Eat Special Issue
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.
Published: March 2, 2011
1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832, cudabarracuda.com
$$ L D Br
This small Locust Point neighborhood spot serves pubby standards with a few beachy twists (jerk chicken salad) and some serious local flavor (coddies).
1444 Light St., (443) 869-6871, centrotapasbar.com
$ Vg D Rsv
Boasting a fine wine list and a broad range of hot and cold small plates, Centro Tapas may be the most authentic tapas joint in town. Go for crunchy pickled guindilla peppers, house-fried marcona almonds, yucca fries, and traditional tortilla.
1421 Lawrence St., (410) 685-7675, harborque.com
$$ BYOB P Out L D
Baltimore’s newest place for ‘cue offers vinegary Carolina-style pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, as well as Baltimore favorites pit beef and ham. Skip fries for tangy collards, hush puppies, and smoky baked beans.
1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476, hullstreetblues.com
$$ L D Br Rsv
Hull Street Blues still lays out a beautiful spread every Sunday for its famous brunch, one of the best in Baltimore. The lunch menu sports familiar salad, sandwich, and pasta options, while the dinner menu reaches a bit higher.
1325 Key Highway, (410) 837-9903, littlehavanas.com
$$ Out D Br
This longtime favorite for Sunday brunch, mind-obliteration, and warm-weather flirting has made admirable attempts to serious-up its Cuban cuisine. Starters—flash-fried cubes of pork tenderloin, black bean soup—work best. Lunch served on Fridays.
1200 Steuart St., (443) 438-3139, miguelsbaltimore.com
$$ P Out L D Br
Miguel’s spicy, colorful food nods to authentic Mexican fare. Forgo entrees for ample and well-executed small plates such as Baja tacos, empanadas, and flautas with dusky mole sauce.
2600 Insulator Drive, (410) 347-4123, nicksfishhouse.com
$$ P Out 10pm L D Br
Picture-perfect warm-weather ambiance, with decks looking out over the Middle Branch and a Margaritaville groove inside and out. As you might imagine, the specialty is seafood.
1401 E. Clement St., (410) 962-1212, pazzaluna.us
$$$ Out d Rsv
An offshoot of uptown’s Sotto Sopra, this townhouse restaurant offers sophisticated decor and a focused menu of trattoria classics—osso buco, vigorous pastas, and whip-smart specials.
838 E. Fort Ave., (410) 727-7067,
$ P B L Br
The real deal. Housed in a handsome rowhouse on the border between two blue-collar-but-listing-upscale neighborhoods, Rallo’s has been dishing out hearty, inexpensive fare for more than 60 years. The service is swift and solicitous, the menu both vast and very regional (try the cod cakes).
1843 Light St., (410) 244-5667, rubbbqbaltimore.com
$$ Out L D Br
Roadhouse-y Rub introduced Baltimoreans to Texas barbecue, which favors rubs and slowww cooking over sauces. The house specialty is the brisket, pretty in pink smoked rings, and very tender. Contrived but fun.
921 E. Fort Ave., (410) 244-6166, the-wine-market.com
$$$ P Out L D Br Rsv
The New American menu at the Wine Market consistently offers interesting preparations, such as salt-roasted veal loin or sake-marinated slow-roasted black cod, and the a la carte brunch shouldn’t be overlooked.