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May 4, 2010 07:38 AM

Lunch in Baltimore

My family is attending JHU graduation and looking for a place in Baltimore to eat an early lunch on a Thursday. We will have one child with us, so nothing too fancy. We also have several folks with food allergies (no nuts for one, no wheat or dairy for another), so looking for someplace that could accommodate us all. We haven’t been to Baltimore for 5 years, so any suggestions welcome!

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  1. A few questions -- are you flying in or driving? From what direction? Price range? Are you staying in town? Is ethnic ok? Sit down or quickie takeout?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JonParker

      Driving in and staying near the Inner Harbor, but will be coming from the JHU/Hampden area. Ethnic is ok, but have a semi-pickey-5-year-old-no-nut-eater who would like some sort of sandwich/pizza/pasta option. Sit down, moderately priced would be great. We'll be coming from the graduation ceremony so will be dressed up, but don't want anything fancy. Thanks for any tips.

    2. I think Donnas (in Cross Keys, just a 5 min. drive from campus) is a great option. Very fresh, seasonal menu with a range of options and very accomodating to customer needs. And, they have a great kid menu, which includes games kids can play while they wait. It's one of my favorite places in the JHU area.

      Another option near JHU is Gertrudes, which is in the Balitmore Museum of Art. It's lovely to sit outside, and my kids always love to play in the sculpture garden that borders the seating area and to draw on the table (each table has a little cup of crayons so everyone can color the white place mat). I don't love the food there as much as Donna's and find it slightly over-priced, but the food is still very good and it's super kid friendly.


      2 Replies
      1. re: stephanieg

        Gertrudes is an excellent choice. The quality of the service, the food, and the atmosphere are all markedly superior to Donna's/Cross Keys. This is not surprising as it is run by John Shields, who has a (small) claim to fame as a chef, and sits in the BMA overlooking its scultpture garden.

        The last two times I have eaten at Donna's, the food was middling at best. For ex., the mediterranean platter (hummus, babaghanoush, etc.) tasted a bit past its prime; a chicken and couscous dish was slightly undercooked.

        The only risk at Gertrudes is that it is so close to JHU that it may be booked -- I would book now if interested.

        1. re: lawhound

          Thanks to all for the two suggestions. We'll check them both out.

      2. I've never eaten at Gertrude's, but I've heard its very nice. However, I have eaten at Donna's on a number of occasions (last time a few weeks ago) and have been very well pleased each time. Her menu is definitely broad enough to accomodate your 5 year old.

        1. mamas maybe, it's a bar, but I take my kids there regularly as an adventure. Or little Italy.

          G and A, and Attmans have good hot dogs, but it may not be appropriate.