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Recommendations for Mt. Vernon, please.

d
derailed16 May 26, 2010 11:28 AM

I recently acquired a new job in the Mt. Vernon area. I'm looking for some good grub in walking distance from the area around the Washington Monument.

I've been to Iggies, Soups On, Cozy Corner, Gallery Cafe and Marie Louise Bistro. I like most types of food and am not afraid to try something new. I love soup - I miss going to Atwaters. I also appreciate real Thai food and good sushi. I hear that there's a fusion place around the corner but I'm not much of a fusion type of girl. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

  1. m
    Macnac May 28, 2010 01:29 PM

    Wow..... has HELMAND become such an old standby that it no longer merits a mention? Good, relatively cheap, somewhat authentic Afghan food....

    4 Replies
    1. re: Macnac
      d
      derailed16 May 30, 2010 04:27 PM

      Can't say that I've ever had Afghan food...would you be able to recommend what to get for a first timer?

      1. re: Macnac
        t
        Turkeybone Jun 3, 2010 07:10 AM

        Nothing wrong with the Helmand but it seems like we're limiting ourselves to lunch locations. I will have to second shapiro's, while I havent been personally, most everyone else at my work has, and they rave about corned beef and falafel (not together, though, maybe...?).

        1. re: Turkeybone
          d
          derailed16 Jun 7, 2010 12:08 PM

          haha. thanks!

          1. re: derailed16
            d
            DonaldGately Jan 7, 2011 11:52 AM

            Hey, derailed!

            I had Zhongshan for the first time last night and thought it was pretty good, though I still have no idea what my main dish was — the proprietor seemed to think I indicated I wanted one of the specials (I'd intended on just going the dim-sum route, piling on small orders till I was good and full), and so brought me a HUGE portion of gold-battered shrimp served atop a complexly spiced rice. Serendipitously, this turned out to be the best portion of the meal; the steamed dumplings I ordered ranged from decent (in the case of the beef) to kind of gross (in the case of the shrimp). I'll definitely be going back and trying other stuff, though, as I kind of love the vibe of the restaurant as opposed to the surrounding area: You step out of this deserted, vaguely threatening neighborhood into a huge warm dining room that doesn't feel in any way urban. Very interesting.

            As far as other choices in Mount Vernon, as others have indicated, Mekong Delta is the cat's pajamas if it's Viet you crave, and Thai Landing is great, especially the pad thai, goong kob pho and my personal favorite, the spicy duck (though I can't remember exactly which item on the menu this is, as there are like three duck dishes — just trust it's the spiciest of them).

            I've also recently discovered Lumbini, which is on that stretch of Charles around Maisys and Mick O'Sheas — it's Nepalese, which I'd never had before, but as you might expect the cuisine seems to fall nicely in between Chinese and Indian. Plus it's never too crowded at all and is a lovely dark little place. Also I'm kind of in love with the one waitress. And the chai's tasty, even if (like me) you normally aren't nuts for chai.

            Hope that helps. You've got a lot of good options up there; would that I could say the same for where I now live (down near Camden Yards, which is kind of a black hole nightlife- and comestible-wise).

            -----
            Mekong Delta Cafe
            105 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            Thai Landing
            1207 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            Lumbini Restaurant
            322 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

      2. j
        jeninfocus May 28, 2010 10:32 AM

        I work in Mt Vernon south of mulberry. David and Dads is a Mt Vernon lunch staple, Saschas makes the most amazing chopped salad ever, Joss has great lunch sushi specials, El Guapito is fantasic for mexican, Zhongshan (on park south of the library) is great for chinese (dim sum!), Mekong Delta for pho and summer rolls (maybe a bit of a hike from the monument?), Sofi's crepes, Maisey's or Mick's for afterwork drinks :)

        -----
        Mekong Delta Cafe
        105 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        David and Dads
        334 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        El Guapito
        110 W. Mulberry Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

        1 Reply
        1. re: jeninfocus
          d
          derailed16 May 30, 2010 04:24 PM

          Dim Sum?! I love Dim Sum, though I've heard negative reviews about Zhongshan. Guess I'll have to form my own opinion about the place! Thanks for the head's up on the Pho too. Would be nice to not have to travel so far to get that!

        2. l
          lawhound May 28, 2010 07:47 AM

          Shapiro's Cafe -- right nextt to Soup's On -- just opened. Great falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and corned beef and other things. Mekong Delta, a little south and west of the monument.

          -----
          Mekong Delta Cafe
          105 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201

          Soup's On
          1605 E Gude Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

          4 Replies
          1. re: lawhound
            d
            derailed16 May 28, 2010 08:24 AM

            I love falafel! The only good falafel I've found in Baltimore is from Cypriana. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

            1. re: derailed16
              l
              lawhound May 28, 2010 08:47 AM

              Based on one visit, Shapiros is way better than Cypriana.

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              Cypriana Cafe
              120 E Baltimore St Ste L1, Baltimore, MD 21202

              1. re: lawhound
                d
                derailed16 May 28, 2010 09:00 AM

                Excellent!

            2. re: lawhound
              s
              smilesmalltimore Jun 1, 2010 05:01 AM

              I very recently went to Mekong Delta for the first time and found it FANTASTIC. My only complaint is that they don't have banh mi.

              -----
              Mekong Delta Cafe
              105 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            3. j
              jhjulie May 27, 2010 07:27 PM

              Also live in Mt. Vernon and would agree with a lot of the suggestions people have already given you (especially Nina's, I probably eat there more than anywhere else). On the more downtown side - have had a couple good meals at Maisy's for dinner. Also like Sofi's Crepes and this little sandwich place called Take It Away which is hidden on Lexington in between St. Paul and Charles. My boyfriend likes the Caribbean place in the food court by the Super Fresh on Charles though I've never been there. We also both really like Mick O'Sheas for your basic beer and pub food, but Brewer's Art is the ultimate brew pub in the neighborhood.

              As far as Thai goes I have yet to try Thai Landing which is more north in Mt. Vernon but I hear it's better than My Thai which I'm not all that fond of.

              Not sure about Chinese food as I haven't really tried any in the area, there is a place called Zhongshan on Park Ave but I haven't been yet.

              -----
              Brewer's Art
              1106 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

              Sofi's Crepes
              1723 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

              My Thai
              800 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

              Thai Landing
              1207 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

              Take It Away
              200 Saint Paul St Ste 102, Baltimore, MD 21202

              1 Reply
              1. re: jhjulie
                d
                derailed16 May 28, 2010 08:23 AM

                I've heard only good things about Sofi's Crepes, so that will be next on my list. Love, love, love the Brewers Art, but it's not open for lunch (I think). I've been to Thai Landing. It's pretty good, but I'm a little more fond of Ban Thai - probably biased because my parents knew the owners :)

              2. d
                derailed16 May 27, 2010 06:34 AM

                I forgot to mention that I'm also a sucker for Chinese food. Are there any decent restaurants or carry out places in the area? Ones that serve fried rice that isn't yellow but brown - the way it's supposed to be :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: derailed16
                  l
                  LGood May 27, 2010 06:37 AM

                  Feast at 4 East is open for lunch Wed through Sat (I think). Their great outdoor garden is my Thursday lunchtime decompression spot. They are at 4 East Madison, right around the corner from El Patron.

                  1. re: LGood
                    d
                    derailed16 May 27, 2010 06:45 AM

                    Is Feast @ 4 East more of a eat-in sort of place?

                2. a
                  amyatkendall May 27, 2010 04:17 AM

                  I live in Mount Vernon - if you like soup, you might want to try Nina's on the corner of Centre and Calvert. She does a wonderful spicy ramen soup. I like her sushi rolls, too. And her tofu teriyaki.

                  Very casual, but the Midtown Yacht Club does great Mexican grub, and I'm also quite fond of their turkey burger and crab/artichoke dip.

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                  Midtown Yacht Club
                  15 E Centre St Ste 1, Baltimore, MD 21202

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: amyatkendall
                    d
                    derailed16 May 27, 2010 06:26 AM

                    Mmm...Nina's sounds delightful. May have to go there today! Is their tofu teriyaki fried? I'm pretty sure I know where both are, so I look forward to trying them both out!

                    1. re: amyatkendall
                      d
                      derailed16 May 27, 2010 10:34 AM

                      Thanks so much amyatkendall! Just tried Nina's and it was great. I ended up getting the Pork Bulgoki because it's far too hot for soup today. Very friendly and I especially love that my food was delivery by a drop-down basket from the second floor!

                      1. re: derailed16
                        a
                        amyatkendall May 27, 2010 11:25 AM

                        Glad you liked it! When the weather gets hot, be sure to try her lemonade! Her tofu teriyaki isn't deep fried - it may be lightly pan-fried, but the texture reminds me of my own baked tofu. It's got a crisp topping but the inside is chewy.

                      2. re: amyatkendall
                        d
                        daveinmd May 27, 2010 07:56 PM

                        Ooh... my ears perked up at "ramen". Ramen? In Baltimore City no less? I must investigate... :)

                        BTW, Zhongshan is, by all reports, not particularly good, but you're welcome to try it and report back something different.

                        1. re: daveinmd
                          d
                          derailed16 May 28, 2010 08:20 AM

                          LOL. Thanks for the head's up. I'll trust your judgement!

                      3. s
                        smilesmalltimore May 26, 2010 07:40 PM

                        Hey, (during work hours) neighbor!

                        Sushi--Minato in the 1000 block of North Charles or Joss Cafe in the 400 block. These are my two favorite sushi places in Baltimore, hands down. I think the quality of fish is outstanding, and as someone who doesn't like complicated rolls but rather simple nigiri/sashimi, so that's important!

                        Thai--I'm not a huge fan of either of the two Thai places in Mt. Vernon. My Thai, the fusion place, is eh. Thairish, the takeout place next to it, is also eh. For Thai I'd rather head to Federal Hill for Thai Arroy or to Greenmount to Thai Restaurant (my favorite.) I ate at Banthai ONCE, liked it okay, but they put ten extra dollars on my credit card and I never went back after that.

                        Do you like Indian food? There are tons of really great Indian restaurants in Mt. Vernon on Charles Street. Kumari is more Nepalese. Indigma is modernized "fusion-esque", but is really, really good. Mughal Garden and Akbar are the other two. All of these have really excellent, well-priced lunch buffets.

                        I eat at City Cafe (Cathedral and Eager) more than I should. I like their coffee, I love their food, and I sit there and use their WiFi all the time.

                        -----
                        Thai Arroy
                        1019 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230

                        My Thai
                        800 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                        Kumari Restaurant
                        911 N Charles St Ste B, Baltimore, MD 21201

                        Thairish
                        806 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                        Indigma
                        802 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                        Banthai Restaurant
                        340 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: smilesmalltimore
                          d
                          derailed16 May 27, 2010 06:24 AM

                          All sound great. Yes, I love Indian food - but my lactose intolerance doesn't, hehe. I'm still trying to find my way around the neighborhood. I'm not sure how far I can go without getting lost and getting back to the office in a reasonable amount of time - but I will probably try them all at one point or another :) Thanks so much!

                          1. re: smilesmalltimore
                            d
                            derailed16 Jun 2, 2010 03:28 PM

                            Had lunch at the City Cafe today. Looks like I'll be eating there more than I should too. Had the Chicken Fun Salad - it was tasty, huge, and... Fun!

                            1. re: smilesmalltimore
                              e
                              elgringoviejo Apr 18, 2011 02:25 PM

                              Thai Restaurant on Greenmount is an excellent full service restaurant. Thairish serves quite good curries at bargain prices.

                              -----
                              Thairish
                              806 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                            2. e
                              edresner May 26, 2010 12:52 PM

                              Definitely check out Dukem on Maryland at Chase. Great Ethiopian food, I usually have the staff make suggestions and to date they've done a fantastic job picking different options to sample.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: edresner
                                d
                                derailed16 May 26, 2010 02:09 PM

                                I've never had Ethiopian food but have been curious about it. Could you please recommend some things that are a must try?

                                1. re: derailed16
                                  e
                                  edresner May 27, 2010 05:37 AM

                                  I've really enjoyed the lamb special tibs and some of the combination platters. It tends to be a lot of food, best enjoyed in groups if you have others at your office who are adventurous eaters.

                                  1. re: edresner
                                    d
                                    derailed16 May 27, 2010 06:32 AM

                                    Hmm...will have to gather together some peeps for this venture. My eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach, so I'd be in some big trouble if I went by myself. HA! Thanks.

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