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Baltimore – Where to eat


altar-ego
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I've enjoyed Roy's of Hawaii (although its a high end chain), Blue Agave (Tasty neo-Mexican), Helmand (great Afghan), Ze Mean Bean Cafe (eclectic and tasty Eastern European), Ixia (OK chichi fusion) in the past in Baltimore. I've heard good things about Charleston. I found Petit Louis Bistro somewhat overrated, but its ok if you like bistro settings. Helen's Garden is good for casual lunch/gourmet sandwiches. If you have a car, Baldwin's Station out in Sykesville is a charming New American find.

Edited by jeanki (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Hello all,

Heading to Baltimore in a couple weeks. Need to take friends of a relative out for a "thank you" dinner...something nice that would be a treat for locals. Don't really know them that well, but they like to keep things as casual and comfy as possible.

They're taking us to Angelino's for crab cakes one night. So maybe something completely different for the next night? Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Thanks!

Edit: caught a typo...

Edited by TigerLily (log)

-TigerLily

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The Mezze at Kali's court is pretty casual and good. I like Pazo, but if it is a weekend night, forget about casual. Petit Louis Bistro is also good. Charleston is great but quite a bit upscale. For the ultimate in casual try Peter's Inn in Fells point.Peter's Inn

This place is a former biker bar with a market menu. It changes every week and they post it on the internet. It was pretty good last time we went.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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Where to begin....?

If you're looking for casual, I agree with the other posters on their picks. Peters is particularly our go-to for great food in an ultra casual atmosphere that is free of tourists. The Kali's/Mezze suggestion is good, and you might want to consider the Black Olive in Fells Point. It's a greek seafood place with the freshest selection of fish. If your friends like belgian style beer, you might want to try the Brewer's Art. The food there is great and they make Belgian style beers on the premises. I'll post more later, as I'm being pushed out the door by my wife to get some brunch, but check out

www.baltfoodies.com for more suggestions

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Corks Restaurant would be a great choice, imo!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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  • 6 months later...
I am in Baltimore for a few days - staying at the Sheraton Inner Harbor hotel.

Any recommendations for restaurants in this area?  Outdoor seating would be nice.  Outdoor seating with heaters would be even better.

Thank you to anyone with suggestions.

There is a very good Indian restaurant Baltimore called the Ambassador Room, fine dinning, and has some outdoor seats.

Charleston in Fells Point (Baltimore), about 5 minutes tops from where you are. There is also Roy’s and Pazzo is very good, probably the trendiest restaurant in Baltimore.

I’d stay away from the cheesy restaurants around the Inner Harbor; they are very touristy, unless that’s what you are looking for.

I’ll try to think of some otheres.

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Are you looking for fine dining, casual, ethnic? Generally speaking, you'll pretty much have to leave the immediate Inner Harbor area for good food. And, Baltimore isn't big on the outdoor dining thing.

The previous poster mentioned the Ambassador Dining Room and it is an excellent suggestion. A gorgeous outdoor space but it is in North Baltimore, near the JHU campus.

Federal Hill is a good bit closer to the Inner Harbor, walkable, imo. Vespa is a cute, casual Italian restaurant there with fantastic wine service and a few outdoor tables.

Some other suggestions in the downtown area: don't miss Werner's for breakfast or lunch (weekdays only) on Redwood Street, Cypriana for falafel (weekdays, lunch only) on Baltimore Street with some outdoor seating. Afghan Kabob at Charles & Lombard is good for a no frills lunch or dinner.

In good weather, the Mt. Vernon area is a short walk up Charles Street and opens up your dining choices considerably. Happy hour at the Brewer's Art, Thai at Thai Landing, Indian at Mughal Garden or Akbar, Afghan at the Helmand, Abacrombie for reasonably priced fine dining, Ethiopian at Dukem II, which has a few outdoor tables on a corner that isn't particularily scenic. On the other hand, Donna's, a local chain coffee shop (I'm grateful to them because they have saved Baltimore from the Starbucks invasion) has outdoor seating at their Charles & Madison location which is a truly lovely spot to enjoy a coffee and a sandwich or salad.

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Still - food is the priority.

In that case, Charleston is Baltimore's best restaurant, imho. Not far away, in Harbor East.

Charleston

Also, many are fond of Hampton's in the Harbor Court Hotel. I don't think it is as good as Charleston but I do like the Explorer's Lounge for cocktails.

Hampton's

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Has anyone ever tried Louisiana? A friend said it was fabulous, but she isn't very particular if you know what I mean... I think she said it was in Fell's Point?

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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Has anyone ever tried Louisiana?  A friend said it was fabulous, but she isn't very particular if you know what I mean...  I think she said it was in Fell's Point?

I've been to Louisiana but only once and it was more than a few years ago so the details have long escaped me. I do recall that it was good but apparently not good enough to make us go back. Not that I'm not open to eating there again, mind you. A second visit is long overdue. It is on Aliceanna in Fells Point.
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Wow, thanks. I hadn't even heard of it before and I heard two different people say good things recently and was curious.

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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I am in Baltimore for a few days - staying at the Sheraton Inner Harbor hotel.

Any recommendations for restaurants in this area?  Outdoor seating would be nice.  Outdoor seating with heaters would be even better.

Thank you to anyone with suggestions.

I rarely contribute here because I'm seen by some as too negative about Baltimore, because I think similar or smaller size cities simply outclass us, however, I must plunge in.

1st, almost but not always, anything M. Karzai (brother of the Prime Minister of Afghanistan) puts his mind to - eg Helmand + Tapas Teatro comes up smelling like roses.

2nd, for me (granted, jaded by genuine neighborhood bistros), Petit Louis is just not there, nor sadly is the Brasserie Tatin.

3rd however, there's a nifty, relatively new wine bar - called The Wine Market that does seem genuine - for more see here.

A place no one has mentioned is Pierpoint where I haven't been in quite a while but is chef'd by a real great female cook Nancy Longo.

Finally, hope the surgery goes well - it's a good city for medicine.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I am in Baltimore for a few days - staying at the Sheraton Inner Harbor hotel.

Any recommendations for restaurants in this area?  Outdoor seating would be nice.  Outdoor seating with heaters would be even better.

Thank you to anyone with suggestions.

I rarely contribute here because I'm seen by some as too negative about Baltimore, because I think similar or smaller size cities simply outclass us, however, I must plunge in.

1st, almost but not always, anything M. Karzai (brother of the Prime Minister of Afghanistan) puts his mind to - eg Helmand + Tapas Teatro comes up smelling like roses.

2nd, for me (granted, jaded by genuine neighborhood bistros), Petit Louis is just not there, nor sadly is the Brasserie Tatin.

3rd however, there's a nifty, relatively new wine bar - called The Wine Market that does seem genuine - for more see here.

A place no one has mentioned is Pierpoint where I haven't been in quite a while but is chef'd by a real great female cook Nancy Longo.

Finally, hope the surgery goes well - it's a good city for medicine.

I'd skip the Wine Market, the food is average to good, but the service is SO SLOW. a lunch or dinner can take 3 hours or more. I don't know what there problem is but their kitchen needs to get it together. Three other people I know have had the same problem with this slow service.

I wish Baltimore would be able to get some of the "crappy - touristy" restuarants out of the harbor and put one or two nicer ones in, but I guess you have to cater to the TGIF crowd.

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I am back home now (Toronto), and unfortunately, did not plan the food part of my trip very well.

Room service from Morton's in the hotel was surprisingly bad. I don't know how a steak house could manage to ruin a caesar salad. Luckily I had a nice bottle of Landmark chardonnay in my hotel room :). Even their crab appetizer was brutal.

On my one night out, we went to a random seafood restaurant in the inner harbor area. I can't remember the name, but it was a chain, but quite upscale. They did a good job on their sable fish. I should have checked in with you folks sooner.

I hope to go back to Baltimore one day when I am more mobile and check out some good places to eat.

Thanks for everyone who replied!!!

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  • 1 month later...

It’s tough for Baltimore to get much airtime on a Forum dominated by DC but that’s not necessarily because its food is less worthy or interesting. I had the wonderful opportunity to perform a blitz binge in Baltimore recently, akin to my periodic gorging in Paris and here are my thoughts.

1. As I said upthread, Qayum Karzai, brother of Hamid, the Prime Minister, who famously said that if he failed in Afghanistan, he’d go work in one of his bro’s places in Baltimore, has the most consistent and inventive food in town, vide Helmand & Tapas Teatro, although the demise of Limoges is regrettable.

2. Someone needs to renovate the Chesapeake Restaurant and finally “fix” that statue in front of Penn Station upstream. As Henry II said about Thomas a Beckett - "will no one rid me of this…. ?

3. Portion size in America is one reason for obesity (yah, I know - genes, TV and lack of exercise are part of it too) and evident even at first class places like Saffron where despite the spectacular food, you’re better off ordering two starters than regular courses.

4. Except maybe for Alain Ducasse and Thomas Keller, chefs cooking in America had best stick to Californian or Ethnic food than try to imitate Paris Bistro fare.

5. Placing the next course down milliseconds after the last one is finished, even when it consists of perfect product, perfectly prepared, leads to spiritual indigestion – vide Abacrombie.

6. Crabs remain Baltimore’s strongest suit and most “typical” dish, vide McCabe’s.

7. But I do miss abats and foie gras.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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