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I did a search but still need Baltimore rec's

Being a diligent Chowhound, I searched this board for a couple hours to get some ideas for an upcoming trip to Baltimore.

That said, I would still appreciate any additional thoughts you might have on places to dine with between 8 to 15 people (number will vary with each meal). We are staying in the Inner Harbor/CamdenYards for three nights. Two of them we plan to eat supper at Camden Yards at ball games. Went last year and loved Boog's BBQ.

Would like to keep cars parked at the hotel and use feet, public transport, regular and water taxis to take us to restaurants.

So far what I have come across:

Breakfast/Brunch: Miss Shirley's, Hull Street Blues
Crabcakes: Faidley's in Lexington Market
Small plates: Mezze
Italian: Isabella's, Someone I know recommended Da Mimmo's.

Would love your thoughts on these as well as other fun, casual spots for American fare, pizza, Italian, burgers, steak. We are also thinking of going to Ft. McHenry for a visit.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. little italy is walkable from where you are...might be fun to hop around and try a few different places. go to chiapparelli's for the house salad, rocco for pasta, vaccaro for dessert. For steak the best choice would be the prime rib but it is very pricey and not exactly walkable from where you're staying. dionysus (again, not exactly walkable) has good pizza, albeit not amazing, but it is a good casual bar type spot with pretty good food.

    1. Two places within easy walking distance of the stadium: Frank and Nic's, and Sullivan's Steak House.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bordeauxfan

        I wouldn't bother with either of those.

        Instead walk down to Federal Hill. Corks is great and reasonable new American. Oysters and other seafood at Ryleigh's is well worth the visit. If you go to Fort McHenry, stop at Luca's in Locust Point for pizza.

        What nights will you be here? That can make a difference.

        1. re: JonParker

          Thanks for the rec's so far. We will be there Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Especially looking for a good Sunday morning breakfast/brunch spot for a good send off.

      2. Directly on the light rail, which runs right past Camden Yards and uptown is Woodberry Kitchen, about a 15 min ride. It's in an old mill building, a beautiful space and offers mostly local food that is well-prepared. A little less expensive than Mezze, and definitely casual. They serve brunch on weekends and dinner, don't know about lunch.

        For Italian, Isabella's is great for lunch, don't know that they even serve dinner. Da Mimmo's serves good food, but I don't care for the atmosphere (too stuffy) or the prices. For about the same price, you could go to Cinghiale (walkable from the Harbor), which is great, great Italian (not casual, but not stuffy), or to Sotto Sopra (same, food not quite as good as Cinghiale). For a bit less, you could go to Pazza Luna, which is roughly midway between downtown and Fort McHenry.

        1. In the Fort McHenry area, you may want to check out Cap't Larry's for well above average bar food, and a very good crabcake. Plus, they offer the beloved local beer, Resurrection, on tap. A real neighborhood bar, with friendly locals.

          1 Reply
          1. re: baltoellen

            The fish tacos are also yummy there.

          2. If you're headed over to Ft. McHenry, you're not too far from the Wine Market, which is a terrific spot.

            For pizza, I like Iggie's in Mt. Vernon (a short cab or bus ride from Camden Yards, BYOB but with two liquor stores in walking distance). If you go to Federal Hill, Pub Dog also has good pizza.

            If you're staying in the Inner Harbor, the Inner Harbor East dining scene is one of the best in the city:

            http://www.harboreast.com/dining/

            1. Tentatively, this is what I am thinking based on your rec's:

              Thursday night: Dinner at Woodberry Kitchen (will make reservation this afternoon, after I get our final count.)

              Friday and Saturday lunches: Pub Dog, Isabella's, or Miss Shirley's depending where we are. Wine Market if we are at Ft. McHenry on Saturday. There probably will just be four of us going to Ft. McHenry.

              Friday and Saturday nights: Camden Yards Boog's BBQ

              Breakfasts - Usually we go very light, a bagel or something, in which case the hotel will be fine for that. However we are curious about Miss Shirley's and if we don't have breakfast there we may try it for lunch.

              For Sunday we would like to have a farewell brunch and are considering Miss Shirley's if we haven't done it previously or Woodberry Kitchen if we had a good time there Thursday.

              Still open to rec's and suggestions.

              About Ft. McHenry...I am assuming we can take a water taxi from Inner Harbor... and can then walk to it.... Is the Wine Market walkable from Ft. McHenry...the area looks very industrial on my google map.

              Thanks for your help!

              5 Replies
              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                Sounds like a good plan! I am not much of a breakfast person either, but Miss Shirley's is quite highly regarded.

                The Wine Market is about a mile from Ft. McHenry, so I guess it depends on how spry your group is. It's not an unsafe walk though, and once you get past the first several blocks, you're walking through a cute neighborhood. There's also a bus that runs down Fort Avenue, although I'm not sure of its schedule.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  take a water taxi from the inner harbor to fells point and you have a bunch of choices. perhaps the best restaurant in baltimore is Charleston. Also excellent is the Black Olive, which has great whole grilled fish. A Baltimore icon is Bertha's where your can "eat Bertha's Mussels". Plus there are lots of bars to check out
                  Agree with Chiaparelli's salad which is iceberg. onions, tomatoe, peperoncini, with a great homemade dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, parmesean cheese, oregano, black pepper, and hard boiled eggs. Also love Vaccaro's for desert. Might want to taxi over to Attmans deli on Lombard street (only during daytime) for great Jewish corned beef on rye, coddies with mustard on crackers and knishes. At Faidleys, also would sample the fried fish sandwhich as well as oysters on the half shell. Also get fresh roasted and hot peanuts and fresh pistachio nuts in a paper bag to carry into Camden Yards while a Lexington market and don't miss the world famous chocolate top cookies at the Berger Cookie stand (nothing like washing it down with cold milk. Also rec you taxi over to Tio Pepe's another Baltimore icon with great Spanish food. I love the sangria, zarsuela de marisco's costa brava, dover sole and pine nut cake plus the 20 or so daily specials are always over the top. Could also taxi over to another icon, Ikaro's for great greek food. you can make a meal out of greek salad, saganaki, tarmasalta, fried calamari, spinach pie, eggplant dip and other appetizers plus great crusty bread. Finally, would definitely get a meal in of steamed hardshell crabs and I like Obrycki's although that the choice of crab house in B-Town is a topic in its own. Have fun.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    Miss Shirley's is awesome. Highly recommended for breakfast or lunch or brunch. Don't miss it!

                    Fells Point is a special part of town and it's well worth a visit. And you can parlay Bertha's (or the delicious, costlier Black Olive) with some Pitango Gelato. Don't be afraid to just wing it on dinner either....lots of restaurants in just a few blocks near the square in Fells Point.

                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                      dont think pub dog is open for lunch

                      1. re: jes

                        They definitely aren't. But Ryleigh's is, and that's just a few steps down the block.

                      1. This might be too late, but figured it is worth a try. I had an out of town guest in this week & wanted to take him out for a great breakfast. We went to Miss Shirley's. It was my first time there & while I did like the food, it was about as expensive as you can get for breakfast. Bottom line: I would not travel from the harbor there... Unless of course you have another reason to go to that part of town. The food & coffee were really good, but they PACK you in, it is loud, and on the days you are coming, you will probably have to wait. Not worth a yummy breakfast to me. There are other better options IMO for you - maybe the BMA. I have not been for brunch - it is also on the high price side, but I would guess very much it is worth it - I am sure it will be much more peaceful.... Enjoy our town & let us know!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foster

                          I think we were all referring to the Miss Shirley's near Power Plant, not the one on Cold Spring Lane near Loyola.

                        2. Hi all! We are back from a wonderful trip to Baltimore.

                          First, thank you for all the tips. Very well done and pretty much spot on.

                          Thursday Night
                          Dinner at Woodberry Kitchen. Special evening as half of all tabs went to a charitable organization to feed the hungry. We donated a check in addition.
                          Easy ride on the light rail. Very pretty neighborhood. Gorgeous space.

                          For an app we had a sausage and cheese flatbread, which really is a pizza. It was the best thing I ate on the trip, period. Light airy crust, fresh tasting sauce, delicious sausage and fresh mozz (we substituted mozz for gouda). Wish I ordered this as my main. Delicious. I was curious about the Ladyfinger popcorn for $1 so we ordered that too. Nothing special, just popcorn, but it was delicious nonetheless.

                          For a main I had shortribs which were good but I've had better. One in my group had the crabcake and said it was the best she has ever had and she has had many a crabcake. Another had the chicken dish and loved it, same with the whole trout, and a steak special. All in all everything was fresh, Bread basket sourdough bread was chewy, dense and just right. Mixed drinks were fun. My husband had a ginger beer concoction served in a copper mug which I thought was too gingery but he enjoyed. I had a spiked lemonade. Desserts are not Woodberry's strength. "Double Crust Raspberry Pie" was more of a small tart with a meager amount of raspberries, the Peach Crisp was good but not crisp. Overall experience however was excellent and my husband and I liked the food enough to make a Sunday brunch reservation for ourselves and three different friends.

                          Friday
                          Lunch at Isabella's in Little Italy, had a King Richard Pizza (meatballs, ham and something else) which was very good (liked Woodberry's better but that's just me). They serve limonata soda which is one of my faves.

                          Stopped by at Vaccaro's Bakery and got some Pignoli Cookies, Almond Macaroons and Coconut Macaroons to go. Very good, very high quality, very fresh with a nice soft toothsome feel and great flavor. Expensive but worth it. I also had a cup of hot chocolate at a table and man oh man what a huge cup! More like a bowl and encircled with a hefty amount of whipped cream. Had no choice but to share it. Very decadent.

                          Friday night: Roast Beef sandwich at Boog's BBQ in Camden Yards. Delicious. Got to meet Boog Powell and get his autograph. Very nice.

                          Saturday
                          Brunch (11 ish) at Miss Shirley's on Pratt Street. I agree with the comment above about it being expensive. The food is perfectly fine and portions are massive. I can make the same food myself for much less. Although on a trip like this you don't have much of a choice. We decided to go here because it would cover two meals, breakfast and lunch, and so when you think about it that way, it wasn't that expensive. Blueberry pancakes (short stack) were good but a little sweet and dry for my test. Berries were fresh though. Applewood smoked bacon was excellent and done right. The egg dishes my companions had looked good. Shredded Hash Browns had too much egg and meal or flour holding them together for my taste. Next to us a group ordered Monkey Bread a house specialty touted on a placard on the table, as an app. It is a gooey sugary mess of a sweet bread. The four of them couldn't make a dent in it and then said their appetites were spoiled for their mains...just a word to the wise. I generally thought it was good and would come back with the right group, and next time I would order lunch rather than a breakfast item.

                          Saturday night, more Boog's, more good.

                          Sunday Brunch: Woodberry Kitchen again. Had lovely table upstairs. French Press coffee very good and strong. I had the malt waffle with necatrines and blackberries and it was good (Can't...resist....waffles....). My companions liked their shirred eggs and steak and egg dishes very much. Only downer was a side of bacon. Slices were miniscule and overdone. Better at Miss Shirley's. Woodberry Kitchen was a great welcome and great farewell to Baltimore. Felt very comfortable here.

                          At some point we did make a quick run to Lexington Market as it was close to our hotel. It reminded me of Quincy Market in Boston before it was gentrified. I bought some fudge to bring back to my co-workers. They are eating it today and loving it, very smooth and creamy. One of my friends had a cheese danish which he said was scrumptious.

                          Considering this was not an eating trip, we had very good meals and a very good time.

                          It didn't hurt that Orioles fans were very nice to us even though we were cheering for the Red Sox...and it also didn't hurt that I saw several Sox players before the game and got autographs. Already thinking about our road trip next year. Love you Baltimore!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                            Yay! Glad you had such a nice time, Trish. I agree that Vaccarro's is expensive for what you get, but I always have such a nice time that I don't resent it. See you next year!