College Students Looking to Branch Out
My friends and I, a bunch of Baltimore college students, are looking for new and interesting places to eat in Baltimore. We love ethnic food (ethiopian, afghani, middle eastern, etc) as well as classics, like italian and french food. Basically looking for the hidden food destinations of Baltimore. I have pretty high standards food wise and have rarely been impressed with food in Bmore, but I'm chalking it up to being stuck in Charles Village for the past three years. So please help us out in finding different food in different neighborhoods!
Silk Road Bistro in Pikesville. Uzbeki cuisine. Samsas, soups, pilav, jiz-biz (fun to say, delicious to eat). And kebabs, from chicken to delicatessen (for the adventurous, and certainly not to be found anywhere else in Baltimore). The meats and kebabs come with sauces, on a pomegranate the other a tomato/onion (I call it Uzbeki salsa, with more depth and flavor). Prices are reasonable, especially for the quality that you get. My favorite is the samsa and the lamb rib kebab. And, on Thursday evenings they have live entertainment, belly dancing.
Bon Fresco in Columbia. Freshly baked breads (and don't even think Subway). Freshly cooked meats, pork, beef, chicken, and even local free-range turkey, grilled veggies. Prices are ridiculously low, always have more than enough for two meals. And the potato salad is superb. And, these sandwiches are made with healthy recipes, (and no, don't think "powerhouse") Also, really tasty homemade soups (if there's mushroom, grab it).
R&R Taqueria in a Shell gas station on Rt 1 in Elkridge/Columbia. And their turn on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives did not destroy the quality of their food. The Al Pastor and Barbacoa are fantastic. If they have ceviche the day you're there, grab it. Everything is freshly prepared with quality ingredients. The menu has expanded and they've opened a second location in White Marsh Mall.
These places have three things in common, the owners are good people, the food is tasty and of excellent quality, and the prices are fair. And, when's the last time you had a Tacos de Cueritos?
Silk Road Bistro
607 Reisterstown Rd
Pikesville, MD 21208
6945 Oakland Mills Rd
Columbia, MD 21045
7894 Washington Blvd.
Elkridge, MD 21075
Second Silk Road for Uzbeki cuisine (Do a Search on Chowhound for the thread about this place,)
Second Grace Garden, again definitley look up the monster Chowhound thread for specific recs. Some specialties need to be ordered in advance.
Pioneer Pit Beef, literally a shack underneath the highway. No seating. Ask for medium rare, they will give you a taste for your approval. A sandwich with tiger sauce is a Baltimore classic, but straight up pit beef is fine too.
Still trying to wrap my head around being in college and going to the Charleston. Anyway, here are some recommendations for you:
Fried Chicken: Chuckies in Hollins market or Sunny's in NorEBo
Bruce Lee's Chicken in Cross Street Market. I always get the strips rather than the wings. Definitely a craving of mine.
Almost anything at DiPasquali's in Highlandtown. Order a bunch of stuff and share.
I have to agree with you I have not been impressed with the Baltimore scene. Charleston is like Marcels. Nice decor but food okay. Across the street cinghiale did not measure up at all. Petit Louie is a waste of stomach. Woodberry kitchen is intersting for a couple of meals then the vinegar, weird spice and smoked taste tend to repeat itself but I would say it's the better one. I have been impressed by the heavy flavor at sotto sopra and it won't break your bank like Trat Alberto. But only been there once. Salt is intersting but I don't think it's there yet. One place I've been impressed is Pabu, which measures up foodwise early on but I like Japanese, and make sure you do bring your wallet. Don't waste time next door at Wit & Wisdom. Second, I think you hit right on the mark, the places people tend to recommend are the trendy places on the Baltimore mag hit list. I am starting to explore ones lower down on the list as they prob are as good, and still good enough to survive the competition from the new trendy places. Any suggestions from anyone on the non-list topper places...Thanks.
BYOB and cash only, the chef is putting out some excellent food in this neighborhood joint. Try the crab cakes ( best I have had since the 1970s in Baltimore), grilled octopus, grilled calamari, grilled Bronzini ...food is great and prices are very reasonable.definite gem
Been to Woodberry Kitchen. Its alright but a bit hit or miss and sometimes too salty. Not a huge fan. I've heard mixed reviews of The Charleston, basically that its expensive and you get good service but the food is not exciting or anything. I like Salt a lot, since I find it unpretentious and not too expensive. Didn't like Petite Louie foodwise, but it has good service.
Yes I have high standards. I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm not looking for expensive food, just good food. There is a difference.