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New Baltimore Routine

Please help, 'Hounders,

I'm obliged to visit Johns Hopkins Medical Center every six weeks and need a decent lunch place after a long morning. I reside in PG County and am more familiar with DC. Frequent trips along the BW Pkwy, Pratt Street to Broadway and back via Lombard have yielded a few too many corned beef sandwiches from Attman's (great, BTW) or hospital cafeteria lunches (not so great).

I'm not averse to veering off the beaten path in Baltimore or along the Parkway, but keep in mind that's fairly unfamiliar territory to me, so please, if you can, keep it close to the route, relatively quick, and at a modest price point.

Thanks for your wise counsel and Happy Holidays!

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  1. If you can veer your way to Canton, go to Mamas on the Half Shell for lunch!

    1. you could go to paper moon, sit at the counter, eat some tasty breakfast things.

      you're also not far from Hampden - lots of options there.

      1. Penn Street Tavern (formerly Ras Doobie's) is only a block or two out of your way for good Jamaican fare. Yaba Pot has a location on Pratt or Washington just a couple blocks west of MLK for very interesting vegetarian fare.

        Ducking south into Little Italy from either Pratt or Lombard opens up all manner of possibilities.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Warthog

          Speaking of Little Italy...There is a great new place on the corner of Eastern Ave and High St. Cafe Gia's has a small menu but what they do they do VERY well. They have absolutely the best eggplant parm that I have ever had.

          1. re: kimmer1850

            When are they open, it always looks closed!

            1. re: hon

              Will ditto this. I've tried to go at least three different times, no dice. Looks so cute, I want to like it, but they are making it hard!

              1. re: charmedgirl

                I'll get the hours and get back to you. So far as I can tell they are open Mon-Thurs for lunch only; Friday & Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch is coming soon.

          2. re: Warthog

            The place on Wash. Blvd is no longer Yabba Pot, it's called Sharazahad's (sp??). I think they describe it as neo-soul cuisine. I've only been once, but had some very good sweet potato fries.

            1. re: pigtowner

              Anyone know anything about this Sharazahad's place (or whatever its called). Neo-soul cuisine sounds like it could be interesting to me,.....

              1. re: jes

                I went to Sharazahad's one time months ago. Three of us for lunch. Two of the lunches were good I had a spinach salad, I think, but the third was so bad that anything good was overshadowed. I will spare the details of what I thought my friend's soup tasted like but this had either turned bad or was made with rancid potatoe. I was upset after my frient asked me to taste to see if it was good. It was beyond bad. The proprieter was nice about it and all but since he saw fit to serve something that had gone so obviously bad I have not gone back.

          3. also, is Dizzies open for lunch?

            could grab a burger there. super good. probably the best I've had.

            1. G& M for the crab cakes is not far off the parkway. Really yummy!

              1. A friend of mine who had the same routine to JH Med Center every 2 weeks or so from DC frequently stopped in Fells Point along Broadway for all the terrific Latin options (Rositas Restaurant for El Salvadorean, Carolina's for excellent Tex Mex). Also, La Tortilleria on Eastern has terrific tacos (freshly made corn tortillas), Mehek in Fells Point Square (a little further down Broadway) for Indian, Rinconcito Peruano on the corner of Lombard and Ann for terrific Peruvian (do a search on this board!), and Pitango Gelato also on the square. All of these are within 5-6 blocks of your normal route.

                Enjoy and let us know what you think!

                3 Replies
                1. re: bluepig1

                  I had a friend from Pennsylvania whose favorite was the shrimp salad at Threresa's in the Fells Point Market. It's convenient to the medical center but not on the Metro line. (Did you know we have a metro? Not even many Baltimoreans know that!) I've also eaten at Cafe Gia's a few times and enjoyed it immensely. Decorated by an artist from St. Petersburg, Russia. I was going to nominate it for "most romantic" a few days ago. You will enjoy Gia's mom if she is there.

                  1. re: baltimorejim

                    Theresa's Delly will fill your belly! She has great breakfasts... just don't get a parking ticket

                  2. re: bluepig1

                    Yes, I was going to mention Broadway and the Latino restaurants- I love the pusitas at Salvador.

                  3. Just a note Sal Gee. Not all of these recs are close to you. I work in the Med Center as well (Children's Medical and Surgical Center), and I notice a few of these places are close to the Homewood Campus instead of the medical center. Homewood is a different area of hopkins which most prominently houses the undergrad campus, and it's farther north than where you are.

                    Thus posts like paper moon, the hampden area, dizzy issies, and yabba are actually NOT that close. The recs for canton/fells point though are spot on. Also, I'm assuming you're driving because attman's is not really a walking distance thing for us (unless you're a marathon runner or something)

                    I'm like you and still finding out what to get around here for lunch, but I don't always have a car handy. Still, a quick drive south and you've got Brick Oven Pizza and Bertha's and a whole slew of restaurants (take a drive for yourself and just window shop). Closer to here, there's always the northeast market which serves decent food from delis to more ethnic fare. Some people swear by the chinese place on monument (near wolfe) but I've never been particularly impressed.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Wangus

                      One minor correction - I was talking about the Yabba Pot location just west of MLK on Washington or Pratt, *not* the original one much further north (on St. Paul?), which is closer to the Homewood campus.

                      Based on the O.P.'s described route of taking Lombard back to the B/W Parkway, which probably ends the O.P. south from Lombard on either Greene or MLK, to hook up with what turns into the B/W Parkway, the Yabba Pot location *I'm* talking about is not far out of the way - a few blocks west.

                      I agree that Hampden, Paper Moon, and some of the other recs appear to be based on the assumption of the Homewood Campus, but that it not the assumption I made, as you may note by my other recs for Penn Street Tavern or diverting into Little Italy.

                      1. re: Warthog

                        Doing a little web search about Yabba Pot - the location Wangus is was thinking of is
                        2431 St. Paul Street, phone 410 662 8638 (662 TOFU)

                        I was thinking of is (or was - not sure if it's still there)

                        771 Washington Blvd. phone 410 962 8638

                        What's odd is that the second location is not listed on the Yabba Pot web site, so I don't know if that means the web site hasn't been updated, or the Washington Blvd. location is no longer open, or that both exist but are now longer getting along with each other, or what. Maybe they were on St. Paul, then moved, and now moved back. Dunno.

                        Every web reference I've found so far mentions one or the other location, not both, except for the yabba pot web page mentioning something about being "now at our original location".

                        I have no idea what's going on - I guess one could try calling both numbers, and see what one finds out.

                        1. re: Warthog

                          Warthog - check out my reply to your post above...Yabba Pot closed it's Wash. Blvd. location at least a year ago.

                          1. re: pigtowner

                            Well, that explains it! I liked theYabba Pot when I went, but it seems like every time I got into that area and had a hankering for Caribbean food, I always end up veering over to Doobie's (now Penn Street Tavern), rather than going to that Yabba Pot location. Maybe others made the same choice.

                            Thanks for clearing things up!

                        2. re: Warthog

                          That's true, I noticed the Penn Street Tavern and Lil' Italy recs and thought that Yabba was out of place. Shame on me for not following up and trying to find out. And even though it turns out that I was kinda right, I'm not up to struting and preening, so I apologize.

                      2. Lexington Market isn't that far from Johns Hopkins Hospital.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Lori D

                          Did you mean Northeast Market?

                          If you want a quick, inexpensive lunch, I'd just head east on Pratt Street, and turn south into Fells Point. Not at all out of your way. Loads of places to recommend, but I would second Carolina's (and with weather like this, they have great large filling soups), and for local color, and diner-esque dining, Jimmy's for something like a hot open turkey sandwich (or again, soup; actually their MD crab is very, very good) or Theresa's Deli in the Broadway Market.

                          If you just want a slice of pizza, I'd go for Little Italy Pizzeria.

                          1. re: baltoellen

                            I did mean Lexington.

                            I've done that myself as part of a trip to Hopkins from the DC area (in reverse, lunch, then the visit to Hopkins). It's not the closest option, but it wasn't that far out of the way. And it's pretty easy to pick up 95 South from there.

                        2. Sal-
                          Like others have said, Fells Point is nearby enough for something different. Tortilleria Sinaloa is on Eastern just east of Broadway for excellent tacos and pozole, one of my friends loves La Guadalupana for more Mexican. Broadway has the gamut from more North American fare below Eastern to more Latin American fare above (north) of Eastern on Broadway.

                          From Hopkins, it's an easy shot down Broadway (past the Popeye's) to some great alternative eating.

                          Also, Max's on Broadway has a wide selection of beers and bar food in case you want to while away the rush hour, BOP or Brick Oven Pizza is known in the area. There's also Kalli's Court and Mezze if you want to go a little more fancy, Bertha's Mussels, Alexander's Tavern and more abound so you don't have to suffer in the JHU cafeteria.

                          1. A quick trip east across Baltimore St. and a few further blocks south down will take you to DiPasquales (3700 Gough) which has some wonderful lunch food. My fellow is partial to the Butcher's Hill Cheesesteak, while I like the mozz/tomato/basil sandwich. They also do brick oven pizzas. Have prepared things like shrimp salad, calamari, etc. And you can head back south through the tunnel (for $2) by continuing east on Lombard.

                            Di Pasquale's Gourmet Italian
                            3700 Gough St, Baltimore, MD

                            1. Hi Sal,

                              I'ts about a five minute drive from JHMI to Mt Vernon. Take a right on Orleans Street out of the medical complex, and you're on your way. Stay in the center lane on the overpass, and Orleans will dump you out near the heart of Mt. Vernon, on the corner of St. Paul Street (don't let the street loop you around going south on St. Paul). Head west one more block and you are on Charles Street. Take a right onto Charles, find some street parking, and choose from the following within a 3-6 block walk:

                              --Akbar. Great Indian lunch buffet, and you can be in and out in short order.

                              --Thai Landing (up north on Charles off of Preston street). Thai food that is fast, fresh, and tasty.

                              --Minato for Sushi

                              --Donna's for soups/salads/sandwiches (if it's nice out you can sit outside and view the Washington Monument)

                              --Sotto Sopera for a great (pricey) Italian treat

                              --Sachsa's for an old favorite of many (I went once for dinner and wasn't impressed)

                              --Midtown Yacht Club for a "dive" bar atmosphere with decent enough eats.

                              And a number of other places all within walking distance (XS, Gigi's Cafe, City Cafe, Al Pacino Cafe for some killer pizza in a very non-pizza-like setting...). Search for Mt Vernon on the board for lunch favs in the area. There's a great Crepe Place called Sofi's Crepes slightly further north (immediately after the Charles Theatre, past Penn Station) on Charles. Too bad Zodiac isn't open for lunch, they have great food and a great atmosphere, and are across the street from Sofi's.

                              To get back to 95, all you have to do is head south on St. Paul Street, and you'll be back on the highway in about 7 minutes (depending on traffic). For 295, you want to go down MLK Blvd.

                              Good luck with your visits to JHMI, it's always overwhelming working your way through the masses of people, bureaucracy, and doctors there. You deserve a great lunch after all of that, so come visit us in the Cultural District. We've got food to soothe your soul. :)


                              1. A profound thanks to each of you who posted. Your knowledge nearly rivals your kindness. Good Health and Good Eats in '08!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Sal Gee

                                  In reference to venera's post, there's now a new Sofi's crepes location in downtown/southern Mt. Vernon on Charles St at 333 N. Charles Street. It's just open for lunch M to F from 11-4. The florentine crepe is soooo good!

                                  1. re: pmody

                                    Is the new Sofi's less informal, like are there tables? Think it's lunch only? We need more places like that. Too bad the Eclectic crepe place in FP closed.

                                2. Here are my top 3 recommendations:

                                  Ze Mean Bean Cafe in Fells Point, 1739 Fleet Street, one of my favorite spots, usually has lunch specials.

                                  Teavolve in Fells Point, 1705 Eastern Avenue, soups, quiche of the day, panini, salads and of course, wonderful teas.

                                  One-Eyed Mikes in Fells Point, 708 S. Bond Street, daily specials.