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Annapolis and Baltimore dining questions

This weekend we are leaving on a week "loop" vacation. Starting with two nights in Annapolis, two in Baltimore, two in Philly and ending with two at Musikfest in Bethlehem. It should be fun.

Usually one of the main focus of any of my vacations is food and drink. I love really good food, am comfortable in fine dining places but also nothing better than a great burger at a bar with a cold beer. Though my husband is really the beer guy.

We are starting out at Harris's for steamed crabs. May actually first go across the street to The Narrows to try one of their crab cakes as an appetizer.

From there we'll be in Annapolis for Saturday and Sunday night. Need a recommendation for a really good meal or two. We are open to anything but sushi and prefer not italian as here in NJ there are plenty of good italian restaurants. Seafood is always good.

Was tossing over Cantlers on Sunday for crabs too, just to compare to Harris's. But most likely would not prefer to get back in the car until Monday.

Monday we head to Baltimore. For lunch was tossing over a stop at G&M though I think I read that their crabcakes are not that great. May also consider wandering the Lexington market for lunch, crabcakes at Faidleys among other things. Is there any place to grab a beer in the market? The third option would be Obrycki's for steamed crabs, interested in seeing the differance that their black pepper spices make vs old bay.

Once in Baltimore my sister and her husband will be joining us. There will end any fine dining. Otherwise I'd go to Charleston for dinner. To say they are not foodies is putting it mildly. My sister doesn't eat italian, burgers, seafood and pretty much anything with spices or flavor. Her husband is frugal. So we'll probably low key it for those two nights.

She does want to go to Cafe Hon for lunch one day. I want to stop by Dangerously Delicious Pies for a treat.

I wanted to go to Brewer's Art for dinner, but think it may be too "weird" for her and too expensive for him.

I know, I know, but they are family and this is my sister's first vacation in a long time so I can be flexible.

In Baltimore looking for casual places where I can still get good food for dinner.

Okay, I know I've been rambling but any suggestions with any of my questions above?

All input greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
KathyH

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

Dangerously Delicious Pies
1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

Cafe Hon
1002 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

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  1. Don't go to G&M.

    Faidley's has beer.

    If you can list some things your relatives DO eat and a price range, it would be easier to offer suggestions. Or you could just go to the tourist places in the Inner Harbor.

    1. Do they eat Greek food? You might want to check out Samos or Zorbas. You also could give a look at One Eyed Mikes or Duda's in Fells Point.

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      Zorba's
      4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

      1. For Annapolis, try O'Leary's...best seafood. Upscale and very nice. You may also want to check out Level. This is a relatively new 'small plates' place with a great vibe and excellent food. Don't do the crab picking thing in Annapolis, you'll be bummed. You mentioned no Italian, but Osteria 177 is great...right on Main Street.

        For a great lunch place try The Boatyard in Eastport. All of this is walkable from downtown.

        2 Replies
        1. re: GianniB

          In Annapolis, take a look at Lewnes, a terrific family-owned steakhouse with an outstanding wine list. Walking distance from the City Dock, in Eastport.

          1. re: lawhound

            I second lewnes in annapolis- excellent seafood and steaks. drinks at pussers pub waterside in the Mariott and then go on a 2 hour cruise on the commercial 71 foot sailboat at the dock ($37 per person, beer and wine for purchase on board). Cantlers is great for hardshell crabs and steamer clams on the water
            in kent narrows I have come to enjoy The Crab Deck instead of Harris. Narrows has great crabcake and white crab soup.also have a drink at the red eye dock bar
            Baltimore: casual, frugal and not ethnic....The Owl bar- in the Belvedere Hotel, Miss Shirleys, Brick Oven Pizza (fells point), Attmans Deli (iconic jewish deli for lunch), I love Lexington Market for lunch. Try the most expensive of the crab cakes, oysters and clams on half shell and down with a cold beer at Faidleys, try a Polack Johnnies Polish Sausage with the works, get a box of Berger Cookies chocolate tops, a corned beef sandwich at Mary Mervis, fresh roasted nuts and whatever else floats your boat. Very good authentic spanish iconic restaurant (if you can convince family) called Tio Pepe's with huge menu and equally huge daily specials for dinner also in Baltimore. Finally if in Baltimore on a sunday AM you must go to the Baltimore Farmers Outdoor Market on the corner of Gay and Saratoga....great foodie morning!

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            Lexington Market
            400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            Miss Shirley's
            750 E Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

        2. KathyH--why don't you guys have lunch or breakfast (perhaps dessert) with your Baltimore family on one day, so that you and your husband can truly enjoy a spectacular meal for dinner at Charleston? Just a suggestion. Or just go for appetizers at a very casual place that will please your family, then you can dine later on.

          Perhaps the Brewer's Art would be good (don't know why it would be too weird for your sister--does she eat french fries and bread?).. Can you guys afford to foot the bill? ( I only ask that with respect to not expecting an answer--just a consideration for your benefit). Welcome to Balwmer and have a great time in your travels and dining. FoiGras

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: FoiGras

            Thanks for all the replies and info so far. Really appreciate it.

            I've crossed G&M off the list, I've heard they were no longer that great. And also crossed off Cantlers for steamed crabs. We're having them at Harris's and that will be enough.

            GianniB will definitely look into your suggestions. I did check out the menu at Osteria 177 and will say there everything looked great.

            How is the new place at the docks, Hell's Point I think it is called. Worth a stop or not really?

            As for what my sister does eat, it is a short list. To her credit she always says just to pick a place and she'll find something. But I've also been with her and watched her struggle. I like to find a place with some things she'd eat.

            She'll eat chicken, cooked plainly. Looked at Brewer's Art and they have a roasted chicken which she'd probably eat. Or a grilled chicken sandwich. If we go for italian she orders chicken marsala with no mushrooms and either that same sauce on the pasta or butter. She'll also eat steak, but no burgers. Doesn't eat any veggies, garlic, spices or herbs. She likes plain food.

            I mentioned greek to my husband as a suggestion and we both bust out laughing. If I said it to my sister she would think we are joking. As for the fries at Brewers Art, they are garlic rosemary fries so no way.

            I figure a semi casual place that has sandwiches or even grilled cheese on a kiddie menu would work as long as they have good crab cakes for me.

            I know they want to go to a ball game, I could pass on that and eat at Charleston and meet them later. That would work.

            As for price range, for dinner entrees in the low $20s would be okay, but my brother-in-law would prefer even cheaper. Good thing for him is my sister doesn't eat appetizers and usually eats a cheaper entree, and she drinks coors light so he doesn't add up to that much.

            I on the other hand am a much more expensive dinner date. Just ask my husband. Luckily he is like me. We enjoy dining out and don't mind paying for good food. But a decent meal at an affordable price is always nice too.

            Not sure how I wound up being such an adventurous eater, my brother is too, but both my sisters are super fussy.

            No matter what, I'll find good things to eat. The best part about going away is finding interesting restaurants and bars. I can't wait for the weekend to get here.

            One last question, thinking of hitting up Chaps Pit Beef on our way out of Baltimore going to Philly. Never had pit beef before so figure might be a good stop, am I right?

            Thanks again and further suggestions always welcome.
            KathyH

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

            Osteria 177
            177 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

            Chaps Pit Beef
            5801 Pulaski Hwy Ste 1, Baltimore, MD 21205

            Brewers Art
            1106 N Charles St Ste 100, Baltimore, MD 21201

            1. re: KathyH

              Take a look at Ryleigh's in Federal Hill. I wouldn't recommend it for Tuesday, since that is $2 crab night and it gets packed. Monday they have $1 oysters all night (I think). Sounds like there's something for everyone at the price you're looking for. I've never had a bad meal there.

              http://www.ryleighs.com

              Chaps would be a good stop on your way out of town. It's a good cheap sandwich, but not as great as the folks at Food Network would have you believe.

              1. re: Chowtimore

                Right, Chap's for some reason gets the TV time. Pioneer Pit beef seems to get the chowhound time.

          2. Dangerously Delicious Pies is no longer in Hampden if you're planning to combine it with Cafe Hon. You might consider Puffs and Pastries on the Avenue as an alternative.

            As for Cafe Hon, you'd do much better at The Dogwood Restaurant. They have a fairly simple but good lunch menu and I'm sure they could adjust their mango chicken sandwich to your sister's taste.

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            Dangerously Delicious Pies
            1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

            Cafe Hon
            1002 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

            Hampden Cafe
            4800 Hampden Ln Ste 103, Bethesda, MD 20814

            4 Replies
              1. re: zebcook

                Dangerously Delicious is now in Federal Hill, and he now has a shop in Dupont Circle in DC. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE their mixed berry pie!

                1. re: SteviesBaby

                  The DC location is definitely not in Dupont Circle. It's on H Street NE.

                2. re: zebcook

                  I vote Dogwood Restaurant as well. Not interested in Woodberry Kitchen in Hampden? They are fabulous too.

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                  Woodberry Kitchen
                  2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD

                  Hampden Cafe
                  4800 Hampden Ln Ste 103, Bethesda, MD 20814

                3. I think Donna's at Cross Keys in Baltimore would be a great place to dine with your sister. Both my kids love it-- which means that it makes good plain food in addition to things for more diverse palates. I love all of their salads, which are always made with the freshest seasonable vegetables, and think their miso dressing is addictive. I also love the lamb burger. Donna's also has a great selection of affordable wines and other drinks. They definitely have grilled chicken (which is tender and delicious-- I've gotten it on top of a few of their salads), roasted chicken, and plain pasta.
                  Enjoy your trip!

                  1. KathyH,

                    In Annapolis you might check out the Severn Inn. It has a nice view and I like many of the dishes, although I tend to like their lunch menu more than dinner. I like to sit outside and hear the waves crash under me. I also think Rockfish is good. I haven't been to Hellpoint. I also second O'Leary's.

                    If you want very good Mexican food in a really eccelectic setting in Philly check out Distrito. I loved it. I wish we had it here. Morimoto's restaurant was really good too, and had nice lunch specials.

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                    Severn Inn
                    1993 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21409

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Thanks everyone for all your suggestions so far. I've been busy checking out all the suggested restaurants websites and menus.

                      In Annapolis I think we'll definitely go to O'Leary's. The menu looks great, lots of interesting choices. That will most likely be Sunday dinner. Saturday will probably grab something lighter and a bit later for dinner as we'll be stuffed with crabs from Harris's.

                      Severn Inn would be a good place for lunch as you suggested.

                      As for Baltimore scratched Hon's off my list. My sister had suggested it but I didn't realize it was not downtown. I plan to go to the American Visionary Art museum one day. It looks interesting. That's when we'd stop at Dangerously Delicious Pies, they are over that area, aren't they?

                      We are staying right in Fells Point, so maybe some places over there for dinner would be good.

                      As for Philly, Distrito is definitely on my go to list, just not this trip. We've already been to Amada where we did the tasting menu, in one word, amazing. And last trip to Philly we hit Whiskey Village for snacks, also very good. Philly has a wealth of really good restaurants it will just take some narrowing down. We are staying in the Rittenhouse area.

                      At all our stops we plan to park the cars and walk everywhere. Or if there is something too far out of the way a bus or cab. But I don't mind walking. Figure if I walk a lot I can have dessert, with dinner and lunch!

                      As for Chaps, still would like to try it. Yes I'm a food network and travel channel junkie. Figure we might pick up one sandwich to split between us for the ride.

                      Any other type of foods that are found only, for the most part, in Baltimore and Annapolis?

                      Thanks again,
                      KathyH

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                      Dangerously Delicious Pies
                      1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

                      Severn Inn
                      1993 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21409

                      1. re: KathyH

                        In Fells: For drinks, Woody's is a must. Don't eat there, just fun to sit and drink open air (covered) upstairs. For dinner, consider Pierpoint. Very small and quirky, but the owner (Nancy Longo) is almost always there and will cook to order. Her corn chowder and smoked crab cake are outstanding. She is a blast to talk to.

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                        Pierpoint Restaurants
                        1822 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

                        1. re: cdubya

                          We ate at Pierpoint last time we were in Baltimore, which was a few years ago. I think it was a Sunday night and yes, Nancy was there. She hung out at the bar while we ate. It was a slow night. I remember the food being great.
                          KathyH

                          -----
                          Pierpoint Restaurants
                          1822 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

                          1. re: KathyH

                            What about Peter's Inn? It's on my "to try" list and others rave about it.

                            -----
                            Peter's Inn
                            504 S Ann St, Baltimore, MD 21231

                        2. re: KathyH

                          In Fell's Point, Bertha's is a nice spot for Mussels and beer. Very nice atmosphere.

                          If you go to the Dangerously Delicious Pies on Light Street, you will be around the corner from the Cross Street Market which has great luncheon fare at multiple stands. Nick's Seafood in the market is a great rawbar as is Ryleigh's across the street as someone suggested.

                          -----
                          Dangerously Delicious Pies
                          1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

                      2. In Annapolis-
                        I LOVE Hellpoint (at City Dock). We were so excited when Chef Kinkead decided to open a restaurant here since we adored his DC restaurant (and were disappointed in the Annapolitan food choices).

                        Wild Orchid has traditionally had fantastic food, and is in a new locale (that I haven't been to yet) across from the Westin.

                        There is also a new wine bar "Crush" that looks interesting- on West St. We used to love going to the former place, The Purple Tooth, but the landlords chased this awesome little business away!

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                        Wild Orchid Cafe
                        200 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401

                        Kinkead's Restaurant
                        2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006-1812

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: kap2k

                          First I want to say that I LOVE chowhound. This site is a wealth of information. I come here just to lurk lots of time and plan future trips. I've gotten really good info for cities all over for my vacations.

                          So a big thank you to everyone for all your suggestions and help. We leave tomorrow. I've done a lot of research and have some plans but if something else looks interesting I can veer from a plan.

                          Looking forward to eating and drinking and having a great time.

                          I dread getting home and getting back on the scale at Weight Watchers. But hey, it is vacation and that is what vacation is for, to enjoy. I'll deal with any pounds gained when I get home.

                          Thanks again!
                          KathyH

                          1. re: KathyH

                            steamed hard shell crabs are low calorie
                            also in kent narrows is The crab deck which recently I have learned to prefer over harris for crabs. also waterside. also can get a drink outside by the water and listen to music at the Red eye dock bar
                            Cantlers is probably better than both of the above and they also have steamed soft shell clams (pisser clams) and it is waterside and on the western shore of the bay bridge
                            If in Baltimore on sunday am, go to the large outdoor farmers market which is at Gay and Saratoga streets. Great foodie destination. You will love it. make sure you have a cooler in the car!

                            Finally, for lunch in baltimore, IMHO lexington market (faidleys, mary mervis, chicken liver stand, Berger cookies, the roasted nut stand for lunch. alternative for lunch would be Attmans jewish style deli.

                          2. re: kap2k

                            Wild Orchid is even better since it relocated. Annapolis is in need of more restaurant's of this quality.

                            -----
                            Wild Orchid Cafe
                            200 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401