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Pazo or Tapas Teatro?

Hi there,

Philadelphia Chowhound here looking for some advice. I'm coming into Baltimore this week to meet up with a west coast friend who's in town on business. She's not a huge seafood fan (alas!), so I decided we'd go for tapas instead.

I'm down to Tapas Teatro or Pazo as my choices. There are a couple of considerations to take into account: while we're both adventurous diners, one of us is allergic to shellfish, and one of us doesn't eat red meat. The wine selection is irrelevant -- we both drink, but we're more interested in catching up than anything else (so probably a not-too-loud place would be ideal). Also, we both have fairly sophisticated palates, so I don't want to end up at some place that just doesn't measure up.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Well, Pazo is very loud and no such much tapas focused any more.

    1. I really don't like Tapas Teatro. I've given it a few chances, but I've been either not impressed/disappointed by everything I've gotten (except for their sangria which is quite tasty). It's also connected to the Charles Theater, so it attracts a lot of theater go-ers in a rush to make their movie. If you're interested in catching up, then I don't think a cramped, high turn over restaurant like this one is a good idea. Even though a lot of people on this board disagree with me, I've recently had very nice meals at Pazo. If you go on a weekend, then sure, it will be on the louder side; but last time I went on a Thursday night, and it wasn't loud at all. Although I prefer it over Tapas Teatro, it's still not in my top picks among Baltimore restaurants.

      Rather than the two of those, I would suggest that you look into Bicycle in Federal Hill. The food is excellent, and you can linger and catch up with your friend in a more relaxed atmosphere.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pmody

        What time did you go to Pazo? Perhaps they changed, but they use to increase the volume of the music as the night went on. You could have a conversation at 6, but not at 8.

        1. re: Jason1

          I went for an 8pm dinner. Maybe they only turn up the music on Friday and Saturday nights. I think if you're in the mood for tapas, then Jon's suggestion of Mezze is a good one.

        2. re: pmody

          I'm really reluctant to weigh in on this as I haven't been to either Tapas Teatro or Pazo in quite a while, but your experiences mirror mine.

          For tapas in this area I'd recommend Mezze, which is Mediterranean tapas. It's in Fells Point. It would be a great place to catch up as long as you ask to be seated in either of the upstairs rooms. The one to the left of the stairs is more modern, to the right is a darker, more traditional room. Both are nice. Food is quite good.

          1. re: JonParker

            I have to agree with Jon about Mezze, especially if 'quieter' and 'tapas' are important for this get together. I've found both Teatro and PAZO to be fairly loud and the food to be hit or miss.

            1. re: Wangus

              We went to Mezze last night for RW and had a great experience. Their RW menu is done slightly different, in that you don't choose an item from each course. They have a set menu that you get a single portion of each. It was a great sampling of some of the best things on their menu. They bring it out in 4 "courses". The main course has a few different meats all on the same plate. I would just recommend that you have them put the crabcakes and the baby lamb chops each on their own plate. You get one of each per person. So the one allergic to shellfish gets two chops. The one that doesn't eat red meat gets two crabcakes.

              While I have been to Pazo, it's been quite a while. I remember that we enjoyed the food, but it wasn't as good as what we had last night at Mezze. I agree with the other recommendations on this one.

        3. I like Tapas Teatro and would recommend that, don't go to Pazo.

          1. I haven't been to Pazo, but am a fan of Tapas Teatro. While it may be best to avoid it on a weekend (because of the Charles Theater), I think it would be fine on a weekday when they won't be trying to get people out in time for their movie.

            Plus, in the summer they have outside seating which drastically increases the number of tables available.

            1. I'd highly recommend Tapas Teatro to meet your request - I live in the area and often take out-of-town friends there. I actually enjoy Pazo a great deal too, but not for what you're looking for - it tends to be a more dimly-lit place that I find more appropriate for big groups of friends (if its just two of you, you'll risk being seated borderline on top of other tables and their conversations).
              I think TT has enough of a selection to fit both your constraints and if you go early and snag an outdoor table, its a great place to order a few things at a time and linger over a pitcher (or more) of sangria.