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Best of Baltimore - 3 out of 5!

Warthog Sep 26, 2006 06:15 PM

An amusing note, significant of nothing. I was reading the Baltimore City Paper's "Best of Baltimore" issue (today's the last day to find it - new issue out tomorrow).
Of the "five favorite restaurants" on my Chowhound profile, three of the five got a "Best of Baltimore" mention, and one of my five (Alfred's Tomato Pie) is in New Jersey, so it's really three out of four (Oriental Manor is my other local fave). I'm not sure that knowing my tastes are in synch with the City Paper's judges is a good thing, or a worrisome thing, but be that as it may...

Ras Doobie - Best Jamaican
Cafe Amore - Best Italian Yes, it's the one in Glen Burnie that is owned by the same folks as Rocco's in Little Italy. Those of you in AA county - check them out!
Joe Squared - Best Delivery Pizza Rread the article for the goofy "cheat" on this - the judges are trying to convince Joe Squared to deliver! OK, so maybe that shouldn't really count, and I go back to .500!

Anybody else have comments or praise for their faves that won recognition, or categories where we may have a, um, *disagreement* with the City Paper Judges?

  1. c
    cbauer Sep 26, 2006 06:40 PM

    Whoot! Cafe Amore is getting press! I love it - we NEED to keep this place open. Any bottle of wine is only $15.00. It's an awesome value!

    3 Replies
    1. re: cbauer
      Warthog Sep 26, 2006 07:16 PM

      To be honest, that was one of the main reasons for my post - to give Cafe Amore some additional attention. The write-up in the City Paper refers to Glen Burnie as a "strip mall hell" (presumably meaning from a dining perspective).

      Rose at Cafe Amore said that line has gotten them all sorts of nasty phone calls - as if people think *they* wrote it. But the fact is that if any location aspires to something better, there needs to be support when somebody sets up "something better".

      While there are some exceptions, the Linthicum/Glen Burnie area is not exactly a hotbed of good eats. Now, in addition to the previously existing exceptions, we've got fairly recent newcomers like Cafe Amore in Glen Burnie, Matsu (the Japanese place next to the Linthicum Post office), and Viva la Raza (in the old "Shaking Duck Butt" spaces) but where are the crowds? If we want to get good food in our locality, we need to be patrons when somebody has the guts to bring us a decent restaurant!

      I have visions of questions in the future along the lines of "Gee, I wonder why <fill in the blank> isn't there anymore?" or "Why isn't there anyplace good to eat in <fill in the locale>?" to which the reply often is that there *was* good food to be had, and we didn't put our fannies in the seats!

      This sort of touches a nerve, because I used to be one of the set builders at AXIS Theatre. AXIS folded for the same reason - not enough people wanted to come and pay for the sort of live theater we offered when we were there, but *lots* of people moaned when we were gone about how they had really meant to come see a play, or how much they missed us, and so forth. So where were they when we were open?

      I guess my message is simple, folks. If you love a place, whether it's a store, a restaurant, a museum, or whatever, GIVE THEM YOUR BUSINESS! Don't wait until they're gone to wish you had supported them!

      OK, I'll get off my soapbox. I rant because I care.

      1. re: Warthog
        cbauer Sep 26, 2006 08:18 PM

        Have you tried Tokyo Sushi on Mountain Rd. next to the Home Depot. We really like it and it is reasonably priced with good service.

        1. re: Warthog
          Hal Laurent Sep 27, 2006 01:13 PM

          > The write-up in the City Paper refers to Glen Burnie as a "strip mall hell"

          That sounds like a good description of Glen Burnie to me. At least the Ritchie Highway part of Glen Burnie.

          I also like Tokyo Sushi, although I didn't know that was Mountain Rd. We always enter from Ritchie Highway across from Marley Station mall.

      2. k
        KOK Sep 26, 2006 06:43 PM

        Here is a link to the winners page.

        LOVE 'The Cow' in Reisterstown.



        1. o
          ob2s Sep 27, 2006 09:53 PM

          so are you saying it is very good for GB or very good for Baltimore ? I am going to Balitmore to visit, while I like the 'ambiance' of little italy since I live in Atlanta and we have nothing like it, I'd venture to GB if the food was better than I could get in in town. Please advise

          3 Replies
          1. re: ob2s
            Warthog Sep 28, 2006 01:01 PM

            Cafe Amore is owned by Rocco Gargano, who is also the chef and owner of Rocco's Capriccio in Little Italy. Rocco had originally gotten his start with a pizza place in Glen Burnie many years ago, and Cafe Amore is in some ways a homecoming for him. Cafe Amore is run by his son and daughter, while Rocco himself runs the Little Italy restaurant. As far as the food goes, the recipes are Rocco's, though there are some items on the menu where the offspring are showing their influence, such as the "specialty" pizzas. So yes, it is comparable to what you will get in Little Italy (at least what you'd get from Chef Rocco!), though with admittedly less charming ambiance. That last note should not be taken as a slam on Rocco's kids - there's only so much one can do with a generic strip mall location, and the whole idea of Cafe Amore was to provide "Little Italy" food at a Glen Burnie price point, a task at which I think they'd succeeded.

            1. re: Warthog
              cbauer Sep 28, 2006 01:42 PM

              In an article I read when he opened up, his idea was "white table cloth quality food with paper napkin prices".

            2. re: ob2s
              Hal Laurent Sep 28, 2006 02:00 PM

              Coming to Baltimore and visiting Glen Burnie would be somewhat comparable to going to Atlanta and visiting Alpharetta.

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