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IN BALTIMORE FOR 10 DAYS :: YOUR BEST RECS svp

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Fleur Aug 1, 2006 05:29 AM

We are visiting Baltimore for the next ten days.

Please pass along your best tips. We are looking for any cuisine (except Japanese)in any price range. Especially interested in really good Chinese and Indian,French and Italian, great seafood, as well as any local specialties you think we would enjoy.

We are from New York and stayiung in Mount Vernon.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

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  1. h
    hon RE: Fleur Aug 1, 2006 12:58 PM

    Steamed Crabs: Mr. Bills Terrace Inn in Essex
    Seafood: Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton, www.mamasonthehalfshell.com
    or
    the Cross Street Market for a very local experience, in Federal Hill
    French: Brasserie Tatin, www.brasserietatin.com or Petit Louis, www.petitlouis.com
    American: Henningers Tavern in Fells Point, www.henningerstavern.com
    Chinese, you have much much better in NYC.

    there will be a billion other suggestions!

    1. m
      mehmig RE: Fleur Aug 1, 2006 01:49 PM

      I would have to agree with PP about Petit Louis, but also owned by the same people are Charleston (Best expensive restaurant in town IMO)and Pazo.

      For Chinese, we like a place in Columbia - about 20 mins south of the city on 95 called Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro, www.aseanbistro.com

      And DH and I did Sotto Sopra recently for restaurant week and really liked it www.sottosoprainc.com

      As for crab cakes, I am very picky. the only place I will eat them outside of my own house is actually at a rib/bar on York Rd in Towson called The Corner Stable.

      good luck.

      1. viperlush RE: Fleur Aug 1, 2006 02:13 PM

        Since moving to Baltimore I have found that the City Paper ( http://www.citypaper.com/eat/ ) is a good place to find reviews of restaurants. The restaurants listed below are ones that I have been to and have enjoyed or that have been recommended to me.

        In Mt Vernon
        Afghan- Helmand
        Ethopian- Dukem
        Thai- Thai Landing
        Pizza- Iggie's
        French- Brass Elephant
        American- Brewers Art
        Italian- Sotta Sopra
        Fusion/Indian- Saffron
        Steak- Prime Rib

        Other parts of the city
        French- Petit Louis
        Japanese- Asahi Sushi (Fells Point
        )Tapas- Pazo (Fells Point)

        If you are here on a sunday the Farmers Market downtown is great for breakfast (fresh fruit, pastries, crepes, omelettes, etc), just make sure you get there early

        I hope you enjoy your stay in Baltimore!

        1 Reply
        1. re: viperlush
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          asiege2 RE: viperlush Aug 2, 2006 01:34 AM

          I agree with most of your recs, but it must be mentioned that hardly any Indian influence survived the recent overhaul at Saffron. Although fraught with spelling and grammatical errors, the menu is available at http://www.saffronbaltimore.com/menu.php . It's not entirely accurate (e.g., the Lox app is served on charred naan bread, not a tortilla, which is the one visible Indian influence on the menu), but it's pretty close.

        2. Lowbar RE: Fleur Aug 1, 2006 02:32 PM

          These are what I would regard as MUSTS.

          HELMAND...one of the best Afghan restaurants I have been to in the U.S. Do the Kadoo!!!

          You must do crabs. Do them early in your trip as you will probably want to do them again before you leave. There are tons of good places for crabs in Baltimore. Bill's Terrace was a good suggestion. Kelly's on eastern ave is also really good. Bo Brooks in Canton is reliable gives you a waterside location, attracts out-of-towners and locals alike. You can search the board and find other recommendations, but I would say one of those three per your convenience.

          You must have a good crab cake. This is different from doing crabs. Crab cake is one area where I believe the best is also the most hyped...lump crab cake at faidley's in lexington market. Really divine stuff. It will ruin almost all future crab cakes for you.

          Mama's on the Half Shell is a great place to go get some seafood (non-crab). Nick's in Cross Street Market, also excellent and a good place to grab a casual lunch with some big beers.

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            atls21231 RE: Fleur Aug 1, 2006 03:16 PM

            Hi, welcome to B'more. I know you'll like the food here, but when my friends come from NYC, I find that I have to be a little bit more judicious because of all of the great food in NYC.

            For example, as Hon mentioned above, I would skip Chinese here. There's nothing even close to a decent place in Chinatown. I would definitely say the same about Baltimore's Italian food and our sushi. While I enjoy both, I think you can get equal or better at many different places in NYC.

            But so my recommendations stick to places that are less readily available in NYC. Off the top of my head, here's what I would suggest:

            The more expensive places would be:
            --Charleston, at the top of restaurants in B'more. It has southern accents. Very expensive.
            --Pazo is Charleston's hipper younger sister. Small plates with a Spanish theme; a very interesting wine list; high energy.
            --The Black Olive or Kali's Court, both which has great seafood done in a modern greek way. Also expensive.
            --Saffron in Mt. Vernon. Chef used to work at Nobu.
            --Abercrombie in Mt. Vernon. Very, very good.
            --Salt in Butcher's Hill. Our first "Gastropub."

            The less expensive places I would recommend are:
            --Helmand, as stated above.
            --Faidley's in Lexington Market. It's a stand-up place; I think their crabcakes are the best in town.
            --Mama's on the Half Shell and Bo Brooks, both as mentioned above.
            --Martick's. It's French, but it's uniquely Baltimore. Ton of history there. Take a cab.
            --Baltimore is really a bar town. There are a ton of bar/restaurants around town that are pretty cheap (especially considering NYC prices). A great thing to do is go to Fells Point or Federal Hill, walk around, and see what interests you.
            --Ras Doobie, over on the west side of downtown, has very good Caribbean food.
            --La Cazuela in Fells Point has excellent ecuadorian food.
            --Samos in Greektown (requires a car) good, great value traditional Greek food.
            --Iggy's in Mt. Vernon for their pizza (it's BYOB too).
            --Cross Street Market on a weekday afternoon to hang out.

            1. a
              atls21231 RE: Fleur Aug 2, 2006 03:29 AM

              With all due respect, I don't think Chinatown Cafe would be considered very good if it was located in NYC. I'd pass.

              1. f
                Fleur RE: Fleur Aug 2, 2006 07:08 PM

                Thank you for all your input.

                On this hot and icky day we are off to a good start.

                We had an excellent dinner at HELMAND. The setting was bright and pleasant, the service very good and the food outstanding.

                The food is well prepared with a light sophisticated touch. Prime ingredients are used, with judicious spicing, giving an elegant refined cuisine.

                As starters we had the Pumpkin appetizer and a beautiful salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. The pumpkin was absolutely delicious, one of the best. The combination of the rich, sweet pumpkin with the slightly tart, lightly spiced yogurt sauce was unusual and successful. The salad was very fresh, with frisee and mache a nice addition to the traditional meslun.

                The main dished were excellent. The Kabbull, lusciously tender lean lamb cooked with rice, spices, with an accent on sweet spices and cinnamon, with a light tomato sauce and smyrna raisins was fragrant and wonderfully rich and delicious.

                The Beef with Spinach was excellent as well, the coriander
                yogurt sauce adding a nice touch.

                The Afghan Bread was freshly made and delicious.

                The desserts were perfectly fine, but nothing outstanding.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fleur
                  e
                  elgringoviejo RE: Fleur Aug 2, 2006 07:49 PM

                  I recommend a trip out Eastern avenue to Greektown for a visit to Acropolis, Ikaros, or Samos. Samos is slightly less expensive than the other two, as a salad is included with dinner and the food is quite good. Ikaros probably has the greatest variety of Greek food among the three and it is also very good. Acropolis has about the best baked lamb and fried calamari that I have had anywhere and if that is your pleasure I would give Acropolis the nod. Hope you have a great time in Baltimore.

                2. monkeyrotica RE: Fleur Aug 2, 2006 07:27 PM

                  Baltimore-centric cuisine would have to include pit beef at Chaps on Pulaski Highway. Sliced thin, on a kaiser roll, with raw onion and Tulkoff's horseradish. Difficult if not impossible to find outside Baltimore.

                  http://www.citypaper.com/bob/story.as...

                  Also a dying breed, the coddie (flaked codfish with mashed potato and onion, blended into a cake and deepfried). Still available at Lexington Market.

                  Niether will cost you more than $6.

                  http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.a...

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