Eat Special Issue
Crush, Demi, Zen West, and more
Published: March 7, 2012
Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396 (and various other area locations), atwaters.biz
$, b, L, D, P, Out
It sells home-style breads and tasty sandwiches at its multiple locations (and the cream puffs at the Belvedere Square bakery are to die for), but nothing beats the sheer variety and high quality of the soups.
438 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 532-0022, cafezen.us
$$, L, D
Not your usual American-Chinese too-sweet glop. Fresh aromatics and lighter preparations please. Gow bahs, stews served over crisped rice, are terrific, as is the sweetish garlic spinach.
510 E. Belvedere Ave., (443) 278-9001, crush-restaurant.com
$$$, L, D, Br, P, Out
Casual fine dining? Crush’s menu allows for a variety of options, from small plates to traditional entrées to sandwiches. Lunch and dinner Sundays only.
510 E. Belvedere Ave., (443) 278-9001, demirestaurant.com
Demi is a restaurant inside a restaurant, a tiny alcove by an open kitchen inside Crush. Likewise the concept involves thinking small: a series of small plates offered as part of an ever-changing tasting menu. For food nerds focused on invention, taste, and even wit, there’s nothing else like it around.
527 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 464-1944, grandcrubaltimore.com
Grand Cru started out as a wine and beer shop with a few seats at the bar, but it’s now a rather happening spot for a certain stripe of North Baltimore. Top-notch beer and wine selections are still the rule, along with excellent nibbles foraged from the Belvedere Square Market.
519 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-9463
$, B, L
Local foodie forerunner Greg Novik oversees the making of every batch of gourmet bagels, flies in all manner of custom-smoked fish from faraway places, and comes up with all manner of bold flavor combos in place of the usual schmear. You can taste the love.
Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 433-7700, neopolsmokery.com
$$, b, L, D, P, Out
Neopol serves smoked gourmet everything. Its sandwiches and savory cheese pies are well worth a nosh, as are its various smoked meats, but don’t miss its brunch.
Belvedere Square, 600 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 464-1000, rdirishpub.com
$$, L, D, Br, P, Out, 10 p.m.
Sprawling Irish bar/restaurant manages to accommodate families and youthful imbibers. What’s to eat? A corned beef sandwich, beef stew, a shepherd’s pie in puff pastry, and killer fish and chips.
Belvedere square, 5911 York road, (410) 727-5737, sofiscrepes.com
$, L, D
Tiny Sofi’s serves a variety of dessert crépes alongside a menu of heartier savory crépes that are big enough for a smallish meal.
5916 York Road, (410) 323-3368, zen-west.com
$$, L, D, Br
Straightforward Tex-Mex food served up amid a roadside America theme for a sports-watching, college-attending bar crowd.