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DC Hound just moved to Baltimore (Fed Hill) - Questions

Hey All,

I just moved up to Federal Hill from DC for a new job and I have some questions. I've been searching the boards as best as I can but some of the stuff I'm having a hard time finding.

Delivery in Federal Hill
* Pizza - I've read about Matthew's and Thirsty Dog but they dont deliver. Can I get some suggestions for good local delivery pizza?
*Chinese - Is Sun Hing the only option?

Non-Delivery (and this doesnt need to be in Fed Hill, I'll go anywhere in the city for it)
* Consensus Best Sushi
* Best Mexican (Tex-Mex I guess)- I love fajitas, any suggestions? A place that serves fresh jalapenos (none of that pickled canned stuff), hot chips, and salsa with a kick would be great!
* Korean Food
* Red Sauce Italian Place - I'm not looking for the fru fru Northen style Italian but rather the down home, rustic, Southern Style

Everything else I've pretty much been able to find... I'm excited to try all the crab cake options up here; I havent been to Faidley's yet, which im pretty excited about. We'll see how it competes with the places on the eastern shore!

Thanks! I'm looking forward to exploring a new city's cuisine.

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  1. Welcome to the neighborhood. Federal Hill is a great place to live. Unfortunately, it's not a great place to get a pizza delivered. In fact, it's not a great place to get pizza at all. I haven't tried any of the Chinese delivery places, but i think there's a couple of them.

    My favorite sushi is in Columbia, but Matsuri right by Cross Street market is darned good.

    Best Mexican is Mari Luna in Pikesville. I haven't had anything nearly as good in the area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JonParker

      Thank you., sir

      In my searching I definitely noticed that there are several places outside of the city that people travel to... I'm just trying to try everything *in* the city first before I start venturing out (convenience factor, plus Im really trying to learn the layout of the city).

      1. re: MarcDC

        In some ways the layout of the city is a major annoyance, especially if you live in Federal Hill. There's a lot of good places that require going around the harbor.

        One other place in Federal Hill that you definitely need to try is Thai Arroy. This is a great little Thai place on Light Street with reasonable prices, good food, and a friendly staff.

        While delivery is not much of an option, takeout is plentiful. Just across from Thai Arroy and just north of Regi's is Elvis, and El Salvadoran/Mexican place with huge burritos and tacos. I haven't tried the nachos there, but everything I've had is good, fresh and cheap.

        What part of Federal Hill are you in? There's probably other places within a couple of blocks of you that I can recommend within easy walking distance.

        1. re: JonParker

          Awesome.

          I'm living in the HarborView/Pierside condos so pretty much everything involves some level of walking (which I have no issue doing)

    2. There's another Chinese delivery place further up Light St., across from American Apparel. Can't remember the name though. I recall it being average. Never tried Sun Hing, so I can't compare.

      The fajitas at Nacho Mama's in Canton are pretty good. Monday and Tuesday - $25 for 2 orders of fajitas and a pitcher of margarita.

      I also prefer the Columbia Sushi joints, but I recently went to Sushi-San in Canton and had a white tuna roll (one of their specials - some girl's name) that was outstanding.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chowtimore

        "The fajitas at Nacho Mama's in Canton are pretty good. Monday and Tuesday - $25 for 2 orders of fajitas and a pitcher of margarita."

        Wow, that is a GREAT deal; I'm definitely going to check that out.

        Thanks for the other recommendations!

        1. re: MarcDC

          There's a similar deal (maybe $20 actually) at No Way Jose (right next to Cross St. Market), I can't remember what day it's on. I've never been able to try it, b/c my husband won't eat fajitas (seriously).

          But I love their chicken chimichangas (sp?). They're huge, easily two meals for me.

      2. As far as sushi goes, you're in luck. Matsuri in Federall Hill is by far the best Sushi in Baltimore.

        I have to disagree with the Nacho Mamas advice. Their food is very hit or miss, with it missing more times than not. But their margaritas are tasty. Try one of the numerous mexican joints in Fells Point instead.

        As for Korean, go to Joung Kak on 20th St for authentic Korean BBQ.

        I prefer the fru fru Northern Italian cuisine, so I can't help you there :)

        6 Replies
        1. re: HungryTed

          Haha, thanks for the help Ted.

          Italian food is supposed to be comfort, family style food, not French inspired nonsense! ;-)

          Matsuri is on the top of my list for the next restaurant to try.

          1. re: MarcDC

            Pazza Luna in Locust Point next door to Fed Hill is very good:
            www.pazzaluna.us
            I like Maria D's on Light Street for a good sloppy pizza.
            Matsuri is my favorite Japanese restaurant in town.
            And of course you have the Cross Street Market for all of your raw bar needs and some damn good sushi - and cheap beer, shhh.

              1. re: hon

                Hon, I have always respected your judgement. I have been to numerous places based on your recommendation and found them just as described. I have been known to tell my girlfriend when taking her someplace new "hon recommended it" and she asks no more questions.

                But Maria D's? I thought that place was just terrible. Like scary terrible.

                1. re: JonParker

                  Oh come on Jon! Good sloppy pizza can definitely be had at Maria D's. I don't think hon (or I) would claim it's anywhere near the best pizza in town. But for a big greasy slice of pizza, it's certainly better than Papa Johns or Dominos.

            1. re: HungryTed

              I can't vouch for the rest of the menu, but I've had the blackened chicken fajitas at Nacho Mama's several times and they have always been good.

            2. I used to live in Fed. Hill, congrats on a great place! For convenient Mexican, Blue Agave can't be beat. It's a tad more upscale than Tex-Mex, but it still has good salsa and margaritas. If you're up for traveling around the Harbor, I'll second the suggestions for Nacho Mamas. On their menu it says something like "We make our food spicy, so tell us if that's a problem" - so it's probably perfect for you.

              For Korean, go to Nam Kang, or Joung Kak - they're both located around midtown.

              For sushi, I personally like Edo in the Harbor. Not as good as its original location out in the 'burbs, but at least it's close by! Judging by our other big sushi thread, I think the consensus is actually Sushi Hana in Towson, about 10 min. north of the city.

              Here's a few more places in your neighborhood that I wish I had discovered sooner before I moved:
              Sobo Cafe (cozy, unpretentious New American)
              Ten-O-Six (excellent Asian fusion)
              Rub (new BBQ place, from the owners of Blue Agave)
              Bicycle (pricey New American)
              Beach Bums (awesome ice cream)
              Regi's (good brunch, comes with mini-muffins)

              9 Replies
              1. re: pattiat600block

                Awesome, thanks for the list Patti! Im compiling a list of everyone's suggestions into a Word doc so this is perfect.

                I totally forgot to look into a good Brunch place, thanks for the Regi's info.

                1. re: MarcDC

                  No problem, I just wish I had this site when I moved to the city. Have fun settling in!

                2. re: pattiat600block

                  Anyone else find Beach Bums in Fed Hill has a strange odor? Also, I frequently get ice crystals in my ice cream. The SO gets annoyed cause I always still want to go back anyway. The Towson location I find to be better, though.

                  1. re: bmorecupcake

                    My fiance and I just moved to Federal Hill and we discovered the Old Malt Shoppe on Fort. They serve straight up Hershey's ice cream on cones, milkshakes, and sundaes. Not fancy but perfect as a neighborhood scoop shop. We've really enjoyed walking there after dinner on nice nights. A friend who lives in the neighborhood and is a die-hard ice cream lover used to go to Beach Bums but she says it's gone down hill lately, which I sadly have to agree with.

                  2. re: pattiat600block

                    I would like to 2nd Ten-O-Six - it's one of those places that gets no love on here, but I think is great! I love their pad thai. And their fish specials are usually really good. I haven't been in awhile, I should probably make a trip.

                    The rest of Patti's list is good too. Definitely check out Sobo. Great neighborhood place. And I love Bicycle, just a little expensive for my budget :)

                    I'm sure you've been in the market, but it's a great place for food. You have to try Bruce Lee's Wings. And I love the noodle place Matsuri runs. I also love the soft pretzels.

                    1. re: pigtowner

                      I actually havent been to Cross Street Market yet but im eagerly anticipating it. I just moved up here this past weekend and due to the hours I work I simply dont have time to go out and eat food or even explore the city. For the most part I end up eating dinner at work (which is nice bc I can expense it) so the only "Fed Hill" food I've had is delivery from Sun Hing one night. :-(

                      I've been to Mama's On The Half Shell about five times (I absolutely love that place, the old bay wings are the best wings ive ever had) and had the crab cake sammich from Bo Brooks (it was good, not great). That's about it....

                      1. re: MarcDC

                        I love Mamas too, great crab cakes and shrimp and oysters and clams and everything else!

                    2. re: pattiat600block

                      I am now in DC but used to live in Baltimore, which I think has great food.

                      For Korean, definitely Jung Kak on 20th and Maryland and Nam Kang (with the green awning?) is good too and open late. For some reason, there is a large Korean community in midtown Baltimore, so there are several great restaurants which are MUCH cheaper than in DC. This is also going to sound silly, but there is a Korean lunch place called "OK Oriental" (I think?) at the Northeast Market near Hopkins Medical campus. Great chicken-bulgolgi style, huge portions and really cheap (relative to DC). Also get the fried string beans tossed in sesame oil. Delicious.

                      SoBo Cafe--I whole heartedly agree; for great comfort food (pork chops and mashed; mac and cheese; chix pot pie).
                      Golden West Cafe in Hamden--great atmosphere, eclectic menu and good food/prices

                      As for Mex/Salvadoran, there are a bunch of new Salvadoran places that opened up recently in Fells Point; the only one I've been to is La Guadalupana (on Eastern?), but that was a long time ago... It was fantastic and authentic; situated as part of a Latino grocery store where you can stock up on queso fresco and fresh tomatillos.

                      Enjoy Baltimore--it's a great city.

                      1. re: monkeygirl99

                        thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.

                    3. Welcome to the neighborhood! You've done a decent job of research as you've highlighted alot of the weaknesses.

                      There really is no good pizza delivery in the neighborhood. Mikies on Fort Ave delivers and is the go to place for a poker night, we need three large pizzas type of thing, which is not necessarily a full 'hound worthy endorsement.

                      I haven't tried to find any good Chinese since Chi left Light Street about 8 years ago. If there is some out there, please post back and let us know.

                      For sushi, as mentioned earlier, try Matsuri on Charles Street.

                      For Mexican, I think Baltimore does better authentic Mexican / South American than Tex-Mex. Elvis on Light Street is actually really good and definitely try El Taquito in Upper Fells Point.

                      You are out of luck regarding down home rustic Italian. You can find a decent dish or two in Little Italy, but none can be described as down home. The closest you will find is DiPasquali's (Gough Street in Highlandtown). They do killer sandwiches and the like but usually have one pasta dish that changes daily, which is often quite good. The down side is that they closes early, so it really is limited to a late afternoon Saturday type of place. Its definitely worth the trip around the harbor.

                      Again, welcome to the neighborhood. Be sure to post back here as you try out places in the city. Its always good to get a fresh perspective.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: KAZ

                        Thanks for the suggestions KAZ, I will absolutely report back once I try a handful of places... I have a list of all the places I want to try (from my own searching and from this thread) and I will definitely be taking my own notes on them.

                        It's fun moving to a new city. I have the DC scene down pat. Having lived there my whole life it was starting to get to a point where I tried all the "hound" places and was starting to get bored with the scene there. That's not to say there arent several places that will be sorely missed! I'm excited to try everything Baltimore has to offer that's for sure!