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Philly Chows Visiting Annapolis - HELP

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We are headed to a town outside of Annapolis to visit a friend - girls weekend. Looking for good food and fun. We're not picky eaters - just want a good meal (nothing $$$$) and somewhere to go and hang out and enjoy Annapolis. Suggestions?

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  1. I would reccommend Lemongrass on West street for Thai food. You can put your name in at Lemongrass(they don't take reservations) and head next door to Metropolitian for drinks on their rooftop bar. Just be sure to keep your cell handy because Lemongrass will call you when your table is ready. That is probably the hippest place in town right now. If your group is not into Thai, you can eat at Metro, but it is pricy. Lemongrass is a nice place with good food, but the service is slow at times. This is probably something you will be willing to overlook as you will not be in a hurry.

    Another really great place is Tsunami on West street not far from Lemongrass. They have sushi and asian fusion food. It is good, but maybe more than you want to spend. The place has a great vibe and a fun crowd.

    You can also head downtown to mainstreet and eat at one of the places in that area. Middleton's, Mcgarvey's and O'Breins all have pub style food and a lively bar crowd. O'Breins tends to attract the 20 somethings, so if that is you have fun.

    None of these places are $$$$, but Lemongrass and Mcgarvey's will be the most affordable.

    The West street area is very popular right now and is drawing a crowd to the newer restaurants.

    I would stay away from Kyma and Lime on West. Kyma has a great bar upstairs if you want to hit that for drinks, but the food is bad. Lime is really bad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Annapolis07

      I totally agree on Lemongrass or Tsunami. I think Tsunami has better food, but the atmosphere at Metropolitan and lemongrass is really fun, too. I know you can make reservations at Tsunami on opentable.com.

      McGarvey's also has some good eats and a busy bar scene.

      Also Wild Orchid Cafe might be a little pricier, but is kind of a nice place to be able to hang out, talk, have some wine and some good food. Not exactly a hip area though, but you aren't too far away from downtown. I also think they have a 3 course menu that is a pretty good deal. I forget when exactly it is available, but I think it is most of the time. It is for a more laid back talk with the girls feel.

      1. re: Annapolis07

        Agree with all yoru assesments. Lemograss would be a nice, non-pricey place to eat and the food is good. You can also park right next door to Lemongrass and walk down West Street to Main. This weekend should be great for that.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions. I think we ate at Tsunami the last time we were there. I wish we were 20 something - more like 30 something. Lemongrass sounds good. Weather should be nice - we can put our name in, walk around, have a drink. Any chance there's some to die for restaurant in the area that we should try? Maybe not more than a 1/2 hour drive? Someone mentioned Trattoria Alberto in Glen Burnie - any thoughts?

        10 Replies
        1. re: lrhewes

          I think the Inn at Easton or the Inn at Perry Cabin will be more than 30 minutes, but it might be in that category, especially the Inn at Easton.

          Cynthia's in Severna Park just got a very good review in the Washington Post.

          I think the top notch restaurants in Annapolis are O'Leary's, Wild Orchid and Lewnes.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            The area just does not have to die for places like DC. I have not been to Trattoria Alberto, it is on my list, but I keep heading to DC instead.

            I tried Cynthia's few months ago and it is not even close to the to die for catagory. It was a real miss for me and I was disapointed because the owners have the resumes to make it a really good place. Maybe it has gotten better as they have worked out the issues. ktmoomau, report back if you try it.

            The Inn at Easton is very good, but if you are going to go that far head to DC.

            I am probably one of the only people who is not a fan of O'Leary's. I just find the place to be stuffy and not worth the price.

            I also go out on a limb as a fan of the new place downtown Osteria 177. I think it is really good and not a budget buster if you don't have too much wine. The location is also great fro enjoying Annapolis.

            Has anyone been to Cafe Bretton in Severna Park recently. I have not been in over a year, but the last time I went I thought it was really good.

            The biggest problem with Annapolis is inconsistency. Someone could have a great meal at say Osteria 177 and rave and someone else could be very unhappy the same week. I think because Annapolis does more seasonal business, good servers and kitchen help are hard to keep year round.

            1. re: Annapolis07

              Hahaha, yeah I am opposite I LOVE O'Leary's, and I tried Osteria 177 and was not that impressed, I think O'Leary's, Wild Orchid and Carrol's Creek are better. The gnocchi was heavy, nothing compared to Palena in DC, and everything just seemed to have too many ingredients, or heavy sauce. It wasn't bad at all and that was early on so it may have gotten better, but having the choice again I would rather spend my money elsewhere.

              I do think even if you aren't in your 20's though that you would feel out of place at Tsunami or Lemongrass or Metropolitan. I actually find that Annapolis tends to have a little more mature crowd than say DC in its trendier/new places. My Mom has fun in these places and she is definately older than that. Going out to some of those West St. spots is one of her favorite things to do with girlfriends.

              The Inn at Easton is probably about as far away as DC, but the traffic won't be as bad, or the parking... but yeah, DC is an option if you are willing to drive, lots of good stuff, but I think you would have fun in Annapolis, too!

              1. re: ktmoomau

                You are right. The Gnocchi is heavy. Osteria is very inconsistant. I have gone several times and can say it has not always been good. I do really like Carrol's Creek, but not for a girls night out. I need to give O'Leary's another try since it gets such good reviews.

                I also agree that West street is fine for all ages. I was thinking O'Brien's was more geared for the 20 something crowd.

                1. re: Annapolis07

                  Agreed completely O'Brien's and what used to be Griffins (don't know if they still have that bar scene now that they are Federal House) they are the younger crowd, but West St. is very mature in a good way, but still hip and vibrant. Also if you go bar hoping up there O'Callaghans also has a decent bar scene on the weekends it is up that way too.

              2. re: Annapolis07

                I live in Severna Park - Cafe Bretton remains an absolutely fabulous restaurant. I haven't been there in a few months but my girlfriend just went there with her husband two weeks ago and it was still top notch. She said the fontina-stuffed veal chop was to die for.

                1. re: bpjacks

                  Good to know. I have been meaning to get back to Cafe Bretton. I also want to give Cynthia's another try after some positive reviews.

            2. re: lrhewes

              Love Trattoria Alberto - however it is very pricey. Very good, but very pricey.

              I always suggest Adam's Ribs - great ribs and great pulled pork sammie

              I also love Tsunami. Some people like Joss better.

              1. re: cbauer

                Joss is good, but doesn't have the trendy bar vibe, as well... I don't think Adam's Ribs screams girls night either, but I don't mind their ribs.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  Yeah, Adam's Rib screams family BBQ joint.

            3. I think Carrol's Creek would be a great place for a girls night out.

              http://www.carrolscreek.com/

              1. I agree with the Lemongrass suggestion, and would add Cafe Normandie on Main Street and Jalapenos in the Parole area to the list. I ate at O'Leary's a few weeks ago, and it was disappointing as well as over priced.

                Cafe Normandie has crepes and french food in a casual setting, and Jalapeno's (www.jalapenosonline.com) is a GREAT spanish restaurant, although in a strip center outside Annapolis. First-class tapas, and a fun place for groups- also wonderful margueritas and sangria.

                Chart House and Ruth's Chris are also reliable restaurants in the Eastport area.

                Enjoy Annapolis!

                1. If you were willing to go to Glen Burnie for Trattoria Alberto's, there is also Toyko Sushi in Glen Burnie as well for inexpensive very good sushi and other Japanese items.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cbauer

                    Depends where the "town outside of Annapolis" is where they'll be staying. If it's in North Arundel County (e.g. Arnold, Severna Park, Millersville) then Trattoria Alberto's Italian cuisine may be desirable. But bear in mind that it's over halfway to Baltimore from Annapolis, and is housed in a non-descript strip shopping center in Glen Burnie.

                  2. The Mexican Cafe on Forest Drive just past Quiet Waters Park is a fun, cheap place with great, authentic Mexican food (though not as good as it used to be, imho). Still worth the trip and the waits.