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May 9, 2000 09:38 PM

where to take Mom in Baltimore?

  • c

We're taking our mother to Baltimore the day after Mother's Day for a trip down memory lane (her memories, not ours). A delicious lunch is supposed to be a big part of the day, and I was counting on Joy America but it's closed Monday. Can you recommend some white tablecloth places with very good food, and not cheap because who would skimp on their Mother's Day treat? (Our Mom doesn't understand the joy of cheap anyway). I know Baltimore has plenty of good places, but my spouse and I don't usually hit the upper echelons on our infrequent visits. Any help will be appreciated.

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  1. Try Marconi's (famous Italian Baltimore establishment on a bad street but great food) or the Brass Elephant (french - a secret incidentally of the B.E. for chowhounds is that you can go upstairs to the bar and order the same food being served downstairs in slightly smaller portions for much less cost). Also, there's a place in the bottom of the Belvedere Hotel which I've been to on a Valentine's day that was quite nice. I can't remember the name though, possibly Champaigne Tony's? "The 13th Floor" at the Belvedere is fun for drinks and an awesome view of Balto. Those are all fairly fancy and probably somewhat expensive. I'm not up in Balto too much anymore so I'm not really up on all the currently hot places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cap Hill

      Polo Grill in the Doubletree Inn at the Colonnade on University nr. Charles (across from Johns Hopkins) is a highly rated place. Reasonably good food (try the asian style salmon), decor to please Mom, and upscale service at prices that are probably high by Baltimore standards, but won't break the bank if you're used to NY. I've heard Morton's of Chicago is good for steaks, but I haven't been. In any case, wherever you plan to go, call soon, since this holiday usually books up fast.

    2. So Carolyn, where'd ya go??? Any good?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cap Hill

        We almost took Mom to Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art, but...

        First I compiled a list, using all that good Chowhound advice about Baltimore's finest plus the results of a search through the websites of City Paper and Baltimore magazine (which lists local restaurants according to the nearest beltway exit, a great idea). None of the places at the top of my list were open Monday. So at the 11th hour, we were in the parking lot at the Lexington Market after stocking up on Rheb's chocolates. I called Gertrude's, normally open Monday, but that day they were closed for a private party. I asked the guy about the best crabcakes and he said: Gertrude's are great, but the crabcakes at Faidley's in the market in the market are fabulous. So we walked back inside and wound up sitting at formica tables in the market's noisy mezzanine eating huge, tender crabcakes out of foam boxes and loved every bite. It was far from fancy, but so good and fresh. Mom was a good sport; the food's always more important than atmosphere with our family.

        Faidley's is at 200 N Paca St in Baltimore; hours are Mon Tues Wed 9-5, Thurs Fri Sat 9-5:30. All lump crab cake is $11.95 (no bread, just a tomato slice and lettuce); backfin crabcake is 7.95, regular is 4.50. They have shrimp, steakfish, lake trout, catfish, flounder, coddie, oysters, clams, calamari, mussels, and six seafood soups. You can get platters too. And they ship UPS overnight. The market's website is

        I appreciated your help.

        1. re: Carolyn

          We live in Florida and for years my mother-in-law sends us Rheb's chocolates. She sends them for all of the holidays. We would like to keep the Rheb's chocolate tradition with our children. My husband grew up in Baltimore and he remembers, as a child, watching the Rheb's family make the German chocolates by hand. My mother-in-law is not getting around as easily to just run in to Rheb's and pick us up some of these delicious (and by far, the best I have ever had, and I have had a lot of chocolate!) treats. Can you tell me how to order directly from Rheb's? I've tried to find a website and have had no success. Thank you so much. Mary