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Spicy and plentiful eats near Baltimore Inner Harbor?

I'm staying for a month from mid-October through mid-November at the Residence Inn in Baltimore (corner of Light St & E. Redwood St) . Please recommend some good ethnic restaurants within walking distance. I also have a preference for buffets, but that's not a requirement. I also prefer Indian/Thai/Middle Eastern/East African/Asian... anything spicy.
It would also be cool if somebody could recommend some karaoke bars and beer stores in the area. I may just bring my own beer, since it might be tough walking back to my hotel with a case or two of beer.

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  1. Mem Sahib in Lexington Market has (or used to have) a buffet at lunch during the week.

    http://www.memsahibrestaurant.com/

    Some drug and convenience stores sell beer by the 6 pack.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Denise

      Huh? I'm pretty sure that drug and convenience stores in Baltimore City aren't allowed to sell beer at all.

      1. re: JonParker

        Actually the Rite Aid on Baltimore Street right there used to sell beer, not sure if it still does. The Royal Farm here in Hampden on Keswick sells beer and wine - I have no idea why.
        Heres the info is you want to call that Rite Aid:
        125 East Baltimore Street
        Baltimore, MD 21202
        Phone: (410) 685-4340

        1. re: hon

          The Rite Aid's downtown sell alcohol. Something about them being around before the law went into effect and thus they were grandfathered in. There is a Rite Aid at Lexington and Howard as well, if you are heading back from the market.

          As for the OP, I would walk north on Charles St from your hotel. Mt. Vernon has a couple of Indian / middle eastern place that seem to fit your description. Its probably less than a 10 minute walk. Thairish has decent pad thai.

      2. re: Denise

        Helmand on Charles is a Baltimore classic and very good restaurant. Lebanese Taverna which is also nearby is excellent and highly recommended. Dukem is high quality Ethiopian a short ride away. The Indian places on Charles are OK but none of them great in my opinion.

      3. There's a much better beer selection just block or two north of you at Urban Cellars, 222 N. Charles. And there is a pretty good Thai restaurant, Ban Thai, also on North Charles, possibly the 400 block. Finally there is a good Turkish restaurant, Cazbar, which I believe is in 300 block of N. Charles. I don't believe any of these are buffets, though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lawhound

          I'm not a fan of either Ban Thai or Cazbar. I've only eaten at Ban Thai once, and I found the quality of the food to be pretty poor. I've eaten at Cazbar twice, and while the first time was decent, the second time was terrible. All of our food was swimming in oil. I think there are better restaurants that may fit your tastes just a few blocks north in Mt. Vernon. To name a few: The Helmand (Afghan) and Mughal Garden (Indian).

          1. re: pmody

            In midtown, check out El Torito, which recently opened right next to the Pratt Library on Mulberry. It's not at the level of Fiesta Mexicana, but it's up there with some of the Fells Point Taquerias. Good prices, solid food. I also need to praise Mango and Coconut in the Charles Center food court for some solid Jamaican fare. Also, the Korean/Sushi place in the basement between the Downtown Partnership and the B of A on Charles (between Lex & Saratoga on the east side) has been getting pretty high marks from several food-savvy co-workers for both the sushi and the Korean.

              1. re: hon

                Geisha it is! Thanks for the 411. Need to get there myself sometime.

        2. Federal Hill (adjoining neighborhood): Thai Arroy-Light Street, Federal Hill Liquors-Light Street, Nevin's Karaoke Bar-Cross Street. Have fun!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Tanyap

            I know a couple Indian places have already mentioned, but I have to put a word in for India Rasoi. It's over in Little Italy (on High Street), which is only four blocks or so from where you are (and it's a pretty enjoyable walk, along the harbor). I'm not an expert on Indian fare or anything, but that's our favorite place to go when my wife an I are craving Indian Food.

            Plus on the way back, you can stop at Vaccaro's and get a canolli for desert. Yum!

            1. re: brats_n_curds

              I believe India Rasoi is for sale. I saw it on an auction site about 4-5 days ago.

              1. re: venera

                Doh! Bummer, if it's true. Anyone know if they've closed (or are planning to?)

                1. re: venera

                  From what I've heard, it's the building that's for sale, not the restaurant.

                  1. re: Hal Laurent

                    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enter...

                    I also thought they were closed, but see that the source of that info was wrong