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Mar 10, 2012 04:00 PM

"Baltimore Magazine's" Best Of in recent current issue?

Read the article with interest and intensity. Oh my, am I being snobby?
so many places that didn't warrant "best Of." But, many people don't have the ability to dine out frequently enough to make "chowducated" observations. My comment isn't meant to be smarny. Hubby and I are down on the number of nights that we used to dine ot. So, we have to pick and choose where we decide to dine with careful consideration. I.E., best service, food, atmosphere for the price point. Saturday night out and about or just a weeknight dining out experience that isn't comprised of saturated fatty foods and fake burger meat, or shredded lettuce with commercially bottled salad dressings.

I have been a fan of "Baltimore Magazine's" Best of Restaurant issue for many years. After I discovered this Chowhound site, my opinion has become somewhat more defined--not neccesarily more sophisticated. I believe that many people who respond to the Baltimore Magazine questionaire are just going with the flow. Those persons are sometimes dining out wannabees. Oh, I know I will get a lot of flack for that comment. But, I remember years ago, there were people I worked with who aspired to dine out at the top restaurants and would proceed to answer the questionairre. They hadn't even eaten at the restaurant--they wanted to, but voted anyhow.

My question--what are your opinons, as Chowhounds, with regards to the selectionn of Baltimore's Best Dining Venues? I agree with the number one selection "Charleston>' My issue with this restaurant is that Baltimore needs to supply a restaurant with the exquisite quality, but not imposed 3-4 course meal menu. I used to dine at Charleston at least once or twice a month manyy years ago, before the fixed priced menu. After all was said and done--our patronage probably spent more on many appetizers, entrees,, cheese selections and desserts,then that what the restaurant imposed on their more stringent menu. Say for example a Monday or Tuesday evening--early--about 5:30 p.m.==wouldn't this resaturant love to have a couple or foursome dine about 5 to 5"30 and not have the diners structured into a price fixed menu? I can bet that the foursome would order a selection that would be much more pricey then the pris fixe imposed menu.

Back to my oringinal question--what are your opinons as to the "Best Restaurant" issue of Baltimore Magazine's selections? Happy Dining. Foi Graas---

P.S. went to a local Glen Burnie restaurant for a very early dinner this Saturdya night--the place was very busy--and not a chain restaurant WE attempted to get a dining seat at Stoney River in Towson Town Mall--for 4:30 or 4:45--the reservations list was filled, but according to the hostesss, we could "come in and wait a short whiIle>" NOT--- what'sthe purpose of making a reservation? When did another chain restaurant--a la Cheesecake Factory--become so intensely supplied with diners?

Hubby and I avoid the chains--but occassionally dine at those places early on time-wise and day-wise (Monday's thru Wednesday's).

Just an opinion for what it is or isn't worth. But am definitely curious as to the take on my oringinal question--a Chowhound's opinion with regards to "Baltimore Magazine" present "Dining Out-Best Of" issue. FoiGras

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  1. Thanks for your insight, FG. I have worked in the marketing capacity for a number of large organizations in and around Baltimore and I can tell you that Baltimore Magazine "caters" more to their advertisers than to their readers or the city's population at large. Companies and organizations that purchase advertising space in the magazine's pages are patronized for opportunities like "Best Restaurant" or "Best Doctor" and are offered bonus perks in these issues. That is not to say many fine restaurants or doctors are not acknowledged for their quality, but they may be on the publication's radar BECAUSE they DO advertise. I find the publication to be rather self-serving and they rarely go outside their comfort zone- which is why we see so many of the same names show up year after year. So there you have it- my opinon for what it's worth or not worth. Happy chowing, FG!

    3 Replies
    1. re: maddogg280

      I'm a longtime Chowhound reader, though I've never posted before. I was moved to do so now because I've worked at Baltimore magazine for several years and can state categorically that this is NOT TRUE. To be honest, I've grown very tired of people, many of whom claim to "know" "how it works" based on some personal experience malign the integrity of the very honest people who compile the Best Restaurants list (the same goes for Top Docs - which is compiled using an extensive survey that costs thousands of dollars to conduct). The mag maintains a very distinct separation of ad sales and editorial dept., and I can tell you absolutely that the people who compile the list (spending thousands of dollars eating at hundreds of restaurants) have no idea who is advertising in the issue. Feel free to criticize the choices the editors make/make, but PLEASE give up this tired, malicious falsehood that the picks are advertising-driven. They are not.

        1. re: BmoreHou

          I respect your response. As someone in the publishing industry, I'm sure you already know that perception is reality. I'm not the only one with this perception, based on your response and the many in this thread.

      1. Maddogg nailed it on the head! The list included all the places I expected, and as I read it my main thought was that the magazine really didn't want to ruffle any feathers... by mentioning practically all the "in" places, they clearly will offend no one (and thus, won't jeopardize any advertising revenues). That's one reason I really value the chowhound site-- the opinions I read here carry much more weight than those in pubs like that.

        10 Replies
        1. re: stephanieg

          HI...I went to Baltimore mag but limited information. We're in Baltimore with a business group in May. We always go to very nice restaurants. Group likes steaks and sea food. Do you have suggestions for us? We've been to Ruth's Kris, Morton's, Sullivan's and they were all excellent so we could easy go again. What do you think of Flemings or the Prime Rib Steakhouse? Also want to get some great crab legs at a nice restaurant. Any help appreciated.

          1. re: jazzblues

            Since you've tried the chain steakhouses in Baltimore, I would highly recommend that your business group go to the Prime Rib. They have excellent steaks, lambchops, their signature prime rib, and various types of seafood. Their Imperial Crab is fantastic.

            Also, Sotto Sopra is a delightful restaurant with various Italian dishes and continental cuisine.
            If you want a nice view, then Tabrizi's is located on the water and has Mediterranean inspired cuisine. FoiGraas

            1. re: FoiGras

              Thanks so much for the recommendations. It's always nice to have a new restaurant to go to and when on the the water a view is great. Thanks!

              1. re: jazzblues

                the prime rib is a throwback restaurant with outstanding food including great prime rib, steaks, veal chop and seafood plus big drinks. Service is fantastic. Old school but still great. check to see if they still enforce the jacket requirement

                1. re: dining with doc

                  i was under the impression that the DC location still had the jacket req but that the B'more location didnt.

                  Please,anyone correct me if I am wrong. No fun having to put on a borrowed coat at the place!

                  1. re: lalajane

                    Prime Rib Baltimore

                    Business Casual: Slacks and Collared Shirts, (no shorts). Jackets requested for Gentlemen on Saturday night

            2. re: jazzblues

              Had a great meal at B&O Brasserie - super pork belly appetizer! Different menu - lots to tempt you. Also like Indigma, ( Indian), but I don't know if they re-opened after their fire.

              1. re: adorefood

                They reopened across the street a while ago.

                1. re: hotel

                  Thanks - had the best eggplant of my life there. Also, the Sula Shiraz is very good - who knew there was Indian wine!

            3. re: stephanieg

              That's a pretty serious accusation at the magazine's integrity. to back it up, you would have to show that listed restaurants also advertised in the magazine. My impressio (FWIW--I pay little attention to ads)--is that there is little correlation. Do you have evidence to convince me?

            4. There were a few comments on how the restaurants were or were not chosen but not many comments on the choices made.

              I will be in Baltimore for a few days mid month and got a copy of the magazine. I will be in the inner harbor area so would like some guidance on the magazines recs. Part of the problem with being an outsider is that while reading reviews is great you then have to translate locations.

              During the week while I'm working it will only be recs in walking distance (but I'm a good walker) and "ethnic" is good. For the weekend my wife will join me so reasonable cab rides will be OK inc Fells Point. General likes, local food and seafood (I know possibly redundant) general dislikes, don't need another steak house.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Hue

                  Thank you. The first link was a good guide, even tho I'm not on a $10 budget.

                  The second link I found myself and brought a smile to my face. Out of all those favorites only a small fraction might be called local foods, particularly Chesapeake seafood.

                  But part of the smile is that if the same question was posed in my area probably 50% or more might not be local. Pork belly, truffles, pho, saag paneer, and many pizzas are not "local" dishes in the sense of historic dishes of (fill in the city name).

                  But I digress. Thank you for the leads and I look forward to sampling the local restaurants and most probably one of the craft beer places..