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Atlanta - Recs for group dinner

Three restaurants have been selected as possible sites for a group (professional reunion) dinner downtown within walking distance of the Marriott Marquis. The choices are:

The Avenue
Thrive
Ray's in the City

Are there any that you would definitely recommend or stay away from?

Any other suggestions for reasonably priced restaurants that could accommodate a group of 20 or 30 would be appreciated.

Jan 13, 2009
smt in General South Archive

Faidley's disappointment

There are a handful of restaurants that dont use filler...like a place a Cross Street Market...i always wonder how they make the tings stay together. However, we make most of the crab cakes we consume at home...

WARNING...EXCELLENT CRAB CAKE TECHNIQUE AHEAD

Since my wife is allergic to wheat, we have formulated our crab cake recipe and we exclude any cracker/bread filler. Per pound of crab...We use seasoning, mayo, Dijon, worcester, and and 1 egg. THEN, we bake and then broil them in a silicon muffin tin....thank you.

Aug 30, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Broadway Diner in Baltimore

Towson Diner is acceptable too.

Aug 29, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Kloby's Backyard BBQ

I was under the impression that the owner is going to open other locations...I believe there is now one in Columbia where Smokey Hollow used to be.

Jul 24, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Places to study/drink coffee in Baltimore

Just be prepared to smell like roasted coffee all day long.

Jun 27, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Local, Organic restaurants in the Baltimore area?

Zeke's is popular, but if you say they are *great,* how would you rate Counter Culture Coffee?

I've had Bluebird once and liked it.

Im not sure how well-versed each is in creating espresso blends. It does not seem Bluebird roasts an espresso blend.

As far as I know, Zeke's does not have an espresso machine at their roasting plant (i could be completely wrong about that). Thus, how does Zeke's test their espresso blend without an espresso machine?

Any well-versed coffee experts out there care to comment?

Jun 20, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Local, Organic restaurants in the Baltimore area?

While one purpose of using locally grown ingredients is to support the local economy, a broader view is that these restaurants are using ingredients that come from sustainable sources. Perhaps the Alaskan Salmon was sourced with that general philosophy in mind. I also get the impression that the folks at Woodberry are very real about these issues and not *just* taking advantage of the marketing aspect.

BTW, a local coffee roaster would still get their beans from other countries and Counter Culture Coffee is now in DC which just might be considered local ?

I might be as cynical as you about this whole idea when Burger King starts advertising locally raised Whoppers.

Jun 17, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

Sounds like you might need some taste testers to help you out there.

Jun 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

I did get the sauce, just on the side. I agree with you Hal L, after dousing the ribs with the sauce, the horrible flavor of the meat was undetectable.

Jun 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

I agree the area is big enough for both. I would be perfectly happy if there were 10 other rib or BBQ joints on York Rd. I'm not really that enamored with Andy Nelson's and realize the difference between the styles. Objectively, it does not appear that their ribs stand out as being better than other similarly prepared ribs. So why are they considered the Best in Baltimore?

For others who agree with me, what restaurants would you recommend for similarly prepared baby back ribs?

Jun 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

I had Corner Stable ribs and chicken a few nights ago. The broasted chicken was very enjoyable. The ribs were as I remembered them, just mediocre.

I ordered the ribs without sauce, which may have been a mistake. However, it allowed me to taste the meat, the flavor of which was far less than acceptable. Thus, sauce is required, in part, to cover up the taste of the meat. At the same time, the sauces were enjoyable, both the sweet and Texas spicy.

My bottom line is that Corner Stable Ribs are just "run of the mill" baby back ribs and not really that much different than Charred Rib. I'd rather go to Bill Bateman's for similar fare. I still think the self-proclaimed "Best Ribs in Baltimore!" banner outside the restaurant is misleading, but, nonetheless, good marketing for a restaurant with a very good location. In other words, if I did not live in Lutherville, I would not travel the distance for these ribs.

Jun 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need a Latte help with Baltimore coffee.

According to the woman who worked the window at the Kenilworth location, they will also be selling Counter Culture beans (which is excellent for those of us Baltimorians who like to brew coffee at home in their Technivorm or Aeropress and are forced order beans from all over the country in order to be achieve some semblance of satisfaction daily).

Jun 10, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Valley Inn-Brooklandville

Their competition is Poulet, Stone Mill, and Tark's. Perhaps the chinese place, which is also at Greenspring Station.

I too, find the Valley Inn very perplexing. It is, however, in an historic building.

Jun 09, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

Every time someone mentions Corner Stable on this board I think, "Did I miss something?" I have to go back now to make sure.

I cant help but wonder if the banners on the building stating "Best Ribs in Baltimore" trick people into thinking that their ribs are actually good. They were apparently reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun....what year? I don't know. Perhaps someone from the Sun who reads this board can chime in. The corner stable website has a page of testimonials that is interesting (embarrassing) to read.

Jun 08, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need a Latte help with Baltimore coffee.

Unless they have REALLY improved their coffee in the past year, I would not consider their product to be even one bit acceptable.

I was very disappointed with the espresso macchiato I was served from their Lavazza-oriented type, gold-colored, coffee service, machine. I was especially disappointed as I thought the space was very nice...perhaps a re-visit is in order.

Jun 08, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ribs-

HowChow, you've responded to a very old post. HOWEVER, just to clarify your post, a NEW Kloby's (in addition to the Woodlawn location) is now in the exact location that Smokey Hollow used to be.

7500 Montpelier Rd
Laurel, MD 20723

Jun 07, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Asiana Indian York Road anyone been?

HELLO??? This is an Indian and Mexican restaurant!! Are we talking about chicken tikka taco? or a saag paneer burrito??? Anyone been? I doubt the food is good or even as creative as I think it could be...but what is going on at this place??????

Jun 07, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need a Latte help with Baltimore coffee.

I concur. As far as I know, Spro uses espresso roasted by the people from Hines Public Market/Origins Roasters and Woodberry uses Counter Culture Coffee.

Also, (as far as I know) there are no other places in Baltimore to get well-prepared espresso and espresso-based drinks (except in my own kitchen). It is sad, really....There are more options in DC.

Jun 06, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Asiana Indian York Road anyone been?

This is now an Indian and Mexican restaurant!!!!

May 28, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sliders...

For some strange reason, I find that eating sliders to be a different food experience than eating normal sized burgers. Perhaps it has something to do with the ratio of ingredients, but I find myself craving sliders, rather than normal sized burgers. (Maybe eating them makes me fell like a giant!!!!).

Anyway...

Alonso's has good sliders, as does J.Pauls at the Inner Harbor.

Bill Bateman's sliders are pretty good. Cheesecake Factory has 'em as well, but I would not make a specail trip (for sliders or anything else, really).

Any other places in Baltimore with especially good sliders?

Also, please comment if (or why) you think sliders are a very different culinary experience than average sized burgers.

Apr 27, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hand full of Baltimore restaurants

Plantains (sweet bananas) and jicama (a Mexican potato) are foods that you should eat and enjoy...chicken rico baby!

Apr 13, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hand full of Baltimore restaurants

I would recommend getting plantains and jicama at Chicken Rico, as well as extra sauce...so good...I might have to make a trip.

Apr 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Stupid question about where to go in Baltimore

What kind of diet?

Stone Mill Bakery has great salads. You can pick your own ingredients (a la cart). Their ingredients are very fresh and high quality.

If money is no object, Black Olive is great, most of their fish is served grilled with some olive oil.

I think the trick is to avoid certain things on the menu, but also have about half of what you order.

Mar 31, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Woodberry Kitchen

While I like the espresso and coffee service at WK, James Hoffmann's comments were very "safe" because it does not take much to serve coffee/espresso that is better than 98% of all restaurants. WK uses very good beans sourced by Counter Culture and grinds the beans for each order...already more than half the battle.

The skill of the barista is VERY important too. I have had great espresso at WK. I have also had less than stellar espresso at WK. The bottom line is that the "less than stellar" espresso at WK is at least 10 times better than espresso at the majority of restaurants.

Mar 27, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tark's Grill - Greenspring Station

Has anyone been?

Seems pricey...

http://tarksgrill.com/

Mar 06, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best Towson Sushi

I agree that the nigiri in most places in Baltimore is not good. However, I think Sushi Ya in Owings Mills is better than the Towson places. Not the best Ive ever had, but the best in Baltimore.

The only gripe I had was the rice may have been slightly undercooked and I thought I could taste the water the rice was cooked in. The rice for the nigiri, however, was warm.

Feb 27, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Sushi

We went last night and really liked the sushi. This will probably be our go-to place in Baltimore (instead of Matsuri in Federal Hill).

Feb 24, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sushi Hana Lake Falls--MD

We went tonight (Sunday) and did not feel it is any better than many of the sushi places around. The rolls were too big (maybe the maki could be cut into 8 pieces instead of 6) and the fish on the nigiri was sliced to thick as well. I think this betrays the balance that is supposed to be inherent to sushi.

Also, the ginger dressing on the salad had way too much vinegar. Service was mediocre and it was very loud. They need to soften it in there.

For us, Matsuri remains the best sushi in Baltimore (city or county).

Jan 27, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Asiana Indian York Road anyone been?

We had dinner at Asiana tonight. The décor is much different than what Pacific Rim had, but was fairly typical of Indian restaurants, i.e. maroon chairs, white table clothes, etc. However, there was a large back-lighted picture of a waterfall, which added a slight “cheeziness” factor to the ambiance.

Anyway, the food… things started off well as the papadam was really the best I ever tasted. We ordered the aloo tikka for an appetizer…after all it is described in the menu as “the best potato pancake you will ever try.” While it was flavorful (and a little greasy), it was not served with any sauces, which I thought would have been nice. I used the sauces that came with the papadam and really liked the combination.

Next, we ordered the chicken tikka and the aloo gobi.

I wish I went with my initial decision to order chicken tandoori and vegetable biryani, but I went with the lower fat option instead. Although the FLAVOR of the chicken tikka was excellent, it was overcooked, dry, and not nearly as tender as I have had at other restaurants. I think the tandoori chicken is probably the way to go, since the tandoori chicken is dark meat with the bone in.

The aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower), again, tasted very good. However, the potatoes were, to be kind, a little too “al dente?” The service was good and I did not feel pressure to order bread, drinks, or dessert (unlike at Café Spice where the lady-owner always tries to get you to order more, more, more).

In sum, I would try some other dishes before I decide not to go back. There is some potential and it might be worth trying their Sat/Sun buffet (12 to 3?). At the same time, we like Café Spice or the restaurant on Cranbrook (India Palace) and don’t think Asiana will be our “go to” for Indian food.

PS- although the menu states 15-18% will be added for gratuity, I think this is a typo - they don't automatically add gratuity.

here is a link: http://www.asianaindiancuisine.com/

Jan 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Sushi

Danny, I like to eat a lot of fish too, but my question has more to do with texture than amount.

Jan 12, 2008
smt in Washington DC & Baltimore