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Eat Special Issue

Canton/Highlandtown

Photo: Sonny Jorgensen, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:13 23:10:33

Sonny Jorgensen

Bistro RX

Photo: Mi Viejo Pueblito (aka Fiesta Mexicana), License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:13 22:46:50

Mi Viejo Pueblito (aka Fiesta Mexicana)

Sonny Jorgensen

Photo: Sonny Jorgensen, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:15 00:41:51

Sonny Jorgensen

Yellow Dog Tavern


A GUIDE TO THE ICONS

$ = Inexpensive; “entrees” barely crack $10.
$$ = Entrees in the $10-$20 range, other than a few specials or the crab cakes.
$$$ Entrees $20 and up.
BYOB = The restaurant has no liquor license but allows you to bring your own booze. You may have heard of this.
P = On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
T = Valet parking (for most places, this is weekends-only).
Out = Outdoor dining in season. Note: It could be a lovely deck, but it may be just a couple of tables on the sidewalk.
10pm = Serves food after 10 p.m. Many local restaurants will serve until 11 p.m. on weekends, but spots bearing this icon go further somehow.
B = Breakfast.
L = Lunch.
D = Dinner.
Br = Brunch on weekends.
Vg = Specializes in vegetarian/vegan friendliness. Almost all restaurants these days offer vegetarian options, and when asked by someone compiling a dining guide, many restaurants say that they can accommodate vegans on request, but this icon indicates vegetarian/vegan friendliness as a primary mission.
Rsv = Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
Del = Delivery to a limited area, though many restaurants that don’t do phone-order delivery use web-based services such as carryout.com.

ACROPOLIS

4714-4718 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-3384, acropolisbaltimore.com

$$ L D

There’s hearty and wholesome fare for Olympian appetites at this casual and cavernous Greektown mainstay. Lamb, seafood, and crab cakes are the house specialties, and all of the ancient favorites are on tap.

ANNABEL LEE TAVERN

601 S. Clinton St., (410) 522-2929, annabelleetavern.com

$$ Out 10pm d

This small Poe-themed bar/restaurant’s upscale comfort food—duck-fat fries, Kobe beef sliders—is particularly tasty. The specials menu features interesting items at reasonable prices, and the bar feels like a neighborhood hangout.

BIRCHES RESTAURANT

641 S. Montford Ave., (410) 732-3000, birchesrestaurant.com

$$$ 0 d Rsv

The hard-wood grill menu of superb burgers and pizzas disappears from this delectable corner-bar/comfy dining room on weekends, compelling diners to experiment with Birches’ more expressive fare—beautifully executed steaks, risotto dishes, and salads.

BISTRO RX

2901 E. Baltimore St., (410) 276-0820, bistrorx.net

$$$ Out 10pm D Br Rsv

A newish Patterson Park neighborhood joint with creative take on pub grub and a serious wine list for what ails ya. Lunch served on Saturdays.

BLUE HILL TAVERN

938 S. Conkling St., (443) 388-9363, bluehilltavern.com

$$$ Vg Out L D Rsv

Blue Hill Tavern lights up Conkling Street with its clubby atmosphere and inventive food. Steak and eggs is really an appetizer of sirloin carpaccio with two tiny fried quail eggs; hot-from-the-fryer pumpkin doughnuts make a fine dessert.

BO BROOKS

2780 Lighthouse Point, (410) 558-0202, bobrooks.com

$$$ P Out L D

True fact: Steamed crabs taste better when eaten with a water view, Bo Brooks offers reliably large, meaty crustaceans at a primo waterfront location with stellar harbor views. The crabs in all forms are always excellent here.

CANTON DOCKSIDE CRAB

3301 Boston St., (410) 276-8900, cantondockside.com

$$$ P Out L D

Not the homey little shack implied in the name, but a fairly schamcy restaurant that specializes in steamed crabs.

CAPTAIN JAMES CRABHOUSE AND RESTAURANT

2127 Boston St., (410) 327-8600, captainjameslanding.com

$$$ P Out 10pm B L D

The belly-swelling portions make the $20-plus entrées worth every penny. What remains of your crab-stuffed flounder with asparagus, giant lobster tails, or New York strip will still be delicious at home. There’s a less-rarified open-all-night, carryout side too.

CLADDAGH PUB

2918 O’Donnell St., (410) 522-4220, claddaghonline.com

$$$ Out 10pm L D Br

Standard bar food, including remarkably good wings, for the drinkers upstairs, with more genteel food such as rack of lamb and steaks if you’re sitting downstairs. The real secret here is its very good brunch.

EICHENKRANZ RESTAURANT

611 S. Fagley St., (410) 563-7577, eichenkranz.com

$$ P B L D

Here are schnitzel and wurst for Haussner’s refugees, but also twists on international fare: spinach pies with sweet marinara, zucchini in tempura. Nightly specials are eye-popping full dinners at $7.50 or less.

FINS ON THE SQUARE

2903 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-1880, finsonthesquare.com

$$$ Out L D Br

A little bit of Margaritaville in Canton, this tropical-themed bar and grill serves up pub grub with a special bent toward seafood.

GECKO’S

2318 Fleet St. (410) 732-1961 geckosonline.com

$$ P 10pm L D

Geckos’ serves surprisingly good Southwestern cuisine in cheerful Santa Fe-influenced surroundings. The food tastes fresh and wholesome, and there are good selections for vegetarians.

IKAROS

4805 Eastern Ave., (410) 633-3750, ikarosrestaurant.com

$$ Out L D Rsv

Greektown’s Old Faithful still packs ’em in. The basics—Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, tender braised lamb, moussaka—can’t go wrong. Save room for baklava.

JACK’S BISTRO

3123 Elliott St., (410) 878-6542, jacksbistro.net

$$$ 10pm d

Nice people, nice little side-street place, infused with chef/owner Ted Stelzenmuller’s good humor and food-love. A playful menu—Swedish street food!—diverts and amuses but also satisfies with solid fare such as a Guinness filet mignon.

LANGERMANN’S

2400 Boston St., (410) 534-3287, langermanns.com

$$$ P Out L D Br

“Southern. Inspired.” is Langermann’s motto, and it shows in many of the dishes, from the biscuits and jalapeño-spiked cornbread to appetizers such as fried green tomatoes and catfish fingers. Skip the crab cakes in favor of savory shrimp and grits.

LOONEY’S PUB

2900 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-9235, looneyspubmd.com

$$ Out 10pm L D Br

Homey Looney’s is relatively cheap, it has good food and beer, and you can catch a baseball game, a football game, or whatever sport is in season on one of the TVs. The crab cakes outstrip the usual pub-grub versions.

MAMA’S ON THE HALF SHELL

2901 O’Donnell St., (410) 276-3160

$$$ Out 10pm L D Br

The Canton eatery succeeds through modesty; you can order your fish fried and not feel like a rube. Oysters come grilled, fried, on the half shell, on horseback, and in shooters, and they must really have aphrodisiacal qualities, because we love this place.

MATTHEW’S PIZZA

3131 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-8755, matthewspizza.com

$ L D

Matthew’s legendary thick-crust pizza is crispy on the bottom and doughy all the way up to the choice toppings. It fills you up real quick. Highlandtown ambience and cheerful service.

MI VIEJO PUEBLITO (aka FIESTA MEXICANA)

601 S. Conkling St., (410) 522-0007, miviejopueblito.net

$$ BYOB B L D

Mole is the draw at this bright, homey Mexican restaurant in the process of changing its name to Fiesta Mexicana, but don’t overlook tender rajas tamales, stuffed with jalapeño and cheese, or a bathtub-sized bowl of posole with hominy as large as your thumb.

MORNING EDITION CAFÉ

153 N. Patterson Park Ave., (410) 732-5133

$$ B Br

Elaborately conceived Benedicts, omelets, French toast, and pancakes tempt at this venerable old Vermont-style breakfast/brunch-only spot, though the wait can be bafflingly long. Weekends only.

NACHO MAMA’S

2907 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-0898, nachomamascanton.com

$$ 10pm L D

A divey, kitschy joint that serves tortilla chips in a hub cap, Nacho Mama’s is a Canton institution that combines a shrine to Elvis and walls covered with Natty Boh paraphernalia with messy Mexican food and a touch of Cajun flavor.

PORTSIDE TAVERN

2821 O’Donnell St., (410) 522-7678, portsidetavern.com

$$ Out 10pm D Br

Pizzas and burgers headline a pub-grub menu. Appetizers come off well, soups even better.

ROSINA GOURMET

2819 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-9300, rosinagourmet.com

$ B L

This charming Canton lunch spot offers familiar-sounding sandwiches—from the smoked turkey to the tuna melt—dressed in fancier duds: Jarslberg cheese and basil pesto mayo on focaccia for the turkey, artichoke hearts and oregano on wheat roll for the tuna.

SAUTE

2844 Hudson St., (410) 327-2883, sauteofbaltimore.com

$$$ Vg Out L D Br Rsv

A handsome neighborhood place trying to serve up some quality food without being pretentious or elitist and doing a good job of it. The usual suspects get welcome twists and tweaks (e.g. pulled duck nachos). Lunch served weekends only.

SPEAKEASY SALOON AND DINING HOUSE

2840 O’Donnell St., (410) 276-2977, speakeasysaloon.com

$$$ Out 10pm L D Br

A handsome bar/restaurant offering an ambitious menu of pubby staples and big-deal entrees (rack of lamb) with a beguiling Greek influence throughout. Lunch served Saturdays only.

YELLOW DOG TAVERN

700 S. Potomac St., (410) 342-0280

$$ Out D

This enterprising spot does its best work with meat: a perfect espresso-rubbed flatiron steak, braised short ribs. The bar downstairs offers hamburgers, beer-battered onion rings, and sports on TV.

ZORBA’S

4710 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-4484

$$$ d

A big part of the Zorba’s experience is watching spits laden with chicken, lamb, and pork revolve over hot coals. The taramosalata and moussaka lack spicy bite, but the kontosouvli is delicious and plentiful.

 

Eat 2011 Contents
  • Pleased? Eat: City Paper's Annual Dining Guide | 3/2/2011
  • Federal Hill ABBEY BURGER BISTRO 1041 Marshall St., (443) 453-9698, abbeyburgerbistro.com $$ 10pm L D A bar devoted to gourmet burgers, not French fare. And we’re grateful, because who wouldn’t savor local Roseda beef topped with a drippy fried egg (or foie gra | 3/2/2011
  • South Baltimore BARRACUDAS: A LOCUST POINT TAVERN 1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832, cudabarracuda.com $$ L D Br This small Locust Point neighborhood spot serves pubby standards with a few beachy twists (jerk chicken salad) and some serious local flavor (coddies). | 3/2/2011
  • Canton/Highlandtown ACROPOLIS 4714-4718 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-3384, acropolisbaltimore.com $$ L D There’s hearty and wholesome fare for Olympian appetites at this casual and cavernous Greektown mainstay. Lamb, seafood, and crab cakes are the house specialties, and al | 3/2/2011
  • Fells Point ALE MARY’S 1939 Fleet St., (410) 276-2044, alemarys.com $$ Out 10pm L D Br You can get tater tots as an appetizer or alongside any of the well-crafted sandwiches in various states of loaded-ness. The menu ranges from bar food standards to more ambi | 3/2/2011
  • Little Italy ALDO’S 306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com $$$ Vg d Rsv This Little Italy gem assembles choice ingredients in flawless preparations, nimbly negotiating the terrain between respectfulness for old-world tradition and mindfulness of contem | 3/2/2011
  • Harbor East BAGBY PIZZA CO. 1006 Fleet St., (410) 605-0444, bagbypizza.com $$ Out L D Bagby is the pizza place you wish was in your own neighborhood. Pie crusts are cracker thin, pastas and salads are homemade and generous, and service aims to please. CHARL | 3/2/2011
  • Downtown ALEWIFE 21 N. Eutaw, (410) 545-5112, alewifebaltimore.com $$ L D Alewife’s biggest draw may be its 40 beer taps, but the newest pub to fill the space across from the Hippodrome offers decent gourmet sandwiches and entrees too. Look for various in-ho | 3/2/2011
  • Mount Vernon/Bolton Hill/Station North ABACROMBIE FINE FOODS AND ACCOMMODATIONS 58 W. Biddle St., (410) 837-3630, abacrombie.net $$$ D B Rsv This basement spot has long held a culinary reputation that dwarfs its intimate size. It’s current menu of care-taken upscale comfort foods uphold | 3/2/2011
  • Charles Village/Waverly ALIZÉE 4 W. University Pkwy, (443) 449-6200, alizeebaltimore.com $$$ P Vg B L D Br Alizée has gone from fusion to high-concept comfort food. The menu changes seasonally, but look for bistro-inspired fare—roasted chicken, lamb confit, rabbit—all done | 3/2/2011
  • Roland Park/Mount Washington ALONSO’S 415 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 235-3433, alonsos.com $$ L D There’s been an upscale revamping and the pizzas have been gussied up. The immense burgers, though, are still here. BANSKY’S Cafe Lake Falls Village, 6080 Falls Road, (410) 377 | 3/2/2011
  • Hampden/Remington 13.5 WINE BAR 1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889–1064, 13.5winebar.com $$ Out 10pm D The Avenue gets a very well done wine list, along with a very well-turned-out menu of gourmet nibbles, pizzas, and entrees. ALCHEMY 1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163, a | 3/2/2011
  • Belvedere Square ATWATER’S Belvedere Square Market 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396 (and various other locations); atwaters.biz $ P Out L D It sells home-style breads and tasty sandwiches at its multiple locations (and the cream puffs at the Belvedere Square ba | 3/2/2011
  • Hamilton BIG BAD WOLF’S HOUSE OF BARBECUE 5713 Harford Road, (410) 444-6422 $$ Out L D Hamilton carry-out joint dispenses tender animal parts in classic regional sauces—Kansas City sweet and spicy, Carolina mustard or vinegar, and Texas pit style, our favor | 3/2/2011
  • County ANDY NELSON’S BARBEQUE 11011 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com $$ P Out L D Everything is slow-smoked over hickory wood. Ribs are a must-eat, the pulled-pork sandwich is orgasmic, and all the homemade sides are fantastic. W | 3/2/2011
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