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Baltimore, trapped in Inner Harbor, HELP!?

Baltimorean Hounds,

My bride and I will be stuck in Inner Harbor next week and we need two days worth of excellent, expense account eats (meaning we are not paying). I have tried to do due diligence and have noted: Windows, Charleston and Flemings.

What do you suggest?

Dave in Moraga, CA

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  1. The Bicycle on LIght St.
    The IH is a great place to be "stuck" for a couple of days... don't be afraid to seek out some of the great food at non-expense account prices, too. Federal Hill, Fells Point and Little Italy are all walkable.

    1. Um, I just wanted to tell you to be a little more excited about staying in Baltimore. You make it sound like a prison sentence. Enjoy the place while you're here. Try Ixia in Mount Vernon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ryssiebee

        OK, I didn't mean to give the impression that being stuck in Inner Harbor is like torture. Thanks for the rec.

      2. Well, you're in a perfect spot then! Skip Windows, but both Charleston and Flemings are absolutely wonderful. I think that Flemings is the best steak house in Baltimore with the Capital Grille a close runner up. If you're on an expense account, you might want to give Pazo or Kali's Court a try, both are in Fell's Point. Charleston is arguably the best restaurant in Baltimore, so definitely get in there.

        You're not more than a $5-$7 cab ride from any place in the city, so go and explore and don't think of yourself as being stuck in the Inner Harbor!

        1. Just wanted to add that Windows is currently closed for renovation. My office is on the 5th floor directly across Calvert Street and I've been watching the demolition and rebuilding for a couple of weeks now.

          I concur on all the choices mentioned above, but have been wondering how the local chowhounds feel about Little Havana's brunch. Not expensive, but bottomless bloodies/mimosas, fun atmosphere and good food, in my opinion.

          2 Replies
          1. re: eddieandcleo

            Little Havana's brunch is great when the weather is nice and you can sit outside enjoying the sun and view. The food isn't bad, but it's not a place that I would recommend going this time of year.

            1. What about Marticks? Is that place still there? anyone know? Definitely and experience!

              2 Replies
              1. re: nyclibkat

                Yes, I was last there 2 months ago and it was it's quirky self. Definately a Baltimore exeriance, great food, great story, great atmosphere. I don't casually recomend it anymore - I've got to know someone well enough to know they will appreciate it - after a friend took her parents there & Martic fussed at her father b/c he was a dentist. However, if I know the person & know they will be game for the experiance I love sending people there - the sweet potato soup is scrumptious & its so Baltimore. It is kinda a sketchy area though, so if you are going there from the Inner Harbour you would need to cab it.

                1. re: pagoda girl

                  "Quirky... Baltimore experiance," sounds excellent.

              2. Definitely Charleston on an expense acct. Aldo's in Little Italy is expensive and gets great reviews from the professional reviewers, but I've never been there. Bocaccio's in LI is very good, and I've been there many times; not creative, but excellent execution. More down-mkt, the small plates at Pazo are generally excellent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tartuffe

                  I ate at Aldo's during restaurant week. The food was very good and it's pretty romantic. Since you are on an expense acct. I would totally recommend this restaurant if you are in the mood for italian.

                  As for steak I would recommend The Prime Rib in Mt Vernon. The food and service are top rate. They do require jacket and tie.

                  If you are looking for a place for Brunch I recommend Gertude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Good food (better than the traditional museum restaurant) plus you get to check out some great art.

                2. Get out of the Harbor. If you like unique food and great craft beers in an upscale environment go for THE BREWER'S ART in Mt. Vernon. The SPEAKEASY in Canton has some great food as well. THE WATERFRONT HOTEL in Fell's Point has great food and a wonderful Sunday Brunch. If you are fan of the show Homocide it is the bar the cops bought. Also check out Baltimore Main Streets' website info and links about Baltimore's historic commerical districts.

                  1. Lots of good responses above (Marticks, Gertrudes, Brewers Art, Charleston). I would pass on Flemings and Capital Grille because though the food is good, these are high-end chains, pure and simple. The other suggestions will give you a taste of Baltimore in all its weirdness. Definitely the Prime Rib if you want a steak.

                    1. Abacrombie in Mt. Vernon. Food is spot-on and the atmosphere is cozy and romantic. Fabulous service, too.

                      1. Charleston
                        Prime Rib (if you have the right attire)
                        DaMimmo (Little Italy)
                        Tio Pepe- definitely if you like Paella & (red) Sangria
                        I would skip the usual chains - Flemings & Cap Grille

                        1. The Bicycle and Brass Elephant. Definitely pricey. But, if you want a full and satisfying meal too I'd suggest Roy's (classy, hawaiian fusion). The portions were large enough to satisfy yet delicate in taste. Try the shortribs--succulent and oh so tender!

                          1. Check out Roy's on the Harbor. This is the "chain" of restaurants owned by the guy in Hawaii who created Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Good stuff.

                            I also agree that you should head to Little Italy one night.

                            1. If you want the true Baltimore vibe, go to Martick's and Tio Pepe's. Not true haute cuisine, but what passed for it here for many years and we love them. If you want Maryland-style seafood, go to Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton. A 10 minute cab ride, not fancy, not very pricey for the quality of the food. Best/most expensive resto in B-more? Charleston. Go if you can.

                              1. We enjoyed Abacrombie--intimate, sophisticated room, very good food. Short cab ride from Inner Harbor. http://www.abacrombie.net/index.html
                                We had an amazing crab cake the size of a softball at Koco's Pub. This place is a neighborhood joint--owner sits on a stool keeping an eye on the register while his wife cooks and his daughter waits tables--super nice people and the crab soup was fantastic.
                                Then there's Cafe Hon--good breakfasts, campy atmosphere in a boho neighborhood--reminds me of the East Village back in the '80s. http://cafehon.ezsitemaster.com/

                                1. Thanks to all of you VERY MUCH! Great information. The intelligence of the collective ChowHounders is wonderful. Thanks again.