INDIAN FLAVOUR

BARBECUE AND PIT

ANDY NELSON’S BARBECUE 11007 YORK ROAD, COCKEYSVILLE, (410) 527-1226, ANDYNELSONSBBQ. COM, $-$$ When you spot the pink pig on the roof looming over busy York Road, RARAH

you know you’re only moments away from the best barbecue the Baltimore area has to offer: succulent Memphis-style pulled pork and ribs; three varieties of beef, including regional pit style; even smoked turkey and chicken. Ample portions and worthy traditional sides are likely to take care of any spare room under your belt, but the house-made desserts aren’t an afterthought.

BIG BAD WOLF’S HOUSE OF BARBEQUE 5713 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4446422, BIGBADWOLFBARBEQUE. COM, $$ Baltimore is always in need of barbecue options, and since opening on Harford Road, Big Bad Wolf’s has steadily amassed a following and improved the consistency of its offerings. An array of carefully

conceived, well-balanced sauces greatly enhance the meat, which is light on rub and perhaps not as smoky as some barbecue devotees might expect. Texture and moistness are generally good, though the beef (both brisket and short ribs) can be hit or miss, while the undercover star is the truly outstanding grilled chicken sandwich.

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DRINK WITH STYLE. DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Brewed in Italy and Imported by © 2009 Birra Peroni Internazionale, Eden, NC

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

PIONEER PIT BEEF

RUB

1602 N. ROLLING ROAD, (410) 4550015, $

1843 LIGHT ST., (410) 244-5667, RUBBBQBALTIMORE.COM, $-$$

Regarded by many pit-beef freaks to be the current best of the best, Pioneer distinguishes itself by delivering a product that consistently incorporates all of the factors one desires in pit beef: a well-charred and seasoned crust and thin, against-the-grain slices cooked to proper temperature over charcoal. It may sound simple, but such pit beef is, in fact, quite rare. The usual accoutrements are present, including an above-average barbecue sauce, and receiving samples while in line is standard practice. You can even buy lump hardwood charcoal here if you care to dabble in DIY pit beef.

Most of the smoked meat in Baltimore is done in the regional pit-beef style, and the vast majority of the places that do offer more exotic barbecue stick to the smoky/sweet Memphis approach, all of which makes Rub a serious minority. Its Texas ‘cue relies less on heavy smoke and sauce and more on dry spice rubs (hence the name) and low, slow heat for a less showy flavor. The vibe is about as roadhouse-y as you can make a rowhouse, and the rich gowiths compete favorably with the main courses. In fact, though the beef brisket is supposed to be the big deal here, try the Brownsville hot wings.

GOLDBERG’S NEW YORK BAGELS

BREAKFAST

BLUE MOON CAFÉ 1621 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 522-3940, $ For years, Blue Moon has been saving the asses of pro imbibers with truly excellent breakfast fare, but after-hours and weekend-mornings customers should be prepared to wait for a seat in the small dining room, and then some more for the tiny kitchen to get through the crush of orders. It’s worth the wait to sample homemade sausage, over-the-top omelet and eggs Benedict variations, stellar bacon, and bafflingly good hash browns. Always get the famous “cat’s head” biscuits (don’t worry, it’s just a size reference) and homemade jam. Ingredients are top-notch and portions are startlingly large.

708 REISTERSTOWN ROAD, (410) 4157001, GOLDBERGSBAGELS.COM, $ This Pikesville institution not only offers the hands-down best New York-style bagels in the area—a full line of chewy, crusty marvels— but its lunch business is nothing to sneeze at either, with soups (mmm, mushroom barley) and salads that make a visit after breakfast has passed pay off.

GREG’S BAGELS 519 E. BELVEDERE AVE., (410) 3239463, $ Most bagel places—at least in this part of the country—are nothing special. The exception is Greg’s where the bagels are just about perfect and come in a staggering array of flavors—flax seed

CLEMENTINE

CHRISTOPHER MYERS

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

BIG BAD WOLF’S HOUSE OF BARBEQUE

pistachio is our current favorite. But what really gets us out of bed and in the door is the blackboard of daily smoked fish offerings, each of which gets the fine-wine treatment, with descriptions of its flavor and body scrawled beside its name. The prices reflect the seriousness with which bagels are taken here, but it’s well worth it.

MISS SHIRLEY’S CAFÉ 513 W. COLD SPRING LANE, (410) 8895272; 750 E. PRATT ST., (410) 5285373; MISSSHIRLEYS.COM, $-$$ A popular brunch spot in Roland Park (and now downtown), Miss Shirley’s offers traditional breakfast fare dressed up for company. It doesn’t have regular eggs Benedict; it’s got sweet corn cakes Benedict. Sure you can get a hot dog wrapped in bacon, but it’s applewood smoked bacon, see.

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Which probably isn’t any better for you, but it sure sounds healthier, right?

SPOONS COFFEE CAFÉ AND COFFEE ROASTERY 24 E. CROSS ST., (410) 539-6751, $ Reminiscent of ’90s coffeehouses with its mishmash décor of wellworn couches and tables, Spoons does coffee with a wine-aficionado’s fervor. A wide variety of organic and exotic beans are roasted on site, and things are usually busy come breakfast time on the weekends. A stack of banana pancakes is a top seller on the simple café menu that includes lunch staples like soups and sandwiches. The real appeal of the spot is in hunkering down with a cup and a book and soaking up the upbeat atmosphere.

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

CAFÉS

ATWATER’S BELVEDERE SQUARE MARKET, 529 E. BELVEDERE AVE., (410) 323-2396; 1425 CLARKVIEW ROAD, SUITE 300, (410) 821-6021; 798 KENILWORTH DRIVE, TOWSON, (410) 938-8775; ATWATERS.BIZ, $ Ned Atwater now has sort of an empire, with three bakeries-cum-soup/ salad/sandwich spots spread across the northern end of the Baltimore metro. But economies of scale don’t seem to have affected the creative, ever-changing menus at each location, all chock-full of local, seasonal ingredients and assembled with evident care. You usually have your chicken salads and field greens and a few other staples to count on, but they rarely lapse into the boring or expected. Always different, almost always superb.

CARMA’S CAFÉ 3120 ST. PAUL ST., (410) 243-5200, $ The consistent wait for a table at Carma’s on a Saturday morning tells the story. This tiny space off the hectic St. Paul Street drag in Charles Village serves some of the best coffee-shop fare you can get in Baltimore. Quick breakfasts don’t get more sublime than the Icelandic yogurt, served with tiny bowls of jam and granola on the side. If you need savory, Carma’s dishes consistently wonderful, creative soups, a handful of panini (get sesame noodles on the side), or, for something quick, a bagel smeared with one of a few homemade cream-cheese concoctions will do.

JEFFERSON JACKSON STEELE


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513 W Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21210 410-889-5272 750 E Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-528-5373 www.MissShirleys.com

" 5 2 ' % 2 3 & 12 BEERS ON TAP AND 120 BOTTLES

" 5 2 2 ) 4 / 3 & MARGARITAS

415 W Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21210 410-235-3433 www.Alonsos.com

413 W Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21210 410-889-2233 www.LocoHombre.com

" ! ' % , 3 BAKERY SALADS, SANDWICHES & COFFEE DRINKS

500 W Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21210 410-889-3332 www.RolandParkBagelCompany.com

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410 W Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21210 410-235-5999 www.SghettiEddies.com

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Every Day Has an

Bring the pleasure back to any day. Enjoy impeccable seafood with Mediterranean flair in the heart of historic Fells Point.

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1640 THAMES ST • BALTIMORE, MD 21231 • 410-534-MELI (6354) 54) • WWW.KALISMELI.COM W W W. K A LI 12

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

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1606 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231 4 410-276-4700, www.kaliscourt.com

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIES/ SAVORY HOUSE 1036 LIGHT ST., (410) 522-7437; 3547 CHESTNUT AVE., (410) 662-7437; DANGEROUSPIES.COM; $-$$ Rocker/baker Rodney Henry has remade the local desert landscape with his dense, flavorful pastry concoctions, ranging from staples like apple and key lime on up to bespoke pies like the Mobtown brown and the full custom custard (plus a range of meal-in-a-wedge savory items such as a pork barbecue pie).

DONNA’S 800 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 385-0180; 3101 ST. PAUL ST., (410) 889-3410; 22 S. GREEN ST., (410) 328-1962; 5100 FALLS ROAD/40 VILLAGE SQUARE, (410) 532-7611; DONNAS.COM, $$$$$ Although the menu varies at each Donna’s outpost, you know you can always count on fancy coffee drinks, comfortable pastas, and hearty dinner-sized salads, like the signature model made with roasted vegetables. The formula may be feeling a little dated, but it still works because of the quality of the food, the reasonable prices, and the way that each restaurant in this local chain feels like a neighborhood joint, whether you’re in Charles Village, Mount Vernon, or Cross Keys.

KADER’S CAFÉ MOCHA 1501 ST. PAUL ST., (410) 962-5717, $ Kader Camara’s move from Antique Row to the sparkling, refurbished Railway Express Building has added a colorful splash of a dining room to his lunch take-out trade, encouraging a more relaxed time spent eating one of his tasty offerings. The sandwiches remain comfortingly filling without being overstuffed, and the paninis are still cheese-filled crunchy goodness. But the roasted salmon sandwich occupies a special place in the heart, with its spicy horseradish and thick-grained mustard colliding with the fruity sweet of plantains and omega-3-rich salmon.

MELI PATISSERIE AND BISTRO 1636 THAMES ST., (410) 534-6354, KALISMELI.COM, $$

ANNABEL LEE TAVERN

Meli isn’t just for dinner, it’s also for coffee and pastries, cheese F R A N K H A M I LT O N

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EAT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G G U I D E plates, scrumptious brunches, and lounging on the downstairs sofas with a newspaper and a mimosa. Like Kali’s Court and Mezze, which are its brethren concerns, this Fells Point spot is impeccably decorated and staffed by veterans. But it is the entrées—the pistachio-encrusted lamb chops right on down to the tuna burger with fries—that impress the most.

ON THE HILL CAFÉ AND MARKET 1431 JOHN ST., (410) 225-9667, ONTHEHILLCAFE.COM, $ If every neighborhood in the city had a café like this Bolton Hill fave, Baltimore would be a much more pleasant place to live. Inexpensive soups, sandwiches, burritos, and salads are the mainstays of the menu, but rounding it out are homemade quiches, savory and sweet tarts, meat pies, burgers, and a couple of vegetarian sandwiches. For the sweet tooth, cookies and pastries are available all day to act as companion to your cup of coffee, which you can get to go or sit and enjoy at one of the little window-seat tables.

ROSINA GOURMET 300 E. LOMBARD ST., (410) 2441885; 2819 O’DONNELL ST., (410) 675-9300; ROSINAGOURMET.COM, $ For when an ordinary sandwich just won’t do, seek this charming downtown lunch spot or its Canton sibling. Its menu offers an ample selection of familiarsounding sandwiches—from the smoked turkey to the tuna melt—dressed in fancier duds: Jarslberg cheese and basil pesto mayo on focaccia for the turkey, artichoke hearts and oregano on a wheat roll for the tuna. Best of all are the meatless options—a hearty “health” sandwich and the whimsical white cheddar sandwich, which lays cheese atop slices of Granny Smith apples on honey-mustard-smeared bread. Excellent.

SOFI’S CRÊPES 1723 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 7277732; 333 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 7275737; SOFISCREPES.COM, $ Sofi’s is a good fit for its cramped quarters next to the Charles Theatre. It serves a variety of dessert crêpes alongside a menu of

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EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

heartier savory crêpes that are big enough for a smallish meal. It gets packed quickly, especially around the theater schedule, but even with the crêpes made-toorder, the line moves fast. It’s tough at times to get a seat, but that’s the other upside to crêpes— they’re pretty easy to eat standing up. Sofi’s is also open now inside the Women’s Industrial Exchange, where seating is more bountiful.

CARIBBEAN

JUDY’S ISLAND GRILL AND BAKE SHOP 5216 PARK HEIGHTS AVE., (410) 3670272, JUDYSISLANDGRILL.COM, $-$$ We keep meaning to check out this Jamaican carry-out spot’s amazing breakfast menu—plantain porridge? butter bean and saltfish?—but its belly busting dinner options keep elbowing out the brain space that tries to remember to have Caribbean cuisine for breakfast. Instead, Judy’s pitch-perfect jerk chicken—not too spicy, not too tangy—and whatever variety of fried fish is being offered is what the nose informs the tummy it wants. Throw in some sides of callaloo and rice, roasted yam, and fried plantains, and you’re set for a splendid evening.

MANGO AND COCONUT JUICE BAR 222 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 837-2626, $ Charles Plaza is seeing more foot traffic lately thanks to the muchneeded Superfresh. Hopefully this will mean an uptick in business for the low-profile, but high quality eateries in the food court. Among them is Mango and Coconut, which serves familiar Caribbean favorites and fresh vegetable and fruit smoothies. The ubiquitous jerk is significantly cooled down, presumably for folks who need to head back to the office after lunch, which allows often-masked flavors like thyme and allspice to emerge. Even the usually anonymous bed of beans and rice have pleasant texture and are well-seasoned.


“...Thai Arroy’s kitchen delivers enough winners to merit a return trip.” -Richard Gorelick, City Paper

“This is Thai food at its best...”

THE BEST REAL FOOD SERVED FAST!

-Elizabeth Large, The Baltimore Sun

Please feel free to bring Beer or Wine! Tuesday-Friday Lunch 11:30-3pm Dinner 5-10pm Fri 5-11pm Sat 12pm-11pm Sun Dinner 5-10pm

Thai Arroy 1019 Light Street Baltimore MD 410.385.8587 or 410.385.1989 www.thaiarroy.com

“TASTY FOOD AT REASONABLE PRICES WITH STUNNING EFFICIENCY” - CITY PAPER

“BEST OF BALTIMORE AWARDS DATING BACK TO 1992” - CITY PAPER

SPEC SP ECIA EC IALI IA LIZI LI ZING ZI NG IN IN TAS TAS ASTY TY MEDI ME DITE DI TERR TE RRAN RR ANEA AN EAN EA N DI DISH SHES SH ES

VISIT V ISIT O OUR UR W WEBSITE EBSIT TE TO O ORDER ORDER CATERING CA ATERIING FOR F OR Y YOUR OUR NEXT NEXT MEETING M EETIING O OR RP PARTY ARTY OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER MONDAY-FRIDAY TIL 7PM

THE SUN TRUST BUILDING

120 E. Baltimore Street

Corner of Calvert & Baltimore St. 410.837.PITA (7482) fax: 410.752.5999 or University of MD Shock Trauma Center phone: 410.327.2227 fax: 410.327.2228

phone:

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

PENN STREET TAVERN 213 PENN ST., (410) 752-5858, $-$$ This homey little corner pub in Ridgely’s Delight serves alcohol and conversation up front and cheap, delicious Jamaican fare in the back. Staples such as jerk chicken, tilapia, and ox tail adhere to the long tradition of good Jamaican food served under this roof. The veggie medley, a hearty mix of okra, carrots, and other veggies in a coconut-milk base, is great. Grab a ginger beer, order some coco bread, some plantains, and start sampling.

WEST INDIAN FLAVOUR 2111 MCELDERRY ST., (410) 522-0220, $ Step into this Indo-Caribbean carry-out and you’re awash in compelling aromas, a result of the East Indian cuisine by way of Trinidad and Tobago that’s served here. “Bus-up-shut” (slang for “busted up shirt,” describing its appearance) is roti, a huge flatbread enclosing potatoes, peas, and your choice of stewed, curried, or jerk meat, while dhalpouri roti is made with ground chickpeas; the fillings explode with flavor and are perfectly cooked. Horizon-expanding specials include cow foot soup on Saturdays, and they carry locally made ice creams that specialize in West Indian flavors. Spicy means mega-spicy here, FYI.

CHINESE

GRACE GARDEN CHINESE RESTAURANT 1690 ANNAPOLIS ROAD, ODENTON, (410) 672-3581, GRACEGARDEN CHINESE.COM, $$-$$$ Early adopters have long weighed selfishly keeping this seemingly nondescript Odenton eatery a secret against promoting it to ensure continued operation. Don’t let the tiny strip-mall habitat fool you: Grace Garden offers arguably the best authentic Chinese food in Maryland. The chef is formerly of the venerable Hunan Manor in Columbia, but here he gets to explore other regional variations and the results are spectacular. Sichuan triple treasure (spicy beef tongue, tripe, and tendon) is ridiculously good. Note that a few of the more complex dishes must be ordered days in advance.

F R A N K H A M I LT O N

EL TORITO MEXICAN RESTAURANT

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Voted Baltimore’s Best Indian Restaurant -City Paper’s Reader Poll

www.akbar-restaurant.com

823 N Charles St. (Between Madison & Read) >Ìˆ“œÀiÊUÊ{£ä°xΙ°ä™{{

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- Elizabeth Large, Baltimore Sun

A Gigantic Menu, featuring daily & evening specials

and 7 flat screens for sports viewing.

Upstairs Game Room with foosball, free darts, shuffleboard & Wii

Great for Private Parties. Family Friendly Dining Room

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2 Fully Stocked Bars

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A Hidden Treasure In Baltimore Dining Cozy Corners • Exceptional Food • Impressive Wine List “Best Brunch” - City Paper • “Top 50 Restaurants” - Zagat’s

with leapsters & special menu for the kids Award Winning:

Best Bar in Fells Point - Baltimore Guide, 2008 Reader’s Poll

EASTERN EUROPEAN CAFE & WINE BAR

1739 Fleet Street

Fells Point

410.675.5999

Reservations Suggested • Mon-Thu 11am-11pm • Fri 11am-1am • Sat 9am-1am • Sun 9am-11pm

Best Cubano - Baltimore Magazine, 2008

Top 10 Restaurants for Kids - Baltimore Sun, 2008

Top Ten Brunches You Don’t Know About

Fresh Taste, Natural Ingredients in a Mediterranean-Modern Setting

-Baltimore Sun, 2008

Best Opportunity for Free Whiskey - City Paper, Best of Baltimore 2008

Alexanderstavern.com 710 South Broadway | Fells Point 410.522.0000 18

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

Mediterranean

Kitchen

Eat-In, Take Out & Catering 745 E. Fort Ave 410.727.PITA(7482) www.babaskitchen.net


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

FREDA’S KITCHEN

MR. CHAN SZECHUAN RESTAURANT 1000 REISTERSTOWN ROAD, PIKESVILLE, (410) 484-1100, $$ Among vegetarians, Mr. Chan’s has long reigned supreme. Seemingly a mid-range Chinese joint in Pikesville, Mr. Chan’s is actually the go-to date or large party/special occasion place for tasty fresh Asian food. The service is impeccable and the prices fair. And what’s more, with real meat entrées next to faux-meat offerings on the menu, it makes for the perfect place for vegetarians to break bread with carnivorous family and friends. Start with an order of sushi—both the nasu-ten (eggplant tempura) maki and shiitake maki are heavenly—from there you really can’t go wrong.

CHRISTOPHER MYERS

CLASSIC AMERICAN

BURKE’S RESTAURANT AND CAFÉ 36 LIGHT ST., (410) 752-4189, BURKESCAFE.COM, $$-$$$ Burke’s is not necessarily the kind of eatery you’d take someone on a first date, unless it wasn’t going well. It looks like a diner stuffed into a Swiss chalet. But Burke’s wouldn’t still be standing after 75 years if it didn’t have good American staples at reasonable prices. Given the ever-changing harbor area and the demise of Martick’s and Marconi’s, there’s something comforting about taking a step back in time at Burke’s.

MCCABE’S 3845 FALLS ROAD, (410) 467-1000, $$ This staid bar/restaurant on the northwest edge of Hampden has a long-standing reputation for serving possibly the best burger in town. Moist, hefty, well seasoned and cooked, and available with myriad equally well-prepared toppings, but honest and straightforward, never too fancyshmancy—it’s a freaking burger after all. The awesome battered fries that come on the side don’t hurt either. Entrees, particularly specials, are well executed and of hearty portions; baked potato soup is outstanding as are grilled pork chops.

METROPOLITAN COFFEE HOUSE AND WINE BAR 902 S. CHARLES ST., (410) 234-0235, METROBALTO.COM, $$ Open for just over four years now, Metropolitan still has the food and service of a new kid on the block. In other words, it’s still good, and the staff still tries. This small Federal Hill hangout is chic yet warm, with a mod black-and-red exterior and a rich wood and exposed-brick interior. With an atmosphere that’s everything a city restaurant should be, the mostly American menu is also consistently interesting and tasty. A craving for the blueberry pancakes will expose you to the highlight of the morning there: a self-service coffee station offering a wide variety of freshly brewed, high quality coffee.

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EAT â&#x20AC;¢ MARCH 4, 2009 â&#x20AC;¢ CITYPAPER .COM


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

MOUNT VERNON STABLE AND SALOON 909 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 685-7427, WWW.MVSTABLE.COM, $ With its dining facilities and a downstairs bar a hot spot for the rainbow flag set, the Stable is a good option for a laid-back dinner or a beer-fueled rager. Though service may be slower than desired, the waitstaff treats you like family. Often you don’t even realize how long your food takes to arrive because your perky waiter keeps you entertained, making you feel like a new best friend. The Stable is known for its baby back ribs, which are unimpeachable, but some other dishes fail to live up to expectations. The Reubenesque and the Caesar salad are good staples to fall back on.

PERRING PLACE 2305 CLEANLEIGH DRIVE, PARKVILLE, (410) 661-0630, $$-$$$ Peter Angelos’ old-fashioned restaurant has managed to survive its tough location at Perring Parkway and McLean Boulevard, and on any given evening, Perring Place will be filled with a distinctly older crowd enjoying martinis and crab cakes, Manhattans and prime rib, and waitresses in black and white uniforms who never fail to call you “hon.” If you like liver and onions, by all means order it here.

THE PRIME RIB 1101 N. CALVERT ST., (410) 539-1804, THEPRIMERIB.COM, $$$ One of the few survivors of oldschool Baltimore fine dining, the Prime Rib is still the place to go for truly special occasions. It possesses that rare confluence of supremely good service, genuinely swank environs, and, of course, utterly superlative cuisine, all present on an unwaveringly consistent basis. It’s hard not to order the gorgeous and exquisite prime rib, but seafood here is also exceptional. The expertly aged beef is a step above even the most “upscale” of the chain steakhouses that have cropped up in town. And yes, jackets are still required for gentlemen.

SUSHI HANA

CHRISTOPHER MYERS

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN

ABACROMBIE FINE FOOD AND ACCOMMODATIONS 58 W. BIDDLE ST., (410) 837-3630, ABACROMBIE.NET, $$$ Corks Restaurant mastermind and WYPR-FM radio personality Jerry Pellegrino, along with executive chef Jesse Sandlin, has breathed new life into Abacrombie. The small subterranean space had gotten a bit stodgy. The new menu is intriguingly varied (you can have escargot or mac ‘n’ cheese to start) and pulls from a variety of influences (entrées include scallops with chimichurri sauce, mushroom “Stroganoff,” and a cassoulet with duck sausage). Even the desserts feature a new sense of fun with Abacrombie’s take on a root-beer float.

B, BOLTON HILL BISTRO

BICYCLE

BRASS ELEPHANT

1501 BOLTON ST., (410) 383-8600, B-BISTRO.COM, $$

1444 LIGHT ST., (410) 234-1900, BICYCLEBISTRO.COM, $$$

924 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 547-8480, BRASSELEPHANT.COM, $$-$$$

There’s something about eating at b that rips the word “delightful” out of even a pessimistic mouth. This is especially true if you’re fortunate enough to get a table outside on a warm spring night. Apart from a menu filled with reasonably priced scrumptious food, the candlelight setting suits this regal residential corner of Bolton Hill perfectly. Pastas of note include the pancetta fettuccine dish and the fresh take on Italian pear and Gorgonzola sachette. One cautionary note: It’s popular and small, so try to go at a nontraditional dinnertime.

Over the years, Bicycle has gone through several sets of hands, yet somehow managed to remain the same kind of slick yet homey restaurant that first got diners’ attentions when it opened in 2000—pretty enough for a special occasion, but comfortable enough for a weeknight nosh. Chef/owner Nicholas Batey’s menu works the same kind of magic—don’t miss the spicy corn soup with blue crab or the better-than-a-salad-has-anyright-to be roasted beet salad with goat cheese. A list of good $18 bottles of wine helps keep the check from getting out of control.

With its historic Mount Vernon building, impeccably conscientious service, and graceful presentations, the Brass Elephant is a local institution for a reason. Such posh finery costs you, of course, which is why we tend to stick to ordering from the slightly less wallet-bruising menu in the Tusk Lounge, where a few of the dinner menu’s offerings make an appearance. Otherwise, save up and dive whole hog into chef Marcus Olson’s neo-classic fare. Might we suggest a duck or seafood preparation?

BREWER’S ART 1106 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 547-6925, THEBREWERSART.COM, $$$ Forget about what we’ve had there in the past, because it’s probably no

IGGIES F R A N K H A M I LT O N

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EAT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G G U I D E

KABAB STOP

longer on the frequently changing menu. Doesn’t matter: Chef Dave Newman can be trusted. Whatever your protein choice, it will be cooked perfectly, sauced or spiced artfully, and laid atop some starchy thing and vegetable (sweet potato hash, say, or bacony greens, probably locally-grown) that complement it brilliantly. There will be a salty-savory taste unlike anything you’ve experienced with something sweet, fruity, and/or tangy cutting through it. It’ll all sing, and whether you pair it with sitebrewed ale or one of their excellent wines, you’ll leave happy.

CHAMELEON CAFÉ 4341 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 2542376, THECHAMELEONCAFE.COM, $$$ Chameleon has been churning out kick-ass fine dining in the Hamilton/Lauraville area since before it was cool. Owner/chef Jeff Smith’s menu nods to French cui-

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EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

sine without being hamstrung by it. The resulting dishes never fail to surprise and excite—his annual Maryland menu consistently garners raves—from perfect pieces of meat (if you order steak expect to make yummy faces that border on obscene) to unexpected fish preparations.

THE DOGWOOD 911 W. 36TH ST., (410) 889-0952, DOGWOODBALTIMORE.COM, $$$ Since the subterranean restaurant opened in 2007, the Dogwood reeked potential what with chef/owner Galen Sampson’s focus on local ingredients and the nonprofit arm Chefs in the Making. And in the last year, the Dogwood has finally started living up to expectations. The dining room is lovely and modern, the food is exceptional—the menu changes frequently according to what is in season locally—and the once-shaky service has smoothed out. Splurge on the chef’s tasting JEFFERSON JACKSON STEELE


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Belvedere Square Market 529 East Belvedere Avenue • Baltimore, MD 21218 410.433.7700 • Neopolsmokery.com CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

INDIGMA

menu with paired wines or keep it frugal with the $15 gnocchi special on Monday nights.

GERTRUDE’S AT THE BMA 10 ART MUSEUM DRIVE, (410) 8893399, JOHNSHIELDS.COM/ RESTAURANT/REST/GERTRUDES. HTML, $$-$$$ Hometown boy John Shields continues to make good at the elegant/ downhome restaurant he named for his grandmother. Crab cakes are an obvious choice here, but don’t overlook the oyster po’ boy or even the pulled pork quesadilla. Specials like $12 entrees on Tuesdays and half-price glasses and bottles of wine on Wednesday make eating near the BMA’s Sculpture Garden even more appealing.

HULL STREET BLUES 1222 HULL ST., (410) 727-7476, HULLSTREETBLUES.COM, $$ Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Locust Point’s Hull Street Blues still lays out a beautiful spread every Sunday for its famous brunch, one of the best in Baltimore, with an array of breakfast meats, smoked fish, and fresh fruit. The lunch menu sports familiar salad, sandwich, and pasta options, while the dinner menu reaches a bit higher with a couple of Asian-influenced fish entrées, as well as steaks, shrimp, and crab cakes, with many available for a measly $12 on Tuesdays.

LINWOODS 25 CROSSROADS DRIVE, OWINGS MILLS, (410) 356-3030, LINWOODS. COM, $$$ Classy and elegant, if a bit pricey, Linwoods never fails to deliver a quality meal. Dishes are rich and ample—see shrimp and grits, the corn pudding that accompanies lump crab cakes, beef tenderloin with bleu cheese, or New York strip made carpetbagger-style with the addition of fried oysters. Service is professional and the view into the kitchen still impresses.

THE PARKSIDE FINE FOOD AND SPIRITS 4709 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4446004, THEPARKSIDEONLINE.COM, $$ Built on the premises of a 1920s theater in Lauraville, the Parkside’s huge, open-floor-plan restaurant also incorporates a kids’ play area,

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One of Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best...

The â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smartest and most cosmopolitan restaurants.â&#x20AC;? -CITY PAPER

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icycle A Global Bistro

1444 LIGHT ST :: BALTIMORE :: 410.234.1900 :: www.bicyclebistro.com Open Tue-Thu 5:30pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm :: Reservations strongly recommended CITYPAPER .COM â&#x20AC;˘ MARCH 4, 2009 â&#x20AC;˘ EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E a bakery, and a food market. The place has a cozy atmosphere despite its size, in part due to the eclectic casual décor. Not everything on the menu will take your breath away (the desserts, with the notable exception of the vegan chocolate cake, look better than they taste). However, entrée items like the coconut pork topped with savory chimichurri and appetizers such as the coffee-rubbed beef are worthy of relish.

PETER’S INN 504 S. ANN ST., (410) 675-7313, PETERSINN.COM, $$-$$$, Although the menu changes frequently at Fells Point’s Peter’s Inn, you can always count on sitting elbow to elbow in the narrow bar-cum-dining room, finding a plethora of toiletries in the ladies room, and the inclusion of a sevenounce filet mignon, or 13-ounce N.Y. strip steak with mashed potatoes and “100% pure butter” among a combination of seafood dishes (often steamed mussels and clams with chorizo) and dinner salads (like sashimi tuna on a bed of seaweed). Be there before dinner service begins at 6:30 P.M. to claim a table.

PIERPOINT RESTAURANT 1822 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 675-2080, PIERPOINTRESTAURANT.COM, $$$ Hard to believe it’s been open for 20 years now, but Pierpoint continues to deliver high-quality regional dishes with a focus on Maryland classics. There are, of course, the smoked crab cakes, but don’t miss the awesome Balto box, an appetizer that includes the cakes plus refined iterations of coddies, fried oysters, and clams casino. The Maryland fried chicken breast with grits and greens and Moroccan lamb chops with saffron mashed potatoes are also exceptional.

SALT 2127 E. PRATT ST., (410) 276-5480, SALTTAVERN.COM, $$$ Probably the vanguard of upscale bar food (now something of a trend in Baltimore), the shiny and colorful Salt provides a place for the well-heeled in East Baltimore to mingle over fancy cocktails and imaginative, elaborate takes on comfort foods that draw from global influences. The kobe and

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foie gras sliders are awesome, as are bourbon-glazed seared scallops and pork belly, and lamb stroganoff. Service can be spotty, particularly on those busy weekend nights.

THE WINE MARKET 921 E. FORT AVE., (410) 244-6166, THE-WINE-MARKET.COM, $$-$$$ Now in its fifth year, the Wine Market only seems to be getting better. The New American menu consistently offers interesting preparations, like salt-roasted veal loin or sake-marinated slowroasted black cod, and the a la carte brunch with its gourmet bacon breakfast burrito and crab, roasted red pepper, and asiago frittata shouldn’t be overlooked. Wine with dinner is still a relative bargain if you purchase from the shop in the front.

WOODBERRY KITCHEN

there’s a sandwich for every occasion on the voluminous wallmounted menu, in addition to the renowned bologna-wrapped jumbo kosher dog.

DI PASQUALES 3700 GOUGH ST., (410) 276-6787, DIPASQUALES.COM, $ For nearly a century serving as a one-stop shop for any and all of one’s Italian culinary needs, Di Pasquale’s boasts a vast selection of deli and cured meats, cheeses, pasta, imported non-perishables, wines, and liqueurs. The prepared food case is dazzling, and there is even a dining area between the brick oven and the small fresh produce section. The lunch menu lists the expected sandwiches, sometimes using unexpected meats, but also offers more substantial entrée and pasta options all homemade, reasonably priced, and delicious.

2010 CLIPPER PARK ROAD, (410) 4648000, WOODBERRYKITCHEN.COM, $$-$$$

FREDA’S KITCHEN

Five years ago, we wouldn’t have believed that one of the best restaurants in town would be next to the Woodberry light rail stop. But, Spike Gjerde’s farm-to-table restaurant has pulled it off. Woodberry Kitchen is packed every night, largely because of the variety it offers. Grab a flatbread special for a casual affordable night out with friends or go whole hog with a small plate and entrée for a fancy dinner with someone special. Whatever you get, it is sure to illustrate Gjerde’s expert flavor combinations and simple, but sublime preparations.

This new Mount Washington spot sorta looks like someone’s mom set it up—bright paint on the walls, aggressively colorful art, nice lighting—but if so, mom sure knows from old-school deli counter goodness, complete with serious corned beef and pastrami. Plus tongue. Tongue!

DELIS

ATTMAN’S AUTHENTIC NEW YORK DELICATESSEN 1019 E. LOMBARD ST., (410) 5632666, ATTMANSDELI.COM, $ Not only is Attman’s a local institution, but writing that Attman’s is a local institution is a local institution. So just go already. Wiggle your way along the famously long and bustling counter to order up top-notch New York-style deli sandwiches (be sure to know what you want—it’s usually busy back there). The corned beef, pastrami, and brisket are always good, but

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

1604 KELLY AVE., (410) 367-7840, FREDASKITCHEN.COM, $

HOWARD GOURMET DELI 701 N. HOWARD ST., (410) 523-0005, $ There are a few of these little sandwich/subs/fries delis in and around Mount Vernon, and finding one that actually stands out from the pack was quite a surprise. It’s probably not as “gourmet” as its name suggests, but it’s got some out of the ordinary, creative choices on the menu, from the veggie castle sandwich to the chicken Aurora wrap to gut-busting platters like hot roast beef and jumbo shrimp. The menu here is massive—if you can think of a sandwich combination it’s probably on it with a goofy name. And the french fries are outstanding.

TRINACRIA MACARONI WORKS 406 N. PACA ST., (410) 685-7285, $ The neighborhood is dreary, the hours odd (Tuesday through

Saturday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.) The store is cramped. They pack groceries in a cardboard box. But they make panini sandwiches the size of your head, with crusty bread, high-quality meats and cheeses, and dressings that blend together to create multi-dimensional flavor. For over 100 years, the family owned Italian-American grocery has been selling bulk products at bargain prices. Cheese, olives, and cookies come by the pound. All sorts of pasta, homemade sauces, and olive oils make you forget about the Prego.

DINERS

JIMMY’S 801 S. BROADWAY, (410) 327-3273, $ A cornerstone of Fells Point, Jimmy’s slings up your standard diner food, but then there are the crisp, gossamer waffles, the sweet perfume of which greets patrons at the front door. The waffles are available with syrup-laden fruit topping, but we suggest just whipped cream and butter. Service is blazing fast at the counter, not so much in a busy dining room–bide your time with those strangely fascinating placemat advertisements.

NEW WYMAN PARK RESTAURANT 138 W. 25TH ST., (410) 235-5100, $ A good choice if you’re in Charles Village and crave breakfast food, although the sandwiches and entrées are also pleasant, and all are priced low. The booths and counter can fill up seemingly instantly, especially on weekend mornings, while carry out can take a while, so call your order in ahead of time. Note that the New Wyman has pretty good grits, very good soups, the iced tea is unbelievably sweet, and it closes in the early afternoon.

PAPERMOON DINER 227 W. 29TH ST., (410) 889-4444, PAPERMOONDINER24.COM, $ Eclectic to say the least, PaperMoon’s décor looks like the result of a disturbed 7-year-old boy who got hold of all his sister’s playthings. Mannequins chained to dirt-filled bath tubs greet patrons outside and army men and Barbie dolls spin inside from the ceiling fans. PaperMoon’s food


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EAT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G G U I D E surpasses normal diner fare. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available all day with a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. On the downside, the restaurant is no longer open 24 hours, which is heresy.

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2200 BOSTON ST., (410) 675-7077, $ It’s hard not to order breakfast at what may be Baltimore’s best 24-hour-diner (hours may vary due to remodeling), but the Sip and Bite’s other food is damn good, too. The long list of daily specials always includes satisfying American and Greek classics, and though they’ve jumped a bit in price (to a whopping $7.00), the hand-patted, grilled burgers still rock. People never believe us, but the crab cake here really is pretty good, as are the homemade soups. After last call on weekends, it’s so crowded we’ve actually encountered a door man refusing entry. Also save yourself some grief and bring cash.

TAMBER’S 3327 ST. PAUL ST., (410) 243-5777, TAMBERSRESTAURANT.COM, $-$$ After a renovation, Tamber’s went from being a ’50s-inspired diner where you could get a milkshake and saag paneer in the same order—if you could handle that combo—to a bland family-friendly restaurant where you can order meatloaf and decent Indian fare from a huge menu. There’s plenty here to please a picky party and the courteous and attentive staff still harken to that bygone era.

ECLECTIC

GOLDEN WEST CAFÉ 1105 W. 36TH ST., (410) 889-8891, GOLDENWESTCAFE.COM, $-$$ Baltimore has plenty of good breakfast places, but they rarely stray past the traditional eggs and pork products, or perhaps some sauced-up brunch fare. Golden West’s Southwestern slant and early-adopter slow-food-iness remain a breath of fresh air on the local fast-breaking scene, even after a decade. Seriously, the Frisbee-sized pancakes alone make it essential. Even better, Golden West’s chile-laden, veggie-friendly menu spans all three

major meals with salads, sandwiches, and entrées, while the restaurant itself has hung onto its casual-hang vibe, which is a good thing any time of day.

HELEN’S GARDEN 2908 O’DONNELL ST., (410) 2762233, HELENSGARDEN.COM, $$ The setting at Helen’s Garden is whimsical and romantic. This O’Donnell Square fixture is a maze of quaint, tiny two-tops dotted by refined lamps and bud vases. The menu is tasteful and straightforward, offering items like pecan-crusted trout, but what the dishes lack in imagination they make up for in taste. Sunday brunch at Helen’s is always packed, and it still boasts Baltimore’s longest happy hour from 11:30 A.M. until 8 P . M . Tuesdays through Sundays. Seating at the sun-lit bar is usually limited, but the atmosphere and food make the wait worth it.

IXIA 518 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 727-1800, IXIA-ONLINE.COM, $$$ If there’s a prevailing accent at Ixia, we’ve never discerned it. Asian ingredients marry with French technique, and New American meets Old World. The eclectic food and equally eclectic décor don’t quite congeal into one particular theme or approach, but the creativity and flavor coming out of the kitchen and the soaring ceilings of the main dining room provide the necessary expansiveness to deal with that.

ROCKET TO VENUS 3360 CHESTNUT AVE., (410) 2357887, ROCKETTOVENUS.COM, $$ Remember when Hampden had little more than that pizza place with the gargantuan slices? Those days are long gone, partly because of Rocket to Venus, the retro-chic joint with the delicious Brussels sprouts—yeah, we said Brussels sprouts—and cornmealfried oysters. There are plenty of draft beers, a wine list that extends from Australia to Europe to California, a knack for large cocktails, plus a jukebox with artists ranging from G.G. Allin to the Jackson Five.


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

LIQUID EARTH

SASCHA’S 527 CAFÉ 527 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 539-8880, SASCHAS.COM, $$-$$$, High ceilings, moody lighting, and dramatic flower arrangements all work to give Sascha’s a romantic downtown vibe. Small plates like Baja tacos, shrimp and grits, and the perennial “mental greens” salad hold more interest than larger entrees. Desserts are a meal in themselves.

ZE MEAN BEAN CAFÉ 1739 FLEET ST., (410) 675-5999, ZEMEANBEAN.COM, $$-$$$ Dining at Ze Mean Bean can be pricey, but the Eastern European menu is unique, and the cozy interior is inviting. Because of the menu’s heavy reliance on former Soviet-bloc staples like potato cakes and goulash, Ze Bean is a good place to go for a filling winF R A N K H A M I LT O N

tertime meal. The maple pork with honey and horseradish is especially delectable. Not everything’s a hit, though; less adventurous palates should perhaps steer clear of the unfamiliar.

the combination samplers, which can include a tibs item and a wot (stew), plus veggies. Carnivores should definitely check out the minchet abesh, ground beef sizzled in ginger and garlic.

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1100 MARYLAND AVE., (410) 3850318, DUKEMRESTAURANT.COM, $-$$

903 S. ANN ST., (410) 342-4000, $

Luckily, pretty much the only E t h io p i a n d i n i n g o p t io n i n Baltimore is also dependable, affordable, and delicious. Large parties or bottomless stomachs can order multiple full-sized portions of the entrées, from tibs (cubed lamb marinated in a piquant sauce) to vegetarian fare, but solitary diners and the normal appetite can savor

lunch options, usually salads and a quiche or tart or two. Sandwiches are beautifully constructed, but can be a tad skimpy on meat. The coffee is excellent, while the service is courteous if a bit terse.

This Fells Point bakery boasts a surprisingly expansive dining area with additional al fresco dining (weather permitting). Pastries are excellent—one would be hardpressed to find a superior almond croissant—but Bonaparte also serves savory fare. A multitude of loaves and rolls of varying shapes, sizes, and crustiness are, of course, available, along with a selection of elegant sandwiches and light

1609 SULGRAVE AVE., (410) 5429000, CREPEDUJOUR.COM, $-$$ This charming Mount Washington crêperie offers a hearty dinner menu, but we prefer to stick to the affordable lunch menu. And the delicious lunch portions are more than succulent. The dessert crêpes are tasty, but the savory crêpes—featuring nicely balanced assortments of strong flavors such as bleu cheese with walnuts and mesclun or smoked salmon with cheese and tomato cream sauce— are divine.

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

Contact us today at www.sofiscrepes.com or call (410) 375-1036 508 Nicoll Ave • Baltimore, MD 21212


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

MARIE LOUIS BISTRO 904 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 385-9946, $$ The new enfant on the block in Baltimore’s once-dead, recently-resurrected, and now again foundering French food scene is a gift to us hoi polloi. Here you can scratch your French home cooking itch with well-executed and thankfully un-messed-with classics like a complex and deeply satisfying bouillabaisse, dense and herby beef bourguignon, or superb duck confit, and almost everything is well under $20. The onion soup is outstanding; sandwiches are hefty and come with excellently crispy fries. Avoid the wan tomato sandwich. The space is gorgeous and waitstaff, though perhaps not the most expert, are earnest and friendly.

PETIT LOUIS 4800 ROLAND AVE., (410) 366-9393, PETITLOUIS.COM, $$ The demise of Brasserie Tatin makes Petit Louis one of very few straightup French restaurants in the city. Fortunately, for Francophiles and foodies, this Roland Park entry in the Cindy Wolf/Tony Foreman restaurant empire has lots to offer. Appetizers and light plates like escargots, paté, foie gras, quiche, and, our fave, the crispy eggplant Napoleon with chevre, just scream “Vive la France!” The entrées offer pitch-perfect preparations of duck and seafood and the best steak frites in town.

HAWAIIAN

ROY’S 720 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 659-0099, ROYSRESTAURANT.COM, $$$ With so many fabulous local restaurants in Baltimore, we usually avoid chains, but we make an exception for Roy’s. Not only is it the only Hawaiian restaurant we know of in town, but the service makes it feel more like a hometown joint than one of nearly 40 restaurants worldwide. The Hawaiian dishes created by the chain’s chef/founder Roy Yamaguchi perfectly blend the sweet and the savory, melding Asian, American, and tropical flavors beautifully. And the attentive servers makes every diner feel like a VIP.

INDIAN AND NEPALESE

AKBAR 823 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 539-0944, AKBAR-RESTAURANT.COM, $$ Akbar has the feel of a secret place. It’s not, of course. The yellowish awning over the Mount Vernon basement space has been a fixture for more than 25 years. They know what they’re doing here: it’s quiet inside, elegant, almost, and the staff will make you feel like a regular even on your first trip. Keema naan to start (lamb-stuffed flatbread), then tandoori shrimp, and/or anything korma, with that rich coconut sauce that makes everything tender and smooth.

AMBASSADOR DINING ROOM 3811 CANTERBURY ROAD, (410) 3661484, AMBASSADORDININGROOM. COM, $$ The Ambassador Dining Room is one of few restaurants in the city that makes you feel like you’re dining at a pastoral estate. The tranquility of the restaurant is partly due to its Tuscany-Canterbury location. When the weather’s nice, the glass terrace doors are opened on to a well-kept garden. Far from pretentious, though, guests are a diverse set, dressed in everything from their Sunday best to jeans. The optimum time to go is on Sunday for brunch. Northern Indian treats like samosas are paired with brunch favorites and bottomless mimosas, all served buffet style.

INDIA RASOI

INDIGMA 802 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 605-1212, INDIGMARESTAURANT.COM, $$ What does modern, innovative Indian cooking taste like? A lot like what you’ll find at Indigma: open-face samosas, rich threecheese saag paneer, naan spiked with ginger. Portions can appear small, but their richness often makes them more than filling. The snug dining room with its swaths of red and gold fabric gets points for encouraging romance.

KABAB STOP 5719 FALLS ROAD, (410) 323-6060, KABAB-STOP.COM, $ This Mount Washington pit-stop offering simple, hearty Indian food is better for carry-out than a sit-down in its austere restaurant. Order containers of perfect jasmine rice, rich sauces, moist chicken and lamb, and foil-wrapped chewy naan. Entrées come with a fresh vegetable salad of chick peas, peppers, and onions—a nice accompaniment to the creamy sauces and tasty carbs.

KUMARI RESTAURANT AND BAR 911 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 547-1600, $$ Nepalese cuisine is supposed to be like a cross between Indian and Afghan—two other choices bountiful along this stretch of Charles Street. Kumari does most of its work in the tandoor, or creamilykormaed, very Indian style. The crispy breads are a real treat, and if the service can be a little slow, it’s always friendly. While you’re waiting, you can enjoy a beer and observe the street scene outside the big front window.

411 S. HIGH ST., (410) 385-4900, INDIA-RASOI.COM, $$

MEMSAHIB

Though the décor of this little rowhouse restaurant is a bit bland, that’s certainly no reflection of the food that comes out of the kitchen. Sauces are the hallmark of really good Indian food, and at this Little Italy mainstay rich, spicy masalas and vindaloos, and tangy chutneys and raitas dress tender cubes of chicken, beef, or lamb. Creamy, sweet kormas complement peas and veggie dumplings. And fiery curries bring out the best in fish and shrimp. A winner every time we visit.

If you’re in the Lexington Market area and need a break from the bustle of downtown, step into MemSahib. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported miles from the city streets and apocalypse cautioners outside when you enter the opulent, tranquil dining room of this Indian restaurant. The lunch buffet offers a wide variety of dishes from the usual chicken tikka masala to the unexpected, like stuffed okra. Definitely get the

400 W. LEXINGTON ST., (410) 5767777, MEMSAHIBRESTAURANT.COM, $$

kheer, rice pudding with cardamom and almonds for dessert.

MUGHAL GARDEN 918 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 547-0001, $-$$ One of many fine Indian restaurants in Mount Vernon, Mughal Garden doesn’t get much love. Sure the interior felt dated years ago, but if you’re going to eat the food instead of soak up the ambience, Mughal has a lot to recommend it. The lunch buffet, for example, offers a wider and more consistent variety than its competitors, ensuring that everyone in a large party—say the editorial staff of a newspaper—can find something delicious to eat.

IRISH

JAMES JOYCE IRISH PUB AND RESTAURANT 616 S. PRESIDENT ST., (410) 727-5107, THEJAMESJOYCEPUB.COM, $$ James Joyce provides the chance to score a proper pour of Guinness when you absolutely positively have to patronize this neck of the Inner Harbor’s woods. We’ve never tried any of the conventional dinner menu items—crab cakes, pork chops, and the like—but the Irish staples, such as fish and chips and a solid shepherd’s pie, are worth checking out.

LUCY’S 21 N. EUTAW ST., (410) 837-2100, LUCYSIRISHRESTAURANT.COM, $$$ Where Maggie Moore’s, which used to occupy this space, felt more like a pub with nice dining room attached, Lucy’s somehow feels more like a nice restaurant with a pub attached. Lucy’s menu offers an extensive selection of nouveau treats—sliders Irished up with Blarney cheese, seafood and pasta options, and even some small plates at the bar now—but the Irish selections sing, especially a gutbusting traditional Irish breakfast, good day or night.

SLAINTE IRISH PUB AND RESTAURANT 1700 THAMES ST., (410) 563-6600, SLAINTEPUB.COM, $$ This sprawling Fells Point spot has enough self-identity to avoid the Irish-pub-in-a-box trap. Sure, it’s self-consciously “Irish,” with

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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Authentic Spanish Cuisine for Over 40 Years

Reservations Recommended

£äÊ °ÊÀ>˜Žˆ˜Ê-Ì°ÊUÊ >Ìˆ“œÀiÊUÊ{£ä‡xΙ‡{ÈÇx

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E Celtic motifs and scripts painted hither and yon, but it’s not trying to fool you into thinking you’re getting drunk in front of Aunty Molly’s coal furnace. We go for the real football and rugby matches on the downstairs TVs, relaxing with real, honest-to-god Irish people (and our American pals), drinking expert pours of Guinness, and eating excellent sandwiches, burgers, and respectable, if a bit pricey, shepherd’s pie.

ITALIAN

ALDO’S 306 S. HIGH ST., (410) 727-0700, ALDOSITALY.COM, $$$ “Sophisticated” and Little Italy don’t always go together unless you’re dining at Aldo’s, and then do they ever. The menu is over the top—tournedos Rossini with seared Hudson Valley foie gras and Italian black truffle and porcini mushroom sauce; butter-poached lobster risotto deglazed with Highland scotch—as are the prices, and the wine list is packed with big name Italian (and American) bottles. If your pockets are deep and your palate is willing, a feast awaits.

AMICCI’S OF LITTLE ITALY 231 S. HIGH ST., (410) 528-1096, AMICCIS.COM, $$ Sometimes you just gotta have Italian food. Lucky for us in these difficult economic times there’s Amicci’s, a no-frills, moderately priced Italian comfort-food wonder palace with entrées two to three dollars cheaper than the neighbors. We’ve gushed over the appetizer pane rotundo, a bread bowl filled with seafood and sauce, ad nauseam. Why not try the luscious eggplant parmigiana along with one of Amicci’s reasonably priced glasses of wine?

CAFÉ GIA 410 S. HIGH ST., (410) 685-6727, ITALIANRESTAURANTBALTIMORE. COM, $$ If there’s a warmer, cozier spot in Little Italy, we haven’t found it yet. Gia Blatterman-Fugate’s café on the corner of High Street and Eastern Avenue offers hearty Sicilian fare at very reasonable prices (and you can bring your own bottle, $5 corkRARAH

M AND J’S SOUL FOOD

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Enough said, go for the best! “Baltimore’s Best Shrimp Salad” -City Paper, B Mag, Sun

“Baltimore’s Best Soft Crab & Crab Fluff” - Sun

“Baltimore’s Coldest Beer”

Kibby’s -City Paper

Magnifique

Restaurant & Lounge Banquet Hall, Catering & Private Party Room Available Hours: Sun - Thur 11am-11pm, Fri - Sat 11am - 2am

904 N. CHARLES STREET, BALTIMORE, MD 21201 phone: 410.385.9946 fax: 410.385.9958

3450 Wilkens Ave. 410 644 8716

o f H a nd n C io

d Ales fte ra

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Baltimore’s Oldest Brew Pub Is Getting A Brand New Look

Reopening: March 2009

Pratt St. Ale House

206 W. Pratt St. • Baltimore, MD 21201 • 410-244-8900 • prattstreetalehouse.com 36

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E age fee). Pasta entrees like ravioli positano or homemade gnocchi impress more than starters, but be sure to save room for homemade cannolis flecked with lemon zest.

the formidable menu devoted to gourmet versions of staples like lasagna and spaghetti-and-red, but the timid miss out.

CINGHIALE

FRANK’S PIZZA AND PASTA

822 LANCASTER ST., (410) 547-8282, CINGHIALE-OSTERIA.COM, $$-$$$

6620 BELAIR ROAD, (410) 254-2900, FRANKSPIZZAANDPASTA.COM, $-$$.

Just a few blocks from the largely Southern Italian stylings of Little Italy sits Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf’s upscale Northern Italian culinary extravaganza. Physically divided into a bistro-like enoteca and a more formal osteria (plus a handsome bar area), the restaurant dishes the same excellent fare throughout, serving up choice charcuterie, pastas, and one of the most adroit and flavorful entrée line-ups in town, changing seasonally, but rife with rich ingredients and the occasional game item. There’s a section of

Situated in an Overlea strip mall, Frank’s doesn’t look like much from the outside (the inside is no designer’s delight either), but the food and neighborly service make you want to linger anyway. Thincrust pizzas and chubby meatball subs bring out the kid in us, but don’t overlook homemade pastas, especially ones featuring seafood, like linguini a la pescatore or the crab-based pasta a la Felice. You order from the counter, eat on paper plates, and BYOB.

GRANO PASTA BAR 1031 W. 36TH ST., (443) 869-3429, GRANOPASTABARUS.COM, $$ Grano, a tiny pasta bar that opened in Hampden last year, does pretty much one thing, but it does it well. Choose a pasta, choose a sauce, start eating. Simple, unpretentious, it is what it is and it does what it does. Seats are limited, so it gets a little full, but the employees are friendly enough to make the wait worthwhile.

SOTTO SOPRA 405 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 625-0534, SOTTOSOPRAINC.COM, $$$ We enjoy Little Italy, but when we’re looking for a fancy Italian meal, we often end up in midtown at Sotto Sopra. The swank, dimly lit dining room instantaneously makes a meal romantic, the offerings are inventive—we love the duck-stuffed ravioli—and even

classic fare is always a step above: The mussels in a simple but flavorful white wine sauce might be the best we’ve ever had. Now, if only we could figure out the mural on the dining room wall.

VACCARO’S ITALIAN PASTRY SHOP 2919 O’DONNELL ST., (410) 276-4744; 222 ALBEMARLE ST., (410) 685-4905; VACCAROSPASTRY.COM, $ The charm of the Little Italy Vaccaro’s on a hot night is undeniable, especially if the old men are out playing bocce ball or Cinema Paradiso is being projected on the wall across the way. What its Canton counterpart lacks in old-world appeal it makes up for in modernity. Sleek and brightly lit, the O’Donnell Street Vaccaro’s is contemporary and actually big enough for you to not only sit down in, but see the entire pastry and gelato case.

METROPOLITAN COFFEE HOUSE AND WINE BAR CHRISTOPHER MYERS

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BRICK OVEN PIZZA Sushi Now Being Served!

HAPPY HOUR MON-FRI 5-7PM Late Night Menu Served Until 1am Friday & Saturday 1300 Bank Street Baltimore • 410.327.7835 In The Holland Tack Factory kapowgroup.com

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“Best Pizza” - City Paper Readers’ Poll

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PIZZA BY THE SLICE • CORPORATE DELIVERY • OPEN 7 DAYS OPEN LATE NIGHT TIL 3AM FRIDAY & SATURDAY 800 S. BROADWAY • 410.563.1600 • WWW.BOPPIZZA.COM

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$30 Economy Buster Menu Wednesdays $1 Crabs All Night!

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Dedicated to Excellence since 1974 6526 Holabird Avenue - Baltimore, MD • P 410.633.4040 • F 410.633.5139 38

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

CURB SHOPPE BAR AND GRILL

JAPANESE

ALOHA SUSHI 1218 N. CHARLES ST., (443) 759-8531, $-$$ Everything about Aloha Sushi is just right. Central Mount Vernon location? Check. Out the door tipsy and full for $30 (for a couple)? Check. Fresh and plentiful fish? Check. The generally quiet dining room is dressed simply with spare Asian décor, service is without fail friendly and prompt, and with a $1 sushi menu and most other items falling in the less-than-$10 range, the food is pleasantly affordable. Sushi is subject to individual taste, but we could nosh on buttery yellowtail nigiri until our stomachs rupture; ditto for the small elegant crispy rolls drizzled with pop-inyour-mouth beads of roe.

JEFFERSON JACKSON STEELE

FAMOUS YAKITORI ONE

MATSURI

2101 MARYLAND AVE., (410) 3321100, $

1105 S. CHARLES ST., (410) 752-8561, MASTURI.US, $$

Baltimore has long needed a place like this: a Japanese restaurant that eschews sushi for cheap and delicious national dishes. Famous Yakitori One delivers with a variety of yakitori from traditional flavors like chicken gizzard to nouveau offerings like avocado wrapped in bacon. The ramen is flavorful and will make you forget all about Cup O’ Noodles. We haven’t tried the okonomiyaki (a savory pancake that we’ve only had in Japan), but we can’t wait. The friendly and attentive service and the cool subterranean dining room make this a place where we could see becoming regulars.

No matter how many fancy new places with rotating sushi bars or specialty cocktails open in town, we gravitate to Matsuri when we get that raw-fish yen. But there’s more to Matsuri than fresh, flavorful sashimi, sushi, and stunt rolls—there are also plenty of outstanding Japanese noodle dishes, sobas, soups, donburis, and even some teriyakis on the menu. And if you want a little taste of everything, order a bento box—sushi, daily appetizer special, teriyaki, and tempura.

MINATO 1013 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 332-0332, MINATOSUSHIBAR.COM, $$ Minato had a place in the little nub of wasabi we call a heart long be-

fore it moved into its stylish digs just south of Chase Street. Owner Alex Tran and his crack staff make diners feel like part of the family. The fish is fresh and sumptuous, the stunt rolls are inventive, masterfully combining flavors like the tsunami rolls with spicy tuna and avocado inside and mango outside, and the non-sushi entrees like pho, soba, udon, katsu, tempura, and don are hearty and thoroughly enjoyable.

SUSHI HANA 6080 FALLS ROAD, (410) 377-4228, SUSHIHANABALTIMORE.COM; 6 E. PENNSYLVANIA AVE., TOWSON, (410) 823-0372, SUSHIHANATOWSON, $$ Both Sushi Hana’s original Towson Circle location and its newer venture behind the Lake Falls Village Center in Mount Washington have much to recommend them,

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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EAT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G G U I D E

FOR

MER

LY D I Z ZY ISSIES

A special little place...where different worlds come together Best Neighborhood Bar -City Paper ‘05

••••••••••••••••• Best Turkey Club -City Paper ‘04

••••••••••••••••• Best of Winner -Baltimore Mag. ‘06

300 West 30th Street 443-869-5864 thedizzbaltimore.com 40

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

L.P. STEAMERS

though we’ve become partial to the Baltimore location for its more modern interior, ample parking, and not-in-Towson-ness. At either location you’ll find some of the freshest tastiest fish in the area with myriad stunt rolls—the list covers the front and back of a page and it’s not large type. And the sushi combination specials are reasonably priced and come with soup, salad, and a generous offering of fish.

KOREAN

JOUNG KAK 18 W. 20TH ST., (410) 837-5231, $$ Its partisans will tell you this is the best Korean restaurant in Baltimore City, and with all due respect to the competition, they may be right. It doesn’t hurt that in addition to the typical hot pots and so on, Joung Kak offers the Korean staple that is table-top

grilling, wherein you cook your own from a panoply of proteins. We suggest a sizeable party and big appetites.

NAM KANG 2126 MARYLAND AVE., (410) 6856237, $$ Down those narrow, unprepossessing steps lies deliciousness at nearly any time of day or night. The basement space that contains Baltimore’s longest-running Korean restaurant has received some sprucing up in recent years, but the reasons to patronize remain the same: a panoply of Asian soul food (plus some Chinese entrees and sushi) served up hot and sour till 4 A.M. Noodle dishes, hot pots, dumplings, crêpes, banchan. All good.

SHIN CHON 8801 BALTIMORE NATIONAL PIKE, ELLICOTT CITY, (410) 461-3280, $$ Traveling on 40 West into Howard JEFFERSON JACKSON STEELE


“best wine bar” “best restaurant” “best wine list” - city paper 2008

- baltimore magazine 2006, 2007, 2008

- baltimore magazine reader’s poll, 2008

C a s u a l Fa r e M e n u $ 6 - $ 1 8 “2 & 3 @ 5” Happy Hour, Mon-Thu 5-7p Neighborhood Night Every Monday Food/Wine Tastings start at $29pp

Dinner: Nightly Lunch: Tue-Fri Brunch: Sunday 912 E. Fort Ave | Baltimore 21230 | 410.244.6166 The-wine-market.com

THE BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Zagats ‘06 • City Paper ‘06 • Baltimore Magazine ‘06 Style Magazine ‘06 • Baltimore Guide ‘06

BEST COURTYARD

BEST MARGARITAS

BEST LATIN

City Paper ‘05 & ‘06 City Paper ‘06

City Paper ‘05, ‘07 & ‘08

Photos by: Beverlee

Mexican Restaurant & Bar 129 S. Broadway at Pratt St Fells Point • 410-522-4777 www.restaurantearcos.com CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E THAI ARROY

County, you may notice something unusual—Asians, everywhere— which means you’re probably in Ellicott City. As logic would dictate, there are lots of good Asian restaurants here, too, including Shin Chon, far and away the best Korean barbecue restaurant north of 495. Glistening fresh meats are expertly marinated, neatly trimmed, and served with not only numerous, high-quality banchan (the true test of a Korean place), but also with drool-inducing fermented soybean stew, an often overlooked touch of authenticity. Beware Sunday afternoons, as startlingly aggressive post-church diners vie for parking and tables.

LATIN

ARCOS RESTAURANT AND BAR 129 S. BROADWAY, (410) 522-4777, ARCOSRESTAURANTE.COM, $$ Because there’s no dearth of quality Mexican restaurants in Fells Point, it can be difficult to pick a favorite. Arcos can seem pricey compared to its area competitors, but it proves worth the added expense. This is especially true if you can dine in their courtyard, which has the atmosphere of an eatery in Rosarito Beach. The menu is diverse and includes a selection of traditional seafood dishes like camarones al ajillo.

CHICKEN RICO 3728 EASTERN AVE., (410) 522-2950, $ Hands down the best Peruvian chicken in Baltimore, possibly in Maryland. We’ve sampled the stuff at dozens of places from here to D.C., and none can match Chicken Rico’s consistently moist meat (even the white meat is always juicy), savory, pervasive spice rub, and smoky, lightly charred skin. Even their version of the essential “green sauce” (spicy pepper and cilantro) is vastly superior. Daily specials feature more homestyle dishes like ceviche and cau cau (stewed tripe), but trust us, get some chicken with a side of corn and fried rice. You’re welcome in advance.

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FRANK KLEIN


Great Food & Good Friends! SPECIALIZING IN

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RESTAURANTE EL TROVADOR

Aw a r d Wi n n i n g F i n e M e x i c a n A n d S a lv a d o r a n

TRY OUR PLATO El TROVADOR & CHIPOTLE FAJITAS The Critics Have Spoken:

ZAGAT RATED 2007 BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT -Baltimore Magazine -AOL Cityguide -City Search

EAT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G G U I D E

EL TORITO MEXICAN RESTAURANT 110 W. MULBERRY ST., (410) 2447072, ELTORITO.COM, $ A tidy place with ample dining space that serves really, really good, reasonably authentic Mexican right in Mount Vernon. El Torito is located on a block that doesn’t get a ton of foot traffic, but take the extra few steps and be rewarded with great food and warm, friendly service. The fried whole fish is excellent, crisp and juicy. Dinner platters are enormous, and the homemade sauces here are particularly good. Anything with chorizo is outstanding, tacos are available with myriad meat fillings, and fruit smoothies make for a nice dessert.

EL TROVADOR 318 S. BROADWAY, (410) 276-6200, ELTROVADORRESTAURANT.COM, $-$$

310 South Broadway • Fells Point (Between Bank & Gough St.) 410-276-6200 www.eltrovadorrestaurant.com • www.restauranteeltrovador.com Convenient parking around the corner on Bank St.

Taste the Áavor. Feel the Àre.

El Trovador’s spacious dining room, friendly waitstaff, and great food are the best reason we can think of to visit Fells Point. The tangy orange-colored salsa is a cut above thanks to the secret ingredient (is it radish? carrot?). Don’t miss the pupusas, which come with the aforementioned salsa and cabbage, the platanos con crema (lightly fried plantains with refried beans and sour cream), and the tamal de elote (steamed corn tamale).

HOLY FRIJOLES! 908 W. 36TH ST., (410) 235-2326, $

“THE FOOD FEELS FRESHLY CONSIDERED, AND THE PRESENTATIONS, WHICH ARE PRECISE BUT NOT PRECIOUS, ELEVATE THE EXPERIENCE” -City Paper

Happy Hour 5:30-7:30 M-F Sample our martini selection

800 N. Charles St. • 410.528.8737 www.mythaibaltimore.com 44

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Sushi Bar

Friendly Hampden spot Holy Frijoles! has recently added some new menu items, like a stuffed red bell pepper, but we always order the same thing: tacos. They are delish whether filled with ground beef like mom used to make, salty pork, shredded beef, grilled chicken, or black beans, in a hard corn shell or soft flour tortillas. If tacos aren’t your thing, order burritos or quesadillas and be sure to get a side of guacamole and some margaritas making every meal mucho mejor.

LA SIRENITA RESTAURANTE II 3928 EASTERN AVE., (410) 5225055, $$ Perched right on the border of Highlandtown and Greektown, La Sirenita was one of the first

restaurants in Baltimore to serve food that was less Tex and more Mex and it’s still trucking. As the name indicates (“the Little Mermaid,” awww!) seafood is the star here, mostly in the form of shrimp dishes. Also available are sopes, chilaquiles, tortas, even cordoniz frita (fried quail)—the menu is helpfully illustrated with photos for the uninitiated. Service is fast and friendly and the language barrier usually isn’t an issue.

LOS AMIGOS 5506 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4444220, LOSAMIGOSBALTIMORE.COM, $$ Straight-up Tex-Mex (and some Peruvian) belly-filling fare with consistently above-average quality and preparation. The service is very friendly, and the margaritas are decent. Los Amigos’ homemade salsa is very good. The menu is delineated into numbered options, with dinner platters consisting of variations on your standard burrito/taco/ enchilada type combinations. Tamales here are also pretty good, and come in either red (pork) or green (chicken) varieties.

MARI LUNA LATIN GRILLE 1010 REISTERSTOWN ROAD, PIKESVILLE, (410) 653-5151, MARILUNA.COM, $$ Think of Mari Luna Latin Grille, the newest venture from chef/ owner Jaime Luna, as the worldly, sophisticated sister of Luna’s popular Mari Luna Mexican Grill. The Latin Grille’s menu pulls from all over South and Central America, offering empanadas and yucca fries, tangy ropa vieja, and some of the best local paella we’ve eaten. The sleek, contemporary dining room makes you forget the restaurant is part of a suburban strip.

NACHO MAMA’S 2907 O’DONNELL ST., (410) 6750898, NACHOMAMASCANTON.COM, $$ Crammed with Elvis, Colts, and Boh memorabilia, Nacho Mama’s puts a unique personal spin on Tex-Mex. Quesadillas contain crab, smoked gouda, and roasted pepper, while fish tacos are made with tuna and roasted garlic. Chili authentico is


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Now taking reservations by phone or even better, on our website: www.donnas.com Cross Keys 410.532.7611 Charles Village 410.889.3410 Columbia 410.465.2399 Mt. Vernon 410.385.0180 CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E dark, deep, smoky, chocolate-y almost, with hunks of tender beef served in a fried tortilla bowl, as is the excellent fresh guacamole. The kitchen reaches a bit higher on the list of daily specials, which are often littered with wry Steelers jabs. Not to mention the delicious margaritas served in a hubcap.

TORTILLERIA SINALOA 1716 EASTERN AVE., (410) 276-3741, $ A bright and colorful counter serving tacos made with two handmade corn tortillas stuffed with spiced chicken, pork, tongue, beef, fish, or goat, plus fresh parsley and mild white onion. Squeeze some lime, a dash of salt, and a bit of red or green hot sauces, and a swipe of the tiny side of guacamole. This tortilleria never disappoints for lunch or an early dinner, and also sells meat and tortillas in bulk for a fiesta at home.

MEDITERRANEAN

BLACK OLIVE 814 S. BOND ST., (410) 276-7141, THEBLACKOLIVE.COM, $$-$$$ Fells Point Greek restaurant Black Olive is serious about fish. So serious that dining there includes a tour of the seafood case with your server explaining each item with the kind of detailed flavor analysis usually reserved for wine. We love the stuffed baby calamari and the grilled octopus salad to start, both so wonderfully tender you’ll rue the rubbery iterations you’ve had elsewhere. Then it’s right on to a whole prepared fish—whichever one our waiter looks most rapturous when describing. They’ve never steered us wrong.

HILLTOP CARRY-OUT 600 E. FORT AVE., (410) 752-1971, HILLTOPCARRYOUT.COM, $

PAZO

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EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

What separates this otherwise unremarkable south Baltimore pizza and sub shop are it’s late-night hours, and the gargantuan and delicious gyro that is served here. The thing is massive to the point of impeding the eating process, always steaming hot and oozing with tzatziki and gyro meat grease, which is good for dripping onto the attendant hot and crisp fries. The perfect recharge, or preventative measure, if you’re out drinking in Federal Hill or Locust Point. RARAH


“American Cuisine!” Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Gay Street Food Emporium 239 NORTH GAY STREET • BALTIMORE 21202

410.244.5616

OPEN: MON-FRI 7:00AM-6:00PM

Enjoy the Royal Nepalese Experience Open 7 Days a Week | BYOB Lunch Buffet: 11am - 2:30pm 15-18 Items Featured Dinner: Sun-Thu 5-10pm Fri & Sat 5-11pm

N E PA L E S E & I N D I A N C U I S I N E Delivery, Carry Out & Catering Available 322 N. Charles St. Baltimore | 410-244-5556 | Fax: 410.244.5551 WWW. LUMBINIRESTAURANT.COM CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • C IT Y PA PER’S DINING G UID E

El T orito Mexican Restaurant

AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE

110 W.MULBERRY ST., BALTIMORE, MD 21201 • 410.244.7072

HRS. MON. - WED. 10:30AM - 8PM THURS. - SAT. 10:30AM - 9PM

Gift cards available! 14 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD – 410-321-1880 View our menu online at burgerbrosburgers.com Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-8pm

“Baltimore’s Best Deli 20 Years in a Row” PETIT LOUIS

-City Paper, 1987-2007

Since 1915

KALI’S COURT RESTAURANT 1606 THAMES ST., (410) 276-4700, KALISCOURT.COM, $$-$$$

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Join Us For Lunch In Stuart Attman’s Famous Kibbitz Room!

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This Mediterranean small plates restaurant is part of the Kali’s Court restaurant mini-empire and, like all the restaurants in this group, shows an attention to detail that is impressive. From the

The old Miss Irene’s was a rundown dive filled with artists, tradesmen, waitresses, drunks, and people who rode their motorcycles too fast. A night there promised good conversation, a cold (and occasionally frozen) beer, and maybe a thrown punch. It was a wonderful place, but the bar was bought, remodeled, and reopened under the same name. Miss Irene’s now serves pricey entrees with an emphasis on

“H

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-Southern Living Magazine

• Free Parking • Open 7 Days • Catering for any Occasion

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1606 THAMES ST., (410) 563-7600, KALISMEZZE.COM, $$

1738 THAMES ST., (410) 558-0033, MISSIRENESBALTIMORE.COM, $$$

-Washington Magazine

• Rated Best in the World

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KALI’S MEZZE

MISS IRENE’S

• Best Pastrami • Best Hot Dog • Best Chopped Liver • Rated Best Deli South of New York

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It seems you can’t venture south of Fleet Street these days without running into a veal reduction here or a tomato coulis there, which is one of the many reasons its worth revisiting Kali’s Court. Elegant dining with an ambitious menu has been the hallmark of this Thames Street spot since Harbor East was mostly bus parking, and the kitchen continues to turn out fine seafood with a Mediterranean accent and more.

lovely upstairs dining room to the broad menu, everything here feels carefully thought out to create a blissful dining experience. As for what to eat, we love the goatcheese-stuffed red peppers, the beef moussaka, and the heavenly tarama dip, but the small plate format encourages trying new dishes on every visit.

1019 E. Lombard St. • Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: 410-563-2666 Fax: 410-563-0222 www.attmansdeli.com CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E seafood, slightly less pricey small plates, and more wine crosses the bar than Natty Boh. As nostalgic for the old place as we may be, the saffron risotto was excellent.

NEVER ON SUNDAY 829 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 727-7191, $ We’re sure you’re familiar with the subs, sandwiches, pizza, and other run-of-the-mill carry-out fare available at Never on Sunday. But it’s the Greek specialties, such as the souvlaki, gyros, spinach pie, dolmathes, and taramosalata, that make it such an appealing place to stop for a bite to eat. The gyros are deliciously filling—and a total bargain at $5.95—and the Greek appetizer sampler, with eggplant salad, kafteri, taramosalata, and tzatziki with pita bread, is a tangy treat.

SAMOS RESTAURANT 600 OLDHAM ST., (410) 675-5292, SAMOSRESTAURANT.COM, $ If there’s a time when Samos isn’t crowded, we haven’t found it. And why shouldn’t this Greektown eatery constantly be busy when the food is so tasty and prices so reasonable? There’s no fancy atmosphere here just creamy taramosalata, perfectly grilled octopus, and messy juicy souvlaki pita sandwiches. Be prepared to wait.

MIDDLE EASTERN

AMER’S CAFÉ 7624 BELAIR ROAD, BELAIR BELTWAY PLAZA, NOTTINGHAM, (410) 6685100, AMERSCAFE.COM, $-$$ A m e r ’s C a f é o f f e r s g r e a t Mediterranean/Egyptian food served in a warm family-friendly atmosphere. Family run and overflowing with personality, it serves up some of the best wood-oven pizza in the area. Try Amer’s specialty pizza with pesto sauce and fresh- roasted vegetables. The dips (hummus, foul, or baba ganouj), served with Amer’s out-of-thisworld homemade pita, are a great excuse to spoil your supper. Go for the great food and eat slowly for the belly dancers, who appear on Friday and Saturday nights.

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BABA’S MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN

chicken shawarma, kibbeh, lebneh, and hummus bel foole as small plates to share.

745 E. FORT AVE., (410) 727-7482, BABASKITCHEN.NET, $

ORCHARD MARKET AND CAFÉ

Baba’s may offer caprese salad and Italian-style pita pizzas, but the majority of food here is Middle Eastern: creamy, smoky baba ganouj, and fragrantly spicy kafta/beef burgers. The handsome Locust Point storefront is small to be sure, and carry-out business is heavy, but if you’ve been making due with hummus and dolmades from Trader Joe’s (and even if you haven’t), Farid Salloum’s food will be a revelation, and an inexpensive one at that. BYOB.

8815 ORCHARD TREE LANE, TOWSON, (410) 339-7700, ORCHARDMARKET ANDCAFE.COM, $$

THE DESERT CAFÉ 1605 SULGRAVE AVE., (410) 367 5808, THEDESERTCAFE.COM, $-$$ This charming little Middle Eastern restaurant features friendly service and affordable food with an intimate atmosphere. The entrees haven’t blown us away, but there are so many good appetizers— hummus, baba ganouj, dolmades, falafel, plus soups and salads—it’s easy to order two or three of them and call it a meal. For dessert, you can go with the Desert’s chocolate or cheese cakes, but it’s worth taking a stroll to the créperie next door.

THE HELMAND 806 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 752-0311, HELMAND.COM, $$ Seriously, is there a more perfect restaurant than the Helmand? This Afghan restaurant has it all: delicious fare whether or not you eat meat, an atmosphere romantic enough for a date, but comfortable enough for a pre-night-out dinner with friends, and prices that mean you never have to wait for a special occasion to pull up a chair. The menu is full of delicacies, but we rarely get further than the smooth and savory vegetarian aushak and some of the perfect pumpkin appetizer.

LEBANESE TAVERNA 719 S. PRESIDENT ST., (410) 244-5533, LEBANESETAVERNA.COM, $$-$$$ One of Baltimore’s prettiest dining rooms, Lebanese Taverna’s food belies the fact that the restaurant is a regional chain. Entrees like sharhat ghanam (grilled lamb loin) please, but we prefer ordering classics like

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

Tucked away near the rear of an unpromising-looking suburban strip mall lies fine Persian cuisine. The dining room is surprisingly pleasant and date-ready, given the storefront space, but the food needs no qualifying: flavorful Persian stews and hearty grilled kabob favorites, augmented by both Middle Eastern standards and the occasional updated touch. Try the savory grilled koobiedeh or anything in the traditional walnutpomegranate sauce.

ZACHI CAFÉ AND GOURMET MARKET 237-239 W. READ ST., (410) 462-6200, $ This Middle Eastern café is a recent addition to the Mount Vernon foodscape, and seems to be developing a regular lunch crowd. The room is bright and decorated with warm colors and modern tables, and service is prompt. The sandwiches, which feature typical Middle Eastern flavors of falafel, kofta, olive, cucumber, chick pea, and tomato, are served in two small, well-stuffed pitas, and come with a side of chips. Zachi also serves delicious homemade pastries and baked goods—anything with walnuts and honey works for us—and good coffee, too.

PIZZA

ANGELO’S CARRY-OUT 3600 KESWICK ROAD, (410) 2352595, ANGELOSHAMPDEN.COM, $ Best pizza in Hampden with huge delicious slices, regular-sized ones, and large, New York-style pizza pies made with pride for generations. Angelo’s light touch with a spicy sauce that’s not too sweet, melty mozzarella, and mushrooms and sliced sausage, onions and pepperoni, Canadian bacon and peppers, or whatever combo of toppings you roll with results in really good eating, whether you’re dining in with a giant slice or taking a boxed pie home.

IGGIES 818 N. CALVERT ST., (410) 528-0818, IGGIESPIZZA.COM, $ We’d love Iggies even if it was just a plain old high-end, we-give-adamn thin-crust pizza emporium—the pies are artful mixes of traditional and modern (the roasted duck is a peak experience)— but there’s nothing plain about Iggies. It is resolutely funky, from its dog-friendly disposition to its self-service aesthetic. Bring your own booze if you like, there’s no cork fee or anything pretentious like that. And your tips all go to local direct-service charities.

JOE SQUARED 133 W. NORTH AVE., (410) 545-0444, JOESQUARED.COM, $$ Yes, they serve an eclectic mix of risottos, pastas, and appetizers here, but it’s really the pizza that’s the thing at Joe Squared. Thin-crust gourmet pies with fresh toppings like buffalo-milk mozzarella, crab, corn, apples, and barbecue chicken steal the show. Our favorite is the flag pizza, super-thin crust pie divided into three distinct sections— one with traditional red sauce and parmagian, romano, and mozzarella, one with pesto and fresh mozzarella, and one with garlic sauce, fresh mozz, and cheddar. These are the kind of gourmet pizzas one has dreams about.

MATTHEW’S PIZZA 3131 EASTERN AVE., (410) 276-8755, MATTHEWSPIZZA.COM, $-$$ There are pizza joints—places for a greasy slice of pepperoni—and they’re a dime a dozen. Then there are places where they raise the pizza to an art form, and around here that’s Matthew’s Pizza—which was churning out quality pie long before gourmet pizza shops started popping up all over town. The crab pizza with Old Bay is a particular favorite.

PIZZERIA SPERANZA 222 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 752-1000, PIZZERIASPERANZA.COM, $$ Pizzeria Speranza, the New Yorkstyle pizzeria in the Charles Center almost no one outside of the downtown area knows about, is the closest you’ll get around here to the NY/NJ trifecta: fresh, salty mozzarella, sweet sauce, and thin crust—the kind of pizza that folds


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CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E easily in the hand, with edges that are puffy, not doughy. You can eat there, or get it delivered. They have a ton of toppings, from sausage to pineapple to garlic to god-knowswhy jalapeno poppers, but we go for the simple cheese pie.

ZELLA’S PIZZERIA 1145 HOLLINS ST., (410) 685-6999, ZELLASPIZZERIA.COM, $$ Zella’s is a SoWeBo haven, a pizza/ art gallery oasis in an area where non-chicken/lake trout/GI tract disintegrating Chinese food items are pretty much limited to Safeway. There’s a handful of sandwiches on the menu, but we’re mainly talking about pie here, yummy, yummy pie. The crust, chewy and tasty while somehow immune to sogginess, is aces, and you get a range of options above and beyond most pizza joints, from subbing traditional pizza sauce for pesto or roasted red pepper sauce to highend toppings like portabella mushrooms and roasted eggplant. Dare say Zella’s is even worth the trip for non-neighborhood folk.

PUB GRUB

CURB SHOPPE BAR AND GRILL 5736 FALLS ROAD, (410) 433-8299, CURBSHOPPE.COM, $ This neighborhood pub serves juicy hamburgers with cheese and/or bacon on a sesame seed bun that go so well with a domestic draft and watching the game on the floating flat screens, that we’ve had little else here, save a little plate of fun from the free Friday happy hour buffet. But they also serve fried poppers, chicken strips, and cheese in plastic baskets, cold and hot sandwiches and subs, hot platters of meat served with fries, wings, chili, and salads.

THE DIZZ 300 W. 30TH ST., (410) 235-0171, $-$$. When Dizzy Issie’s closed last year and reopened as the Dizz, folks wondered if there would be many changes in this Remington institution. Aside from a slightly new name, a fresh coat of paint, and a good cleaning, the place is the same—which is not a bad thing. It still offers ace soups, cheap but good burgers, and a rotating list of old-fashioned entrées, written up

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daily in the familiar loopy handwriting. The upstairs pool table has disappeared, creating more dining space and making eating upstairs feel less like exile.

DUDA’S TAVERN 1600 THAMES ST., (410) 276-9719, $$ With the constant upheaval and gentrification in the neighborhood, a trip to Duda’s is getting to feel like a journey to disappearing Fells Point. The narrow, corner bar is locally famous for its excellent steamed shrimp, massive burgers, and generally superior pub grub. And then there’s the ghost—Doc, a seaman who used to live upstairs when Duda’s was a hotel. We don’t know if it’s the supernatural draw, the food, or the line of great beers on tap, but you might have to wait a few minutes to get an outside table.

HAMILTON TAVERN 5517 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4261930, HAMILTONTAVERN.COM, $ If 2008 was the year Baltimoreans re-learned where Hamilton is, it was in no small part due to the success of Tom Creegan’s Hamilton Tavern. The tavern’s crosstown burger, made with Roseda Farms beef and served with horseradish, cheddar, and bacon and/or a fried egg is worth crossing town for, as are the house-made potato chips and Boh-battered onion rings. Tap selections change regularly. Dine early in order to snag a table and hear your partner’s sparkling conversation.

IBAR 2118 MARYLAND AVE., (410) 6373089, IBARBALT.COM, $ We came to iBar for the $4 hamburgers on Thursday nights, but the burgers usually hit normal burger prices once we start piling on toppings (like cheese), so it’s not quite the deal it seems to be. We come back for the Buffalo wings, bright orange things served in a mound that looks like it’s been cooked in the heart of Chernobyl, tasty and dangerous (and half price on Wednesdays). Beyond that expect the usual bar food and a cozy, friendly atmosphere that belies both its proximity to the Station North Arts District and its downmarket Maryland Avenue digs.

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

KOCO’S PUB 4301 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4263519, KOCOSPUB.COM, $-$$, With its bright yellow paint job, curvy blue cursive logo, and giant painted parrot, it’s hard to miss Koco’s Pub on Harford Road. But there’s another reason folks flock here: the giant lump crab cakes. The rest of the menu is mostly traditional bar food, but don’t overlook the spicy wings and substantial hamburger. Kids have a menu and play corner to themselves.

MAGERK’S PUB AND GRILL 1061 S. CHARLES ST., (410) 576-9230, MAGERKS.COM, $ Not surprisingly the menu in this Federal Hill spot is mostly typical bar fare— wings, wraps, and the like—but MaGerk’s takes its cheesesteaks quite seriously. It imports special Philadelphia cheesesteak rolls with just enough chew and elasticity. The steak within is perhaps more moist than that found in the original, but that’s no complaint. Combined with fried onions and the traditional Cheez Whiz, the subs are an incredibly unctuous, gooey cylinder of Philly-style goodness, a total steal at $4 on Thursday nights.

MOTHER’S FEDERAL HILL GRILLE 1113 S. CHARLES ST., (410) 244-8686, MOTHERSGRILLE.COM, $-$$ Mother’s seems to do a booming business in pouring for Federal Hill imbibers and Ravens tailgaters, but the recently expanded spot also boasts a kitchen serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to typical pitcher accompaniments like boardwalk fries and mozzarella sticks, the huge menu features chipotle ahi tuna and trendy kobe beef sliders alongside a full compliment of salads, sandwiches, entrees, etc. Homemade ice cream for dessert, too.

OWL BAR AND GRILL 1 E. CHASE ST., (410) 347-0888, THEOWLBAR.COM, $-$$ The Owl Bar, on the first floor of the Belvedere Hotel, is a good place to take out-of-towners, and once you get done with the days-gone-by celebrity pictures in the entrance hallway, explaining the significance of the owl statue above the

bar, and wondering where the last stanza of the poem across the stained glass went to (hint: check the menu), the food is pretty good. The menu is varied, ranging from enormous paninis to brick-oven pizzas to pan-seared ahi tuna.

RUSSIAN

VERNISAGE 1004 REISTERSTOWN ROAD, PIKESVILLE, (410) 484-7701, $$-$$$ With its glass chandeliers and disco ball, Vernisage is perpetually dressed for a party whether or not one is booked for the evening. But if you want to try authentic Russian food, this Pikesville restaurant is the place. The food is hearty, but not unpleasantly heavy, and portions are meant to be shared. Don’t miss the homestyle potatoes sautéed with mushrooms, flaky, cheesefilled khachapuri, tortellini-like Siberian pelmeni, and authentic beef Stroganoff.

SEAFOOD

BLUE SEA GRILL 614 WATER ST., (410) 837-7300, BLUESEAGRILL.COM, $$$ A daily selection of “Fresh Catch” fish is served simply broiled with herb butter and is, indeed, exceedingly fresh, while entrées like seafood ravioli, tilapia francesca, and even the Blue Sea’s version of bouillabaisse betray a definite Italian influence. Crab cakes are excellent, as are raw bar offerings and the amazing ceviche. Desserts are unexpectedly creative and refined, and service is damn near impeccable. Décor is sexy and swank, except for a couple of odd sailboat paintings that look straight out of a Florida retirement community condo.

CAPTAIN JAMES LANDING 2127 BOSTON ST., (410) 327-8600, CAPTAINJAMESLANDING.COM, $$$ When you leave Captain James Landing, you’re likely to have leftovers to take with you. The huge, belly-swelling portions make the $20-plus entrées worth every penny. What remains of your crab-stuffed flounder with asparagus, your two giant lobster tails,


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WHEN? 7 days a week

WHO? You and all your friends from the neighborhood

www.portersfederalhill.com 410.539.1999 CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • C IT Y PA PER’S DINING G UID E or your pound of New York strip will survive a night in the fridge and still be delicious at home. It’s open-all-night, carry-out side has a less rarified menu, but hey, it’s open all night.

DOCK OF THE BAY 9025 CUCKOLD POINT ROAD, MILLERS ISLAND, (410) 477-8100, $$ Dock of the Bay on Millers Island is one of those “Let’s take a drive and eat on the water” kind of destinations (unless, of course, you already live in Southeast Baltimore County). Sandwich platters fare better than entrées. Lump crab cakes the size of tennis balls, crispy fried oysters, and steamed crab (seasonal) specials make up for the restaurant’s nofrills interior, but eating outside is the way to go. If that’s not possible, grab a table by a window and ignore the Keno games in favor of watching the ducks bob around the marina.

FAIDLEY SEAFOOD LEXINGTON MARKET, 203 N. PACA ST., (410) 727-4898, FAIDLEYSCRABCAKES.COM, $ When you go to Faidley’s, you go for one of two things: the crab cakes or the raw bar. The jumbolump crab cakes are the stuff dreams are made of—hunks of fresh crabmeat with just enough binder to hold it together, never any filler. The raw bar is oldschool: a tall counter where you can while away an afternoon with some cold beer and as many freshly shucked oysters or clams as you can manage. And if you’re in the mood for something a little different, Faidley’s also serves up fish sandwiches, coddies, and other simple delights.

L.P. STEAMERS 1100 E. FORT AVE., (410) 576-9294, LPSTEAMERS.COM, $$-$$$ There are plenty of places to grab seafood in Baltimore, from upscale restaurants to side of the road crab shacks, but L.P. Steamers feels like home. It’s not much on atmosphere—unless maybe you get a seat on the rooftop deck but don’t hold your breath—but it makes up for it in character and in fresh, plentiful, delectable seafood. And we’re not just talking crabs, though the crabs are awesome; it

also offers oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp among other aquatic delicacies. All in a place, where you feel comfortable wiping your hands on your jeans.

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MAMA’S ON THE HALF SHELL 2901 O’DONNELL ST., (410) 2763160, $$ Even though it dates to only 2004, the dark wood interior, handsome bar, and cozy upstairs of Mama’s on the Half Shell make it feel like a good place to take out-of-towners for a taste of historic Baltimore. Seafood reigns here, with enough mussels and oysters to feed a fleet, and the cream of crab soup (seasonal) is rich enough to share. One of our favorite spots on O’Donnell Square.

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“Best Thai”

“You won’t find better Pad Thai... Spectacular...”

- City Paper, 2001 & 2002

- City Paper, 2001 & 2002

NICK’S FISH HOUSE 2600 INSULATOR DRIVE, (410) 3474123, NICKSFISHHOUSE.COM, $$$ Outdoor, waterfront dining shouldn’t be too fancy, and at Nick’s, it isn’t. It is a smorgasbord not only of fresh seafood, but of Baltimore charm. Located at a marina in the shadows of the Hanover Street bridge, Nick’s has breathed life into what had become a sad, forlorn corner of industrial Baltimore. Now, it’s a place to eat, drink, and be merry. Whether you go for the 10-ounce New York strip with an 8-ounce lobster tail or for plate after plate of steamed shrimp, you’ll be happy you went.

THE OCEANAIRE 801 ALICEANNA ST., (443) 8720000, THEOCEANAIRE.COM, $$$ Perhaps it’s the sweeping curves and lush drapery in the dining room, or the uniformed staff gliding about with towering piles of exotic ocean fauna, or even its Harbor East location, Baltimore’s newly minted hotbed of sybaritic excess, but the Oceanaire simply exudes special-occasion grandness. Fish selections change daily, but generally range in familiar tuna/salmon/swordfish territory and are fresh and well-prepared. Crab cakes (no-Old Bay style) are superb, and more complex specials generally please. Service is efficient and professional, if lacking in subtlety—shouting is sometimes required to overcome the din of fellow indulgers.

BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER IN BOLTON HILL! BEST PLACE TO GET A BURGER CATERING AVAILABLE

Hrs: M-F 7a-8p • Sat 8a-8p • Closed Sundays 1431 John St. 410.225.9667 www.onthehillcafe.com corner of John & Mosher Sts.

Locally hand roasted 100% sustainable certified coffee for your restaurant, shop or home. For samples and appointments call 410-675-2424 or email info@bluebirdcoffee.com Online store now open at bluebirdcoffee.com CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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DAILY SPECIALS

MONDAY 1/2 Price Burgers • $2 McHenry Pints TUESDAY .35¢ Wings • $2 Blue Moon Drafts $2 Bud Light Drafts WEDNESDAY Yuengling Pints $2 All Night THURSDAY All Specials 7pm-Close Miller Light Bottles - $2 Amstel Light Pints - $2 Red Bull & Vodka - $4 / Top Gun & Vodka - $3 SUNDAY 2 for 1 Quesadilla ALWAYS OPEN TILL 2AM WE NEVER CLOSE EARLY!

INNOVATIVE FLAVORS

OF INDIA

œÕ˜}iÊUÊ >ÀÊUÊ>««ˆiÀÊœÕÀÊUÊ-“>Ê*>ÌiÃÉ ˆ}Ê*>ÌiÃ]Ê-“>Ê*ÀˆVià 802 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201

410-605-1212 www.indigmarestaurant.com

Peasant Food MADE FOR A

McFAUL’S OPEN DAILY AT 4:30PM!

MONDAY - $14 NY STRIP NIGHT TUESDAY - 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE w/ 2 ENTREES WEDNESDAY - ALL ENTREES $14

1209 S. CHARLES ST. FEDERAL HILL 410.727.1298

68 W Cross St Federal Hill 410.752.1510

“ BE ST B RU NC H! ”

- C I T Y PA PE R

HAPPY HOUR: M-F • 4-7PM $3 Drafts, House Wines & Rail drinks Wednesday (all day) $5 Signature Martinis Thursday (all day) $5 margaritas -classic, peach, mango & raspberry Saturday & sunday brunch $8 bottomless bloody marys & mimosas

FREE PARKING 906 S. Wolfe St. 56

PRIVATE PARTY SPACE

Fells Point

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

410.675.0212

www.redstarbar.us


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

RYLEIGH’S OYSTER 36 E. CROSS ST., (410) 539-2093, RYLEIGHS.COM, $$

GOLDEN WEST CAFÉ

Ryleigh’s Oyster looks more like a bar than a restaurant, but the food is well beyond the usual pub grub. The menu ranges from wings and sandwiches to pan-sautéed rockfish. The tuna burger, made with high-grade ahi, is sensational—get it super rare. The oyster bar is well-stocked and the staff can tell you more about each variety than you are likely to remember—on Tuesdays, oysters are $1 each. And don’t miss the grilled corn with Old Bay and feta cheese. It’s more delicious than a vegetable has any right to be.

SOUTHERN

CHARLESTON 1000 LANCASTER ST., (410) 332-7373, CHARLESTONRESTAURANT.COM, $$$ S o m e wh e r e a l o n g t h e l i n e , Charleston became the grand dame of Baltimore’s fine dining establishments; the first place locals think of when they really want to go upscale. And while there are numerous restaurants in this city worthy of the special-est of occasions, Charleston’s reputation is well deserved. Chef Cindy Wolf’s Southern-inspired menu is, well, inspired—the seafood bisque and creamy foie gras are particularly transcendent, but there are no wrong turns here—and the small plates format allows you to get a variety of tastes. Just keep in mind that there is no such thing as a cheap meal at Charleston.

DARKER THAN BLUE CAFÉ 3034 GREENMOUNT AVE., (443) 8724468, DARKERTHANBLUECAFE.COM, $$ You’re liable to get a handshake from owner Casey Jenkins when you dine at Darker Than Blue. The friendly affability of this soul-foodinspired venue is part of its appeal, but it’s the menu that makes it a safe dinner bet. The blackened Louisiana tilapia is savory and spicy and the entrée portions are so generous that a to-go bag is practically a necessity. Because the place is small, reservations are recommended, but if you’re planning to go on any night but Saturday when they have live jazz, scoring a table doesn’t seem to be that hard. CHRISTOPHER MYERS

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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NOW OPEN SERVING LUNCH & DINNER

Come and Join Baltimore Foodies at City Paper's 2009 EAT Dining Guide

Baltimore’s Newest Full Service Eatery, Proudly Serving French Inspired New American Cuisine.

Enjoy Our Innovative Creations While Dining In A Fresh City Chic Atmosphere.

Brasserie

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American Visionary Art Museum

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7-10p.m.

(BETWEEN REDWOOD & BALTIMORE ST)

410.528.8994 B10 FREE VALET PARKING

F R I D AY & S AT U R D AYS

58

Cosmic Cocktail Party

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM


E AT • C IT Y PA PER’S DINING G UID E

LOUISIANA 1708 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 3272610, LOUISIANARESTAURANT. COM, $$$ Louisiana isn’t the flashiest of Baltimore’s fine-dining restaurants, or the most established, but its Creole/French cuisine is well worth a taste. The dining room with its dark wood, fine linens, and sweeping staircase offers Old World opulence, and the food is equally decadent, from pecan-encrusted fish to an elegant take on seafood gumbo to a surf and turf that will supply all your calories for the week.

M AND J’S SOUL FOOD 102 E. 25TH ST., (410) 235-7685, MANDJSOULFOOD.COM, $ The best place to get home cooking outside your own home, period. This Charles Village soul food counter has become a favorite since it opened, and though sometimes hand-made means it runs out of items by late afternoon, it does provide the opportunity to eat through an entire menu. So go for it: You won’t go wrong with the made-to-order fried chicken, lake trout, or meatloaf, or the sides— from mashed potatoes with gravy to spicy cabbage and buttery greens. Just remember to put an extra half-hour on the treadmill the next time you step on.

SISTA SANDRA’S 6212 REISTERSTOWN ROAD, (410) 358-0008, $ Hearty portions of house-made fare make the sometimes lengthy waits for orders worth it at this Northwest Baltimore soul food carry-out joint. We usually go with the Cajun fried fish with some sides of mac ‘n’ cheese and greens, or when we’re pretending we’re going to be healthy, a veggie platter of any four sides. (Gravy counts as a vegetable, right?) If you can somehow eat these portions and still have room, the desserts here may spur hyperglycemia on sight.

SPANISH

PAZO 1425 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 5347296, PAZORESTAURANT.COM, $$$ If you don’t leave Pazo a little tipsy, so full you couldn’t eat another

Something Good Is Always Cooking

bite, and smelling of garlic, you aren’t doing the tapas thing right. The point is to order everything that sounds good, from veggies and salads to their delish servings of beef and seafood. Housemade pasta and perfectly baked artisan breads, cheeses from hard to spreadable, and olives and almonds round out a menu where almost every dish fulfils its promise.

OPEN LATE! THUR-SUN WITH LIGHT APPS & DRINK SPECIALS

TAPAS TEATRO

2908 O’DONNELL STREET IN CANTON • 410.276. 2233

1711 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 332-0110, TAPASTEATRO.COM, $$ Although the wait for a table can sometimes feel staggering and it is way too easy to run up the tab once the sangria starts flowing and your eyes and nose keep you ordering, two things about this Station North staple consistently please: early spring and late summer dining al fresco is refreshing, and chef Antonio Baines nimble, tasteful menu of big flavors out of disarmingly simple combinations is always a delicious treat.

TIO PEPE RESTAURANTE

RESTAURANT & BAR

NEPALESE, INDIAN & TIBETAN FOOD Full Bar Service, Dining, Catering & Carry Out

Lunch Buffet $ 95 $ 95

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

Weekday

8 / 10

Weekend

Dinner Sun. - Thur. 5-10pm • Fri. - Sat. 5-10:30pm Mon. - Fri. 11:30-2:30pm • Sat. and Sun 11:30-3pm Delivery Available - Minimum Order $15 • Catering Available • Banquet facility for 50-100 911 N. Charles St • Mt. Vernon • Phone: 410-547-1600 • Fax: 410.547.8388 • kumarirestaurant.com

10 E. FRANKLIN ST., (410) 539-4675, $$$. For better or worse, Tio Pepe has remained unchanged since its opening in 1968. Folks still arrive dressed up, suckling pig and sole with bananas still appear on the menu, and waiters in brightly colored jackets still run the show. Simple is better here, though however you order, a meal is costly. Dusky black bean soup, fish dressed a la meuniere, and classic pine nut roll do not disappoint.

2ESTAURANT $ELI

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

8:00am-8:00pm

BREAKFAST AVAILABLE ALL DAY Featuring: Lunch Specials, Homemade Soups, Dinner Specials, Wines, Domestic & Imported Beers. Carry Out, Catering & Party Trays. 3626 Falls Road • In the Heart of Hampden • 410.6 62.7779

THAI

BAN THAI 340 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 727-7971, BANTHAI.US, $$ Ban Thai is our favorite place to eavesdrop—there’s always someone there talking way too loud about a girlfriend or other private matter. It’s also home of the dessert appetizer—mee krob, “sweet and crunchy noodles with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts,” which is just about the most brilliant bit of almost-certainly-bad-for-you goodness we’ve ever partaken. The menu is extensive, from

<I@:ËJ Catering

featuring Linda’s Place

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'(()CDGI=8=6GA:HHIG::I™)&%#')(#)'&*™:G>8H86I:G>C<#8DB CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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On The Square Come to Fins Bar & Grill for A

Taste of the Tropics Open 7 Days a Week Food Served 11a.m. to 10p.m. Bar 11a.m. to 2a.m.

Featuring seafood, steak, lamb chops, chicken, burgers, appetizers, salads, pizza and much more!

Happy Hour Specials Monday-Friday: 4-7p.m. 2-For-1 All Drinks - Bar Only

2903 O’DONNELL ST. • CANTON • 410.675.1880 www.FINSONTHESQUARE.COM 60

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM


E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

BALTIMORE PHO

the mild pad woon sen to several pleasingly hot dishes like kratiam pik Thai. Service is friendly and quick—we sometimes wish we could linger longer to hear strangers gossip.

MY THAI 800 N. CHARLES ST., (410) 528-8737, MYTHAIBALTIMORE.COM, $$ Nestled under Donna’s in a comfy basement full of brick arches, this subterranean sushi and Thai place features an expansive menu. Whether simple classics like edamame, pad thai, and pad see iew, or more adventuresome “house specialties” like hor mak thalay (for the seafood lover in you), My Thai has something for every taste. Ours runs toward the summer rolls; they do a nice tempura, too. The service is solid, prices are FRANK KLEIN

good, portions are big, and there are drinks—even Mai Tais.

TALAY THAI GRILLE 1911 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 563-9292, $$ Though Talay Thai Grille hasn’t impressed on past visits but recently it seems much improved— so much so that several visits over the past year have left us, and our co-diners, fat, happy, and looking forward to the next meal. Try the duck, the masaman curry with chicken, the drunken noodles, the fish cakes—it’s all good, though they have a light touch with the heat. Plus, you’ll have your choice of seating, since it doesn’t draw the throngs that most Fells Point eateries do.

THAI ARROY RESTAURANT

THAI RESTAURANT

1019 LIGHT ST., (410) 385-8587, THAIARROY.COM, $$ Besides the finely prepared, affordable Thai food, it’s the warm, welcoming service at Thai Arroy that makes us line up and wait for a table at this small Federal Hill storefront. The menu doesn’t differ much from other Thai restaurants in town, but the quality is far beyond what you’ll find elsewhere. Tom kha (spicy and sour coconut galangal soup) is fresh and fragrant and never heavy; drunken noodles are a balance of sweet basil and chili pepper heat ; gang dang pra, crispy fish in curry shines.

3316 GREENMOUNT AVE., (410) 8896003, $$ Our perennial Thai favorite hasn’t changed much over the years. But what Thai lacks in flash, or even change—give that to its sister restaurant Talay Thai in Fells Point—it makes up with a mixture of comfort and reliable excellence. Noodle dishes, curries that can be prepared with meat, seafood or tofu, and sticky rice with mango . . . we’ve gone through them all, many times. Tip: Order the sweet and spicy green papaya salad when it pops up on the specials list.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 64

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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Vietnamese cuisine restaurant and bar - Voted Best of Baltimore -

SERVING TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE AND FUSION CUISINE FULL BAR AND GREAT FRIENDLY STAFF! PLENTY OF PARKING

HAPPY HOUR TUE- FRI 4-7PM ALL DAY SUNDAY $2 OFF COCKTAILS, $1 OFF ALL BEER & WINE COMPLIMENTARY APPETIZERS (Chef’s Choice)

1116 HOLLINS ST. 410.752.4PHO (4746)

Closed Monday - Call for Hours

P I Z Z E R I A VOTED BEST PIZZA - CITY PAPER, 2007 GOURMET PIZZAS •CALZONES SANDWICHES • PASTA • SALADS

ORDER DELIVERY ONLINE

www.zellaspizzeria.com 1145 HOLLINS STREET | 410.685.6999 62

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM


“Best No Frills Bar”

BREW-LIGAMY

- Baltimore Magazine, 2008

“Best Mt. Vernon Bar”

WHY HAVE ONE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE ALL FOUR?

- City Paper, 1999 & 2003

223 W. CHASE ST. • 410-752-4059 OPEN 7 DAYS

FEATURING

BALTIMORE’S

BEST

Baby Back Ribs

Daily Happy Hour 4-7PM Carry Out Available Mon-Thu: 11:30AM-12M Fri & Sat: 11:30AM-1AM Sun: 10AM-3PM Brunch Served: 10AM-3PM Dinner Served: 3PM-12M

1106 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 www.the brewersart.com 410.547.6925

410.685.RIBS • www.mvstable.com 909 N. Charles St • Baltimore

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

GRANO PASTA BAR

UPSCALE COMFORT FOOD

ALE MARY’S 1939 FLEET ST., (410) 276-2044, ALEMARYS.COM, $$ Kudos to Ale Mary’s for celebrating that most inexplicably underexposed member of the potato side-dish family, the tater tot. Here you can get tots as an appetizer or alongside any of the ponderous well-crafted sandwiches in various states of loaded-ness—topped with cheese, extra-tasty bacon, or even crab meat, with ranch dressing for dipping. Pure genius. The menu ranges from bar food standards to more ambitious entrées, produced in an impossibly small kitchen, which can make for extended waits, but hey, that’s what the beer is for.

64

ANNABEL LEE TAVERN

CLEMENTINE

CORKS

601 S. CLINTON ST., (410) 522-2929, ANNABELLEETAVERN.COM, $$

5402 HARFORD ROAD, (410) 4441497, BMORECLEMENTINE.COM, $$$$$

1026 S. CHARLES ST., (410) 752-3810, CORKSRESTAURANT.COM, $$-$$$

Upscale comfort food has made a big mark on Baltimore’s restaurant scene in recent years and Annabel Lee’s offerings, which include duckfat fries and Kobe beef sliders, are particularly tasty. This small barrestaurant near Patterson Park has the ambiance of the late 19thcentury and takes its theme from the Poe poem of the same name. Still, the wine-colored interior projects an inviting, not Gothic, air. On any given night the specials menu features interesting items like pan-seared scallops at reasonable prices, and the bar has the relaxed feel of a neighborhood hangout.

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

Butter pickles and escargot. Charcuterie and meatloaf. There are damn few restaurants in Baltimore that so ably bridge the city’s rising culinary ambition and its down-home roots as new NoEBo favorite Clementine. There’s plenty comfy about the unpretentious storefront, and no menu as liberally fond of mashed potatoes, grits, and bacon as this one, is ever going to get too high-flown, but Chef Winston Blick elevates homey cuisine with artfully chosen compliments and maximum flavor. An awesome breakfast and lunch spot that also offers a dinner experience worth savoring—can’t lose.

Corks renovated in September and the result is a cooler contemporary space with a larger, more affordable menu (the restaurant’s hours have also expanded). Some new dishes are playful, like the merguez corn dog made with lamb sausage and served with popcorn, but all are high-quality takes on homey favorites (witness multiple grilled cheese offerings, from a gorgonzola/radicchio/balsamic syrup combination to Humboldt Fog and pear on white). Larger entrees are still available, as is Corks’ wellmaintained, American-focused wine list.

FRANK KLEIN


EXPERIENCE THE SOUL.

Savor our unique cuisine, indulge in our libations & soak in the atmosphere

casual dining • live music • cocktails • djs • dancing • ambiance

BALTIMORE’S BEST HAPPY HOUR 6-9PM • 2-4-1 DRINKS • 1/2 PRICE APPETIZERS

1/2 PRICED ETHIOPIAN ENTREES WED-SAT 5-7PM EXCELLENT FOR GROUP DINING AND PARTIES 15 W. Eager Street edenslounge.com info@edenslounge.com 410.244.0405

OVER SIZED PORTIONS OF UPSCALE PUB GRUB :fd\\eafpfli 8ccE\nD\el ]fi)''0 s3ERVING,UNCH$INNER s$AILY&OOD$RINK3PECIALS s0RIVATE0ARTY2OOMS!VAILABLE &OR!NY3IZE%VENT

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BAVARIAN CRAB PRETZEL

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CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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E AT • CI T Y PAPER’S D I N I N G GUI D E

HENNINGER’S TAVERN 1812 BANK ST., (410) 342-2172, HENNINGERSTAVERN.COM, $$$ There’s something homey and unchanging about Henninger’s snug dining room even after so many years. (Can it really be 20 or so?) The menu hasn’t changed much with mainstays like Portuguese fisherman’s stew bursting with shellfish and linguica sausage, plump crab cakes, and Pernod-spiked oysters. The final tab always seems to be higher than you expect it to be, but such is the price of Baltimore charm these days.

JACK’S BISTRO 3123 ELLIOTT ST., (410) 878-6542, JACKSBISTRO.NET, $$ Discussions with customers about Pop Rocks in the fish are rare at most bistros. But at Jack’s, run-ins with less-adventurous palates is par for the course. Thankfully, the

fish with the ingredient that may have killed Mikey has been rotated off the menu. The kitchen’s daring, however, still includes oddities like the much-discussed mac ‘n’ cheese and chocolate appetizer and the sous vide lobster and shrimp “hotdog.” If you still miss all the fizzy popping, the vodka-infused bubble tea and champagne-based Fritz are heavenly cocktails. Despite the quirks, Jack’s is really less about gimmicky food than reliably delicious dishes.

SOBO CAFÉ 6 W. CROSS ST., (410) 752-1518, SOBOCAFE.COM, $$ The staple menu items here are the upscale comfort-food selections, like the thick and dense mac ‘n’ cheese, the chicken pot pie, or the strip steak. But the menu, which changes daily, also features a variety of specials ranging from pan-

seared duck breast to Thai noodle dishes to seafood specials. There’s nothing fancy about Sobo—the ambience is bright, clean, and cheery, and the prices are reasonable for the quality (and quantity) of the food the kitchen dishes up, which makes it the perfect spot for a midweek dinner with friends.

tend to be fantastic, and the homemade potato chips are magically thin and crisp, while the service, though generally friendly, could use some polish.

THREE . . .

1626 ALICEANNA ST., (410) 276-6606, LIQUIDEARTH.COM, $$

2901 E. BALTIMORE ST., (410) 3273333, THREEBYTHEPARK.COM, $$$$$ Featuring rustic classics treated to a “New American” overhaul and Mediterranean-influenced comfort foods, the seasonally changing menu at Three . . . is quite compact, listing but a handful of small plates and entrées that nonetheless please with focused, layered flavoring and the use of quality, sometimes locally sourced ingredients. Homemade desserts

VEGETARIAN

LIQUID EARTH We’ve appreciated the vegetarian/ vegan soups and sandwiches at Liquid Earth for over a decade now, and the place just keeps getting better. The sacred submarine is truly heavenly; the Liquid Earth club, with its mixture of avocado and thin, crisp faux bacon, is equally delightful. The raw tacos are so delicious you won’t notice how good you’re being to yourself. Plus, with cabbage in place of hard corn taco shells, the roof of your

BONAPARTE BREADS

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FRANK KLEIN


$25

OFF ENTIRE CHECK WHEN YOU SPEND $50 OR MORE

We’re not here to cry in our beer!

Not Valid With Specials And Carry Out

Recession Proof Specials MONDAY 1/2 Price Cheesesteaks TUESDAY 1/2 Rack of Ribs $10.95 WEDNESDAY 12oz. Ny Strip $12.95 THURSDAY 1/2 Price Crab Cakes FRIDAY All-U-Can Drink Wine for Ladies 4-8PM • $7

Weekend Brunch

Even if our teams let you down, we never will! CHECK OUT OUR NEW “REcession Proof” Lunch Menu Catering • Private rooms for parties “Voted Best Wings.”-Baltimore Guide -2006

Daily & Nightly Specials Everyday Check us out at www.camdenpub.com

$7 All-U-Can Drink Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s & Miller Lite Draft 10am-1pm

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7pm 3 Beers for $5 OPERATION HAVE FUN, BE SAFE! Don’t Know & No Idea Tavern will take 1/2 off your check up to the full amount of your cab fare. Specials not included & customer must bring receipt from cab company

1453 LIGHT ST. | 410.539.0231 www.dontknowtavern.com

647 W. Pratt St. (2 blocks from Camden Yards) Baltimore, MD 21201 410-547-1280 CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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GOLDBERG’S NEW YORK BAGELS

mouth stays blissfully intact. The raw pizza, while not as successful at simulating its baked counterpart, is also deeply satisfying.

NATURAL BROTHERS’ DELI AND CAFÉ 2149 YORK ROAD, TIMONIUM, (410) 560-3133, THENATURALMKT.COM $ Great food is worth going out of your way for—especially if you’re vegan—and Natural Brothers’ in Timonium is well worth the trip. At this no-frills eatery, located in the front of a health-food store, lunch and early dinner are served seven days a week. Try the “tuNOfish” wrap, overflowing with mock tuna, veggies, and greens, plenty big enough for two. Or try the totally tapenade wrap with a tangy blend of olives, capers, and garlic resting on a bed of cool green

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veggies. Better yet, take a friend and share.

less-gross sounding containing alcohol.

ONE WORLD CAFÉ

YABBA POT

100 W. UNIVERSITY PKWY., (410) 2355777, ONE-WORLD-CAFE.COM, $$

2431 ST. PAUL ST., (410) 662-8638, THEYABBAPOTCAFE.COM, $$

One World is one of only a few vegetarian-tailored restaurants in a city that loves meat, and meat wrapped in other meat. While it serves a dinner menu that veers between Mexican and Italian, it excels at breakfast, particularly the tofu scramble, seasoned creatively with a house blend of spices and littered with veggies, and the simple egg and bagel sandwich that’ll keep you going till mid-afternoon for $3.95. The stone bar and the narrow, triangular front room make for proper late evening coziness with a “Nutty Irishman” or something

You don’t have to be vegan, or even vegetarian, to get addicted to Chef Skai Davis’ food. You just need to appreciate vibrant yet subtle flavors and creative use of ingredients. This brightly colored Charles Village storefront is otherwise unprepossessing, inside and out, but Davis’ signature juices and rotating selection of dishes, ranging from creamy black-eyed peas to revelatory kale to various satisfying faux meat preparations, tastes just as good out of a to-go container as it does on a plate. If you’re staying, there’s free wi-fi, and the buffet is all-you-can-eat.

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM

VIETNAMESE

BALTIMORE PHO 1114 HOLLINS ST., (410) 752-4746, BALTIMOREPHO.COM, $$ Despite the downtrodden locale next to Hollins Market, Baltimore Pho qualifies as a date restaurant. You walk through the doors and are greeted by gracious professionalism of the staff, delicious and distinctive food and drink on the table, and a smart red-white-andblack décor all around you. Your date will be amazed that such delicacies as the signature Vietnamese noodle, broth, and you-pick-therest dish can be found in so tough a neighborhood.

FRANK KLEIN


E AT â&#x20AC;˘ C IT Y PA PERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DINING G UID E

PHO HUONG MOI 6901 SECURITY BLVD. #3042, WINDSOR MILL, (410) 944-8623, PHOHUONGMOI.COM, $ Pho Huong Moi now occupies the same space that the beloved Miss Pho used to. And Huong Moiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pho is every bit as filling as its predecessorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, coming in two sizesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;regular, which is big, and large, which is mammothâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with all the accompanying goodies: bean sprouts, thin sliced jalapenos, mint sprigs, lime wedges, and tray of various hot sauces already sitting on the table. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also added a few new wrinkles to the menu, such as weekly specials and bun dishes, those tasty bowls of noodles and toppings that go so well with a Vietnamese coffee.

PHO NAM 6477 BALTIMORE NATIONAL PIKE, CATONSVILLE, (410) 455-6000, $ This strip-mall eatery is still largely unknown by even phofanatics, who tend to gravitate south toward Columbia and D.C. to get their fix. But the iconic noodle soup served here is easily among the best anywhere, with a baf-

flingly flavorful, nourishing, almost refreshing clear broth that smells of cinnamon and anise but tastes of focused beefy savoriness. Meat and toppings are generous, and the noodles are more tender than usual while retaining pleasant resilience. Prices are ludicrously lowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an order of spring rolls, a bowl of pho, and a Vietnamese iced coffee comes to less than $10.

)2)3(Ă&#x;05"Ă&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x; Ă&#x;2%34!52!.4

SAIGON REMEMBERED 5857 YORK ROAD, (410) 435-1200, $-$$ Still the only proper Vietnamese restaurant in the city, Saigon Remembered serves home-style clay pot rice, grilled meat, stew, and noodle dishes making it a favorite for years. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the large selection of creative summer rolls (meat, vegetable, and noodle rolls in tender, stretchy rice and tapioca wrapping paper) that we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop eating. Service is always prompt and friendly, and proximity to the Senator makes it an ideal pre-flick stop. â&#x2013; 

NOW SERVING FULL INDIAN CUISINE PIZZA SUBS WINGS SALAD PA S TA AND MORE! DELIVERY & CATERING AVAILABLE

Everest Catering

YOU HAVE AN ORDER, WE HAVE A DEAL! 4535 FALLS RD â&#x20AC;˘ BALTIMORE 21209 â&#x20AC;˘ 410.366.SUBS (7827)

3ERVINGĂ&#x;4RADITIONALĂ&#x; )RISHĂ&#x;0UBĂ&#x;&OODĂ&#x;ANDĂ&#x; #ONTEMPORARYĂ&#x; !MERICANĂ&#x;&ARE

(!009Ă&#x;(/52Ă&#x;30%#)!,3 -/. 35.Ă&#x;Ă&#x; 035.$!9Ă&#x;"25.#(Ă&#x;"5&&%4 Ă&#x;!- 0-

(JUST NORTH OF COLD SPRING LANE)

Includes Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Bellinis

COLD BEER

,)6%Ă&#x;-53)#Ă&#x;%6%29Ă&#x; &2)$!9Ă&#x;Ă&#x;3!452$!9

G R E AT TAV E R N F O O D

02)6!4%Ă&#x;0!24)%3Ă&#x;7%,#/-%

AND

OPEN 7 DAYS Carry Out Beer & Liquor

KITCHEN HAPPY HOUR Mon- Sat 10am-10pm Monday - Thursday Call Daily for Lunch specials 4pm-7pm

Lucyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Provides Full In House Catering For Groups Up To 150 People!

Ă&#x;.Ă&#x;%UTAWĂ&#x;3TĂ&#x;Ă&#x;"ALTIMOREĂ&#x;-$Ă&#x; Ă&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x;Ă&#x;LUCYSIRISHRESTAURANTCOM

5736 Falls Road â&#x20AC;˘ Mt. Washington 410.433.8299 â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Other Little Bar in Mt. Washingtonâ&#x20AC;?

Opposite the main entrance of the Hippodrome Theatre

CITYPAPER .COM â&#x20AC;˘ MARCH 4, 2009 â&#x20AC;˘ EAT

69


Open 11am daily

FEDERAL HILL’S ONLY STONE-OVEN PIZZA PLUS OVER 50 DIFFERENT TYPES OF VODKA!

THURSDAYS

All Frozen Slushies $2, Including TG, Red Bull & Vodka $2.50 Bud & Bud Light • $2 Rumple Minze

SUNDAYS

Canton Dockside offers some of the best crabs found in Maryland. We offer deliciously seasoned crabs steamed hot and fresh to order, and offer a wide variety of draft and bottled beers to accompany them.

HAPPY HOUR TIL 5PM $1.50 Bud Light • $1.50 Mini Burgers All Day & All Night 26 E. Cross Street Federal Hil 410-244-6722

PLUS! FULL MENU • OUTDOOR SEATING • CARRY OUT CATERING AND DAILY HAPPY HOUR 4-7PM 3301 Boston Street 410. 276.8500 CANTONDOCKSIDE.COM

Vodka Bar

Lunch Fri-Sun Open 7 Nights until 2am

this ain’t no ordinary coffee shop . Gourmet fla tbread pizz starting at as $4.95 Moxley’s Ic e Cream Juniors Che esecakes Lots of oth er goodies! •Light

ning-fast free Wi-Fi •Open Satu rdays til 10p.m.! •Check out our “resid ent” Blues Brot hers! firehouse coffee co. located in

the Old Fi rehouse on 1030 S. Li Canton Sq. nwood Ave. ,Baltimore 410-522-21 , MD 21224 99 www.fireho usecoffeec o.com 70

EAT • MARCH 4, 2009 • CITYPAPER .COM


Best Chili Dogs In Town! Chili Dogs • Chili Fries • Chili Burgers ggers ger er er rss 18 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD 21204 410-321-7710 • chilimanweiners.com

ty r a ep

h

COSMIC CITYPAPER 9TH ANNUAL

COCKTAIL PARTY

nt i o J

009 h 5th, 2 ay, Marc Thursdnary Art Museum

an Visio at The Americ 800 Key Highway, Federal Hill

Tickets av ailable at

or cit

y pap

ALL WEEK LONG, COME & PARTY WITH THE KAOS KITTENS!

SUNDAYS FREE TEXAS HOLD EM TOURNAMENT 12:30p and 3p MONDAYS HAPPY HOUR ALL NIGHT LONG TUESDAYS FREE POOL NIGHT!

WEDNESDAYS 50¢ WING NIGHT THURSDAYS $6 Coors Light & BUD LIGHT BOMBERS $4 SHOOTER SPECIALS

er bo missiont ix.com x off 410- ice, 523230 0.

8850 Orchard Tree Lane off Joppa Rd. • Towson 410.339.7880 • Open Mon - Sat at 3p • Sun 12p-6p

Full Menu New VIP Area Champagne Rooms Bottle Service Party Packages Monthly Theme Parties W W W. M I LL S T R E A M G I R L S .COM 410.265.8224 5310 DOGWOOD R D B A LT I MO R E 21207

CITYPAPER .COM • MARCH 4, 2009 • EAT

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Eat Guide 2009