Alonso's or Loco Hombre or Rocket to Venus
Out of the three, I'll vote for Rocket to Venus too... but I have had pretty slow service there. The menu's a lot of fun, but I don't know if the food quite lived up to expectations. Everything was just okay. For anyone who's been a fan of Friends in Fell's Point, you'll be happy to know that the chef has ended up here and taken his Sloppy Jo-fu with him.
Tartuffe, Rocket to Venus is located in Hampden, just off the Avenue on the West end, near Watermelon Sugar.
Add me to the chorus of Rocket To Venus voters. I've never been overly impressed by Alonso's or Loco Hombre (although I had a perfectly solid pizza from the annoyingly-named S'ghetti Eddie's, the owner's new venture) and Rocket to Venus, on nights when the kitchen is on-point, can actually be very, very good.
Unlike PaulyR, I emphatically did NOT like the pupusa -- the textures and flavors all seemed to be in conflict, and the crust was overwhelming -- but it's one of the only two disappointments I've encountered in seven or eight trips there. (The other was a duck special where ... well, I have really no idea what they were going for.)
I've loved the wilted greens, the pork (and bacon!) dumplings, the completely inauthentic pierogies, the more thai of the two mussels, and the shrimp salad sandwich. The lamb is good, if it turns up, and my wife loves the beet salad, the brussels sprouts, and the grilled cheese.
Rocket to Venus - I'll never go back to Loco Hombre after getting barely mediocre service and pretty bad food for waaay too much money the last time I was there (i.e., asked for shredded cheese with my fajitas and was brought literally a thimble full for what I later saw was $4.00!!)
Rocket to Venus is fun for decent food, good drinks and a mixed crowd - everything from hipsters to Roland Parkers there with family in tow...
You should try R2V at least once.
Do you like rock and roll? I do and you better. The juke box is cranked up _just over_ what I'd like (for dinner conversation). I was seated in a booth near the bar. I might be quiter near the front. It is without a doubt "a hipster bar with an interesting menu".
I had the Papusa, a Salvadoran style stuffed tortilla which was great. Visually it was not what I expected: the tortilla is piled (!) with chopped tomatos and onions with cilantro. All very fresh. Perhaps too much cilantro. I also had the steamed shimped (which was fine). Service was okay. They take reservations.
Alsono's, I also agree that there are "plenty of good burgers around town". I've had a pretty good pizza there and my wife had a great (and very large) salad with steak. Our server was disinterested, at best. Perhaps because we didn't order drinks?
Loco Hombre: Never been.
Rocket to Venus without a doubt. I've eaten at the other two three times in the past year and have been very dissappointed with the food....just not good value for money, or presented well, and really the menu seems old and tired. But, i haven't been in a burger mood @ Alonso's so if that's your thing....I do remember that years ago the burger was good but i've had plenty of good burgers around town since so it's not a 'go to-must have' place. R2V's menu is diverse and very cheap and if you like the hipster decor and vibe, all in all a good fun place to go.