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Baltimore greek and vietnamese food

newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 03:00 AM

moved to Baltimore from NOVA.
I was kinda spoiled there by all the great asian restuarants. And recommendations for Vietnamese in the Baltimore area (i miss Eden center!)

Also, I've seen lots of talk about Greektown. I've been to Somos and thought it was very good. Any feedback or recommendations about Acropolis, Ikarus etc...?


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  1. toro head RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 03:34 AM

    I think the best Vietnamese you are going to find is down in Columbia - An Loi and Pho Dat Thanh both off Snowden River Parkway. There are 2 small pho places off Rt. 40 near Security Square Mall, but IMHO the 2 in Columbia are much better.

    9 Replies
    1. re: toro head
      Chownut RE: toro head Jan 9, 2007 06:44 AM

      Both An Loi and Pho Dat Thanh have been bought out, and now are owned by Koreans. I heard from a friend that quality has suffered. Also, the pho joint in Security Square Mall is korean owned also, and was okay when I ate there awhile ago. Pricier than authentic pho joints, and not as good though.

      1. re: Chownut
        hon RE: Chownut Jan 9, 2007 01:25 PM

        It has suffered, I used to love An Loi and now the food is just "eh". I'm pissed...

        1. re: hon
          Chownut RE: hon Jan 9, 2007 01:56 PM

          These two joints had a big korean following. Too bad they had to ruin it by buying them out.

          1. re: Chownut
            Warthog RE: Chownut Jan 9, 2007 05:41 PM

            I've heard several reports of An Loi going downhill, but based on my most recent meal at Pho Dat Trahn (see another post in this thread), I'd advise cautious optimism. The new management there does not seem to have ruined things yet, and they may have even improved them.

            I don't care what nationality the owners are, as long as they are wise enough to keep putting out good chow.

        2. re: Chownut
          Warthog RE: Chownut Jan 9, 2007 05:38 PM

          Friends and I went to Pho Dat Thanh a couple nights ago, and if anything, it was better than before, though I admit to missing the prior owner and his stops by the table to greet us.

          As this was only one meal, I'd hesitate to say that there's nothing to worry about, but at very least, there was no drastic "never go there again" downturn in quality that we could detect.

          1. re: Warthog
            hon RE: Warthog Jan 9, 2007 06:38 PM

            I will give Pho dat another shot, An Loi no!

            1. re: hon
              elgringoviejo RE: hon Jan 9, 2007 08:46 PM

              I agree with Warthog that Pho Dat Thanh is still good, at least I thought that there lunch specials were as good under the new ownership. Haven't had dinner there in a long time.

            2. re: Warthog
              stacylyn RE: Warthog Jan 10, 2007 11:19 AM

              I love Pho Dat Thanh....although, I haven't been to an abundance of Vietnamese places to really compare. Their Ginger Chicken in a Clay Pot is so good, love their Roast Pork Vermicelli, and I'm a sucker for Vietnamese Spring Rolls. So, what else should I try (even though I seriously CRAVE these dishes weekly)?

            3. re: Chownut
              jes RE: Chownut Jan 9, 2007 09:43 PM

              I had dinner at Pho Dat Thanh on Friday and found it to be as good as my previous visits.

          2. eddieandcleo RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 03:55 AM

            I like Ikaros and Samos; haven't eaten at Acropolis.

            Regarding Vietnamese, I love Saigon Remembered on York Road, across from the Senator Theater in the northern part of the city. Very fresh rolls, pho and other dishes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: eddieandcleo
              hon RE: eddieandcleo Jan 9, 2007 01:27 PM

              I think Saigon Remembered is terrible, by the 3rd time of trying it hoping each time it would get better, the lemongrass chicken was bland and had a large metal shard in it that I pulled out of my mouth. I alerted the waitress who could have cared less. I will never go back.

              1. re: hon
                Warthog RE: hon Jan 9, 2007 05:44 PM

                I used to love the old Saigon, when they were on Bel Air Road(I think). When they moved to the current location and changed the name to Saigon Remembered, I gave them several chances, but ultimately came to the concluson that their new name was a cruel joke. I *did* remember Saigon (the old place), and I wanted it back!

                To be fair, maybe they've gotten their act together in the intervening time - it's been a few years. But I'd have to see a *lot* of positive recs from chowhounds and others whose opinions I trust before I'd go back.

                1. re: Warthog
                  attgig RE: Warthog Jan 14, 2007 09:20 PM

                  That place is horrible. charging any more than 6 bucks for pho is a crime.

            2. JonParker RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 11:23 AM

              Samos is hands down the best, but it's also the most crowded.

              Ikaros has the best fried calamari I have ever had -- it will change your perception of what calamari can be. I'm not all that big on a lot of the rest of their menu -- someone on here (I can't remember who, sorry) and I disagree about the green beans and tomatoes -- I find them overcooked and bland.

              I've had good fish at Acropolis -- it's a budget alternative to Black Olive for grilled whole fish.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JonParker
                Warthog RE: JonParker Jan 9, 2007 05:50 PM

                My personal favorite in Greektown is Zorba's, particularly for the "on the charcoal" fish (daily) and lamb (weekends) options. If the specials don't tempt me, I usually default to the *huge* portion of delicious kontosouvli (sp?), most often with horta (endives) and roasted potatoes.

                That said, in my experience, it's pretty hard to go wrong at Ikaros, Samos, Zorba's or Acropolis. Each has some things it does better than the others, but none of them are noticeably lagging the others. We're fortunate to have so many good dependable options.

                1. re: JonParker
                  bigstevegearhart RE: JonParker Nov 26, 2007 07:58 PM

                  Samos is certainly very good. The wife and I finally got a seat recenlty and did the "Tour of Samos". A LOT of GOOD food.

                  The thing about Samos is that it isn't, physically, customer-friendly. You have to choose the right time of year to go because their heat and AC pretty much doesn't work. That and the average wait-time is 30 minutes or more with almost nowhere to stnad.sit while waiting. IMPORTANT: cash only! There is an ATM right outside the bathrooms. Just hope that the woman coming out of the ladies room doesn't throw the door open on her way out. You will get creamed because the ATM is located right next to it.

                  If you are willing to wait for good, cheap Greek food. This is the place to go. But if you want to bring friends, it would be best to warn them.

                2. e
                  elgringoviejo RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 01:11 PM

                  Acropolis has the best lamb in Greektown. Ikaros and Acropolis both serve grilled fish at a more reasonable price than Black Olive, and both do an excellent job with calamari. IMO Acropolis, Ikaros, and Samos are each among the best value restaurants in Baltimore.

                  1. j
                    jfish RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 06:20 PM

                    For grilled food head to Zorba's. I am particularly fond of the octopus and the sweet breads (when they are available). FYI, you can request a half order of the kontosouvli, still a huge serving.

                    1. a
                      atls21231 RE: newbieMike Jan 9, 2007 06:46 PM

                      In addition to Miss Pho in Seoul Plaza (Security Mall), there's also Pho #1 on route 40 in the same mall as Value City. It's pretty good, definitely worthwhile if you're in the area. Finally, I think there's a place outside the beltway on route 40 called Pho Nam, but I've never been there.

                      Someone should open a Pho place in highlandtown. I'd be a regular.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: atls21231
                        hon RE: atls21231 Jan 9, 2007 08:57 PM

                        or Hampden please!

                        1. re: atls21231
                          amethiste RE: atls21231 Mar 26, 2007 09:57 AM

                          Pho Nam has been my go to pho restaurant for a couple of years now. Although the looks are basic store-front, the food is excellent. I typically get the spring rolls and the number 11 pho

                          1. re: atls21231
                            baltoellen RE: atls21231 Mar 27, 2007 02:45 PM

                            Pho #1 is my regular Vietnamese joint...hardly ever disappoints. I second opening a pho place in Highlandtown, and a banh mi place anywhere in the city (the pilgrimages to Eden Center are time consuming!)

                            I think Zorba's is the best Greek in town...and, as a sign, it's usually filled with Greeks eating there...in addition, there always seems to be a party there, I've ended up with countless free shots of ouzo and other fun spirits over the years. (This has been when I've eaten at the bar, btw.)

                            Samos is great....but, it IS always crowded, and I think maybe less 'authentic' than Zorba's.

                            1. re: baltoellen
                              ko1 RE: baltoellen Mar 27, 2007 05:30 PM

                              However you place them, Zorba's and Samos are the best Greek places in town, although Zorba's is probably closer to what you'd get in Greece. For more "American" Greek food, try Ikaros or the Acropolis. Good to see you back, baltoellen. I, too, would kill for a nice little banh mi shop here.

                              1. re: ko1
                                baltoellen RE: ko1 Apr 3, 2007 03:11 PM

                                Thanks....& it's good to be back, too! Maybe we can start a banh mi in Baltimore lobby!

                                1. re: baltoellen
                                  hon RE: baltoellen Apr 4, 2007 05:51 AM


                          2. aussiewonder RE: newbieMike Apr 4, 2007 08:10 AM

                            I'd agree w/ most of the posts. Pho Dat has always been good to me and I ate there last week and was still very happy and full when i left. At all costs I would avoid Saigon Remembered on York, its over priced and the food is bland and awful. You'd do much better to go to Columbia. I recall there being a couple of Vietnamese places off of 895/Glen Burnie area, but can't seem to remember their names; they were in a little Asian strip mall back there...maybe someone else could help you out...all in all the Balto area seriously lacks a good selection of Vietnamese restaurants!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: aussiewonder
                              phatface RE: aussiewonder Nov 27, 2007 07:03 AM

                              Hard to believe, but try the crabcakes at Ikaros. For under $20 you get two large mostly lump crabcakes that are pretty close to the best around.

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