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Best Dining Destination

Mari Luna Mexican Grill

102 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 486-9910,

We usually don’t find ourselves needing to head too far outside the city limits for a memorable meal, but if someone says “Mari Luna,” we’re ready for a drive up Reisterstown Road. It sounds touristy, but take a crack at the “plato combinato” appetizer sampler, consisting of sautéed shrimp, tamale, flauta, empanada, and chicken quesedilla. We’re big fans of the empanada, perfectly paired with tangy “Spanish slaw” cabbage; soups such as the rich black bean and the creamy “Cancun-style” shrimp bisque make it easy to want a multi-course meal. At entrée time, we find it hard to keep away from the carnitas Urupan, a succulent helping of slow-cooked pork, and the Peruvian chicken, a mightily marinated rotisserie half-bird of paradise. Mari Luna also has a way with mole sauce, salads, and dessert, all in a friendly, casual atmosphere with considerate service. Mari Luna? We’ll drive.

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