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Good-No-Wait Fri/Sat SE Baltimore recs?

Any recommendations for good no-wait places to eat on any given Fri/Sat night in any of the SE Baltimore neighborhoods? Pastichio in the Can Company usually doesn't have a wait, but there are only so many times one can eat Italian. As I mentioned in my Winks post, it was pretty empty tonight (Saturday) - are there others?

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  1. Although I feel the food is hit or miss, I would not anticipate a wait Fri/Sat. at Helen's Garden. The place is huge, the atmosphere & the people are nice, & they have lots of reasonably priced wine. They close early, though- often around 9pm.

    1. If you don't mind eating at the bar, Zorba's is probably a safe bet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: baltoellen

        Actually, I never had a problem getting a table on any night at Zorba's except once. I think I went to Ikaros that night.

      2. For what its worth....if a restaurant does NOT have a wait on Fri/ Sat night I'd question how good can it be? When I travel, I LOOK for restaurants WITH lines....the locals must know something!

        3 Replies
        1. re: MDicecreamguy

          That's a pretty poor method, IMO. There's plenty of places that may be busy but not mobbed on weekends, and uncounted numbers of people walking around with buzzers to get into Outback.

          1. re: JonParker

            Well said! I hear the line is also long at taco bell!

          2. re: MDicecreamguy

            Since I left my Uncle Sam's employment .......
            I NEVER WAIT IN LINE TO EAT!!!!!!!

          3. Zodiac. The best timing is right as 8pm-ish shows are starting, where there is a mass exodus and you can have the place to yourself. I have never had to wait there, which is just another bonus. The food is great, you have variety (veg/vegan or meat; casual sandwiches or nicely done entrees), and they have a great bar.

            I know it's the location and bars on the window that does them in in terms of advertisting, but I'd much rather go to Zodiac and enjoy it rather than wait forever at Tapas Teatro across the street, be jammed into a teeny table 8 inches from the next, and be whizzed through my meal.

            I guess I'm getting old and unhip! ;> I don't need to go to a place where everyone wants to be....

            Cheers.

            PS: I know it's not SE, but it's also a quick trip from your neck of the woods.

            1. One that I forgot is Yellow Dog Tavern. I was there a couple of weeks ago on Friday night, and there were empty tables until probably 8 or so. I was surprised, because the food was very good. I don't know if every Friday (or Saturday) night is like that, but even with a short wait the food would be worth it.

              We had the short rib and fried oyster appetizers at the bar, then went to the dining area upstairs where I ordered the shrimp and cheddar grits. My companion had soup of some kind (not sure what) that she liked, and the onion rings which she didn't, although I snuck one and thought they were fine. The short rib and oysters were excellent though, and I cleaned my plate of both shrimp and grits. They have an interesting beer selection too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JonParker

                I did a review of this place back in August, when it was newer and really liked it as well. (Anyone interested can search for the review.) I was there on a weeknight, but it was empty then too. I recommend people check it out and give it a try.