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lunch in Balto: something like Mezze or Helmand?

venera Jul 8, 2009 03:55 AM

I really wanted to take my DC colleagues to either Mezze or Helmand to lunch today. Of course, neither place is open for lunch.

What *is* open for lunch, that serves quality Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or other ethnic food?

No hole-in-the-wall types of places, please. A nice ambiance is also desired.

I am blanking on potential replacements!

We will be driving so can go just about anywhere.

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  1. h
    Hue RE: venera Jul 8, 2009 04:09 AM

    Samos is an option, but not sure if they are open...they take an annual vacation around this time of year...so maybe a phone call early to check it out.


    1. l
      lawhound RE: venera Jul 8, 2009 06:11 AM

      Lebanese Taverna -- beautiful place and downtown.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lawhound
        venera RE: lawhound Jul 8, 2009 07:44 AM

        There's a Lebanese Taverna in DC. Want to give them something they can't get in DC.

        Any other ideas?

      2. kukubura RE: venera Jul 8, 2009 02:13 PM

        There's a middle eastern restaurant near the harbor on N Charles that was actually really nice, cheap and tasty. They advertise bellydancing in the Citypaper. The name escapes me...

        edit: Cazbar http://www.cazbarbaltimore.com/

        I guess it's too late. oh well.

        1. v
          venera RE: venera Jul 9, 2009 08:14 AM

          We ended up at Ze Mean Bean at the request of one of the guests.

          It was pretty empty, so it was nice and low-key. Still, it took a good 30 minutes to get our borsht, followed by our pierogies about 5 minutes later. The borsht was very different than what you'd get in former Soviet countries, but quite tasty. Tons of beets, and very flavorful mushrooms. Great, flavorful broth, and a huge dollop of sour cream to mix in.

          The pierogies (potato, kraut) were sauteed with a crisp exterior, and topped with fried/sauteed onions. Also served with a large piping of sour cream. The filling could have used a bit more salt and butter, but other than that they were great.

          Their iced tea had a very off taste to me. Maybe it was a flavored tea, but I didn't like it at all.

          Service was smooth, if a bit on the relaxed side. Don't know how their kitchen would handle a full house, and am not about to test that out.

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