Visiting Baltimore Sunday to Wednesday, recs wanted
I will be in Baltimore from Sunday lunchtime to Wednesday lunch time. Coming in and leaving from NYC via Amtrak and staying at the Renaissance Harborplace for a conference.
I will definitely have lunch on Sunday and Wednesday available, and probably one or two dinners. I don't drive, so something that is walkable or cab-able or on mass transit would be best.
Looking for things I can't get easily in NYC; the lunches will be solo dining - so I can be adventurous (I am a very adventurous eater). I like most cuisines, especially Asian (Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese .... ). I like seafood. I like Italian food.
Price wise, the lunches are pretty open - not crazy expensive, but I don't mind spending to eat something good (maybe $50 max for one person for a big lunch, less would be better of course). The dinners should probably be more budgetary, since I don't know who I will be eating with yet, or their budget or preferences.
Thanks for any tips!
I wouldn't say this is adventurous -- but it isn't boring. Since you are traveling via train: across the street from the station is Cafe Mocha. This place has the best sandwiches in town. Both the salmon and curry chicken are out of this world. It is only open during the week, so I don't get there often. This place is a real standout for quality - if you are traveling 8 - 3, and have time to wait (it isn't fast food).
You'll find it challenging, to say the least, to spend $50 on lunch in Baltimore. In no particular order, some nearby possibilities: (All lunch only unless otherwise indicated.)
West of hotel --
Thousand Kabobs -- Pakistani-owned shop with excellent, freshly prepared foods. A five minute walk.
B&O Restaurant -- pretty, slightly expensive restaurant about 3 blocks from you. New American food, inside Hotel Monaco. Lunch or dinner.
Trinacria -- old world Italian deli about a 10-15 minute walk. Great subs and sandwiches.
Lexington Market -- On the way to Trinacria. Enclosed municipal market with multiple stalls and wide variety of foods. Faidley has good raw bar and crabcakes. Think Reading Market, but downscale.
There are also some decent food trucks on the east side of Charles Street. Charles is a couple of blocks west of you. Walk west on Lombard to Charles, turn right, maybe 2 blocks up.
East of hotel --
Isabella -- tiny Italian place with brick oven pizza, also excellent subs (porchetta as specialty).
Cafe Gia -- sit-down, but casual Italian. Lunch or dinner.
Attman's -- Jewish deli, excellent, house-made corned beef.
For a nice dinner, you are walking distance to Harbor East, a newer, more expensive area than the Inner Harbor. Cinghiale is excellent Italian, with one of the best and most diverse wine lists in the city. Charleston (under common ownership) is also there, the most expensive (but probably best) table in the city.
While I thought Thousand Kabob was fine, I would never recommend it to someone from out of town. Same with B&O.
"Something I can't easily get in NYC" is a tall order. You are really surrounded by a lot of tourist traps and what I call mediocre midrange. One place I really liked recently is Heavy Seas Ale House. Beyond that is the neighborhood of Fells Point with some cool places for mezze (Mezze), oysters (Thames Street Oyster House), or .. new American I guess is what you would call this perennial Chow favorite - Peter's Inn.
Crabcakes or hard crabs are what I would look for if I were you. Faidley's is excellent for a crabcake. Hard shell crabs is a night unto itself, so I wonder if that would be what you want for your one or two dinners & I really don't know where to send you...
I agree with Cinghiale for a dinner alone or with friends.