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Aug 12, 2006 10:08 PM


We have had wonderful meals in Baltimore. It is a dining destination I can recommend with something for every one.

After a day back in NY we are back in B-More until Wednesday. That gives us four more days to sample the best of B-More.

On our list: TIO PEPE & SAFFRON.

What are we missing? Any new tips will be greatly appreciated. A great seafood restaurant (can't gert enough of your fabulous crab), French perhaps.

An observation : I have found that B-Moreans are not as highly critical about restaurants as NYers. NYers tend to be really stingy giving out high scores in Zagat.

Thank you all for your great suggestions. I have tried to report back and give our impressions.

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  1. Give us a quick list of where you've been.

    1. We had a superb dinner tonight at TIO PEPE. A charming restaurant with attentive and gracious service, lovely setting and wonderful food.

      We started with a small pitcher of the refreshing classic Sangria and their warm crispy home made bread. We shared the garlic shrimp appetizer . It was brought out presented for two, in two little casseroles. It was huge,ten luscious shrimp bathed in a briny shellfish reduction infused with sweet garlic.

      We ordered the Paella Valenciana for two. As good or better than the Paella at SEVILLA, our favorite Spanish place in the City. The Paella was enormous, full of fresh shrimp, chicken, sausage, mussels,clams, and large pieces of very sweet succulent lobster, cooked to perfection in a fragrant saffron based stock. Made to order, every element was cooked just right.The rice was firm, not too much sauce.Delicious. We took enough back for a nice lunch.

      We ended with the Pine Nut Roll . Fortunately we ordered just one for the two of us. It was enormous, and delicious,surprisingly light with candied pine nuts and a light almond cream. Again, served for two.

      The service was gracious, unobstrusive and totally correct. The Chef came over to check our plates and inquire about our meal.

      Very reasonable as well. The bill came to a little over $100.

      We have been here in Baltimore for 12 days and have been to the following for dinner with our favorites in order of best to worst.

      Some were excellent by any standard, some were good, some were OK . Only one was a read dud.. FIVE GUYS, and one a total disappointment FAIDLEY'S.

      TIO PEPE
      FAIDLEY'S (lunch)
      BLUE MOON (lunch)

      1. You've done an incredible job of sampling the best Baltimore has to offer. I'd round it out with Saffron (which, I believe has extended Restaurant Week through August) and Salt, a new place at Pratt and Collington which I haven't tried yet. I've heard nothing but good things.
        You also ought to try the steamed crabs somewhere (Obrycki's, Bill's Terrace Inn, Costa's).

        1. Definitely try Martick's for French. If you don't mind the crummy location, the bizarre decor, and the painfully slow service, you'll love the outstanding food. See previous posts. Call to make sure he's open.

          1. Any lower price options? I'm heading there soon for a wedding but will be on a budget.

            5 Replies
            1. re: goatcheesey

              On the list above, Samos and the Helmond are both inexpensive and both are excellent. You could eat also inexpensively at Pazo , because it is small plates. Also a very good place.

              1. re: goatcheesey

                We found B-more lacking in lower priced restaurant options. Unlike NY where you can dine very well on any budget,B-more offers a very limited selection of lower priced restaurants.

                Even SAMOS , basically a Greek luncheonette was more expensive than its NY relatives, and no better.

                Hard to find a really good dinner for under $20.

                1. re: Fleur

                  Thanks Fleur and Leslie! I'm Greek (so Samos sounds like a good bet), and haven't had Afgan food in years. Both options look like winners.

                  1. re: Fleur

                    Wow, B-more is like the low-cost dining capital IMO!
                    Check out "b" in Bolton Hill almost all of the entrees are under $20, the same with Salt in Butchers Hill, Henningers Tavern in Fells Point has an upscale take on the TV dinner every night always for $10 and wednesday night there is $15 lobster night with corn on the cob and mashed potatos.
                    Mezze in Fells Point and Tapas Teatro on Charles Street both have great small plates.
                    Spending my fair share of time in NYC, the inexpensive dining usually involves ethnic food and not anything near fine dining. Lots of latino dining in Upper Fells Point thats good.
                    Dudas in Fells Point has great Pub Grub as does Ale Marys. Tons of places have steamed shrimp, Captain Larrys in Locust Point has a great crab cake which is 1/2 price wednesday nights and thursday night is "pound and a pitcher" night, pound of steamed shrimp and a pitcher of beer for $12.
                    And we have "Baltimore Pizza" thats excellent:

                    1. re: Fleur

                      The market for lower priced restaurants in Baltimore is more or less dominated by Pub Food, of which there are plenty of affordable options - Friends in Fells Point on Aliceanna & Rocket to Venus in Hampden on Chestnut Ave & 34th are two good places to check out.

                      As far as Samos is concerned, you're just flat out wrong. I live in NYC as well - in Astoria, no less - and there are NO Greek restaurants in this city that serve food anywhere near as good as Samos at such reasonable prices.