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Miss Shirley's - worth it?

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  • hto44 Sep 9, 2011 03:42 PM
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Hi there -

Have been perusing the boards in anticipation of our visit to Baltimore at the end of September to watch the Red Sox beat.....ahem, I mean, play the Orioles. We are a family of 6 including 4 boys, ages 9, 7, 4, and an almost 3 y.o. Definitely plan on hitting Lexington Market before the game. My husband and I are huge crab cakes fan but have been disappointed more times than I can count so hoping that Faidleys will make up for that. We are planning a trip to the aquarium and thought we would have lunch at Miss Shirley's but I was a bit taken aback at the prices. Being from Boston, we are definitely use to high prices but even this seems a bit much for lunch. So I thought I would asked all you experienced foodies if it is really worth the visit. We are definitely not opposed for paying a little bit more for a real great dining experience.

Also - should we not bother with Little Italy? We love Italian but I am reading not so positive reviews. Are there any Italian dining places that you would recommend? I have Amicci's on my list as well as La Scala.

We will be staying at Hampton Inn on East Redwood and will not have a car.

Thanks!

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Amiccis
231 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Miss Shirley's Cafe
513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

La Scala
1012 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21202

Lexington Market
400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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  1. Faidley's is my favorite crab cake. It shouldn't disappoint. Skip Little Italy unless your schedule allows for lunch at Isabella's or dessert at Piedagrotta's. There are lots of good places in Federal Hill -- search the board for them.

    1. My husband and I had brunch at the Miss Shirleys at the inner harbor and loved it. It was not crowded yet, and the service was great as was the food. I went in thinking "UUGGGHHH sssooo touristy!" but left calling my mom to tell her about the great brunch I'd just had (chicken and waffles). Hubby had coconut cream stuff french toast - yeah, I know. We also really enjoyed talking to our table mates.

      The food can most definitely be shared - the chicken and waffles would easily feed two people, and they have items a la carte, I believe.

      While it's very good, the one thing I'll say is that New England does breakfast food really well (the only things I miss from living in NE are breakfast and ice cream. That said, I think the southern twist of Miss Shirleys makes it unique.

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

      1. I agree with skipping Little Italy. For other Italian options, I was in Baltimore recently and had a fantastic meal at Cinghiale. Can't wait to go back again.

        I've only been to Miss Shirley's for breakfast -- it was great! I do agree that entrees there could easily be shared.

        We were at Lexington Market last weekend and I have to admit it's not my favorite atmosphere, but there were lots of food options.

        Hope you have a great trip!

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        Miss Shirley's Cafe
        513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

        Lexington Market
        400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        Cinghiale
        822 Lancaster Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

        1. I don't care for Miss Shirleys, but recognize that is (by a small margin) a minority view. I think it is overpriced and the food is good, but not great. If you want to spend money for brunch in the City, I would go to City Cafe in Mt. Vernon or Bistro "B" in Bolton Hill. Both are easily reached via the Circulator (then a short walk to "B").

          If you wanted to spend very little, I would suggest brioche or croissants at Patisserie Poupon on Baltimore Street. I think they have coffee also.

          On Little Italy, don't bother with three exceptions: Cafe Piedigrotta for breafast or lunch; Cafe Gia for lunch (have not been for dinner); Isabella for lunch.

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          Cafe Gia
          410 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: lawhound

            Lawhound, I'm with you. Went to the original Miss Shirley's and had the chicken and waffles. While not bad, they certainly were not stellar and I didn't think it lived up to the hype. The chicken tenders were fried nice and hard, but the breading was totally flavorless. The waffles were waffles, and their jalapeno honey butter (I think that's what it was) lacked a bit of oomph.

            Thought it was overpriced for what I got. I would have been happier with smaller portions and better food.

            Their bloody mary, however, was AWESOME. Hubba hubba.

            -----
            Miss Shirley's Cafe
            513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

          2. LOVE Miss Shirley's....when I go to B-more (or Bal-mer as it's called by locals where I grew up), it's on the list...yes to the Chicken & Waffles....but their crab benedict with fried green tomatoes is delicious! Try to go early...or on a weekday!

            1. A few comments: I'm a transplanted New Englander as well. Hope you see the Sox celebrating and not playing out the string.

              I have not been to the new Miss Shirley's but I like the original on Cold Spring Lane. It's not cheap but the food is very good and it's a fun place. I'd go.

              Faidley's crabcakes are outstanding. We have them shipped to people as gifts. Great choice.

              Baltimore's Little Italy pales beside Boston's North End or Providence's Federal Hill -- the ratio of touristy to non-touristy places is very poor.

              Patisserie Poupon is excellent.

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              Patisserie Poupon
              1645 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC

              Miss Shirley's Cafe
              513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bob W

                I hear ya on the Sox! My dream is that the game we are at is THE game to propel them into post-season!

                Cannot wait to try the crabcakes!

                1. re: hto44

                  Broiled is the way to go!

                  If the Sox can't win a few games against the O's, they deserve the shame of missing the playoffs.

              2. You might also check out Joe Squared in the Power Plant. Inventive pizzas and risotto. www.joesquared.com

                6 Replies
                1. re: youami

                  Mmmm...looks really good! I love risotto!

                  1. re: youami

                    Joe Squared risotto is overcookled and under flavored

                    1. re: crowsonguy

                      What about their pizza? Worth it?

                      1. re: hto44

                        I love their pizza. Its a very thin, almost crackerish crust. Try the flag or the mushroom. I cant speak to the risotto because i always order the pizza.

                    2. re: youami

                      I didn't know there was a Joe Squared in Power Plant...only on North Avenue...

                      1. re: crosby_p

                        The Joe Squared in the Power Plant just opened recently.

                    3. Thanks everyone! Appreciate all the great input.

                      1. If you go to Miss Shirley's, I'd personally avoid things like french toast, and order the low country cuisine, like fried green tomatoes, etc.

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AmyMarie1

                          +1 on the fried green tomatoes, shrimp & grits, etc. AmyMarie1 is right on.

                        2. So where did you end up? I'm curious about Miss Shirley's as I'll be in Bmore next month.

                          And as Bob W said, the Red Sox certainly didn't deserve any post season after their embarrassing collapse.

                          -----
                          Miss Shirley's Cafe
                          513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

                          1. I realize OP's visit is long past, but I wanted to post because we were at both Faidley's and Miss Shirley's last weekend and others might benefit from my thoughts. As much as we all loved our meals there, I wouldn't bring young kids to Miss Shirley's--the wait is usually long, and it's a leisurely meal, so unless your kids have unusual patience, not a great choice. If you are child-free, try one of their signature cocktails, they're great. At Faidley's, be sure to order the more expensive lump crabcakes--fabulous--and have a side of the delicious cucumber salad, which cuts the greasiness of the fried stuff nicely. Then for dessert go to one of Lexington Market's bakery stalls for Berger cookies. You could die happy after that meal.

                            S has lived in Baltimore for several years and says none of the restaurants in Little Italy are as good as what we have at home in southwestern CT. I guess if you live in an area with a substantial Italian population, you won't be impressed, but if authentic (non-chain) Italian fare is not available to you at home, Little Italy might be worth visiting

                            -----
                            Miss Shirley's Cafe
                            513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

                            Lexington Market
                            400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MommaJ

                              Anyone know the opening for the Annapolis branch? I've been waiting to try Ms. Shirleys for a while.

                              1. re: MommaJ

                                The cole slaw and fried fish sandwich (order the fresh, more expensive one of the day, often halibut) are standouts at Faidleys as well.

                              2. Hi all -

                                Sorry for the delay in following up. I was in the depths of depression after witnessing first hand the debacle of that infamous Wed. night game. We did go to Miss Shirely's for an early lunch before heading home on Friday. No wait at all. My husband and I both enjoyed a trio of sliders which included pulled pork, mini crab cake and southern fried chicken. I do not think I would rush back there but it was certainly acceptable. The big hit, without a doubt, was the lump crab cake at Faidleys. It was absolutely worth the trek uphill from inner harbor. I do not think I will be able to order another crab cake here in Boston. I had an opportunity to talk to one of the owners, Nancy Devine, who was lovely. We discussed shipping these beauties up to Boston and I anticipate treating us to some holiday cheer in the near future! We did venture to Little Italy and ate at Amicci's. We had a wonderful time. The staff was wonderful and it was a great family restaurant. My husband and I shared the Pane Rotundo appetizer and with a salad that could have been a meal in itself. It was huge! I was worried about the shrimp being overcooked but it was perfectly done. I had the chicken parm and DH has the chicken marsala. Both simply prepared and quite good.

                                A non-food related note: We absolutely fell in love with your city! The people were beyond friendly and helpful. We visited the National Aquarium, toured the historic ships and of course, visited Camden Yards. I have been telling everyone at home that they need to visit!

                                -----
                                Amiccis
                                231 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202