Baltimore/Annapolis Restaurant Help
- Lisa P Mar 8, 2002 12:34 PM
Anyone have any recommendations for dinner in Baltimore/Annapolis? Price range unimportant. Secondly, is Obryckis worth a visit? Have heard about it from several friends.
Thanks in advance
Search on this page for "Baltimore Tip Sheet". That will give you a good overview of the local hounds' favorites, at least for Baltimore.
And you might get better responses if you gave us a little more to work with (type of food, formal/casual.)
I've never been to Obrycki's. The consensus as far as I can tell is that it is good, but very expensive, and by no means the only game in town. There is definitely no shortage of crab house discussion around these parts, and a quick browse down the list will provide you with more than you ever wanted to know about crab consumption options.
re: Lisa P
Considering the price, I had an ordinary dinner at Obrycki's a couple of years ago, though the surroundings are nice...old Baltimore. But last Fall, a good friend, someone for whose palate I have a lot of respect had a horrible experience, and said that she'd never, ever go back. Even if that's an anomaly, as Darin said, there're a lot of other good, less expensive options in Baltimore.
Thanks for the link! I'm going to Baltimore (Fells Point) and Annapolis this weekend for first time in 35 years. Have tried to read all applicable posts here, but I missed that link. It's still been a lot of research for me for just a few meals!!
Can somebody suggest a place for breakfast on the way as my wife and I drive in after getting off the redeye from Dulles??
re: Paul S.
Just after getting on the Dulles Road you'll see the exit for Herndon. Take this exit. At the end of the ramp turn left. About three blocks up, on the right, is the Amphora Diner. It is EXACTLY what you are looking for. If it isn't Denny's is almost across the street but it would be your loss.
re: Joe H.
Thanks. This recommendation got to me too late - I'd already deplaned and departed. If there's a next time, I'll make the stop.
I used the Balto. tip sheet as my weekend guide. Duda's -- excellent. Vaccarro's -- superb. Faidley's - great. Black Olive -- I felt ripped off by hidden charges, and that ruined it for me.
I'm going to write up my tourist notes on a new thread today (3/13.
re: Paul S.
I read your post about The Black Olive; my wife and I every six months or so drive from Reston there for dinner. For many (such as some of the reviewers) who call it "Greek" this is really somewhat misleading since its focus is so clearly on seafood. By Baltimore standards it is very expensive if it is judged as a "Greek" restaurant (such as Ikaros). By D. C. standards I consider it to be fairly priced for the quality you receive. In comparison to some of the restaurants in Little Italy such as Bocaccio I believe The Black Olive to be far superior and comparably priced. I do believe that for many the American impression of a "Greek" restaurant does not help the perception of many diners who first sit down at The Black Olive.
But this is a serious restaurant, one of the best of its kind in the U. S. I am sorry that you had such a negative experience and found it to be so expensive. The first time my wife and I went several years ago we were quite surprised at its cost. Yet we've gone back many times because for the style of restaurant that it is we believe it to be superior.
Perhaps I've become jaded with house wine at $7.50 a glass at Stillwater Tavern and Clyde's, $9.00 at The Prime Rib so that The Black Olive no longer seems expensive to me. Usually house wine that is $4.50 or $5.00 is Mondavi Woodbridge or something similar. It has to be to be sold for this price. Twenty five dollars for an entree is middle of the road in a better Tysons Corner or Reston restaurant let alone downtown Washington. Charging for splitting an entree is a debatable topic for many but I understand why restaurants, especially smaller ones do it and also have come to accept it. Quite honestly I don't think I've ever split an entree. In fact I am terribly guilty of coveting leftovers on others' plates in a superior restaurant's dining room! So far I am proud to report that I have not acted on this but I fear with the proper dish the time will come! But interestingly I DID have an experience at The Black Olive with a deboned fish! What I was served was actually undercooked (not the fault of course of the deboning). I sent it back and what returned was delicious and worth the wait. The waiter by the way was excellent.
A note about my personal impressions of a restaurant and how a waiter can influence that: At Kinkead's Colvin Run Tavern we had a terrible, overbearing, talkative waiter who clearly did not share our same enthusiasm for food. (This was its second week of operation.) His attentiveness was fine but he just wasn't the kind of waiter I would have expected to find in this type of restaurant. He also didn't know much of what he was talking about. In part because of him we left with less than a totally positive opinion.
I have been in restaurants where I have benefitted from knowledgeable, freindly waitstaff who have an enthusiasm and pride in the experience they are helping to create. When you put this together with a wonderful restaurant the result is truly a pleasure. This happened to us on Friday night at Tosca with a waiter named George who was extremely enthusiastic, knowlegeable and very, very responsive. My guess is that a total lack of "chemistry" as well as communication caused The Black Olive to never have a chance. Some of the charges may have not been so outrageous but if they are "framed" and "colored" by waitstaff such as you had this only makes them seem disproportionately expensive.
Anyway, thank you for your comments about my response for breakfast in Herndon. Again I am sorry that The Black Olive and the attendant waiter was such a black mark for your trip.
In Annapolis, the best local place to pick crabs is Mike's. It is just outside of town, on the South River, down Riva Road. The phone book may list it as being in Riva. Very, very casual, plenty of other options but crabs, corn and ice tea or beer are the staples here.
Cantler's, on the other side of town, is another local, family-run place for seafood. Less emphasis on crabs, more on everything else. Again, very casual and kid-friendly.
In downtown Annapolis, you'll find good seafood practically everywhere. For quick bites, eat seafood from the stalls in the Market House--it's very fresh, lots of turnover. No place to sit, but you just take it out to the dock. Good oysters and other raw bar items at McGarveys or Riordans (right on the square), a solid, very Maryland menu at Middletons. Phillips, right on the City Dock, has a great location, but has far less impressive food than any of the other places mentioned. Carrol's Creek Cafe in Eastport (directly across one of the creeks from the City Dock) also has a good varied menu and atmosphere. All are casual and kid-friendly.
If your husband liked Obryicki's in the past, you'll probably want to go back there--they use a black-pepper/mustard seasoning on their crabs, and I don't know any other place in the area that uses it.
Otherwise, you might want to consider Bo Brooks on the harbor. They have a great crab reputation (John Travolta asked them to fly some out recently), and they have a great location right on the water.