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Baltimore Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives

Inspired by the other recent post focusing on DC, I thought this would be a good thread topic for Baltimore, as it seems we have a lot of restaurants here that would fit this bill.

I havent lived here for very long but if I was going to make a list of stops I would suggest:

Blue Moon for Brunch
Faidley's for Crabcakes
Peters Inn for Dinner

I would be interested to know what you all think. I haven't been to Jimmy's but from what I gather that is the best greasespoon diner in the city (no?). Im a big fan of scrapple and chipped beef so I've be meaning to stop by there. Also, if you can think of a good place for burgers that would fit the DDD criteria for house ground meat I would definitely be interested to hear it.

So what do you all think?

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  1. For true, I would not include Peter's - a hole in the wall but far from a dive.

    In the old school style, one cannot exclude Sip'n'Bite.

    Most would include Jimmy's on Fells Point square - which I think qualifies just because every politician must go there at election time. Eating eggs and toast there for breakfast is like some sort of Baltimore equivalent of kissing a baby.

    For burgers I would say Duda's: they've been there for fifty years so I can't argue. Actually, they win for crabcakes as well - a hotly contested prize.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mobtown999

      Duda's makes an excellent crabcake. Not the best in town, but a very fine specimen. I have not tried their burger. I think crabcakes are half price on tuesday and burgers on Wednesday, or maybe it's the other way around. Whatever, I always end up ordering what's not on special.

      I cannot stand Sip & Bite, but you're certainly not out a lot of money if you try it and don't like it. Jimmy's is adequate. Honestly, and I know there will be some flack over this, my fave omelette in the early morning is Paper Moon. I wouldn't order anything else there, but breakfasts are pretty good.

      Souvlaki Place next to Zorba's on Eastern is a superior dive, complete with collapsing ceiling. El Riconcito Peruano on Ann and Lombard is a hole in the wall with excellent food. Of course, Fort Charles Pub has one of my favorite burgers, but not for long.

      Hmm, I know there's places I'm forgetting.

    2. How are you guys defining "dive"? I certainly don't consider Duda's to be a dive. Sure, it's not fine dining, but hardly a dive.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hal Laurent

        I think most bars like dudas, captain larry's, etc can fall under the "dive" category in this case

        1. re: MarcDC

          So how *are* you defining "dive"?

          1. re: Hal Laurent

            bars that don't have plasma TVs in every corner, rough or unassuming exterior on the outside, either simple tables and chairs or just the bar area to eat at, old-time feeling.

            NOT ESPN Zone, DuClaw's, MaGerks, Harvest Table, etc. I don't know, it's subjective, whatever you want to define it as is fine with me.

      2. chaps...
        dizzy issies...
        and maybe blue moon because you'd never know just by walking by that those bacon apple pancakes are SO good.

        1. I used to love the chipped beef at Blue Moon, but it went slightly downhill and doesn't seem worth it for the service and wait unless you go on a weekday.

          I think Birches grinds their own meat for their burgers.

          Eastern House on Eastern Avenue is a good diner-ish place to go. Good food, great value.

          Does Never on Sunday still have four different scrapple items on their menu?

          1 Reply
          1. re: BmoreHound

            Never on Sunday closed and reopened with the same name but I think a completely different place. Its mostly a pizza place now.

          2. Hons,
            I would call Sip n Bite a definite dive. Absolutely Jimmy's in Fells Point. But what qualifies as a real diner? Double T, Nautilus & Towson are glass and chrome re-creations of the old-style diner from days gone by. The Forest Diner in Ellicott City used to be the closest thing to a real diner but even they have expanded. Forget drive-ins, they're all gone as far as I know. Anyone remember Ameche's????

            4 Replies
            1. re: RichardCrystal

              it can be a dive or a diner (haha, or a drive-in, if we even have one of those). the diners dont have to be dives....

              1. re: RichardCrystal

                Ameche's and the Ameche's Powerhouse. Identical to the Gino Giant except with a toothpick flag featuring a cartoon of the great running back.

                1. re: ko1

                  and Gino Marchetti (sp?) started Ginos!

                  1. re: hon

                    Yeah, Alan and Gino and Colts GM went into the business together. Initially some were called Gino's and some Ameche's. Gino's won out in the end.

              2. definately Enricos of Highlandtown!

                2 Replies
                1. re: hon

                  is this at 200 S. Haven St. ?

                  what do you recommend there?

                  1. re: MarcDC

                    It can be hit or miss (and yes, Haven Street), I've had great fish and chips, raw oysters, soft crab sandwich, clams casino that had way to much cheese but I kinda liked it. Wash it all down with frosted mugs of Pabst for like $.85! You have to sit at the bar (which is huge) so that the barmaid with mullet (they call her Curly but I am not sure she knows that) can wait on you. Ask her what the specials are and she tells you to walk over the chalkboard and see for yourself.