I believe there would be a lot of people in Baltimore who would argue with you that both Louis and Tatin are "good" French cafes. I, however, am not one of them.
When I see folks pouring into them every night I'm driving by, I’d agree I’m in the minority.
I continually wonder if its' the people of Baltimore, the critics (or lack thereof) or the chef/restauranteurs themselves that's the culprit of such low-brow cuisine in this city. Are the peoples' taste so innocuous that the chef decides to lower the flavor profile a couple of notches in order to meet the bland expectations of this city?
This is the question; or are we (#18 in size of American cities) just 20 years behind San Fran (#14) and Seattle (#23), both of which manage to serve edgy and traditional and ethnic food.
Years ago, Mary Pat Clarke and her entourage walked into a friends' restaurant. The food was decidedly edgy but they didn't offer the "ubiquitous" Baltimore "crabcake" and out Mary Pat Clarke and her entourage went - because they went into a "edgy" restaurant expecting the same benign food you find at most low brow B-more joints.
Oh boy, we shouldn't get into politics on eG, but that's disturbing and unlike the Mary Pat I know.
Unfortunately, the media isn't very demanding either. Today's Taste in The Sun has a long fluffy article about scallops, a taco piece from the Los Angeles Times, and complete puffery in Tabrizi's, Azure and the departure of Chef Kim.
Again we probably should stay off even journalistic politics, but the Sun
now prints more LA Times
stuff than it creates itself. I don't even go to the website from Paris.
Good news, however, there is hope, says my loyal partner in life, Colette, who toils away in Baltimore while I trip the light fantastic in Paris, she likes the Dogwood Cafe
in Hampden and loves new Café Azafran
in the Space Telescope Science Institute at Hopkins, recently opened by caterer and chef/owner Irena Stein.