NEED SUGGESTIONS FOR ANOTHER WEEK IN BALTIMORE
Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. We have had some wonderful meals during our stay in Baltimore and look forward to another week.
I would appreciate your suggestions for ITALIAN, INDIAN, BURGERS, CRAB & CRAB CAKES ( my only disappointment in this fascinating city has been the Crab Cakes at FAIDLEY'S . They were not served hot, and tasted of mustard, an ingredient I really dislike.). Also an ICE CREAM PARLOR and a place for GREAT DESSERTS. Are there any other "not to be missed" restaurants? And yes, more Seafood and Crab.
Dining in Baltimore has been a real treat. We have found the food carefully prepared from very fresh ingredients and nicely presented, .We have tried outstanding seafood,Soft Shell Crab with home made potato chips! at MAMA ON THE HALF SHELL, excellent Thai food at THAI LANDING , the amazing food at THE HELMAND, and a lovely Persian dinner at ORCHARD MARKET in Towson. The only miss or disappointment was COPRA; rather ordinary fare , mediocre service, and prices higher than they should be.
On the whole, dining is a pleasure. We are from New York and the energy level and crowds in restaurants is very different. Another little touch I find missing is bringing something to the table when you sit down. We find prices very similar to those in NY.
Any suggestions are welcome.
Saffron. Two doors down from Helmand. My favorite place right now -- the staff is starting to remember me. The cioppino and rack of lamb are my favorite entrees, and my girlfriend raved about the halibut last night. The desserts are somewhat ordinary, but the banana coconut spring roll is quite good. Don't miss the stuffed squid and white tuna with truffle oil appetizers.
I don't know what to tell you about crab cakes -- mustard is a pretty standard ingredient in them. I tend to stick to Mama's for seafood, but Nick's Fish House has gotten good reviews.
Black Olive in Fell's Point is another good choice for seafood. I haven't been in a while, but they did have some sloppy service issues. Great food though.
You might want to try Koco's on Harford Rd. for crabcakes. They are good, but blander than most. It's just a bar with a small kitchen. Crabcake platter is $18 on Thursdays, I think $24 normally. See my post below. Make reservations if you go on Thursday.
There is a burger thread below. Not mentioned is my favorite: Dellarosa's on The Avenue in White Marsh northeast of the city. The thread is strictly on urban burgers.
Italian? You're from NYC? Don't bother,
Somewhat upscale Indian? The Ambassador Room on 39th Street.
Dessert? Go to Woodlea Bakery on Belair Road and pick up a peach cake.
Crabs to eat in? Bill's Terrace Inn and Costa's. Also, though not popular here, Obrycki's on Pratt St. in Fells Point. Touristy, everything but the crabs is mediocre, but the crustaceans are quite good and steamed with the traditional black pepper seasoning of my youth (I'm 49)rather than the Old Bay mix prevalent now.
I second Saffron's and they have a $30 RW deal for 3 courses for the whole month of August encompassing the whole menu with a couple of supplements. See Jon's post below. Salt is a new restaurant at Pratt and Collington which is getting great buzz right now. I haven't been. Chameleon Cafe has gourmet food at very reasonable prices right down the street from Koco's.
Sylvan Beach on Preston Street for ice cream.
Well, I suggested Copra and Faidley's, so maybe this is my chance to redeem myself. :-)
For Italian and Burgers, I'm going to direct you to the Little Italy thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...) and the burger thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...). In Little Italy, I would probably suggest La Scala as something pretty good and not outrageously expensive. I find Sotto Sopra in Mt. Vernon to be quite good, but I've also heard bad things about it, and it's too expensive to be uneven.
For Indian, the place I usually go is called India Rasoi and it's actually in Little Italy. There is a newer Indian restaurant in Fells Point called Mehek that's has a nicer dining room. Another favourite on this board is the Ambassador Dining Room, that's up near Hopkins undergrad campus and has won "Best In B'more" (FWIW) several times.
You should definitely try the steamed crab experience. LP Steamers in Federal Hill has good crabs; the other place I recommend is Bo Brooks in Canton (it's on the water; has a nice view, but if you go to Bo Brooks, stick to the crabs and apps; the other entrees can be downright horrible).
To each his own, but judging from the places you enjoyed and did not, I would suggest you skip India Rasoi and the Ambassador and head straight for Mehek in Fells Point. It is better in every conceivable way, and this from someone who lives a block from India Rasoi. Believe me, I wouldn't walk the extra fifteen minutes if it wasn't worth it. You might try Mehek's lunch buffet, a bargain at $8.
We had an excellent dinner at SOTTO SOPRA. The Caesar salad was delicious, and the unusual presentation delightful. The pastas we had, Agnolotti Stuffed with Veal, and Fettucine with Osso Buco Ragu could hold their own with Northern Italian restaurants in NY. The desserts were OK, nothing special. A bit pricey though, don't you think?
We had Brunch at BLUE MOON which was a nice change, but basically diner food, and walked around Fells Point which is charming.
We wound up for dinner at MAMAS again for the Soft Shell Crab Salad, four luscious crispy critters at the bargain price of just $10. We had a wonderful Bread Pudding with Whisky Sauce.
Old Malt Shop in Federal Hill, corner of Fort Ave. & Webster St. They don't have gourmet ice cream to write home about, but it is an old-timey malt shop that I like to support. Can't find places like this any more and you feel good about going there instead of a chain. Don't make a special trip, but if you're in the area give it a try.