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Jun 15, 2013 04:54 PM

Is Baltimore Boring restaurantwise?

I haven't seen anything new or interesting with regards to the Baltimore dining scene. It seems as though none of you Chowhounds are dining out or posting anything with regards to the experiences you are having if you do go to a restaurant.

I haven't been able to dine out as usual for personal reasons, so it is a sad situation. I miss all of the "action" and comments. At least I have been able to live vicariously through all of you active diners with your postings.

Are there any new venues that I should look into for future dining out experiences. My palate is still champing at the bit for Wit and Wisdom. When the budget allows, that would probably be my first choice to get back into the dining out scene.

Anyhow, hope all of you are enjoying your restaurant experiences and am looking forward to reviews.

Saw some pretty negative comments regarding the Mount Washington Tavern. Has the place gotten itself back on track. It never was a primary go-to restaurant for me--just some place to go close to home on a casual weeknight dinner out.


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  1. Hey Foi,

    Little time to post due to nursing school crunch, but I've had some amazing meals in the last month:

    The Food Market: "The Chicken" perfectly cooked, moist, great sides.

    The Helmand: Just as good as ever, Had the pulau and another chicken dish (curry like); flavors were aggressively restrained (in that they were all assertive but not one dominated the entire dish).

    Friday was City Cafe: The Baltimore Club...OMG! Can't believe I ate the whole thing! Crab cake and shrimp salad! Also had the mussels as an app, About 18-20 mussels in a nice creamy broth, not heavy at all with the coconut milk, and the mussels tasted so fresh.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gmk1322

      I agree in part with Hal. Most restos elsewhere that get lots of publicity are little different in menu from those in Baltimore--see the Red Rooster and the Dutch Their may be--probably is--a difference in execution, but the set-up is equally boring. TBS there are exciting restos elsewhere that are cutting edge, such as the Momofuku chain, which we dont have, but outside NY, SF, and a couple of other places, there is little there, other than execution. And we do have many places that execute very well.

      i have long complained on this blog about the fact that national writers ignore us despite the studied and long-time excellence of Cindy Wolfe and Spike Gjerde, and others.

      Perhaps the problem is that food writers wo might look at B-more focus on DC which certainly has a more vibrant food scene, esp ethnic. And because we're in the AMTRAK corridor it is easy to overlook us in comparison with other cities in the corridor. It does not help that the local food writers lack national reps; publicity is, after all a large part of the game.

      1. re: tartuffe

        Agree on many points but mostly with the "execution." Even for the best of Baltimore Wolfe and Gjerde has to offer, IMO, while they very well may be the best in town, similar can easily be found in cities that sandwiches us or easy access who execute the concept to dish with precision much better (and at better price).

      2. re: gmk1322

        Sounds as though you've had some yummy meals lately gmk1322. I've got to get back on the chow-wagon. FoiGras

      3. The Baltimore dining scene isn't boring, it just doesn't get much action on Chowhound. It's more that Chowhound is boring.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Hal Laurent

          I was cut off in mid-reply to Hal. I cannot blieve that we are less vibrant a scene than Birmingham, Clvelan, or Minneapolis. We simply need better publicity.

          1. re: tartuffe

            Agree with Hal...Chowhound has become somewhat boring..only make infrequent visits...!!

            1. re: Hue

              Agree as well. I don't know if it's that CH is boring, but it does seem that this is the DC board, with a little Baltimore thrown in. Even the topic subject lines seem to assume DC, unless otherwise noted. "Looking for <insert item here>"...uh, where? Most times, it's DC.

              Am I guilty for not contributing to the Baltimore-ness of this board? Absolutely. Will have to work on changing that.

              Speaking of which, I have a birthday dinner coming up. I'll have to do some research, but would love to hear about any recent outstanding experiences.

        2. Three comparatively new restaurants I have enjoyed are Herb and Soul in Parkville-- recently renovated (very little reaction from this board), Fork and Wrench in Canton and Artifact, which is fun to visit, has outstanding pastries and good lunch time entrees.
          Birotecca was disappointing-- smug, poor service and hellishly loud. Off to the Monday night special again at Corner BYOB.
          There's definitely food fun to be had in this town, though we are not cutting edge.

          1. Hi FoiGras,

            I'm so glad to see you back posting! I was wondering what happened-- you always helped keep this board alive! I think Hal summed it up well-- there's a lot going on, but not a lot of chatter here, which is disappointing for a food lover like me!

            My recent most memorable meal was at Birroteca-- I adore their melt-in-your mouth calamari and their pesto veggie pizza. I also just had a delicious meal at the Ambassador. While I think it's over-priced, it was heavenly to sip wine on their beautiful outdoor patio while eating delicious Indian food (I find the Bengan Khas appetizer-- eggplant with a tomato sauce--to be addictive, and adore the luscious paneer that is served with all the entrees).

            Hope you get back to the scene soon-- I've missed your posts!

            6 Replies
            1. re: stephanieg

              Hey stephanieg-thanks for your kind words. You also keep the board alive.

              I've never been to the Ambassador as I haven't really delved into Indian cuisine (had a nasty experience years ago). But after reading your description of the eggplant in tomato sauce, you've got me interested. How is it different from the Italian eggplant in tomato/marinara sauce?

              I love eggplant--especially grilled or tempura style.

              Hopefully I'll get back into the dining out scene. There are so many places I want to try-- Wit and Wisdom, Fork and Wrench and the recently reopened Chesapeake Restaurant. I viewed their menu on their website. Am hopeful that there will be items from their previous menu--Crab Imperial and their divine prime rib (which I always found to be equal to, or better then, the Prime Rib's version. FoiGras

              1. re: FoiGras

                That's a good question. The texture of the Ambassador's dish is really like silk-- the eggplant melts in your mouth. And their version is more garlicy than the Italian version-- I'm not sure all the other spices used, but it's so rich and heavenly. It comes with fresh naan bread, and the sauce is so delicious you'll want to use the bread to sop all of it up! If you're an eggplant fan (which I am too!!!), I think you'll really adore it. They also make a fabulous benghan barta, which is basically mashed up eggplant with garlic and other spices. It has a chunky texture, but is so smooth and silky as well.

                I hope the service at Fork and Wrench has improved since my last visit (which was a year ago). We loved the food, although we felt the portions were a bit skimpy for the price, but the service was so bad we have yet to return.

                1. re: stephanieg

                  At F&W, I watched a waiter clear my plate, pick something off the plate that looked like basil and give it a sniff test. As this was happening, I told him I wasn't sure what was on the plate, but it didn't smell of anything. He agreed and walked was weird. Meal was good, but the prices are too high and the menu is all over the place.

                  Excited to check out Chesapeake this weekend.

                  1. re: gregb

                    gregb--can't wait to hear your comments on the Chesapeake. FoiGras

                    1. re: FoiGras

                      Sadly, I had to skip. I'll be there soon.

                  2. re: stephanieg

                    Hi stephanieg--I'll have to reconsider my thoughts on "Indian" cuisine based on your lovely description of the eggplant dishes you tried at Ambassador. Those dishes, along with the outdoor/garden dining, are enticing enough.

                    How odd that Fork and Wrench, with high prices (albeit small portions) also has inadequate service. That is definitely a turn off. FoiGras

              2. I second that recommendation for Artifact. They serve dinner Wednesday through Sunday now. It's been really good each time.