"Mr. Food" in Baltimore: where the cabbies eat
Maybe this should go under Warthog's "Undiscovered Baltimore" category, but I understand that it's been discoved by the yellow cab drivers, and some JHU students (or so the diner at the next table told me). As the menu says, it's the "only fresh & halal restaurant in Baltimore Down Town" and specializes in Pakistani & Indian food.
Anyway, Mr. Food looks pretty much like you'd expect with something of that name. It's located at 101 W. 22nd Street, and shares an outside door to a hair salon, and a tiny Korean restaurant. You can't really see inside from 22nd St. so it's easy to feel as if you are in the wrong place. (As an aside, I really wish the Balto hounds could start pulling together a list of the good Korean restaurnts in that area. Since U-Jung seems gone, I'm at a loss....) To say Mr. Food is lacking in atmosphere would be an understatement.
Anyway, once you do find your way inside, you order from Mr. Food himself from a laminated menu at the counter, take your seat at one of the many white table clothed, glass covered tables, and wait. You could fill your time, like I did, by reading the Muslim Times, a stack of which were left at the restaruant, or by picking up your plastic utensils to get ready for the delights in store.
In any event, I ordered the Karahi goat. It was really something; tender goat cooked with tomato and ginger, with cilantro and some hot peppers. We also got the mixed vegetables, which, when I asked how they were spiced, Mr. Food answered "in the normal way." This turned out to be that sort of heady Indian-spiced assortment of carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, and peas. Very satisfying, and very, very flavorful. My friend got the channa masala, which I thought different than the versions I've had in Indian restaurants, a bit heavier and more cinnamon-y. The rice was excellent, the nan perfect. (Rice doesn't come with your entree automatically, btw.) The meal came with raita, and a salad of sorts. (Some iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.) We ate everything, and fought over who was going to use the last bit of nan to wipe the bowls clean.
Despite being halal, Mr. Food said that you could bring your own beer and wine, although this doesn't seem like the place to linger over a meal. I imagine that this is the type of food one would get in a Pakistani version of a diner....very satisfying, very homey, and very, very inexpensive.
At any rate, we'll definitely be back!
FYI: phone is 410.625.4646