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Friends coming to Timonium 4 dinners

Hey there guys: I've got some friends coming into town and have asked me to list off some good places to eat around the area. Unfortunately the 'area' where they're staying is Timonium (don't ask), and they are NOT willing to drive far (far = more than 10 minutes) which leaves really only the Timonium/Lutherville/Hunt Valley/Towson like areas (again, don't ask). They'll be here for 5 nights, but one night is going to be the oregon grille for them, so I need recommendations for 4 dinners (and a few lunches wouldn't hurt either). Also, their prices ranges are limited, definitely not greater than $20 an entree.

With these ridiculous limitations I extend my beggings of help to you. They want at least one night of sushi and one night of "south eastern" food (thai/indian/etc). Here's what I got:

Sushi - Edo on Pandonia or Sushi Hana in Towson are the two that come to mind. I remember hearing about another place in Towson people liked but couldn't find it after a quick search on the boards. What do you think?

South Eastern - Cafe spice? Honestly I've never been there, but have heard some good things.

Other nights - Andy Nelsons, Fazzinis? Paolos? (any other italian places?)

Lunch - I'll probably direct them to the Kenilworth Atwaters.

I'm pretty much blanking on ideas though, so any and all help would be appreciated

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  1. Christopher Daniel, Bluestone, Vitos, Greenleaf, Grapevine, send them to Side Street Cafe for lunch a real funny place

    1. if they are going to be here on a Monday, the Ugly Muffin has a sepcial, 2 8oz crabcakes, salad and fries fir $17.95.. The crab cakes are really good too!

      I love Fazzinnis too! Great portions and decent prices.. I always have enough for another meal left over!

      Jesse Wongs in the Hunt Valley Towne Center is good too. Lunch Specials are about $7 - $9 A bunch of us from work eat there often!

      1. Nautilus Dinner 2047 York Rd - Pretty good diner food.
        India Palace - Cranbrook Rd. - Nice place.
        Bamboo House Cranbrook Rd - Haven't been in a long time but was great years back.
        Edo Sushi - I really like them.
        Roma Cafe - York Rd up near Hunt Valley - Great Italian food but no-frills to the point of being scary.
        Grapevine - Haven't been there but an older lady friend said it's good.
        Fazzini's Cranbrook - Basic, plain old red sauce Italian - I've been meaning to get here and other Chow Hounds recomend Fazzini's.
        JJ's Every Day Cafe: I've heard this place is good, but I haven't been there.
        Christopher Daniel is suppose to be good but entree's might be more then $20.
        Padonia Station use to be a fun place to get drinks at happy hour - anyone been there lately?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Whitemarshjohn

          Padonia Station is still there, still serving ok drinks and crappy food.

          1. re: JonParker

            I agree! Bar Food.

        2. Sushi Hana is the best sushi in the area. The other one you're probably thinking of is Sans Sushi, which is ok.There are two -- one on York Road and one on Allegheney. the latter also has decent Thai food, but the sushi just isn't chow-worthy. A lot of people speak highly of Edo, but I'm not one of them. It's not bad, just not great either.

          Andy Nelson's is a must. I love that place, and it's well under your price point. Highly recommended.

          Paolos is completely useless. Fazzini's is, as John says, red sauce Italian. It's one of the better examples of this around, although I'm not overly big on the category. I do like their Italian cheese steak sandwich though.

          divaflirt recommends Ugly Muffin. I wouldn't bother with it as a place for crabcakes, but they make a sandwich called an inside out pocket that's essentially stuffed fried dough. It's disgustingly good. Either the crab or the cheesesteak are yummy, if artery clogging.

          Christopher Daniel and Bluestone are outside your price point. I haven't been to CD, but Bluestone is ok. Jesse Wong's is all right, like all his restaurants, but I'm not thrilled with any of them.

          whitemarshjohn mentions JJ's. This is a place I always forget about. I've only been once. My ex had an ok crab cake, I had a pretty darned good pan fried trout. I'm reluctant to recommend it based on one visit, but that one was good enough, and reasonably priced.

          I really need to hit Grapevine.

          There's a lot of really bad dining in that area. Michael's, An Potin Stil, Charred Rib -- all of these should be avoided at all costs. I've never had anything good at Vito's. Some people disagree, but they're just wrong.

          Kabob Hut on Allegheny in Towson is dirt cheap and really good, with zero ambience. Fine kabobs though. I miss that place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JonParker

            Sushi Hana and San Sushi in Towson are one of my favorite Sushi restaurants. Paolos- wont ever return... I go to VIN once or twice a month and love the Butchers Cut steak. Dont leave w/o getting the desserts! They are $3 each!! Especially the banana spit-banana is deep fried. Sooo Good. These are all in Towson but you asked for Timonium under $20... Christopher Daniels might be over $20 for a entree. Padonia station is a bar with food, as is the Silver spring mining co. Always love Michael's cafe... They have a menu with a variety of items. Crabcakes are my fav... Tomato,shrimp and feta salad is also really good.Oh and you gotta try the chicken salad sandwich and tenderloin sanwich! I think they have 2 bars and a couple of dining rooms.- They have something for everyone. Atwaters in Kenilworth is good and healthy but only a couple of tables. Other than the Oregon Grill Hunt Valley has a couple of Chain restaurants... Good Luck. Hope this is helpful...

          2. These are some of my favourites when I lived in the Towson area:
            Cafe Troia used to be a good Italian fav, it might be worth checking out.
            I'm def a big fan of Cafe Spice - the lunch buffet is great value!
            Good pit beef or pit turkey can be had @ the Charcoal Deli on Church Lane (crosses York Rd, on the East of York Rd it's considered Cranbrook)
            Persian @ Orchard Market Cafe, off of Joppa Rd behind one of the strip mall blocks between Providence Rd and Loch Raven Blvd
            Cafe Isis in the Mays Chapel area - i seem to remember pretty good Egyptian lunches here - i think they used to also own the place on the square in Fells?

            1. Limited price range and Oregon Grille do not go together.

              However, I eat in the area since I live here as well. Since you said Timonium, I take it they are staying at either the Red Roof or the Crowne Plaza.

              For Dinners that are nice and could be pricey:
              - Christopher Daniel
              - Bluestone

              For dinners that are just nice and very nearby:
              - Yamato Sushi
              - Pasta Blitz
              - JJ's Everyday Cafe

              For dinners that are nice but a slight drive:
              - San Sushi
              - Corner Stable
              - Edo Sushi - but don't go at 7pm on a weekend night, they don't know how to stagger table seatings.
              - Fresh! Fresh! Seafood in Towson

              For nearby lunches that are decidedly not swanky
              - Carroll's Carry Out
              - Charcoal Deli
              - The Good Food trailer at Beaver Dam and Gilroy

              How about cheap breakfast?
              - Cockeysville Bagel Bakery
              - Ashland Cafe
              - Nautilus Diner

              2 Replies
              1. re: onocoffee

                I can't thank you guys enough. I live in Timonium, but sometimes it's just hard to think of everything. Maybe I should write everything down, heh. For what it's worth my opinions on some (sometimes contested places):

                I really like Fazzini's for their price. I do NOT like Michael's Cafe (anymore). I've NEVER had a good meal at Vito's.

                And Ono, you're right. Haha, but the Oregon Grille is for an business meeting. They're not paying. No way.

                1. re: Wangus

                  I guess everyone has their own opinion and can have a bad experience here and there. I have read a lot of conflicting reviews about Michael's Cafe, I must say I'm surprised. I am pro Michael's, I have been going there for years. The crab cakes are the best I've ever had and my husband is fairly hard to please when it comes to eating out and he really enjoys it there too. In fact, I had my baby shower there and the 30+ guests raved about the crab cakes and shrimp salad. Despite some of the negative comments, I'm still a loyal customer and I would encourage some folks to "try again" especially if it has been a few years. They've been in business for, I believe, over 20 years so they must be doing something right...

              2. I already listed places that I like that are in your given area, but after reading the posts closely I realized that I forgot Andy Nelson. I've been there twice and really love the food and atmosphere. If anyone has a problem with hot/spices they should probably inquire when ordering to make sure they are not getting anything too hot.

                Also, someone mentioned Greenleaf. I believe that is the sushi place at Hunt Valley Mall. I have not eaten there but walked through and it is a very attractive/pretty place.

                Oh...I almost forgot. I ate at Atwater's once in Towson and the sandwiches were great but the soup was probably about the worst I've ever had.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Whitemarshjohn

                  Personally, I'm very fond of many of Atwater's soups.

                2. This might not be exactly what you were looking for, but it's a favorite of ours...The An Poitin Stil. It's an Irish Pub and restaurant. But they have more than just Irish food on the menu and the prices are within your range. They also have a great selection of beer. The decor is very rustic, but cozy. They have a fireplace that is usually blazing in the cold months. It's nice to get a table near the fireplace if you can.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Feathered Friend

                    You mentioned nothing about the food other than the price point.

                    1. re: ko1

                      The food there is bar food, and not really good bar food either. I'd avoid it unless your plan was to eat elsewhere and then drink the night away.

                  2. Greenleaf is not at the Hunt Valley Mall, but very close to it. It is on the corner of Shawan and York, in the shopping plaza with the Giant (grocery store).

                    Greenleaf's sushi far surpasses the quality and service of both Edo and San Sushi. I cannot recommend them highly enough, and I have had fantastic service there every time.

                    A reservation is recommended, and it is BYOB. There is a wine shop next door :-)