HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Food Lover's Guide to Baltimore

t
theminx Apr 1, 2012 09:43 AM

My husband and I are writing the Food Lover's Guide to Baltimore, to be published by Globe Pequot Press later this year. We're just getting started and have compiled a nice list of restaurants to include, but we need more. I would like you all to please just shout out (err...type) your favorite places in and around Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Fancy or dive, as long as they have good, fresh, chow, they're eligible.

We're also doing a section on restaurants that are worth the drive - in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Harford counties.

Thanks in advance for your help!
-theminx

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. e
    EESphillygal RE: theminx Apr 3, 2012 10:26 AM

    Looking forward to reading your book. My husband and I are about to move down to Baltimore from Philly and we are a little worried, but excited about a change in food scene. I certainly don't have much info yet, but we have had a couple nice meals with friends at Catonsville Gourmet. Their oysters are fresh and delicious with a nice selection.
    I will be sure to check back on the post as we start to explore and I will keep you filled in if we find anything great.

    1. h
      Hue RE: theminx Apr 3, 2012 04:16 PM

      Samos
      Ikaros
      Zorbas
      Blue Hill
      Ale Marys
      Zee Mean Bean
      Pierpoints
      Hull Street Blues
      Ryleighs Tavern
      Piedigrotia
      Brewers Art
      Tapas Teatro
      Tio Pepes
      Prime Rib
      Gia's
      Rocco's

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hue
        t
        theminx RE: Hue Apr 5, 2012 11:41 AM

        Ale Mary's! Forgot that one! Thanks!

      2. f
        FoiGras RE: theminx Apr 4, 2012 09:18 AM

        Here are some of my husband's and my favorites:

        Prime Rib
        Sotto Sopra
        Tio Pepe's
        Charleston
        Gertrude's at the BMA
        Elkridge Furnace Inn
        King's Contrivance
        Olive Grove
        Gianni's
        Tabrizi's
        Patrick's of Cockeysville
        Sunset - Glen Burnie area
        Oregon Grille-Hunt Valley area
        Mezze

        Hope this helps. Am looking forward to your published guide. FoiGras

        13 Replies
        1. re: FoiGras
          t
          theminx RE: FoiGras Apr 5, 2012 11:42 AM

          Hey Foi - lots of good ones on your list. I completely forgot about Sunset and Olive Grove. My husband's dad used to love the King's Contrivance - are they still relevant? I've never been.

          1. re: theminx
            f
            FoiGras RE: theminx Apr 5, 2012 05:09 PM

            Dear "theminx" --yes --yes. the Sunset is, as you know, one of those typical old shcool Baltimore restaurants--the waitresses adddress you as :hon:or "Sweetie." Olive Grove--same type of service and food. No upscale cuisine. Old time Baltimore type cuisine--meaning--crab imperial, crab cakes.,, some variety of chicken preparation. Good salads, and tradtional accompaniments.

            Dined at Kings Contrivance several times last year. Wow- was really impressed wth our dinner. I dined on the soft shell crab special--impeccable twin crabs with scrumptious side items. Went to return a month later and enjoyed another delicious meal in a very lovely envirnoment.. I ordered 4 appetizers as my "dinner". So many great choices and lots of left overs for take home. I was so enthralled with my choices, that I can't even recall what my hubby ordered. But, I know that whatever he selected, he was pleased.

            Our service was impeccable--special requests were honored. The atmosphere, wine,service and food were wonderful. I love when a restaurant features lovely sides and vegetables (not just a la carte) with an entree selection. That is why I love the
            Elkridge Furnace Inn and even Tio Pepe's--give me some a la carte vegetables with my entree and not be charged. If your hubby loves Kings Contrivance--I would not hiesitate to treat him at that tine establishment.

            May I be so bold as to suggest that you take "Dad" to the Sunset or Kings Contrivance to celebrate Father's Day-- But NOT ACTUALLY ON FATHER'S DAY. Perhaps the night or weekend before or after when the crows. die down.

            1. re: FoiGras
              t
              theminx RE: FoiGras Apr 10, 2012 05:27 AM

              That's great to know, Foi.

              And Father's Day is usually such a nightmare, we just have a cook-out at home. He used to take us to Sunset fairly frequently back in the 80s and 90s though. (I've promised to take him to Tio Pepe's as part of my research.)

              1. re: theminx
                f
                FoiGras RE: theminx Apr 10, 2012 08:36 AM

                Has your Dad ever been to Tio Pepe's? It's really good and more traditional cuisine--nothing trendy, which you probably know.

                You are smart to cook-out at home on Father's Day. When my parents were living we always stayed home on the actual holiday to avoid the crowds. Same with my hubby and me--we don't go out to a restaurant on Valentine's Day, but usually the weekend before or after we do out celebrating then I cook at home on the actual holiday.

                Let us know the results of Tio's once you go. FoiGras

                1. re: FoiGras
                  t
                  theminx RE: FoiGras Apr 11, 2012 06:51 AM

                  Dad's been to Tio Pepe many times - but I've never been. The only time I've been close to experiencing it was the one time my employer brought a whole pine nut roll to the office for us to eat. Another time, Dad brought me leftovers from his Restaurant Week meal. It was paella, and it was foul. But people still claim to love the place so I'm giving it a try.

                  1. re: theminx
                    f
                    FoiGras RE: theminx Apr 11, 2012 08:35 AM

                    It's unfortunate that you had a bad tasting of paella from Tio's. I've never tried the paella. I usually order the roast suckling pig or sole with bananas. The oysters with crabmeat and champagne sauce are scrumptious and very rich.

                    Tio's could use some updating, but it's still a fairly good place. Hope you have a decent experience when you go. FoiGras

                    1. re: theminx
                      j
                      jvanderh RE: theminx Apr 22, 2012 06:32 PM

                      The paella I had at restaurant week was foul too.

            2. re: FoiGras
              h
              Hal Laurent RE: FoiGras Apr 7, 2012 03:40 PM

              I've been dragged to Olive Grove a couple of times for work lunches (several years ago), and was totally not impressed. They were doing a booming business, but I don't understand why. My guess would be that their clientele valued inexpensive food in large portions more than quality.

              1. re: Hal Laurent
                JonParker RE: Hal Laurent Apr 8, 2012 07:39 AM

                Thanks for that. It's good to have a trusted opinion on this apparently overhyped restaurant.

                1. re: Hal Laurent
                  f
                  FoiGras RE: Hal Laurent Apr 8, 2012 09:34 AM

                  I listed the Olive Grove as the original poster requested "fancy or dive." I wouldn't consider the Olive Grove necessarily a dive, but it's a casual place, with huge portions of decent selections. The reason I sometimes go there is that they prepare a special dish for me that isn't on the menu. Not many restaurants will prepare a customized dish without advanced notice,if at all. FoiGras

                  1. re: FoiGras
                    h
                    Hal Laurent RE: FoiGras Apr 11, 2012 08:14 PM

                    I don't consider "huge portions" to be a positive thing.

                    1. re: Hal Laurent
                      f
                      FoiGras RE: Hal Laurent Apr 12, 2012 09:11 AM

                      I agree with the "huge portion" thing. Don't even know why I mentioned that fact. I hate to waste food and many restaurants serve large portions that I have to have "doggy bagged" to bring home. That was very inconvenient when I traveled frequently. During those times of travel I mostly ordered a small salad and appetizer so that I wouldn't be wasting food that I couldn't take back to a hotel room. FoiGras

                  2. re: Hal Laurent
                    h
                    hon RE: Hal Laurent Apr 11, 2012 12:00 PM

                    Quantity over quality, no thanks!

                2. s
                  stephanieg RE: theminx Apr 4, 2012 12:34 PM

                  My favorites of the moment (which include fine dining along with good places to go with the kids):
                  Mezze
                  Dogwood
                  Tio Pepes
                  Pazo
                  Charleston
                  The Olive Room
                  Akbar
                  Dukem
                  Carlyle Club
                  La Famiglia
                  Sushi Hanna
                  Atwaters
                  Spice and Dice
                  One World Café
                  Papermoon Diner

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: stephanieg
                    t
                    theminx RE: stephanieg Apr 5, 2012 11:43 AM

                    Ahh...Carlyle Club is still around? Are their tablecloths still annoyingly long?

                    1. re: theminx
                      s
                      stephanieg RE: theminx Apr 5, 2012 01:43 PM

                      Still around, although I often wonder for how much longer. I've never seen it even close to full. I really think it's such a hidden gem-- they have an eggplant appetizer that's to die for, and the food is always fresh and delicious. I can't remember what the tablecloths are like. I actually love the seating-- it's one of the few places where you can get a booth for 2, which I find quite romantic.

                      1. re: stephanieg
                        foster RE: stephanieg Apr 13, 2012 01:01 PM

                        I went to the Carlyle based on suggestions from some on this board. We were sorely disappointed with service & all the food (except the dosas, which we thought were terrific). This was probably some time in 2011..

                        1. re: foster
                          e
                          elspeth mcdoodle RE: foster Apr 27, 2012 01:26 PM

                          Foster, I am with you 100%. Dosas are great; the rest disappointing.

                  2. d
                    drewpbalzac RE: theminx Apr 5, 2012 11:59 AM

                    Polock Johnny's
                    Chaps Charcoal Restaurant
                    Lexington Market.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: drewpbalzac
                      AlizaEss RE: drewpbalzac May 22, 2012 06:36 AM

                      CHAPS!!!!

                    2. f
                      flavrmeistr RE: theminx Apr 6, 2012 02:44 AM

                      Snyder's Willow Grove
                      Maiwand Kebab
                      Thames Street Oyster House
                      Gunnings

                      1. d
                        drewpbalzac RE: theminx Apr 6, 2012 07:14 AM

                        Sip & Bite

                        1. f
                          ForFoodsSake RE: theminx Apr 6, 2012 01:21 PM

                          Cinghiale

                          1. t
                            tartuffe RE: theminx Apr 7, 2012 09:33 AM

                            Iggie's

                            1. t
                              theminx RE: theminx Apr 10, 2012 05:28 AM

                              Those are all great suggestions, folks! You've given me several to investigate. Please keep them coming. :)

                              1. 4
                                4X4 RE: theminx Apr 13, 2012 12:13 PM

                                Faidley's

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: 4X4
                                  2
                                  2000man RE: 4X4 Apr 14, 2012 07:20 PM

                                  Peter's Inn. I used to live around the corner. My wife and I always had a great time there. I haven't been in over a year, but it is a great Baltimore restaurant.

                                  1. re: 2000man
                                    f
                                    flavrmeistr RE: 2000man Apr 16, 2012 01:43 PM

                                    Yes, Peter's Inn! Gotta be careful, though. They pour those drinks a little heavy.

                                    1. re: 2000man
                                      t
                                      theminx RE: 2000man Apr 17, 2012 11:35 AM

                                      I used to live in that same block and remember it before it was Peter's. Haven't been there yet, but it's definitely on the list (as are 100 other restaurants - sigh).

                                      1. re: theminx
                                        2
                                        2000man RE: theminx Apr 17, 2012 11:44 AM

                                        Huh. I was under the impression that it had been called Peter's Inn for a long time (like over 20 years). Karen and Bud (the current owners) bought it from Peter and kept the name. Did you mean that you lived there before Karen and Bud bought it?

                                        1. re: 2000man
                                          t
                                          theminx RE: 2000man Apr 18, 2012 07:55 AM

                                          Yeah. I'm old. I moved out of the neighborhood in 1984. I don't actually remember the name of the bar before it was called Peter's, but the people who owned it were named Novak.

                                  2. b
                                    BmoreGrrl RE: theminx Apr 16, 2012 05:16 AM

                                    Others have mentioned a lot of great places... here are a few of my personal favorites (for myself or with out of town guests):
                                    - Paper Moon Diner -- totally funky interior http://www.papermoondiner24.com/
                                    - Blue Moon Cafe - you have to try to Captain Crunch French Toast. Also, the cinnamon rolls are delish http://bluemoonbaltimore.com/
                                    - La Tortilleria Sinaloa - excellent tacos and tamales; they make their own tortillas there and sell them by the kilo... http://tortilleria-sinaloa.com/
                                    - Mr. Rains Funhouse at the American Visionary Art Museum - beautiful setting and art, upscale menu... http://www.mrrainsfunhouse.com/
                                    - Dogwood Restaurant - beautiful and artsy inside, great menu http://www.dogwoodbaltimore.com/
                                    - Donna's at Cross Keys - delicious food, indoor and outdoor seating http://donnas.com/crosskeys/

                                    Are you looking for writers? :)

                                    21 Replies
                                    1. re: BmoreGrrl
                                      l
                                      lawhound RE: BmoreGrrl Apr 16, 2012 01:48 PM

                                      Paper Moon Diner is important because it's open late. But on its best days, the food is only OK, and often not even that.

                                      1. re: lawhound
                                        t
                                        theminx RE: lawhound Apr 17, 2012 11:34 AM

                                        Once upon a time, the food was actually good. My girlfriends and I would hit them up for dinner every Friday and we'd all get the egg planet sandwich and shoestring fries. That was serious yum. But I have to admit I was disappointed the last time I ate there.

                                      2. re: BmoreGrrl
                                        t
                                        theminx RE: BmoreGrrl Apr 17, 2012 11:33 AM

                                        Ha! BmoreGrrl! Nope, we don't need writers! All great suggestions, and I'm glad someone else loves Donna's at Cross Keys. That is one of the first restaurants I wrote up!

                                        Would be nice if we could get people to eat for us though. Going out 4x per week is already getting old.

                                        1. re: BmoreGrrl
                                          j
                                          jvanderh RE: BmoreGrrl Apr 22, 2012 06:34 PM

                                          Sinaloa, definitely!!

                                          1. re: BmoreGrrl
                                            b
                                            bmorecupcake RE: BmoreGrrl Apr 23, 2012 09:12 PM

                                            I have witnessed cinnamon rolls at Blue Moon Cafe being microwaved and then served. Considering how long the wait is to get in, and given the cost of a cinnamon roll, that's an absolute no-no in my book.

                                            1. re: bmorecupcake
                                              g
                                              gregb RE: bmorecupcake Apr 24, 2012 07:18 AM

                                              I don't think their food is worth it, even if you don't wait!

                                              Jimmy's should be on the list instead!

                                              1. re: gregb
                                                t
                                                theminx RE: gregb Apr 24, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                bmorecupcake - I had a crabcake at Faidley's today, and it was microwaved. Doesn't mean it wasn't good.

                                                gregb, they're both going to be in the book.

                                                1. re: theminx
                                                  b
                                                  bmorecupcake RE: theminx Apr 24, 2012 08:46 PM

                                                  I understand some folks aren't as anti-microwave when dining out as others. If you were happy with the crabcake, then that's what really matters.

                                                  It's been a while since I had a crabcake at Faidley's and exactly for this reason. I used to always slather the crabcake with sauces, but once I tried it without any condiments and asked the staff why it didn't taste fresh. Upon being informed that the crabcake was microwaved, I was able to work out a way to come on a day when the crabcakes were just made. I felt like I was really hassling the owner, so I stopped bugging her and opt for a fish sandwich nowadays.

                                                  In my opinion, at these prices I should reasonably expect to receive fresh, non-microwaved food. At Blue Moon Cafe, I could not reliably get an answer to when the cinnamon rolls were made. If they were made the same day, I'd take one at room temperature like I have done at my local Atwater's in Catonsville. And no one was willing to cooperate with me so I can come on the day they bake the cinnamon rolls. I understand they are doing really well and it's completely not worth the effort for them to accommodate me, but like gregb I haven't been impressed by any of the menu items I've tried, so I moved on.

                                                  At the Saturday Fell's Point Market and the Sunday Catonsville Market is a waffle vendor who makes his own waffle mix with Belgian Pearl Sugar. Due to customer demand for more "regular" waffles, he has switched to an electric waffle maker. However, he still brings along his gas grill and cast iron waffle iron for those customers that want the good stuff. Easily one of my favorite breakfast foods in Baltimore.

                                                  But, you know, I guess everyone loves their food differently. ;)

                                                  1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                    j
                                                    jvanderh RE: bmorecupcake Apr 25, 2012 06:21 AM

                                                    I think the microwave issue depends on the food and the place, too. I'd probably be put off to see a microwave in the kitchen at a restaurant, but if they told me they were using it to heat up pancake syrup, melt butter or warm plates, sure, okay. A microwaved crab cake? Heck no.

                                                    1. re: jvanderh
                                                      g
                                                      gregb RE: jvanderh Apr 25, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                      Mekong Delta nukes your pho before it comes to the table...doesn't make it any less delicious.

                                                      1. re: gregb
                                                        j
                                                        jvanderh RE: gregb Apr 25, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                        Their pho is pretty delicious! It's a normal pho thing to have the broth hot and a lump of cold noodles that you have to dunk in the broth, right?

                                                        1. re: jvanderh
                                                          g
                                                          gregb RE: jvanderh Apr 25, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                          My understanding is that the noodles are precooked and kept either cold or at room temp before hot broth is poured on top. The whole thing is microwaved and the heat of the broth is then at the point where raw meat is cooked by being submerged.

                                                          1. re: gregb
                                                            j
                                                            jvanderh RE: gregb Apr 25, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                            Interesting. I never knew!

                                                            1. re: jvanderh
                                                              g
                                                              gregb RE: jvanderh Apr 27, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                              fwiw, I went to MD today and can say the pho wasn't microwaved.

                                                              Delicious as always

                                                              1. re: gregb
                                                                j
                                                                jvanderh RE: gregb Apr 27, 2012 01:13 PM

                                                                we'll give them the benefit of the doubt :-)

                                                              2. re: jvanderh
                                                                f
                                                                flavrmeistr RE: jvanderh Jun 14, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                                Ortherwise, they turn into glue

                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                  huiray RE: flavrmeistr Jun 14, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                  ...and I can't conceive of "...a lump of cold noodles that you have to dunk in the broth..." as being any good or if I would patronize any place that did it.

                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                    f
                                                                    flavrmeistr RE: huiray Jun 14, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                    I guess it works out if the broth is scalding hot. Basically, that's how the meat is cooked as well. But the rice noodles have a short half-life once they go in the soup and will dissolve fairly quickly. That's why they pack them separately for to-go orders.

                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                      huiray RE: flavrmeistr Jun 14, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                                      True enough, but I was envisioning a lump of stone cold, re-hardened mass of stiff bahn pho... that would suck all the heat out of even a scalding broth, or at least drop the temp enough so that the raw beef slices would have a hard time getting cooked when you dunked them in. Let alone still have enough heat remaining to wilt the basil and "blanch" the bean sprouts when you started dumping them in. (Yes, I eat pho. I make it myself too.) :-)

                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                        f
                                                                        flavrmeistr RE: huiray Jun 15, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                                        Never gave it much thought. I just know that leftover pho with noodles left in is...nasty.

                                                          2. re: gregb
                                                            b
                                                            bmorecupcake RE: gregb Apr 25, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                            I can't comment on pho, but I feel microwaving significantly affects the quality of crabcakes and cinnamon rolls. If I must reheat a cinnamon roll, I will gently steam it.

                                                            I've never had pho at a restaurant, but I am curious why Mekong Delta can't keep their pho at the right temperature without the use of a microwave. I was always under the impression that the pho houses here in Catonsville didn't reheat their pho. Looks like some investigating is in order.

                                              2. e
                                                espinosa RE: theminx Apr 18, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                It's new but should definitely be on your list:

                                                Fork & Wrench

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: espinosa
                                                  t
                                                  theminx RE: espinosa Apr 19, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                  Thanks!!

                                                2. r
                                                  ronandaim RE: theminx Apr 19, 2012 06:25 PM

                                                  Hamilton Tavern
                                                  Neopol Smokery
                                                  Cafe Spice
                                                  Johnny Rad's
                                                  Thames Street Oyster House

                                                  1. i
                                                    indcgirl RE: theminx Apr 19, 2012 06:45 PM

                                                    How does a list go this many days without including either Woodberry Kitchen or Salt? Jack's Bistro? Stuggy's? Trinacria? Waterfront Kitchen? I would choose The Ambassador over The Carlyle Club (owned by the same people and I believe the Carlyle has converted to Indian now that there is serious competition from The Lebanese Taverna for real Lebanese food).

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: indcgirl
                                                      t
                                                      theminx RE: indcgirl Apr 20, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                      I'm guessing because everyone thought those two, with the elevated food they serve and their reputations, would be obvious to me. What I really need are reminders that places like Stuggy's and Trinacria exist!

                                                      1. re: indcgirl
                                                        Vespa1 RE: indcgirl Apr 24, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                        Not to be a basher but Trinacria? Really? It may be an institution but that doesn't make it good. Trinacria may be my own personal "Greatest Baltimore Food Let-Down". It's just another in a long line of mediocre-to-poor versions of an Italian deli/grocery. The giant Fusti of olive oil is the only impressive thing about that place.

                                                        1. re: Vespa1
                                                          t
                                                          theminx RE: Vespa1 Apr 24, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                          Vespa1 - what are your alternate recommendations then?

                                                          1. re: theminx
                                                            Vespa1 RE: theminx Apr 25, 2012 05:53 AM

                                                            That's a tough one because there seems to be a formula that the Italian Deli's that I've visited in Baltimore follow and it goes someting like this: Son of Italy + (Volpi + Boar's Head) + bad Mozarella + Vaccaro's Cannoli = Authentic Italian.

                                                            Mastellone was pretty good back in the old days (though I may be blinded by nostalgia) but even they suffered a bit because of "the formula". They did have very good, daily-made Mozzarella. When Ace and TIm left to go to Ceriello I was pretty bummed but at least you could still get Tim's Mozarella. I've only been back to Mastellone once since Joe took over and it looked to me like things stayed the same. I liked that Mastellone had an Italian cheese selection that went beyond Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Provolone. The litte dry salami's were good and they made a good sandwich, too.

                                                            Il Scalino was quite good while it lasted. Rocco had a good selection of sundry items I had not seen in other Italian deli's and a nice cheese selection to boot. I miss going there to buy Crucolo.

                                                            What it comes down to is product selection and the folks who own and buy for these deli's are not selling genuine, quality Italian foods; they're selling comfort and nostalgia. That's why people like going to Trinacria. They go there so they can get a giant sandwich for next to nothing and marvel at the monumental Fusti. People are not going to these places to get "authentic" Italian foods. Heck, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market have a better selection of real Italian foods than any deli I've been to in Baltimore. And why do they have better products? Because they have good, knowledgable buyers who understand that "Italian food" extends beyond the New York/ New Jersey Sicilian model.

                                                            Now, I don't expect Vinny's Deli to have the $$ to hire a sophisticated buyer, but I do expect Vinny to do 5 minutes worth research on the internet to figure out what genuine Italian products are available, where he can get them and from whom. Maybe even visit a "real" Italian deli/market in a first-tier city to see how it should be done (DiBruno Brothers and Eataly come to mind). This is the same thing we expect from our wine shops, right? Given how easy it is to access information about food these days shouldn't expect it from our specialty grocers as well?

                                                            1. re: Vespa1
                                                              b
                                                              bmorecupcake RE: Vespa1 Apr 25, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                              You would think, right!!??

                                                              1. re: Vespa1
                                                                t
                                                                theminx RE: Vespa1 Apr 26, 2012 12:22 PM

                                                                Well, people aren't necessarily looking for an authentic Italian deli, but for a good sandwich. What about DiPasquale's? And don't they own Mastellone's now? My Dad and brother rave about Mastellone's Italian cold cut sandwich.

                                                                This ain't New York or even New Jersey. And it took a Mario Batali to open Eataly.

                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                  Vespa1 RE: theminx Apr 26, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                                  Mastellone is owned by Joe DiPasquale now as far as I know. I've heard various rumors over the years as to the relationship Joe has with his family in Highlandtown but I am fairly certain that they are completely separate entities.

                                                                  DiPasquales in Highlandtown; I've only been once. It was last September and I was looking for fresh figs; they didn't have any. Figs. They had all the Danish Fontina you could ever want, though.

                                                                  And your Dad and brother are correct, Mastellone's makes mean cold cut. As I've heard Trinacria does. And maybe my point is this, there are lots of good Italian Cold Cuts, but no good Italian Markets.

                                                                  You're right, Eataly is a poor example because it's so completely over-the-top but I think you can see what I'm getting at. The proliferation of mediocrity dumbs-down authenticity to the point where "authentic" becomes un-sellable and what we end up with is a sandwich shop and not an authentic Italian deli/market.
                                                                  And I raise this point because on its website, Trinacria touts itself as "Baltimore's Premier Authentic Italian Market and Deli".

                                                        2. f
                                                          FoiGras RE: theminx Apr 19, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                          I am excited about your upcoming publication. You will/should have a lot of guidance and input from the Chowhounds.,

                                                          May I ask, why are you writing this type of guide ? Baltimore has the "Best of Baltimore" guide in "Baltimore Magazine." Then "Zagat" provides a comprehensive guide to dining in Baltimore and surrounding areas. Then the Chowhound posts offering opinions and suggestions.

                                                          May I ask how your guide is going to be different from the other publications and/or posts? FoiGras

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: FoiGras
                                                            t
                                                            theminx RE: FoiGras Apr 20, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                            I'm writing it because I was asked to do so by the publisher. They've published guides from other cities like DC, New Orleans, and Scottsdale, and will provide one-stop shopping mainly for tourists from other parts of the country who don't have access to Baltimore Magazine and don't necessarily care to visit multiple online sources to get information. It's the kind of book I wish every hotel room had on hand.

                                                            I don't really think that Zagat is all that comprehensive. I have the most recent Baltimore/DC guide and it includes a fraction of the restaurants that will be in the Food Lovers' Guide.

                                                          2. crosby_p RE: theminx Apr 20, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                            Dudas
                                                            Clementine
                                                            Chiapperellis
                                                            The Dizz

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: crosby_p
                                                              t
                                                              theminx RE: crosby_p Apr 20, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                              I've been to Dudas multiple times and can't understand why anyone likes them. I can't in good consciousness recommend the place. I've only ever experienced horrible service and worse food, and a couple of times, I wanted to punch some of the other customers in the face (and I wasn't drinking).

                                                              1. re: theminx
                                                                b
                                                                bmorecupcake RE: theminx Apr 25, 2012 10:07 AM

                                                                I've never been, but Dudas gets recommended a lot for their crabcakes.

                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                  t
                                                                  theminx RE: theminx Apr 26, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                  LOL...I meant "good conscience." Shows you how brain dead I've been recently.

                                                              2. c
                                                                chefdilettante RE: theminx Apr 20, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                                You need a section on all the great Korean barbecue in Ellicott City. Honey Pig and Shin Chon are two great examples and definitely worth a trip. The HowChow blog does a great job of covering all the great Korean and other Asian restaurants in Howard County.

                                                                http://howchow.blogspot.com/

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: chefdilettante
                                                                  t
                                                                  theminx RE: chefdilettante Apr 21, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                  HowChow has definitely been a great source for me!

                                                                  Do you have any other personal favorites besides Honey Pig and Shin Chon? We're also including three in Baltimore (Nak Won, Nam Kang, and Jong Kak).

                                                                  1. re: theminx
                                                                    c
                                                                    chefdilettante RE: theminx Apr 21, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                                    We always like to combine shopping at H Mart with lunch or dinner at Hunan Taste. Terrific restaurant and BYO to boot.

                                                                    1. re: chefdilettante
                                                                      t
                                                                      theminx RE: chefdilettante Apr 22, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                      What are your favorite dishes at Hunan Taste? Actually, that question goes to all of you who have made recommendations.

                                                                      1. re: theminx
                                                                        c
                                                                        chefdilettante RE: theminx Apr 22, 2012 11:04 PM

                                                                        Mao's Braised Pork
                                                                        Spicy Shrimp on Stick
                                                                        Cumin Lamb

                                                                    2. re: theminx
                                                                      f
                                                                      flavrmeistr RE: theminx Jun 14, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                                      What is the deal at Honey Pig? What is the featured dish? The name suggests crispy, succulent, artery-clogging deliciousness. I am naturally intrigued.

                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                        t
                                                                        theminx RE: flavrmeistr Jun 19, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                                        It's Korean bbq, so there's pork belly, but also beef and more beef.

                                                                  2. b
                                                                    BruceMcc RE: theminx Apr 26, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                    I saw Joe Squared listed in Baltimore Magazine's Best Pizza issue so I tried it out. It was some of the best pizza I have ever eaten (and I eat ALOT of pizza). The crust is thin crust cooked in their coal fire oven so it's very crispy but still a chewy around the edges.

                                                                    The Irish Pizza (White sauce, corned beef, potato, caramelized onion, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses.) was amazing. As it approaches your mouth you first catch a wiff of the smell coming from the giant chunks of super tender corned beef. I could probably eat a bowl full of the caramelized onions by themselves, they were so good.

                                                                    Give it a shot. Anyone else agree with my thoughts on Joe Squared? Have you had better pizza in Baltimore? Where?

                                                                    BruceMcc

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BruceMcc
                                                                      t
                                                                      theminx RE: BruceMcc Apr 27, 2012 12:12 PM

                                                                      The only time I've had Joe Squared pizza was at a work meeting. Unfortunately, it was stone cold, but it still tasted good. I'm planning a visit with friends in a couple of weeks to try hot pizza, and maybe some risottos.

                                                                      As far as thin crust pizza is concerned, I like Bagby's. Chazz is good, too. And Pasta Blitz in Timonium has pretty decent 'za too. And their bread is really delicious.

                                                                      1. re: BruceMcc
                                                                        k
                                                                        kidbrother RE: BruceMcc May 3, 2012 12:16 AM

                                                                        Iggies.

                                                                      2. e
                                                                        elspeth mcdoodle RE: theminx Apr 27, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                                        - Grace Garden in Odenton could be added to your "worth the drive" section.
                                                                        - Chameleon Café can be good, if hit and miss.
                                                                        - The JFX Sunday Farmers' Market has some great offerings
                                                                        - Baba's in Locust Point has consistently good, lovingly prepared Mediterranean food --- falafel, tabouli, soups, hummus, salads, baklava, and delicious coffee that's been ground with cardamom pods before brewing.

                                                                        I was thrilled to see some favorites on here---Tortilleria Sinaloa, Mekong Delta, Spice and Dice in Towson, Sushi Hanna, and Salt. Have to enthusiastically second (or third) all of those.

                                                                        Without meaning to sound negative, I think your guide will be a slim one due to inexplicable consistency issues of many restaurants in the area. But there are a few real gems, and your research will be delightful. : )

                                                                        A few of the places mentioned above have gone down hill in recent months/years, like Atwaters (breaks my heart to say so, but it's true; bread still superlative, though) and Brewer's Art. I've had some truly horrific meals at Paper Moon. Other than the quirk factor it has nothing to recommend it and really doesn't belong in a guide for food lovers.

                                                                        Can't wait to read your guide and learn about new places to eat, Minx. Have fun!

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                          b
                                                                          bmorecupcake RE: elspeth mcdoodle Apr 27, 2012 05:31 PM

                                                                          I agree Atwaters has gone downhill, but it's still pretty good for many things. Interestingly, it's their bread that I am most sad about. I was never fond of their baguettes, but I feel the rest of their bread offering really started to suffer shortly after they moved to Catonsville. And believe me, I have resorted to extreme measures to get the bread while it's super fresh. All the bread they sell has been baked the same day, but I mean fresh fresh. Unfortunately, I haven't had any luck. I still purchase their bread because their ingredients are top notch and there's no other decent bakery in my area. Their soups have also suffered, in my opinion, since moving out of Belvedere Square.

                                                                          However, a lot of the pies, cupcakes, and tarts made at the Catonsville location are excellent. The pies and tarts aren't baked every day so you should call ahead to check. When reserving one, make sure you specify you don't want it wrapped or boxed. Otherwise the crust, and the texture in general, will be ruined. The cakes used to be very good, but their head baker left recently, and the new head baker isn't as good with cakes. Although the tarts have improved since she came on board.

                                                                          1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                            t
                                                                            theminx RE: bmorecupcake Apr 29, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                            Wait - Atwater's isn't in Belvedere Square anymore? When did that happen?

                                                                            1. re: theminx
                                                                              b
                                                                              bmorecupcake RE: theminx Apr 29, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                              They are still in Belvedere Square, but they have moved most of the production to their other locations. The Ploughboy location makes the soups and the Catonsville location does most of the baking. As far as I understand, individual locations still do have some items specific to those locations.

                                                                          2. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                            t
                                                                            theminx RE: elspeth mcdoodle Apr 29, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                            Grace Garden is actually one of the first couple of restaurants I wrote up. It's possibly my all-time favorite out of everything.

                                                                            Research is not so delightful, actually. I'm sick to death already of Italian and "modern American" cuisine, but those seem to be the predominate cuisines around here, and the kind of restaurant we don't usually frequent.

                                                                            1. re: theminx
                                                                              e
                                                                              elspeth mcdoodle RE: theminx Apr 30, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                              "Research is not so delightful, actually. I'm sick to death already of Italian and "modern American" cuisine..." theminx said.

                                                                              Uh-oh... You might have to do what some wine tasters do, swish the gloopy food around and then discreetly spit it into your napkin! ; O

                                                                              By the way, this weekend I decided to branch out at Spice and Dice and forgo my delicious Pad Panang. Ordered Tilapia with Tango sauce at waitress's recommendation... It's well worth trying if you're out testing again --- fresh, light, and spicy (you have to request the heat). The tilapia was sautéed until a bit crispy, then covered in a confetti of match-sticked green apples, scallions, red peppers, cilantro, with a tangy-sweet sauce. It reminded me of the flavor of good spring rolls in rice wraps... must be the crunchy veggies and fish sauce.

                                                                              1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                t
                                                                                theminx RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 1, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                Wonder if they serve that Tango sauce with something other than tilapia. I am not a fan of that fish.

                                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                                  e
                                                                                  elspeth mcdoodle RE: theminx May 3, 2012 02:53 AM

                                                                                  Just saw your post... Yes. The dish is called "Fish Steak with Tango Sauce" --- you choose between salmon, tilapia, and one other fish that I can't recall. My guess is that you could substitute shrimp, which are on the menu in other dishes. That would be killer!

                                                                                  1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    theminx RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 3, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                    Cool. Will have to try that next time we hit Spice n Dice. Although that will probably be months from now. :(

                                                                            2. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                              j
                                                                              jvanderh RE: elspeth mcdoodle Apr 30, 2012 12:29 PM

                                                                              I heartily agree on the farmer's market (and the Saturday one at Waverly, for that matter) and Baba's. Oh, and I agree on Atwaters being disappointing :-/

                                                                            3. e
                                                                              elspeth mcdoodle RE: theminx Apr 27, 2012 02:19 PM

                                                                              Oh! Just remembered Haute Dog up near Lake and Falls Road and The Gypsy Food Truck (variable locations). Maybe you could have a section on food carts and street food.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                t
                                                                                theminx RE: elspeth mcdoodle Apr 29, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                We will have a section on food trucks, since so many seem to be popping up. Has anyone tried the new one from Cazbar, Da Food Truck? I can't seem to find anything about it online, and neither the Web site, Facebook, nor email inquiries seem to be getting me anywhere.

                                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                                  b
                                                                                  bmorecupcake RE: theminx Apr 29, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                  I know the crepe truck went out of business recently in case you come across recommendations for it and wonder what happened. Late last year we went to one of the food truck "gatherings" at the inner harbor and were categorically underwhelmed. We spent far too much at truck after truck, although it's probably our fault for expecting some sort of revelation after reading about Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. We had just come back from New Hampshire and Boston, so when the Silver Platter truck owner told us Bostonians say his lobster rolls are better than the ones they have in Boston, we foolishly couldn't resist. He'd be run out of town if he sold those lobster rolls up there.

                                                                                  I would try the chicken and rice platter from the gyro guy next to 1st Mariner Arena if you haven't already. Full disclosure: I personally know the chicken and rice guy, but that doesn't affect my opinion. I will admit the cart has consistency issues and the overall quality of preparation has suffered slightly since demand has increased.

                                                                                  1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    theminx RE: bmorecupcake Apr 29, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                    Creperie Breizh must have gone out of business really recently, because a week or so ago they were still tweeting locations. (I don't check Twitter very often though. I don't have that much time on my hands.) They had good crepes.

                                                                                    And our food truck scene is still pretty new. I wouldn't expect revelations.

                                                                                    There's a gyro cart that parked itself near where I work for a couple of weeks. They called themselves Casablanca Halal and served really good chicken and rice and especially mixed meat and rice platters. Would help if all the carts had names in addition to regular locations.

                                                                              2. l
                                                                                lhellwig RE: theminx May 1, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                                                Helmand's, the Afghan restuarant.! Great for vegetarians and carnivores.

                                                                                1. k
                                                                                  kidbrother RE: theminx May 3, 2012 12:15 AM

                                                                                  Greg's Bagels in Belvedere Square. Best bagels in Baltimore, and possibly the East Coast. Yeah. Eat your heart out New York, I've never had a bagel there that could compete with Greg's.

                                                                                  51 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kidbrother
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    theminx RE: kidbrother May 3, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                                                    Really? I had one yesterday for the first time in probably 15 years. They're not as greasy as they used to be (and bagels are made with no fat - they should not leave grease spots on paper bags), but they're still just average. They're nothing like the bagels of my childhood.

                                                                                    1. re: theminx
                                                                                      Vespa1 RE: theminx May 3, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                      I'm surprised at how little "bagel" you actually get at Gregg's. The holes in those things keep getting bigger.

                                                                                      1. re: Vespa1
                                                                                        k
                                                                                        kidbrother RE: Vespa1 May 3, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                        The "grease" is just residue from the cooking spray they put on the trays. It has nothing to say about the content of the bagels themselves. Also, you always get the same amount of bagel. The large holes are just based on whoever weighs them, but it's the same amount of bagel. Also, for some reason, different ingredients have different effects on the dough. Poppy seed bagels are denser, sesame seed bagels fluffier. Vidalia onion makes for a very doughy bagel. I cannot tell you for the life of me why that is, but it just seems to be how it goes.

                                                                                        Regardless, they're still better than "New York" bagels (quote marks because almost every single bagel you'll ever eat in NYC comes from dough made and then frozen in Jersey). At least Greg's makes their own dough from scratch. More than most places can say. Certainly more than any place in Baltimore.

                                                                                        1. re: kidbrother
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          bmorecupcake RE: kidbrother May 3, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                          Have you tried Goldberg's or even Sam's bagels? Those are pretty good, although Sam's does use the pre-made dough.

                                                                                          1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            chefdilettante RE: bmorecupcake May 13, 2012 05:11 AM

                                                                                            Goldberg's are good but their dough is premade as well.

                                                                                            1. re: chefdilettante
                                                                                              BuckyE RE: chefdilettante Jun 12, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                                                              Goldberg's are the same as all the modern bagels: fluffy, almost no crust and not nearly salty enough. Bland as white bread. Matter of fact, they ARE white bread. But so are everyone else's. Real bagels seem to be a thing of the past. ::sigh::

                                                                                              1. re: BuckyE
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                gregb RE: BuckyE Jun 13, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                                                                I'm certainly no bagel expert, but do enjoy the bagels at THB. Have the people upset with the Baltimore bagel scene tried THB?

                                                                                      2. re: theminx
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        stephanieg RE: theminx May 4, 2012 10:38 AM

                                                                                        I like Greg's bagels but would never rave about them. What I love about Greg's, though, is Greg and his awesome smoked salmon. He has a great variety and thoroughly enjoys helping customers find a fish that's up their alley. Customer service there is excellent!

                                                                                        1. re: stephanieg
                                                                                          2
                                                                                          2000man RE: stephanieg May 4, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                                          I love Greg, too. I think the bagels are good. I enjoy eating them. They are not NY style, but they are good and unique. I like to get bagels from Greg and salmon from Neopol.

                                                                                      3. re: kidbrother
                                                                                        b
                                                                                        bmorecupcake RE: kidbrother May 3, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                                        I used to love Greg's, until I was properly introduced to good bagels in New York. (Even there, good bagels aren't that easy to find.) Now when I go to Greg's, I don't think of them as bagels, but rather as a round breakfast bread. In my experience, Greg's "bagels" pretty much have to be eaten with an hour after they come out. After that, they get very stiff.

                                                                                        1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          JayDK RE: bmorecupcake May 4, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                          Coming to Bmore from Seattle and have been looking at this post. Funny, I read the same things all over Chowhound when I check it out prior to travel. The best bagel is the one in your hand toasted with cream cheese, ditto pizza. Although it's fun to hear the comments. And you people who think NY is tops for pizza and bagels? Get a life! There are a few things I don't get about Bmore food, Chaps and softshell crabs. Chaps was kind of like a french dip at Denny's and softshells, it reminded me of chewing my fingernails. Not to sound too snarky, did love Attmans, Faidlys and Berthas when I was in town last. Any ideas in that vein?

                                                                                          1. re: JayDK
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            bmorecupcake RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                            I can't really help you, but your post was hilarious! How dare you condemn our beloved softshells?! It's like if I went to the Seattle board and said "Folgers is as good as any coffee in Seattle".

                                                                                            1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              JayDK RE: bmorecupcake May 4, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                              Funny - Bring it!
                                                                                              Actually I'd rather have Folgers than some of the "designer" swill I've had in Seattle - Starbucks included. The worst cup was from Stumptown (who is really hip from Portland) and it was so bad I emailed the company who basically told me my palate wasn't trained! Who's got a good cup in town?
                                                                                              Didn't mean to dis softshells, but maybe I've not had 'em right. Any recommendations, I'll definitely give it another try.
                                                                                              Other recs? I'm more into old school B'more than anything else.
                                                                                              And what's the deal with "She's Got Crabs" is it worth the drive?

                                                                                              1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                gregb RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 12:25 PM

                                                                                                Lamill and Spro both make very respectable cups of coffee, but you'll pay for it.

                                                                                                A couple of the better soft shell sandwiches I've had came from Kislings and Dudas. The simpler, the better...and they are both "Old school B'more" in a sense.

                                                                                                1. re: gregb
                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                  elspeth mcdoodle RE: gregb May 4, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                                  What is this Lamill you speak of, gregb? Since we're on the subject of Spro, I've been there about 5 times now. 3 times a latte I ordered was close to room temp (I've mentioned this once before in a coffee thread). There's a somewhat pretentious laboriousness to the making of a cup of coffee there. Normally, I would appreciate such attention to detail, but the effort is completely negated when you're handed a luke warm beverage at the end. There was a long line; I asked for sugar and they pointed to a small bowl silently. There were no spoons or stirrers in sight. I asked for one and the barista silently and solemnly handed me a swizzle stirrer taken from the espresso machine's kit. It was as though I was visiting a foreign country where sweetener is never added to hot beverages and my request upset the general order of things. That or the baristas were high... a distinct possibility. My husband refuses to set foot in the place after too many similar experiences. Have to say, though: tasty, if cold, coffee!

                                                                                                  1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    gregb RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 4, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                                                                    Lamill is in the new Four Seasons hotel in harbor east.

                                                                                                    I know what you mean at Spro...talk about a group of surly hipsters who believe they are doing you a favor by serving you coffee in a coffee shop! From the top down, it's really not surprising though.

                                                                                                    I think Lamill is better and doesn't have the attitude.

                                                                                                    1. re: gregb
                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                      elspeth mcdoodle RE: gregb May 4, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                      Thanks for the tip! I believe you mean surly Hampsters. It's a special breed.

                                                                                                      Maybe you could have a café section in the guide, theminx. Coffee is food, if food is what sustains us.

                                                                                                      1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        theminx RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 7, 2012 08:49 AM

                                                                                                        Coffee houses are included. What are your recommendations?

                                                                                                        1. re: theminx
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                          elspeth mcdoodle RE: theminx May 8, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                                                                          Wish it was a long list. Zeke's, of course. Atwaters on upper Falls Rd. makes a decent cup (they use Counter Culture Coffee). Milk and Honey.

                                                                                                          1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            jvanderh RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 8, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                            Zeke's, of course!! And speaking of Zeke's, do you have Pitango? And speaking of Pitango, do you have Mr Yogato?

                                                                                                            1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                              theminx RE: jvanderh May 9, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                              I do have Zeke's and Pitango, but not Mr Yogato. Figured it was a chain. We're going to Fells Point tomorrow so we'll check it out then. Thanks!

                                                                                                              1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                bmorecupcake RE: theminx May 9, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                Mr Yogato has now merged with a coffee shop or some such thing like that. Can't remember the exact details. Gone is the love it or hate it decor with retro videogames (can't remember if the board games are gone, too.) Also, I'm unsure how directly affiliated they are now with the DC location. I'd be interested if anyone knows more.

                                                                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                  2
                                                                                                                  2000man RE: theminx May 11, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                  Give Liquid Earth a try. That place is great. It is good food, not just for vegan hippies.

                                                                                                                  1. re: 2000man
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    theminx RE: 2000man May 11, 2012 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                    Oh yeah, Liquid Earth is definitely on the list.

                                                                                                                  2. re: theminx
                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                    jvanderh RE: theminx May 11, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                    I don't know much about it, but the yogurt stands out for me. A lot of frozen yogurt shops are artificially flavored, prepackaged crap. Theirs tastes like yogurt. (Edit: website says there are three Mr Yogatos, and all make the yogurt fresh daily). I really like the model of having just a few flavors that are really fresh. IMO, the plain and fruit flavors are usually the winners. The chocolate and caramel don't excite me much in yogurt form. Plain with raspberries and honey is one of my favorites.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                      theminx RE: jvanderh May 11, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                      We tried the "tangy" yogurt and I was surprised at how very sweet it was. I like that it's made fresh every day "from real yogurt" (I know TCBY uses a mix), but I thought it would be, well, tangy. I've never tried Pinkberry and the like, but now I'm disappointed...lol

                                                                                                                      1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                        jvanderh RE: theminx May 11, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                        Huh. It is definitely supposed to be tangy- I remember it being decidedly less sweet than the raspberries on top of it. I'm not sure what happened there :-/. Sorry for the disappointing experience.

                                                                                                                        1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                          AlizaEss RE: theminx May 22, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                          There is a new yogurt place in Catonsville (next to the famed H Mart) called Sweet Frog... their topping selections are some of the best I have seen. No taro root yogurt yet tho! Sigh... now I want a fro-yo....

                                                                                                                          1. re: AlizaEss
                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                            bmorecupcake RE: AlizaEss May 22, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                            What toppings have you seen at Sweet Frog that you haven't seen elsewhere? I'm asking because I walked in and the place looked like another frozen yogurt clone to me, but if you found something interesting I'd want to go back and try it. I have seen the taro flavor elsewhere, I'd call and check with Tutti Frutti in Ellicott City.

                                                                                                                            1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              elspeth mcdoodle RE: bmorecupcake Jun 19, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                              Just noticing the discussion of frozen yogurt shops. I'm a frozen yogurt junkie, so I can offer a couple more: Yogoya on north York Road in Timonium is delicious and tangy. They make theirs fresh daily from greek style yogurt (forget which brand--Chiobani?). They offer original / tangy, taro, honeydew, and sometimes raspberry or pomegranate. Toppings are good. There is a Tutti Frutti going in a half mile or so north of Yogoya, I hear. Don't know that chain, but some claim it's good. There is no Pinkberry in these parts yet, but I enjoyed it when I was in NYC last. Unlike many people, I'm not a fan of Mr. Yogato, though I own one of the t-shirts--- the character trademark is adorable. The last 3 times I've been to the Mr. Yogato in Fells Point (April 2011, Jan and March 2012) the place was filthy, it smelled really bad, and the yogurt was awful. Not sure what happened there... Wound up throwing out my yogurt (not something I do easily) and went across to the square to the gelato place (delicious). I forget the name, but there is one in D.C., too. We've crossed Mr. Yogato off the list until we hear better things.

                                                                                                                              1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                bmorecupcake RE: elspeth mcdoodle Jun 19, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                OkeYogi just opened on Frederick Rd in Catonsville. Haven't been yet.

                                                                                                                                Pinkberry was my first frozen yogurt experience and I remember it tasting like the "mix" variety. After that, I was never fond of frozen yogurt until the taste of fresh yogurt endeared me to Mr. Yogato.

                                                                                                                                Sad to hear about Mr. Yogato. We've only been once in the last 1.5 years, so I can't comment on their current product. Too bad you and minx have had subpar experiences recently. I loved that their frozen yogurt was made with, well, actual yogurt. And the yogurt was definitely tangy when we used to frequent Mr. Yogato. Unfortunately, they guarded their recipes like a military secret so I couldn't figure out how "natural" the non-plain flavors were.

                                                                                                                                I'm intrigued to try out Yogoya since they use real yogurt. Do you know how they flavor the non-plain yogurts? I still haven't found a place that takes their flavors seriously. E.g., a raspberry flavor made with real raspberry. I assume it's because the machines are designed to dispense a certain viscosity.

                                                                                                                                Pitango is the gelato place you mention. They are originally from Baltimore and then opened up in in DC. And yes, they are delicious, although the texture is likely not traditional gelato texture. (Or maybe it is. I don't know enough about gelato to be certain.)

                                                                                                          2. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                            bmorecupcake RE: elspeth mcdoodle May 4, 2012 02:03 PM

                                                                                                            You don't need sugar, you just need train you palate. Sorry, couldn't resist.

                                                                                                            I'd also advise against getting too creative at Spro. They will give you just enough rope to hang yourself. Sometimes I've matched brewing methods with the wrong beans and ended up with burnt, Starbucks-esqe results. Considering their prices, these are very expensive mistakes to make.

                                                                                                            1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                              elspeth mcdoodle RE: bmorecupcake May 4, 2012 02:22 PM

                                                                                                              Ha! There is something kind of funny about standing around Spro waiting for your individual cup of coffee to drip at its glacial pace, while the barista frowns into the grounds with the seriousness of a child nursing a baby bird back to life. The place is so oppressive it makes me want to start singing show tunes at the top of my lungs. ; )

                                                                                                        2. re: JayDK
                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                          bmorecupcake RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                          She's Got Crabs will have mostly non-local crabs right now. Around when are you coming?

                                                                                                          1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                            Hal Laurent RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                            Sometimes you'll get served a soft-shell that is too far from molting and the new shell is developing, thus making a too crunchy experience. I hate it when that happens.

                                                                                                        3. re: JayDK
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          jvanderh RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 12:29 PM

                                                                                                          You can't just eat one softshell and condemn them all. You need a really juicy, meaty one. Then the crunch is like an interesting condiment.

                                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            JayDK RE: jvanderh May 4, 2012 06:21 PM

                                                                                                            Where would you suggest?

                                                                                                            1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              jvanderh RE: JayDK May 4, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                                                              The last great softshell crab I had was in a wrap at MaGerks, weirdly enough. But then I developed a sudden and devastating crab allergy, so it's been awhile.

                                                                                                          2. re: JayDK
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            theminx RE: JayDK May 7, 2012 08:52 AM

                                                                                                            Softshells are an acquired taste. I like them, but it took me a good 30 years to get to that point. I don't think I've eaten them twice in the same place, so I definitely can't make a rec.

                                                                                                            Did you have a crab cake at Faidley's? I prefer them from Koco's Pub in Lauraville, or Pierpoint in Fells Point.

                                                                                                            1. re: theminx
                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                              bmorecupcake RE: theminx May 7, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                                                              I remember reading somewhere (maybe on Chowhound) about a place that takes 40 minutes or so to make a crabcake. I assume the wait was because it was freshly mixed and formed, but can't remember the details. Anyone have an idea which place I might be thinking about?

                                                                                                              1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                theminx RE: bmorecupcake May 8, 2012 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                Forty minutes? I assume that would also involve picking a dozen or so crabs, too.

                                                                                                                1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                  Hue RE: bmorecupcake May 11, 2012 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                  I beleive Jerry's Seafood in Lanham,MD will tell you if you order a "crab bomb", which is akin to the crabcake, it will take about 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Hue
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    theminx RE: Hue May 11, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                    Crab bomb? Do they have to disarm it first or something? <g>

                                                                                                                2. re: theminx
                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                  JayDK RE: theminx May 7, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                  Yes, went to Faidley's and it was big, meaty and can't imagine anyone makes a better crabcake. Part of the experience was the atmosphere, the Bo to wash it down with, the fried gizzards for desert, the immersion in the market culture, the not knowing if my car would still be there when I was done....and the weird lady's undergarments displayed in shop windows to make it look like the butt was bigger - what's up with that?

                                                                                                                  1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    theminx RE: JayDK May 8, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                    The most recent crab cake I had at Faidley's seemed greasy, probably from the microwaving, and I generally prefer fried cakes. As for the atmosphere...lol...I work 2 blocks away and it's rare that I get anywhere near the market. The "atmosphere" involves lots of guns and drugs; the person who ran the UTZ stand sold illegal weapons. Good chips though. :)

                                                                                                                    If you return to pay another visit to the market, try not to use your cell phone out in the open. We've had a rash of thefts in the neighborhood; people have had their phones stolen right out of their hands. And try not to leave anything valuable in your car. The car might still be there when you get back, but it might also be empty.

                                                                                                                    1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      JayDK RE: theminx May 8, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                      Microwaved? I am a novice crab caker so didn't notice.
                                                                                                                      When you say "fried" do you mean deep or pan fried?
                                                                                                                      I suspect the "atmosphere" is probably why some people rave about NY bagels or pizza. For instance, the original Starbucks is in Pike Market in Seattle. They used to be Starbuck's only store to sell the original blend. (Burnt tasting to most people.) Recently I noticed Starbucks was promoting the Pike Blend at other stores. I suspect they are marketing to the emotion - not the taste. Anyway, thanks for the warning about the cell phones and car. What about those "rump pads?" Is that a Baltimore thing?

                                                                                                                      1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                        theminx RE: JayDK May 8, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                        At Faidley's, I think they deep fry them. In any case, they're all laid out on trays, ready to go. When someone places an order, they plop one on a paper plate and nuke it for a bit to warm it up again. At least that's how it goes at the lunch rush.

                                                                                                                        Pike's Place blend is definitely burnt tasting to my tastebuds - it's the default house blend nationwide, and the only decaf available unless one wants to wait for a French press of something else. Gack.

                                                                                                                        I know nothing about the rump pads. There are plenty of huge butts in this town; I can't imagine padding is necessary. Of course, some people might have "butt envy." In which case mine should be much coveted. :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                          FoiGras RE: theminx May 8, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                          I thought Faidley's fried the crabcake as the order was placed and not ahead of time. Guess it would be difficult to handle the lunch crowd if the crabcakes weren't made up ahead of time.

                                                                                                                          With regards to "rump pads,"--haven't any of you been watching tv? Those Kardashian gals are revered for having big butts. Then there are infomercials on late at night advertising "Brazilian Butt." Women (and some men) are having "but implants." I've spent my entire life attempting to keep my butt small and firm and these jokers are getting butt enlargements or wearing garments to make them bigger. FoiGras

                                                                                                                          1. re: FoiGras
                                                                                                                            huiray RE: FoiGras May 11, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                            "I thought Faidley's fried the crabcake as the order was placed and not ahead of time."
                                                                                                                            -------
                                                                                                                            Well, the last time I was there it was way past lunchtime and the crabcake I got was "laid out" as theminx described, and yes it was nuked before being handed to me. In fact, they nuked it for quite a few minutes. It was an OK crab cake, but definitely NOT the best crabcake ever, and certainly not what one might think given its "reputation". I wonder about the crab cake JayDK got.

                                                                                                                            Oh, their crab soup was horrible. Not much more than soggy veggie mush with just the faintest hint of crab flavor. I think I managed to find one crab leg piece in it.

                                                                                                                            As for the "atmosphere" at Lex Market/Faidley's - I LOL'ed at what theminx described (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8418...). That is pretty much what I felt about the place too. In fact, when I parked in that lot besides it (south side) I initially left it under what little tree cover I could get on the west side of the lot, with a lot of folks milling around (apparently just hanging around) feet away from the car...started walking away...then walked back and parked it elsewhere in the lot and hoped for the best.

                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                              theminx RE: huiray May 11, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                              I think JayDK was a crabcake virgin, or close to it. If that's the case, then Faidley's are pretty good. They taste like a crab cake should taste, even if the texture isn't all that.

                                                                                                                              My favorite place in the Lexington Market is Mem Sahib, the Indian buffet on the SE corner of the east market (on the opposite side from Faidley's). Once inside, you'll never know you're in the market. I usually go with a big crowd from work, too, so I don't feel like I necessarily have to scurry through that parking lot to get out of there.

                                                                                                                  2. re: theminx
                                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                                    dining with doc RE: theminx Jul 9, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                    Had the best crab cake in over 20 years this past weekend at Samos. Of course I had it fried like it was intended to be cooked with a nice brown crust and a delicious creamy lump back fin interior and no shells. By far the best I have had in the Baltimore Washington area.

                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                              SometimesSavory RE: theminx May 4, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                              Stop by Grille 700 at the Marriott and ask for Chef Carlos; Im sure he'd love to share is passion for the kitchen; he's a true food lover and entrepreneur.

                                                                                                              1. Vespa1 RE: theminx May 9, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                For cheese- charm city cheesemongers
                                                                                                                http://charmcitycheesemongers.wordpre...

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Vespa1
                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                  theminx RE: Vespa1 May 9, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                  Cool...thanks!

                                                                                                                2. huiray RE: theminx May 11, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                  No pit beef places so far? (or I missed them)

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    theminx RE: huiray May 11, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                    Yeah - could use a rec other than Chaps.

                                                                                                                    1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      jvanderh RE: theminx May 11, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                      Is the place behind Valley View farms still there (or is that too far out?) It's been a zillion years, but I remember loving it as a kid.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                                        huiray RE: jvanderh May 11, 2012 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                        I don't see why not, as the OP also said:
                                                                                                                        "We're also doing a section on restaurants that are worth the drive - in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Harford counties."

                                                                                                                        I'm curious why no one has come forth with favorites for pit beef** - whether in Baltimore proper or surrounding counties - or do folks think it is not worth the bother? Just wondering, even if one could argue that it isn't *that* vastly different from a roast beef sandwich or hoagie or what-have-you... Still, "Pit Beef" is supposed to be something that is a "Baltimore foodstuff"...

                                                                                                                        **On this thread,that is. There have been various other CH threads in the past on where to get good pit beef in and around Baltimore, easily found from a simple search for the subject.

                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                          AlizaEss RE: huiray May 22, 2012 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                          I saw Chaps posted somewhere on this thread and just linked to it myself... I am a big fan of their pit beef, the atmosphere is perfect (strip club parking lot!), plus you get to pump yourself as much spicy horseradish dragon sauce as you want. Definitely my favorite local pit beef.

                                                                                                                          1. re: AlizaEss
                                                                                                                            huiray RE: AlizaEss May 22, 2012 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                            Yes, that's true. Heh. That very tall and , uh, somewhat imposing, "sign post" ;-) of the strip club it rubs shoulders with adds to the atmosphere. :-)

                                                                                                                      2. re: theminx
                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                        flavrmeistr RE: theminx May 12, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                        The Canopy on US 40 in Ellicott City. Best pit beef around. I like mine juicy and rare. They never disappoint.

                                                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                          JayDK RE: flavrmeistr May 12, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                          Interesting because they have awful reviews.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                            bmorecupcake RE: JayDK May 12, 2012 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                            In my neighborhood, Catonsville, there is Pioneer Pit Beef which often gets very positive reviews. However, I have never eaten there myself because of religious restrictions.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              flavrmeistr RE: JayDK May 19, 2012 10:45 PM

                                                                                                                              Only one way to be sure, hoss. Check it out for yourself.

                                                                                                                      3. huiray RE: theminx May 11, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                        Is Frederick, MD or the bay areas just east of the Bay Bridge within scope?

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                          theminx RE: huiray May 12, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                          Nope. Just adjacent counties (AA, Carroll, Harford, Howard) otherwise the book would become "Food Lovers' Guide to Maryland."

                                                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                                                          JayDK RE: theminx May 21, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                          On a recent trip to Baltimore I have used the various posts from this thread and appreciate it all.
                                                                                                                          Here are some comments.
                                                                                                                          Pioneer Pit Beer - After trying Chaps on a previous trip and now Pioneer I've come to realize that pit beef is a roast beef sandwich. If I'm around I'd go but not go out of my way for it.
                                                                                                                          Matthews Pizza - would go out of my way to get this. It's a unique pizza and I can understand why it's been popular due to the bready crust. Had the crab pizza!
                                                                                                                          Hoehn's Bakery - what a find. Their cheese buns are world class.
                                                                                                                          Lenny's Deli - You've got to love Attmans for the whole package - attitude and food. Saw that Lenny's won the corn beef throwdown - don't know why. I'd vote for Attmans on the corn beef. Got a hot dog wrapped in bologna at Lenny's which I've never seen before. I'd get it again but would try to find a place to take a nap afterwards and somehow rinse the salt out of my system.
                                                                                                                          1000 Kabobs - Tried 3 different dishes recommended by the ladies cooking. Really wanted to like it but...wouldn't go out of my way for it. Wish they'd present a "cleaner" atmosphere.
                                                                                                                          Andy Nelsons - This might have been the highlight of the trip. Definitely would travel to go here!
                                                                                                                          So summarizing: Hoehn's and Andy Nelson's were the highlights and worth seeking out.
                                                                                                                          Thanks for all the postings and the only regret is not being able to go to more places. Really friendly people out your way.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                            JayDK RE: JayDK May 21, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                            1000 Kabobs
                                                                                                                            While there I asked about paan. (a mixture of spices rolled in a leaf and stuck into the jaw for delightful tastes - google it if you aren't familiar) and was referred to Al Medinah 1808 Woodlawn Dr Ste E Gwynn Oak, MD 21207. (Kinda of near Pioneer.) Very nice people and very sweet paan. Pick some up before 1000 Kababs for a real foreign experience. Near Al Mediah was a HFC (Halal Fried Chicken) place that I mean to try, maybe next time.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                              AlizaEss RE: JayDK May 22, 2012 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                              Researching paan now, sounds very interesting!

                                                                                                                            2. re: JayDK
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                              tartuffe RE: JayDK Jun 13, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                              Hot dogs wrapped in baloney (as we said) were popu;as decades ago. Glad Lenny's still serves them

                                                                                                                            3. AlizaEss RE: theminx May 22, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                              Tortilleria Sinaloa - house made tortillas and tortilla chips, amazing mole sauces to go with your tacos, yummm. Very unique and authentic place. The only place I'm not ashamed to bring my San Franciscan brother to eat Mexican food in Baltimore.

                                                                                                                              Little Grano - on the Ave in Hampden, awesome cozy little place, I love the calamari on pasta. BYOB. Perfect for a date night or catching up with an old friend. The larger, newer Grano on Chestnust isn't as much of a favorite for me.

                                                                                                                              Joung Kak - Korean bbq! I also really love their spicy soups and pancakes and the selection of panchan appetizers is always amazing, even if you eat there by yourself.

                                                                                                                              Woodberry Kitchen - if you are a local food nerd, Woodberry will give you a hard-on

                                                                                                                              Brewer's Art - one of a kind, lots of local flavor! Go classy with the fancy dining room up top or slum it in the stone-walled basement with home brewed beer and insanely amazing belgian fries. Love to bring out of towners here.

                                                                                                                              Gertrudes - just had lunch out in the sculpture garden on a sunny day in May, the atmosphere and cocktails were bliss. The food was mediocre, but I was eating with a very large group so I won't hold it against them this time.

                                                                                                                              Chaps - pit beef sandwiches in a small out-building next to a strip club. Load it up with spicy horseradish dragon sauce, get a carryout cup of Old Bay for your fries. Another great local place.

                                                                                                                              1. t
                                                                                                                                theminx RE: theminx May 22, 2012 08:09 AM

                                                                                                                                There are a bunch of new restaurants popping up - has anyone tried 1542 Gastropub, Fork & Wrench, Townhouse? We went to Pabu last week and had some pretty tasty food.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                  LiveCJ RE: theminx Jun 15, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                  and 1542 is already out of business... townhouse I would watch a game at but that's it (bad cocktails, okay food), I had a great meal at Pabu too

                                                                                                                                2. q
                                                                                                                                  Querencia RE: theminx May 22, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                  I'm a few years away from Maryland so this may be out-of-date but is the Lexington Market still a good place to graze? My favorite thing was Faidley's crabcake on a saltine cracker but my husband liked a place that did big greasy mounds of fried potatoes with bacon & eggs. A stop at the lima bean soup plan was always wise. Then we'd hit Amish ice cream place. Then the place with the peanut brittle and hand-dipped chocolates.

                                                                                                                                  To theminx: Consider a place down in Thurmont that is as funky as possible and dates back decades, The Cozy. It's near Camp David and every reporter in the Western World knows about it. They have a huge-huge buffet of homemade stuff like roast turkey, real mashed potatoes, amazing coleslaw, "potpie" (a Pennsylvania chicken and noodles dish), cottage cheese that you're supposed to dribble with apple butter, fifty or sixty other things, then an array of desserts featuring homemade pie. There used to be scalloped oysters but probably not any more as oysters are so rare and expensive now.

                                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                    theminx RE: Querencia May 22, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                    Sure, there's plenty to eat at Lexington Market, but the neighborhood isn't particularly savory.

                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, Frederick County is outside of the area included in the book. I couldn't include the Cozy without including any number of fine restaurants in Frederick, Prince George's, and Montgomery counties, at which point the book would become something more than merely a dining guide to Baltimore city and county. Maybe I'll suggest that my editor consider a Food Lovers' Guide to Maryland.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                      jvanderh RE: theminx May 22, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                      For what it's worth, I'd vote for including Lexington Market, but with a disclaimer about the neighborhood. It's a very cool place.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                        theminx RE: jvanderh May 23, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oh yes. It's included with a disclaimer. I'd hate to send unsuspecting tourists there without a word of warning.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                                          2
                                                                                                                                          2000man RE: theminx May 25, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                          You really need to check out Land of Kush (one or two stops up the light rail from Lexington Market by Maryland General and State Center). Try the Kale. Get the Collared greens over rice. Enjoy some seriously sweet agave sweetened, sweet tea. The Mac 'n Cheese and the Baked Eggplant are great. The lasagna is great, too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: 2000man
                                                                                                                                            AlizaEss RE: 2000man May 29, 2012 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                            I wish I had ordered the kale, mac n' cheese, and vegetarian ribs when I went to Land of Kush... they seem to be the favorite in all the reviews. I had some kind of sweet and sour dish there and it was not good at all, limp veggies and overly sweet/fake flavored sauce. Wasn't much of a fan. Their ginger drink was good though, but I wouldn't give the place rave reviews.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: theminx
                                                                                                                                            b
                                                                                                                                            baltimorejim RE: theminx Jun 19, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                            My favorite quote about the market was one I overheard on the light rail form two junkies conversing, one mentions to the other "all the junkies get off at the market".

                                                                                                                                            On a lighter note even though this is not near the yogurt / gelato discussion--- I am a fan of Pitango and heard an amusing story from another fan who owns a quite successful chocolate shop. He happens to be German and took an out of town guest to Pitango to show off the local product. She was from Germany. When she saw the prices she refused to try the gelato even though my friend was paying. I suppose the reaction was over the price versus the small size issue compared to prices in Europe.

                                                                                                                                            But, hey, I am not in Europe right now. I still love it even though I did take a picture on my cell phone last time with the first digit of my index finger totally concealed by the false bottom of the small size cup ;>)

                                                                                                                                            Sorry I do not know how to transmit my photo to my documents so that I could post a photo. I guess that is what Pitango is relying on--- unsophisticated customers!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: baltimorejim
                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                              elspeth mcdoodle RE: baltimorejim Jun 19, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                              Hmmm... It's the strangest thing. After reading your post, I'm now craving Kirchmayr Chocolates, especially the booze-laced variety. Could that be the successful and German chocolatier in question? You travel in some delicious circles, B'moreJim.

                                                                                                                                              Pitango IS obscenely expensive, but I appreciate the small portions and don't mind paying more for real raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, etc. Uncle Wiggly's charges almost as much peddling their low-level grocery store Dreyers (or is it Breyers?). Plus, high prices keep me from visiting too often... better for the waistline.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                                baltimorejim RE: elspeth mcdoodle Jun 19, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                Good point about portion control.

                                                                                                                                                Since sampling those chocolates we have an instant solution when it comes to hostess gifts when we travel out of town (especially for chocolate lovers.) Recently I have enjoyed the chocolate covered hazelnuts and cherries--- and I have heard a rumor that there will be ice cream in the future.

                                                                                                                                                I really should also mention on the sweets subject (Of which I partake sparingly) that IMHO some of the best cookies in town are at the Roland Park Deli on Chestnut. Great chocolate macaroon a few days ago and Greek wedding cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: baltimorejim
                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                  bmorecupcake RE: baltimorejim Jun 19, 2012 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Roland Park Deli's cookies are a real treat, with one caveat. They don't bake everything fresh every day, so you can easily end up with stale cookies. If you prod a little, they will usually tell you what was baked that morning.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                                                                    The Chowhound Team RE: bmorecupcake Jul 5, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Folks, just a reminder to please focus on the food available at Lexington Market. Neighborhood safety is a topic that's really off-topic for Chowhound. It tends to raise hackles (no one wants to be told that the place where they live or regularly visit is unsafe) and it's not really the focus of our site in any case. People who are concerned about the safety of a given location really need to turn to a more reliable source for information on that area than Chowhound can possibly be.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                                                                                                                                      Foodandwine RE: The Chowhound Team Jul 5, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                      any one know the approx cost of a crabcake at Faidleys in the Market? Thanks and whats the deal with the little fish cakes on saltines?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Foodandwine
                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                        bmorecupcake RE: Foodandwine Jul 5, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Fairly certain it's $13.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bmorecupcake
                                                                                                                                                          huiray RE: bmorecupcake Jul 5, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I seem to remember it was $14+ ?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Foodandwine
                                                                                                                                                          AlizaEss RE: Foodandwine Jul 6, 2012 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                          The little fish cakes on saltines are called "coddies" !! My dad says that when he was a kid you would go to a drugstore and grab some for a few cents, perfect snack. I guess they are kind of a Jewish and/or poor man's crab cake? They are a mix of cod and potato, and you eat them on saltines with mustard. Baltimore Sun has a recipe here: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1999...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Foodandwine
                                                                                                                                                            Foodandwine RE: Foodandwine Jul 6, 2012 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                            answers here:
                                                                                                                                                            http://travel.usatoday.com/destinatio...

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: elspeth mcdoodle
                                                                                                                                                      foster RE: elspeth mcdoodle Jul 6, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Uncle Wiggly's carries Taharka Bros too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foster
                                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                        elspeth mcdoodle RE: foster Jul 6, 2012 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for mentioning that, foster. Never been a fan of the Uncle Wiggly's on York Road, nor the one they had a few years back on Roland Avenue. I'd given up on the Mt. Washington UW even before it opened for business. Taharka Bros. makes tasty ice cream and their altruistic business model isn't bad either.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                              SUG98765 RE: Querencia Jun 19, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                              Don't go to Cozy. It used to be yummy back in the day (I am a Frederick native now living in Baltimore). It is very underwhelming and not very appetizing food. If homemade country cooking is what you are looking for I would go next door to Mountain Gate. They have a larger selection and much better food.

                                                                                                                                            3. q
                                                                                                                                              Querencia RE: theminx May 22, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                              Having lived 25 years in Maryland, I think that if God told me I could have one more meal on earth before departing forever I would go to The Cozy in Thurmont, MD. It dates back decades and defines the term "funky" (part of it is in disused railroad cars). It's near Camp David and every reporter in the Western World knows about it. The Cozy is a huge-huge buffet featuring such homemade Maryland pleasures as roast turkey, pot pie (chicken and big square noodles in gravy), real mashed potatoes, wonderful coleslaw, fried oysters, ice-cold cottage cheese that you're supposed to dribble apple butter over, hot biscuits with honey, and fifty or sixty other things leading then to an array of home-baked pies. I just checked their website and the current price for all of this is listed at $12-$17 depending on day and hour. I am writing this from 700 miles away and wish I were there now. Google "cozy thurmont" for details.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                lawhound RE: Querencia May 23, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                We must be worshipping different Gods; the Cozy's buffet is huge but the food is edible at best.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lawhound
                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                  jvanderh RE: lawhound May 23, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I'd have to agree. Good ambiance, but mediocre food.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                    flavrmeistr RE: jvanderh May 24, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I like the Cozy Bar for cocktails and a ball game. As for the buffet, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans are okay. The rest is on par with what you might find in a hospital cafeteria.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                                                                                      BuckyE RE: flavrmeistr Jun 12, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Well, I haven't been there in some years/decades, but sorry, in its hayday, the Cozy was nothing like a "hospital cafeteria." The butter, salt and chicken fat would have sent any self respecting cafeteria manager into fibrillation. And not from actually eating, just thinking about it. I remember it as described by Querencia: a mix of Pennsylvania Dutch and Maryland style home cooking on a huge scale. Has it become modernly health conscious? That would be a shame.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BuckyE
                                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                                        flavrmeistr RE: BuckyE Jun 13, 2012 09:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Let me just say that my relatively recent experiences at the Cozy do not seem to jibe with your fond reminiscences of the Golden Era. No chicken fat, no butter. Yards of institutional-grade, high-carb, steam table grub and pasty, gelatinous desserts. Not inedible, but not especially wholesome. A good place to take a busload of elderly tourists, a hoard ofravenous teenagers, or houseguests who have worn out their welcome.

                                                                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                                                                HollisB RE: theminx May 22, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                I agree with Catonsville Gourmet, especially for the oysters. Also, in Maple Lawn, Ranazul for tapas.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: HollisB
                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                  theminx RE: HollisB May 23, 2012 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Ranazul - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                2. z
                                                                                                                                                  zwrites RE: theminx May 24, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                  This evening I had the distinct pleasure of dining at the New Grand opening of Clementine @ The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. The ambiance was chic yet inviting. The servers were friendly, attentive and extremely accommodating. The cuisine was divine from the appetizer to the dessert; very fresh and pleasing to the palate. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for an exquisite evening of light dining.

                                                                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                                                                    jvanderh RE: theminx May 25, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I just had the Parmesan truffle fries at City Cafe, and they are phenomenal. I'm not sure why it took me so long to have dinner there.

                                                                                                                                                    1. BuckyE RE: theminx Jun 12, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                      This may be a stretch, but I think Bud's at Silver Run ( http://www.budsatsilverrun.com/ ) is still open. They were French/American style when we last went. Worth a look, I'd say.

                                                                                                                                                      1. t
                                                                                                                                                        theminx RE: theminx Jun 26, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, everyone, for your input! Our final deadline is looming, we're just about done, and looking forward to publication.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: theminx
                                                                                                                                                          huiray RE: theminx Jul 4, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Just out of curiosity, have you included any places immediately around John Hopkins? :-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                            theminx RE: huiray Jul 15, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                            What constitutes "immediately?" I do have Gertrude's and One World Cafe.

                                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                                          sidesjf RE: theminx Jul 4, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                          There are two restaurants in northeast Baltimore worth noting. The Hamilton Tavern which has a small menu that changes often and always includes mussels or clams, vegetarian options, a roseada farm burger and various seasonal surprises. They also have a great beer selection and their coctails use ingredients such as fresh herbs and real ginger beer.
                                                                                                                                                          The other restaurant is the chameleon cafe. This restaurant has been using locally sourced food and has featured a seasonal menu for over 10 years (before it was hip). The chef is trained in classic french cuisine but the menu items range in their inspiration. Oxtail soup, rabbit fricassee, pan fried oysters and house made pate are among my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sidesjf
                                                                                                                                                            foster RE: sidesjf Jul 6, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                            MInx, I hope you are fact checking...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foster
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              theminx RE: foster Jul 9, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                              You mean rather than making things up wholesale?

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sidesjf
                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                              Adamj RE: sidesjf Jul 20, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Sidesjf
                                                                                                                                                              Unfortunately brilliant chef Jeff Smith, sold the Chameleon acouple of moths ago and the new version is to put it lightly....lackluster.

                                                                                                                                                            3. c
                                                                                                                                                              chinnyttown RE: theminx Jul 11, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                              May have missed your deadline, but here goes anyway:
                                                                                                                                                              BMore has had a resurgence in the last few years of small, locally owned restaurants serving good food.
                                                                                                                                                              Unless I missed it, I didnt' see Charleston. Far and away the best restaurant in town. It'll definitely set you back, but worth it. Service is impeccable.
                                                                                                                                                              Also didn't see b Bistro in Bolton Hill. I do have to say I haven't been there in a few months, and they have a new chef. But this had become my favorite small local restaurant in town.
                                                                                                                                                              Also recommend Peter's Inn, the Wine Market, Blue Hill Tavern, and the Chameleon Cafe.
                                                                                                                                                              Another place where I've had consistently good food is the Corner BYOB in Hampden, and it's a half block away from BMore's best liquor store - the Wine Source (and they also have a very nice selection of cheese and charcuterie).

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chinnyttown
                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                theminx RE: chinnyttown Jul 12, 2012 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Yup - missed the deadline. It's in our editor's hands now! And we have every restaurant you listed in the book.

                                                                                                                                                              2. d
                                                                                                                                                                DottieRose1919 RE: theminx Sep 12, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Geisha Sushi and Sake bar on Charles St.
                                                                                                                                                                The Oregon Grill

                                                                                                                                                                Show Hidden Posts