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Mid week dinner: Charles Theatre

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The humidity must have fried my brain! Bc I'm looking to grab a bite and a drink pre-show @ Charles Theatre, likely around Happy Hour time, and coming up empty.
Over the Zodiac and Tapas Teatro, can anyone recommend anything else in the near vicinity? Meeting a friend from MICA, so (unfortunately) B is out bc she eats there v. often. Any recommendations? What's the food like @ Club Charles? Neither of us are picky, but in this heat, looking to the lighter side of things...HELP!

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  1. Joe Squared Pizza on North Avenue is fun and interesting. Kind of funky but good pizza, sandwiches and drinks. They also have risotto that I have not tried.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jfish

      The risotto is great, but the service is slowww. Iggie's on Calvert is also good for interesting pizza (non-heavy thin crust artisan), but it's BYOB.

      1. re: PaulaG

        I also agree with Joe Squared...although I don't imagine that the service will be all THAT slow for an earlyish meal....

        They also have salads for a lighter meal.

        And, every time I go there, I thank my lucky stars for CH, since w/o the reviews here, I would have never tried it!

        1. re: baltoellen

          Ellen, I'm in full agreement with you on everything you said. Thanks to the Chowhounder (was it Warthog?) who posted on this place. It's not for everyone, but I love it.

          1. re: JonParker

            Warthog is fantastic regarding re-con for great chow in Baltimore..and Joe 2 sounds like one on his finds!

            And, while it's not for everyone, I really wish more places like it: casual with innovative with inexpensive food, would open around town.

            1. re: baltoellen

              You're pretty good at the recon yourself. I should add that I've never found the service slow at all, but the kitchen times are excruciating.

    2. For something light, what about XS on Charles St. I don't eat sushi but they have a sushi menu and some "breakfast type" options (even at night) and a few other entrees. It's close, its something different, not sure if its great, but its good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jes

        I have found the service to be very slow at XS (Charles St. just south of Mt. Royal Ave.) and would not go there pre-movie. And I'm not sure why I would go back at all, really.

        Next door to it is Viccino Bistro, another "Jay's" establishment, with much better service. I consider it a lesser version of "b" (menu-wise): pizza, pasta, salads, sandwichs. The pizza is good, but not as good as Iggie's.

        Don't go to Dionysus. We went there a couple of weeks ago, mid-week, 7 PM. The food was bad and the wait for it worse. I should do a new post about _that_ experience.

      2. The food at Club Charles comes from Zodiac.

        1. If you feel like the 5 minute ride up the road to Hampden, check out Rocket to Venus:
          http://www.rockettovenus.net

          1. XS is probably the best bet. You can get good sushi and a good sandwich. The place has three levels, and each has its own personality. The first floor seem more like a coffee shop. The second feels like a small restaurant. The third has a bar scene, but I would say more like a club bar. It never seems like the place to order a beer or a bourbon.

            If you would prefer a more traditional bar and restaurant, I would go with Brewer's Art on Charles or the Owl Bar in the Belvedere Hotel. Those places have good food. The Owl bar does a good brick oven pizza. Brewer's Art has everything from pork belly to garlic fries. The Brewer's Art also has really good beer. The Resurection Ale is quite good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robearjr

              Brewer's Art Happy Hour is also a really good deal.

            2. Is Gertrudes at the BMA an option ??
              Not sure of the hours

              1. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. After a crappy day i needed 'resurrecting', so Brewers won out! They had just started their new menu that evening and I had the grilled calamari 'salad' which was yummy, and just what i needed, albeit it very small (I'd had a lunch meeting w/ a heavy meal, so it was just right for me).
                Joe Sq, I will get there soon, there have been many positive things said about them.
                Thanks,

                3 Replies
                1. re: aussiewonder

                  Anyone know if the corner place named Diner just up from Zodiac is opening? Looked like a stalled project last time by.

                  1. re: chowsearch

                    Around happy hour time I would definitely check out Joe Squared. Place is pretty quiet early so for serious eating this is when you should drop in (around 8 or 9 it starts to fill up with drinkers and once the DJ's show it is more of a nightclub atmosphere). I hadn't been there in a while but they seem to have perfected their pizza dough, it has the right amount of salt (more) and a better chewiness. Seem to have upped the service level as well. I'd also recommend Nok Won (sp?)the new Korean joint on 20th in the old U Jung location. Superb beef and a badass seafood pancake, but a bit more of a walk than Joe Squared.

                    1. re: eatalot

                      Eatalot, thanks for the heads up on the new Korean Joint, will def make a trip there bc I love seafood pancake.
                      YUM!