Restaurants you go to for more than food
The lines at Samo's (makes you think you're in on something) but I still like the Shrimp Kaloumi and the avogolemono soup. Friendly staff
The stories from the guy behind the counter at Sovlaki Place. (I hear good dolmathes and salad but I haven't been yet)
The Prime Rib
Mathew's- great pizza and a busy bustling place
Scechuan House in Towson. 40's costumed waitresses- how does she keep those stocking seams straight? Masters at handling large parties. Don't forget to check for an exit location when they are reallly busy. Great food (whole steamed rockfish with scallions and ginger for $12.95. You've got to be kidding)
Thai Arroy (my favorite Thai food) with the pleasant staff dressed in beautiful Thai silk.
What are your favorites?
Recently, it was waiting in line at Chuckie's for fried chicken in Hollins Market. The entire scene, with the lines, the conversations of people in line, the overhearing of conversations of people not in line, and the scene with frying chicken and then dumping this perfectly fried chicken out into the metal tray was amazing.
And, just about any place in Lexington Market, but especially around the raw bar at Faidley's. Ditto for Cross St. Mkt.
And, talking to Andy, the owner of Caribbean Food Store over on Windsor Mill. Trini food as good as you find in Port-of-Spain, and an entertaining and chatty owner too! (He once gave us a CD of Trini Xmas music--as a thank you to his good customers--and it started with him saying Merry Xmas, with all this reverb....This is ANDY, Andy, andy.....type of thing. Amazing.)
Also, while we've all but given up waiting in line at Samos for the most part, we do talk about going back for the good food and talking to the great servers.