Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Baltimore – Where to eat


Recommended Posts

As an inveterate reader of newspapers for the Digest on the French Forum I always hit the Sunday NYT and todays had one of those "36 hours in...." articles, this on Baltimore, by David Allen that mentioned: Obrycki's, the Blue Moon Cafe, Attman's, the Helmand + the Brewer's Art.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in Baltimore for two nights last week. Was taken to G&M for crabcake one night and the Ambassador Dining Room the other. My immediate reaction upon receiving the menu at the latter was that it didn't look much different than the menu of other, considerably humbler Indian establishments, except that the prices were 2-3x higher. The food didn't seem obviously worth the price hike to me. Were we really just paying for the ambience?

The person taking me to G&M warned me ahead of time that it was a "dive." That's a bit much, and perhaps he was exaggerating just to make clear we weren't embarking on a fine dining experience. I don't have any reference point for crabcakes, but enjoyed eating the one I got. I asked how large they were, didn't account for a third dimension to the circle the waiter made with his fingers, and over-ordered. Oh well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of crabcakes...

Took some friends visiting from Philly to Fresh Fresh Seafood on York Road in Towson last week. I go there from time to time since it's close to my shop and the fish is always fresh and good. Husband and wife team that love food and make some tasty meals. The ambience is nothing to speak about but the food is good and that's what's important.

One of my friends ordered the crab cakes and they were spectacular. G&M and Mama's On The Half Shell have nothing on these crab cakes. If there was any filler, I couldn't tell and the thing was made completely of lump meat. Amazing. Hands down the most amazing crabcake in Baltimore.

I'll head back there later this week just to be sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Speaking of crabcakes...

Took some friends visiting from Philly to Fresh Fresh Seafood on York Road in Towson last week. 

Is that the place between 7-Eleven and Lutherville Bike Shop?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in Baltimore for two nights last week.  Was taken to G&M for crabcake one night and the Ambassador Dining Room the other.  My immediate reaction upon receiving the menu at the latter was that it didn't look much different than the menu of other, considerably humbler Indian establishments, except that the prices were 2-3x higher.  The food didn't seem obviously worth the price hike to me.  Were we really just paying for the ambience?

Yes, and the rent. Much as I love the owners, it is over-priced.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bobby29-

You're thinking of the old Tako Seafood. That place is now closed.

Fresh Fresh is on the block between the Towson Circle and Pennsylvania Avenue, between Beach Bums Ice Cream and the Towson Artist Supply.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a chance to do takeout from the expanded, renovated, etc Tamber's, 3327 St Paul at 34th St, 410-243-5777. Huge portions for $8.95-14.95. I had the Lamb Saag and Shrimp Vindaloo with 4 Nan, which with two huge boxes or rice and two nice cups of raita came to just a bit over $30. I truly had enough for three persons and it was very good and very quick (10-15 min) and (for me) very local, thus convenient.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to be down at Johns Hopkins for a conference next Thurs/Fri (staying at the hotel on campus) and may have time for a dinner and some exploring on my own... any recommendations for good eats by yourself? No price or cuisine restrictions, but if we're talking nicer restaurants, I often like to eat at the bar when I'm by myself -- then you can interact with the bartender, fellow diners, etc.

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I'm a cook who's moving down to the area and I'm wondering where I should poke around for work. My gf is going to Johns Hopkins, and I'm going to be living in Pasadena. I'm still relatively novice (3 years, then CIA, then a year lead-line/sous'ing (its complicated) at a 35 seat bar & grill in upstate NY. I know Cindy Wolf and Charleston/etc. seems to be the go-to, but are there other fine dining spots I should look into.. or maybe I need to suck it up and consider commuting to DC?

Rico

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Nasublanca, 1036 East Fort Ave, 410-962-9890, open for dinner only Tuesday-Saturday, is a relatively new exotic fusion (Japanese-Spanish) place that has gotten good buzz but not much press. Four of us ate there last night (at the end of Restaurant week) and were very impressed. We started with intense/delicious roasted Japanese eggplants with den miso sauce and large portions of Prince Edward mussels with a fine sofrito-sherry broth, that was easily absorbed by the crispy toast. Then we had the panko-crusted walu with sweet potatoes and butter ponzu and paella with chicken, chorizo chunks, mussels and too gummy (a danger with pre-cooked paella) saffron rice. Three of us finished with the white chocolate banana bread pudding with "boozy" caramel and toasted walnuts - while the choco-phobic had a wonderfully dense coconut sorbet. The one sour note was the lack of a second bottle of the best-priced Spanish wine (it happens too often to be happenstance). The bill was $91.50 a couple before tips ($30.07 for three courses in restaurant week). Go back? You bet!

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I agree that Mr. Karzai's restaurants are always good and inexpensive. Tapas Teatro isn't perfect but from my experience if you order a fish tapas you will not be disappointed. It would be nice to have some good French restaurants in Baltimore. I worked at Brasserie Tatin for awhile. I felt that it was overpriced and didn't stay true to a French Brasserie. I do like Cafe De Paris in Columbia. They got a new chef this year, French of course. The specials are always a good bet, last time it was Grouper with brussel sprouts and a wild mushroom puree. The super nice owner is always out and about chatting.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Peter's Inn in Fells Point. It's truly a gem. It received the same rating as Charleston's in Zagat's for food but cost's a third of the price. It's a strange little place really- sometimes a biker bar, very eclectic decor, small chalkboard menu that changes weekly. Great food - if you see any entree with cheesy grits on the menu get them! The grits alone are worth going for. Sometimes teamed with pan seared scallops, sometimes ribs, sometimes lamb chops. I love that place! It's tiny though and reservations are not taken. I've never had more than a 20 minute wait even on a Friday or Saturday for two people, however.

I've been hearing a lot about Jack's Bistro lately as well but I haven't managed to make it over yet. Anyone?

Emily

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cajun Emily- for Baltimore Area French food- have you tried Au Petit Paris in Ellicott City? I've had some really wonderful meals there over the years.

When I'm in Baltimore, I can never stop myself from going to Faidley's in Lexington Market for crab cakes. I've eaten crab cakes all over the world- from Alaska to Paris- but none compare. They are really something special.

But with so many wonderful places to eat in and around Ellicott City and Columbia, the truth is that I rarely find an excuse to head to B'More.

Any dish you make will only taste as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you use poor quality meats, old herbs and tasteless winter tomatoes I don’t even want to hear that the lasagna recipe I gave you turned out poorly. You're a cook, not a magician.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Patapsco Mike,

Do you mean Cafe de Paris? I've never heard of Au Petit Paris - will have to look it up!

Cajun Emily- for Baltimore Area French food- have you tried Au Petit Paris in Ellicott City?  I've had some really wonderful meals there over the years.

When I'm in Baltimore, I can never stop myself from going to Faidley's in Lexington Market for crab cakes.  I've eaten crab cakes all over the world- from Alaska to Paris- but none compare. They are really something special.

But with so many wonderful places to eat in and around Ellicott City and Columbia, the truth is that I rarely find an excuse to head to B'More.

Link to post
Share on other sites

ACK! I'm an idiot, please forgive me. My brain pulled the old switcheroo. Au Petit Paris is in Frostburg, and I've not eaten there in two decades (though it is decent).

I meant Tersiguels in Ellicott City. Very, very good and not as expensive as most people think. They grow a lot of their own produce and have a wonderful and ever-changing (though small) menu.

Any dish you make will only taste as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you use poor quality meats, old herbs and tasteless winter tomatoes I don’t even want to hear that the lasagna recipe I gave you turned out poorly. You're a cook, not a magician.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes! Tersiguels - I live about 2 blocks from the restaurant so it's a shame that I haven't been back in over a year. It is a little expensive but I've been told the trick is to go for brunch on Sunday - you get the same dishes for half the price. I really need to eat there again. I got in a rut and frequented Peter's Inn a little too much.

ACK!  I'm an idiot, please forgive me.  My brain pulled the old switcheroo.  Au Petit Paris is in Frostburg, and I've not eaten there in two decades (though it is decent). 

I meant Tersiguels in Ellicott City.  Very, very good and not as expensive as most people think.  They grow a lot of their own produce and have a wonderful and ever-changing (though small) menu.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It would be nice to have some good French restaurants in Baltimore. I worked at Brasserie Tatin for awhile.

Emily

Oh boy Emily, have you put your finger on it. I simply cannot figure out why smaller cities have good French places and Baltimore does not; granted I'm spoiled in Paris when I complain about slow service and strange spices and confit that's not perfect, but at Petit Louis + Brasserie Tatin, one expects the real thing. (I might add that near non-medical Hopkins, which is hugely Asian-student-wise, there should be great Viet Namese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Cambodian, Korean, etc, etc and there's Donna's bless her, but.......)

My guess (that got flamed here the last time I posited it) is that Baltimore folk have not demanded such food, that they have no food critics "criticizing" the stuff put out there and that because the fish and Farmers Market veggies are so good, folks don't go out to eat.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites

John-

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.

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?

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.

Perhaps this is indicative of our city. Everywhere I go, I see the same bland people in their same bland uniform of khakis, polo shirt, brown shoes and uniform haircut. Perhaps Baltimore is just a parochial town with decidedly parochial tastes.

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. The City Paper isn't any better - a recent review I read by the "Omnivore" actually extolled the virtue of using the General Tso's Chicken atrocity as the barometer for rating a Chinese restaurant. Decidely low brow, decidedly parochial.

Link to post
Share on other sites
John-

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.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Needing to buy a gift certificate for friends in Baltimore. Can you suggest a couple/few nice restaurants. Restaurants with websites (where I can see the menu, etc...) would help.

Thanks!

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
You're thinking of the old Tako Seafood.  That place is now closed.

I can assure you that Tako Seafood is not closed. I ate there in mid-July and mid-September of this year (time to return soon, methinks). Say hello to James for me if you go.

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

Link to post
Share on other sites
Needing to buy a gift certificate for friends in Baltimore.  Can you suggest a couple/few nice restaurants.  Restaurants with websites (where I can see the menu, etc...) would help.

Thanks!

I can wholeheartedly recommend Woodberry Kitchen.

Thanks for that suggestion. Any others?

FYI, the couple for whom I'm buying the gift cert. is 40ish, but are more trendy than stuffy. I'm looking to spend around $150 total.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Been awhile since this thread has been touched, but Id definitely dust it off for Woodberry Kitchen. A warm space in the Clipper Mill area, this is another of Spike's places. All the food is local and they are very into sustainability, even making and bottling their own sparkling water. Mexican sugar-cane coca cola, a treat. The food is utterly fantastic, makes sense, well seasoned (something I am picky about), their home made ice creams are fantastic.. since these are the artifact coffee people, the coffee (french press) is amazing.. the best part is the price! Enjoy it while you can.. you can definitely have your fill for about $50 pp. It was hard to get a reservation on a random January Thursday night!

Rico

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I need a cheap and cheerful brunch/lunch spot for the second Sunday from now, in or around the Inner Harbour (I don't mind driving, I'll have a car) which is suitable for kids as well as not too dreadful for the adults.

My step kid is coming into town with the rodeo. :biggrin:

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
Link to post
Share on other sites

The absolutely ideal place was/is the Joy America Restaurant in the Visionary Art Museum but the lastest info says it is still closed for renovation. Call because it's a great setting for adults and kids.

Otherwise, you'd clarify for us if you want view/no food (Inner Harbor), Americo-Italian (Little Italy), crabs or ethnic (a bit but not too much of a schlep).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...