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Low key place for good friends to catch up (Balt)

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An old friend and I are meeting for dinner tonight in downtown Baltimore. It's been quite a while since we've had a chance to chat, and quite a bit has happened in both our lives, so I'm hoping for a leisurely meal where we won't feel rushed. I'm open to anywhere downtown (Canton, Fells, Charles St. corridor, Federal Hill, Locust Point, Butcher's Hill). Limitations are it can't be too pricey (one of us is a poor student), and probably shouldn't be ethnic (I don't think she's much of an adventurous eater). I'm envisioning some place with a nice atmosphere, quiet seating and decent wine by the glass where we can really relax. I was also hoping for somewhere I haven't yet tried though, since I get to eat out so rarely! (I live vicariously through y'all).

Thoughts included Henninger's Tavern and Peter's Inn, but it appears both are on vacation? I've been to Wine Market and Bicycle and Mama's ... wasn't too crazy about Jack's or Mezze's menu (though both are on my want-to-try list ...)

Current options include Sobo Cafe, Metropolitan, b, Yellow Dog, Birches .... any other thoughts? Or thoughts on my thoughts? TIA!!

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  1. Boyfriend and I had a wonderful dinner at b. Nice and quiet for a catching up dinner. Defiently dont skip dessert there.

    1. Birches is definitely low-key and you can get just about anything from Risotto to burgers. You can sit outside too.

      La Cazuela is definitely low-key, has beer and wine, and is a great value. Just off Broadway at Eastern.

      You can sit outside at Three as well; might be a little pricey.

      Parking around Yellow Dog sucks or I'd recommend that.

      Also, what about Lebanese Taverna? It's pretty reasonable.

      1. Thanks for the replies, guys. We ended up at Yellow Dog, and I completely agree that parking sucks. But it was just what I had in mind. We sat upstairs, and there were only two or three other tables there. We ended up sitting for over three hours, and the waitress was the perfect balance of unobtrusive, but interested.

        The food was great too! Notwithstanding the horribly stale bread to start, everything I had was quite tasty. I tried to grilled calamari appetizer, and paired it with two sides, the spinach and the roasted cauliflower. The calamari was pretty good -- not overcooked at all, which as far as I am concerned is more than half the battle when it comes to cooking calamari. It actually might have been a little undercooked, it had that slightly milky quality to it, but I would much prefer that to over. The spinach was good too, but the cauliflower was DELICIOUS. Wonderfully garlicky, and coated with a fruity, flavorful olive oil. I also had a taste of my friend's vegetable risotto and it was just the right consistency. I didn't have room, but the desserts sounded great. This place gets the thumbs up from me!