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Woodberry kitchen is the best Baltimore has to offer?

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OK - I love good food and love casual spots. Woodberry Kitchen was "fun" but service and food just weren't that good. As a Californian, I appreciate we're very spoiled but the Woodberry kitchen just didn't knock my socks off. Dinner review following:

Apps were great - the tomato tasting and pepperoni flatbread were amazing. I could eat a roll of the pepperoni solo.

Entrees - they used natural ingredients but somehow felt this warranted under-seasoning. We had the crab cakes (brought out late as server messed up), pork chop (dry with not a lot of flavor), chicken (crispy but underseasoned) and rib-eye (very good). The table's overall feeling was 'wow" fresh ingredients but they sure didn't season them.

Dessert - mediocre all around (and they sounded great).

The server recognized we were underwhelmed and brought out a cheese course (probably one of the best courses of the night). It was great he realized we weren't loving it, but frankly, I would have rather had him just serve us better through the dinner (had to flag the sommelier).

The servers seem a little too busy and the chefs could use a little more attention to detail but it is a cool spot.

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

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  1. Well no. Woodberry Kitchen is a good spot but not a great one. Don't get me wrong, I liked it a a lot.

    I'd certainly put Charleston above Woodberry, although it's also considerably more expensive.

    But right now my favorite restaurant in a similar price range to Woodberry is B&O. I don't know why it doesn't get more love here, but the food was fantastic. It blows the doors off of Woodberry, Salt, et al. in the taste dept.

    So to answer your question, no, that's not the best Baltimore has to offer.

    Here's a link to my B&O review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725873

    If it's not too late to change one of your other nights I'd strongly consider this. It's really the best value in town for people who love food. Certainy for price-taste ratio it's the best place it town if you don't consider Attman's.

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

    1. have always thought Woodberry was overrated. Cool spot but to much hype. Jon I love B&O been twice but it is not my husbands favorite

      1. Certain things are Woodberry are always amazing, the cocktails, the oysters, the baked clams and dessert. But I agree it doesn't always wow- not how is could and maybe should. One of my favorite spots recently has been Centro (Tapas) in Federal Hill. They have some great dishes not typically seen at some of the other tapas spots in town. I haven't been to B&O yet but it is top on my list

        11 Replies
        1. re: poached

          B&O should be up there on your list. It was one fo the best meals I've had in recent memory.

          1. re: JonParker

            JonParker--don't want to be disagreeable, but my meal at B&O Brasserie wasn't as expected. I had higher hopes for a better dining experience.

            My Husband (who irritated my because he was completely dissatisfied and copped an attitude)--wasn't satisfied with the grillled Romaine Caesar salad--actually, we've had some more delectable ones at even lower end restaurants (i.e., carry-out "joints").

            We enjoyed the chewy bread and salted butter (a smidgeon--whereby we had to ask for more of the butter).

            The steak tartare and carpacio seemed bland, but my husband ate it. It must not have been worthwhile as he didn't even offer me a taste, which is quite uncharacteristic of his usual generous self).

            But....my pork shank was fantastic (served with the bone--but where was the usual marrow that makes this particular dish a win-win). Nonetheless, the accompanying vegetables were delectable. My hubby, who doesn't like "roasted meats" -enjoyed a hefty portion of my pork shank and some of the vegetables.

            The service was professional and quite efficiently friendly. The atmosphere was subdued, but the tread up a flight of stairs and back down for a handicapped person, was a bit overwhelming. (A hotel restaurant without an elevator?!!!

            All in all, I don't believe we will be returning in the near future as we want to explore so many other options that have bypassed us on account of personal reasons,

            Next up--definitely Woodberry Kitchen, Jack's Bistro, Adela, etc. Then we willl resume our favorite haunts in between the new finds for us. FoiGras

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            Jack's Bistro
            3123 Elliott St, Baltimore, MD 21224

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

            1. re: FoiGras

              For what it's worth, tried Cinghiale last night (worked all day and felt like sticking close to hotel). Enjoyed the food and atmosphere. Only bizarre trend we've noticed is Baltimore restaurants seem to be understaffed (or the wait staffs aren't very attentive). While I don't like when they are pushing things on you, hate having to flag down the waiter to fill your wine or get another bottle.

              Thanks for the great recs as it was fun trying some different things during our stay.

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              Cinghiale
              822 Lancaster Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

              1. re: teejaymoore

                Haha now you know why it's called Charm City!

                1. re: kukubura

                  Exactly. It must be my unsophisticated palate which loves over seasoned food. Tartuffe - love small plates but frankly have eaten at numerous (read most) restaurants that have entrees as good as the small plates.

                  1. re: teejaymoore

                    For a while, the knock on Woodberry was overseasoning food. I have now heard a couple complaints of underseasoning. I've never had an issue either way and have enjoyed all of my meals there.

                    For me, however, the flatbreads are by far the best thing they offer!

                    1. re: teejaymoore

                      Did not say you were "unsophisticated", but merely what you were used to. Perhaps, tho, the OP doth protest too much. As for entrees and apps, I certainly have not had your experience, and judging from what i read, most would agree with me.

                  2. re: teejaymoore

                    Interesting that you say service is lacking in this town. I would definately agree it leaves a lot to be desired. I never though of it as specific to Baltimore, however. But you may be correct.I can't tell you how many times I've had to flag down a waiter. Until it's time to pay the bill of course. I used to wait tables for many years so I know what it's like to provide good service. I haven't really traveled much in the last couple years so hard for me to weigh in on other cities. I do remember being in California about five years ago and thinking how friendly everyone was. I found it refreshing.

              2. re: poached

                It's great to know that Centro is good! I haven't noticed it, but I'm always looking for good places near home.

                1. re: jvanderh

                  I thought Centro was ok but not fantastic. The prices seemed a little high too -- the $8 pork belly tapas was a block about one square inch. We went on $3 tapas Tuesday and I though it was fine, but I'm not sure how I'd feel if I'd paid menu prices.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    I was looking at this and saw that I wasn't particularly clear. The $3 tapas come from a special menu. We ordered four or five of those and then the pork belly from the regular menu.

                    In any event, the $3 tapas menu is a pretty good deal, but regular prices did look on the high side. Nothing really wowed me either -- it was all ok, but I wasn't stunned by anything.

              3. Maybe the poster likes over-seasoned food. For ex, crab cakes should have little seasoning in order to let the delicate crab flavor shine thru. WK likes to let the flavors prevail over the spices.
                \
                I detect a whiff of parochialism here. I have eaten at many of the hot spots in California over the decades and believe that WK readily competes in the releveant price range. The entrees are not up tho the small plates, but where are they that good?

                1. teejaymoore--I completely agree with your observations regarding this restaurant.

                  My husband and I finally got the opportunity to dine there in the past few days. I embraced very high expectations.

                  Firstly, the Mapquest driving directions were totally off the mark--fortunately, I called the restaurant and got directions that were STILL off the mark. Hey, I'm not disfunctionally impaired with directions. After an aggravating drive we finally located the restaurant.

                  Yes, it is casual and "funky" with regards to decor and table service, i.e., potted plant cups used as water service, etc. hey--I, myself, can be innovative with unusual table decor.

                  Service was definitely spotty. We waited far too long for our drink order to be taken. Then another interminable wait for the bread service and the miniscule serving of butter in a PAPER PILL CUP!!!! Not cute at all. A definite turn off.

                  The Ladyfinger Popcorn--am I missing something? Yes, it is a delicate little pouff of a popcorn for a "Little Lady"s fingers (maybe I miss the point of the name), but give me Pop Secret or Smart Food cheddar popcorn anytime. Hey, but a buck for some popcorn--okay.

                  The spinach salad was nothing out of the ordinary. My husband commented that I prepare a much superior version (I'll take compliments anytime--so I thought he was just being nice after our harried attempt and grumblings to locate the restaurant).

                  I did, indeed, love the baby eggplant from the oven dish. Would have appreciated a more intense grilled flavor. But, was very satisfied.

                  My husband's chicken flatbread was a disappointment for him. Since I made all of the ordering decisions, I felt bad that he was disappointed--"Geez, this is just a white pizza with chicken. (This coming from a man who loves pizza---but he informed me--"I like regular pizza with tomato sauce and pepporoni). Could have fooled me. He was the one who introduced me to White pizza 27 years ago at a restaurant in the White Flint Mall area.

                  Now, to the really spectacular part that would propel me to rush back to this restaurant---the ill descriptive "pate of chicken livers,"---No! No
                  !--This stuff is ethereal --beyond pate. More defined would be -chicken liver MOUSSE. The most creamy, buttery, fabulous dish I've discovered in ages. This is fantastic. Out of this World..

                  So, as I had anticipated to order shortribs--(they weren't on the menu that evening), I certainly wasn't disappointed in several of our selections.

                  All in all, a nice dining experience. Albeit, I expected a bit more....but, will not hesitate to return, but not in the immediate future as Hubby and I want to explore many of the other places that the Chowhounds have hailed to be spectacular. FoiGras