Dinner Suggestion for Monday Night in B'more - From Portland
Visiting the area from Portland for the week. Moving here in November so fairly familiar with the layout of the city. I'll be coming back from D.C. on the train tomorrow and am looking for a good dinner rec. in what I believe is the Charles Village area? Correct my if I'm wrong. None the less, I wouldn't mind getting over to Federal Hill either.
Basically, I'm looking for dinner recs. in the Penn Station area or Fed Hill at the furthest. I dined at Jack's Bistro this evening and enjoyed the Saigon Soup, Great Beer Selection and atmosphere. However, I am open for whatever. I eat anything - oysters, liver, game, offal, burgers, all nationalities of food. I simply need a list of recs. to pick from. I'll turn around with a report. Thanks in advance!
p.s. anybody know about the oyster festival - sponsored by Ryleigh's - this weekend?
DATE: October 12th - 14th
PLACE: 36 East Cross St. Baltimore, MD 21230
A portion of the weekend's proceeds will benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Friday, October 12th, 11am-2am
$1 Oysters - Over 15 Varieties!
Beer & Wine Specials All Day!
Saturday, October 13th, 12pm-9pm
Oyster & Wine Pairing Competition!
OUTDOOR BEER GARDEN!
Wine & Oyster Specials!
Sunday, October 14th, 11am-8pm
Old Fashioned Oyster Roast;
Steamed & Grilled Oysters; Pit Beef & Pit Turkey
OUTDOOR BEER GARDEN!
*Watch the Ravens Beat the Rams!*
Drink & Food Specials All Day!
Admission is Free the Entire Weekend!
There's not much in the way of good eating in that neighborhood (at least not dinner). Jong Kak is a good Korean bbq place north of Penn station, but that's about it (I disagree with the folks who like Tapas Teatro - the only thing good there are the drinks - and only because it's convenient to the theater).
If you're willing to head into Mount Vernon, there are *tons* of good eating opportunities there. The Helmand (Afghan), Akbar (Indian), Ban Thai (Thai) are all great and fairly inexpensive. Ixia (fusion) is more of a special occasion place if you're cash-limited. The Al Pacino Cafe is rather strange, but has good pizza and some interesting Greek/Turkish/Egyptian food (interesting in a good way). Don't let their "open" sign fool you late at night, though. It's always on, and they're not always open.
As for Federal Hill, that's not my stomping ground, and I only know a couple restaurants there. But Thirsty Dog has good pizza. And I'm always fooled by their two tiny beers that seem like I'm getting twice as much as if they put them into one larger mug...
Hope this helps.
Seeing as how you're from Portland, you should check out Bicycle in Federal Hill. The former owners sold it to their chef and moved out to Portland within the past year or so. I believe they were originally from there. Anyway, although the chef has put his own stamp on the place, many of the dishes (and definitely the philosophy) of the place has remained the same. If you do a search you'll find it generally gets great reviews, and based on my one meal there I would highly recommend it.
Thank you for all the suggestions. Well my train was delayed coming back from D.C., so I was in major need of a beer or two when I got to Penn Station. I'd been to the Brewer's Art before and admire their $2.75 pours during happy hour. It's so hard to find a fine crafted belgian style ale for less than $6.50 - $8.00, on tap mind you, in Portland. Had the Saisson Dicore (spelling may be wrong) and the Resurrection. I was very excited to get back to Brewer's Art for another glass of Resurrection and it definately hit the spot.
At that point, I was so hot and sticky from siting on the train that I just wanted to get back to my hotel to change from suit to shorts. After that, I headed down to Rocket 2 Venus in Hampden for dinner. I had the shrimp and grits. They were pretty good but of course not as fantastic as the order I had at Vidalia in D.C. for lunch. I know, I know, Shrimp and Grits twice in one day? I live in Portland - nobody does Shrimp and Grits - well a few do but it's just not the same as eating them south of the Mason Dixon. None the less, Rocket 2 Venus's version were good but swimming in broth. I'd have preferred them a little thicker and creamier. Not a big deal, the plate was still delicious and $9 cheaper than Vidalia. Plus, the atmosphere in R2V felt just like Portland - Ha! After dinner I headed over to "The Wine Source" and picked up a six pack of Natty Boh to enjoy back at the room.
This evening I was able to get over to Federal Hill for dinner at Matsuri. I enjoyed the Soft Shell Crab Roll - Which was far better than what I've had out west. I also had scallop sashimi, which was impressive. Handsdown the tastiest scallops I've ever had at a sushi bar - Fantastic! I also enjoyed the spicy tuna and Negihama (Yellowtail and Green Onions). I thought the Negihama was good but was not all that impressed with the spicy tuna. It looks like they break down the tuna real fine and mix in the spice - I'd have preferred the tuna a bit more chunky or cubed - oh well. Three for Four ain't bad.
Well that is my story and I'm sticking to it. I'll continue to update this thread with other destinations I dine out through the week. Thanks again for the Matsuri reccomendation.
The area around Penn Station is known at Station North Arts District, I believe. Charles Village is further north of that. I don't know what the actually line is though.
I like Tapas Teatro also. I've been quite recently, it's always about the same :) I love the fried calamari. My husband LOVES the chicken croquettes, I don't, but he loves them so much they might be worth a try.
If you're in the mood for pizza, you could try Iggie's on Calvert St. It's BYOB and there's a wine shop around the corner. I love their funghi pizza and 4 cheese (and pretty much everything else).
2nd Brewer's Art - I'd eat at the bar/lounge area. They have the best fries. And pretty good burgers.
Also 2nd Sobo in Fed Hill - great dinners, really interesting place.
regi's on light street is pretty good. deb and i ate there last week and enjoyed the crab. sit at the bar if solo or dine in front of the interesting fireplace at a cozy two-top. drinks are strong, service is friendly. outdoor dining is an option now that things have cooled down.
here's a link:
Seconding Tapas Teatro, especially if the weather lightens up a little. They have streetside outdoor tables that are actually a lot of fun. The food is consistently very good, although not up with the greatest of tapas nationwide or anything. The green pea fritters are a personal favorite -- a couple of orders of those, some of the sauteed mushrooms, and a pitcher or two of sangria make for a great afternoon. (They also will make a flavored "martini" with elderflower syrup that's genuinely terrific, if you're not a sangria kinda person.)
The Zodiac across the street is a bit more variable, but can be very good when they're on. Their menu is seasonal and I haven't been in over a year, so I can't give a very solid rec, but ... well, it's close to Penn Station!
Other than that, Brewer's Art in Mt. Vernon is very good, although I think of their food as being a bit on the wintry side (braises and stews and the like) so it might be too warm today. Great beer, obv.
And the Helmand, of course, is consistently terrific, but there's been plenty said about that on the board already. Good luck.
Just around the corner from Penn Station (North up Charles st.) is a Tapas place called Tapas Teatro (http://www.tapasteatro.net/index.htm). I've only been there twice (not in the last 9 months though) but the food was good. It's attached to the Charles Theatre which shows a variety of films and can be a fun pre-meal or post-meal outing.
If you're in Fed Hill and like Thai food, Thai Arroy is the place to be (on Light St). Or, in Federal HIll and you want Sushi, go with Masturi (Corner of Cross St/Charles St.) Just down Cross another block is a place called the Sobo Cafe which has an ecclectic menu with some great dishes (I've actually had really good duck here before), but if it's warm out it can be a bit hot inside.
Ryleigh's is sponsoring an oyste festival is all day with beer/oyster/wine specials and a bunch of competitions and stuff. Should be a lot of fun!
Good luck! Make sure to let us know what you go with.