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Jan 3, 2004 10:14 AM

Fells Point and vicinity

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I will be hosting a three-day meeting at the Admiral Fell Inn. What are some good lunch and dinner choices around there? I'll be with some well-travelled omnivorous types who will consider just about anything. Tips on local bars, good sandwiches (pit beef?) and seafood especially welcome.

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  1. Charleston, the best restaurant in Baltimore, is only several blocks away while the Black Olive is also very close. Unfortunately both are expensive with Charleston very expensive. The Black Olive is "Greek seafood" and better than anything even remotely similar in D. C. Entrees probably in the mid to high 20's, appetizers a third or so of this. O'Brycki's is close but I'm not certain if they're open this time of the year. I use to like Pierpont also which is up Broadway several blocks and then a right but it's been a good while. I've heard that Bertha's had really gone downhill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joe H.

      The last three times I've been to the Black Olive, the service has just been terrible. The food is as good as ever, but the poor service is a constant annoyance in what would otherwise be a great experience. My first visit had great service, but after that it was consitently terrible. My waiter was missing in action most of the time. On one visit, he disappeared after leaving an incorrectly cooked tenderloin without stopping back to ensure that everything was ok. My companion had to flag a different server to send back the dish.

      Charleston, on the other hand, has impeccable service and great food to boot.

    2. Joe H. hit it on the head, though Charleston and Black Olive aren't exactly definitive of Fell's Point. Bertha's is for beer and don't even think about eating there. Ditto Cat's Eye down on Thames, but definitely check out their excellent live music. A few doors down on the corner of Thames and Ann st. is John Stevens which has good beer (hard to escape in this neighborhood) but also good bar food, including a muffaletta which you'll taste for hours (good). Across Thames from John Stevens and down a few doors is Bonaparte bakery, which has some of the best serious bread in these parts, as well as awesome pastries, espresso and sandwiches. No beer. A few blocks north is Henninger's Tavern which has great food and even a decent wine list, but only open for dinner. Don't miss out on the various latino venues such as Burritos Morelense (Eastern Ave. east of Broadway) or whatever you find that looks good. The scene is changing all the time, and we haven't gotten ill yet. There's a sushi place between Charleston and the Whole Food's store with a great reputation, though I haven't been there yet. Don't go to Little Italy for anything except the faux-fifties charm of the place. Oh and maybe a sub at Apicella's which really is superb. Coming back to Black Olive, don't miss them, and be sure to order Greek wine with your meal. They bend over backwards to bring in fabulous stuff from Greece that the rest of us have never seen before. Fell's Point is also a cool place to just wander around and discover whatever you discover.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ramon

        You can always count on Joe for the straight dope, high or low. The man gets around. Thanks for your rec's. Baltimore has always been my favorite chowtown, though it's been a while since I've been anywhere but the airport up there. The Black Olive sounds especially intriguing. I'll print this out and take it with me. Report to follow.

      2. Agree with most everything that has been said. For eating places, Black Olive and Charleston are tops in the area. Add to that Louisiana, but all these are pretty pricey.

        One note. If you have a chance to try Soigne, which I think is the best restaurant in Baltimore, do so--particularly if you are available on Wednesday night. Lots of raves on this board; there is nothing like it in DC.

        On a less expensive note, the sushi restaurant that was mentioned by Ramon was Chiu's Sushi, which I like, but I like even better Asahi Sushi on Broadway. Asahi is BYOB, but there's a liquor store across the street. There is a Spanish restaurant called Cafe Madrid on Broadway that serves lunch and dinner; it's owned and run by the chef so it's not all that consistent, but when it is good, it is very good. My favourite crab place can be found at Kelly's on Eastern Avenue; also a great place to go for Karoake on weekends (though no stars have been discovered there). El Tacquito on Eastern Ave probably has best Mexican food in the City. Pierpoint and Henniger's have really good reputations, but in my opinion, Peter's Inn (on Ann Street) is better than both. Best breakfast and lunch can be found at Blue Moon Cafe on Aliceanna; I'm surprised no one mentioned this. Liquid Earth is a juice/bagel/veggie bar across the street from Blue Moon that has great bagels and veggie fare. Good bar food can be found at Last Chance Saloon. On Eastern is Ze Mean Bean Cafe, which many people like for Eastern European. A little further away (but no more than five minutes by cab) is a restaurant called "Blu," which has surprisingly good Caribbean themed food (it's also an oxygen bar, but don't be off-put by that). Agree with Ramon to avoid Little Italy except Apicella; and while this may sound incongruous, but there is an Indian restaurant in Little Italy called Indian Rasoi that is as good as anything else in Baltimore. Finally, in a neighborhood called Butchers Hill, one of the hottest of Baltimore neighborhoods, a restaurant/bar called Simons has just re-opened. The chef is from Soigne (see above). Haven't been there, but I thought I'd throw it in.

        As for drinking, there are seemingly thousands of little bars to drop into, but I'd recommend for beer joints Cat's Eye (also live music), Wharf Rat, and Friends. Chesapeake Wine Company is a great place that is not far from Blu; it's a wine store/wine bar that you can have wine by the glass or open a bottle of wine from their inventory for just 3 bux corkage fee. Also, the bartenders make great martinis there. For late night entertainment, Fletcher's has live music. A Must-Go if you like single-malt scotch is Birds of a Feather, which has literally hundreds of single-malts. Latin Palace on Broadway is a great nightspot with latin music and salsa dancing; I've not been there for a while but I thought their food was pretty decent.

        The last two restaurants that have been mentioned on this board is Duda's, which is down the block from the Admiral Fell Inn: people like their crabcakes. Also, there is a restaurant called Arizona. Great place to go if you want to practise your Spanish; I'd stick to the tapas platter appetizer and sangria. Nothing spectacular, but it's a good value and kind of makes you feel like you're somewhere else.

        I'd avoid Kali's Court and Mezze (they are sister restaurants; really avoid Mezze as being way way expensive for not all that good food). I'm not a big fan of John Stevens. Don't go to Kawasaki; the other two sushi places are better. Don't go to Crabby Dicks. Don't eat at Berthas. And one other place to avoid in my opinion is Armadillos.

        Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further clarification.

        2 Replies
        1. re: asun

          I think you meant Kali's Court is way expensive. Mezze is quite reasonable, featuring nouveau Greek small plates. I like it a lot. Great taramasalata, zucchini fritters, and grilled anchovies among other things.

          1. re: ko1

            Resurrecting a 4 year old post? :)

            Mezze is delicious! Loved the baby eggplant.

        2. Henninger's Tavern and Peter's Inn are 2 very good Fells Point bets. I happen to like going to John Stevens but thats probably because I have been doing do for 25 years.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Hon

            Second Henninger's, Peter's Inn and One-Eyed Mike's. These are all excellent, unique Fells Point haunts. Althought technically Henninger's is more upper Fells/Butcher's Hill. If you're headed up to Butcher's Hill, check out SALT on Pratt Street. I cannot say enough good about SALT.

              1. re: Hal Laurent

                It may have dragged on. Who knows? ;)

                1. re: ko1

                  Some meetings seem like that. :-)

                  1. re: Hal Laurent

                    Maybe it's just the meetings at my company which never seem to end. My bad.

          2. Ate at a Greek tapas bar called Mezze this weekend--just excellent! I highly recommend it.

            (Even though this is an old thread, perhaps someone will do a search on Fell's Point.)