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kudos for McCabe's (Baltimore)

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What a great place! I'd heard wonderful things about the burgers, crab cakes, and bread pudding, and have for a long while had it on my list of places to visit. Despite this, it hasn't ever made it in to the rotation (and it's all of a stone's throw from where I live).

I went last night with a friend, and it was perfectly lovely! The restaurant doesn't look like too much from the outside, but the interior is cozy, intimate, and welcoming: exposed brick, a handful of tables, and the best wait staff I've had the pleasure of experiencing in a long, long time (and bless her heart, she was hobbling around with a dislocated knee).

The menu is pretty basic: burgers, crab cakes, ribs, some sandwiches, and seasonal seafood dishes. My friend and I split the crab cakes and the baby back ribs, each of which came with a salad, perfectly steamed broccoli, and a choice of baked potato or fries. The fries weren't great but they weren't the worst I've had, and my friend ate the baked potato, which she said was delicious with a very crispy skin. The crab cakes were truly excellent, with almost NO filler at all. The ribs were also delicious, although I preferred the crab cakes. HUGE portions. Everything tasted very fresh and I for one appreciate when a crab cake isn't gussied up with bells and whistles, but can stand alone with a little lemon and tartar sauce. These did.

And the bread pudding was some of the best I've had. I was so stuffed that I only had a bite, but it was divine.

McCabe's clearly has a devout following. Every table was full, the wait staff was chatting with regulars, and everyone seemed happy to be there. It reminds me a bit of a smaller, quieter, and less smoky Dizzy Issy's.

Can't wait to go back and try the burger!

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  1. Glad you liked it, you definately have to go back and get the burger - I think it's the best in town!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hon

      Where in Baltimore is McCabe's?

      1. re: Lisa H

        It's in Hampden on Falls Road, a few blocks below 41st Street.

        1. re: Hon

          McCabe's also sometimes has beer-batter shrimp (not on the menu)which are out of this world. But you have to ask for them, since they're not listed.

    2. did you have to wait for a table?

      1 Reply
      1. re: atls14620

        Not at all. Our timing was perfect because there was just one table open (for four)at around 7:45. I wouldn't think that it would be too difficult mid-week but it seems that a reservation for the weekend might be in order (if they take them -- don't know about that).

      2. Need to disagree strongly here. I ate there this past weekend and it would be charitable to call the place mediocre, but I will as the staff was friendly and I generally enjoy this type of place. The food at McCabe's just wasn't up to snuff though, and neither was the service.

        I had the crabcakes which were nothing, whatsoever, to write home about and, to paraphrase Woody Allen, served in such small portions. We had a potato skins for an app which were about your typical TGIF quality. My stepdad had the burger and was not impressed. For dessert, their bread pudding was tasty but nearly ice cold.

        But what was truly puzzling was the service. McCabe's has about 12 tables in it. They had 3-4 waitresses working those tables (one was doubling as a hostess) and they were in the weeds the entire night. Having worked in many restaurant in a previous life I can tell you this is unacceptable. The drinks came slow. It took forever for the waitress to take out order and for each course to come out...particularly the main course of which one sandwich was "burnt" according to our waitress and they needed to start over. A place that small with that amount of staff should not be this out of it. As I say, they were plenty nice, and they comped our dessert for the long waits, but we would have gladly paid to just have a decent meal.