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Going to be in Baltimore for two days.

I'm not getting personal, you said it's too expensive. I disagree. While not cheap it's clearly the best in Baltimore despite you having a so-so experience the one time you seem to have been there. Kitchens have off nights, and obviously it's not a place priced so that you can just keep going, waiting for them to get it right. I've been there probably 6 or 8 times, never had anything but exceptional food and tremendous service. For the record I don't particularly like the other Foreman-Wolf restaurants, but I don't mind Petit Louis, same goes for the bar area at Cinghiale. Both great spaces and lovely to get a glass of wine in.

I am not trying to be standoff-ish here but I'm questioning your judgement because you are giving your highest praise, above and below, to Pierpoint. While I agree the food is good for the most part, I've never been in there where the restaurant isn't completely empty. They must do a massive catering business, I have no idea how they pay that lease.

To the OP, if you want something unique in downtown your best bet is probably Fork & Wrench. I forgot to mention that earlier. They are doing some cool stuff, again it's not cheap.

Definitely don't drive out to G&M crabcake. They use Vietnamese crab and it's kind of gooey since they insist on famously using "no filler," sometimes you need some breadcrumbs/crackers to sop up the mayo. People love them because they are freaking enormous. Better options downtown are LP Steamers, Duda's, Henninger's, Mama's on the Halfshell (NOT the sandwich), Captain Larry's (great little bar).

I haven't been to Wit and Wisdom since they hired this new chef, but what he's been putting out has looked promising.

Apr 16, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

Going to be in Baltimore for two days.

Stay away from Charleston? It's without question the best restaurant in Baltimore, and it's not even close. Just because it is pricey doesn't disqualify it. Cindy Wolf is a perennial James Beard Award Finalist for her work there.

As far as staying away from ANY Greek restaurant: Samos is an experience that is worth having but one of the best gyros in this country (seriously, I've eaten gyros all over Greece) is at Greektown Grill. It's just a takeaway, but the authentic is not to be missed.

Of all the restaurants discussed on this thread I'd agree with Thames St Oyster House being a good choice, but make a reservation now. Verde does make excellent pizza but their wine list is horribly overpriced for what you are getting. Mama's on the Halfshell is a fine local haunt and an awesome setting, but the food is only so-so. My wife and I have enjoyed Pabu quite a bit in the past, but our last two visits were only okay. I've been underwhelmed with Woodberry's dinner offerings for some time, but I love their Saturday lunch.

I've just become tired of most of Baltimore's restaurant scene. Too many "farm to table" type places, (what does that even mean anymore?), not enough good ethnic options, etc.

Apr 15, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best Bagels

In my opinion it's not even close. Wegman's.

Mar 24, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Upscale in Baltimore with allergies

What side of the harbor are you staying on specifically? Kali's & Black Olive are definitely a cab ride from one side but not the other. Likewise there are several options I'd recommend depending on location.

Mar 17, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

food worth eating near U of M medical Center, baltimore md

Your best bets:

Alewife: for the smoke burger or good local fish and a good beer selection. Eutaw & Fayette.
Nando's: Peri-Peri chicken. Fast, cheap. Baltimore between Eutaw and Paca. This is an international chain that is expanding through Maryland. It's very good.

Food trucks are always on Baltimore street between Green and Paca. Gypsy Queen is super famous around here but I personally can't stand it. Pretty much the only trucks I'll go to are Koco (Korean fusion), Iced Gems, and Commie Pig. People will say go to Lexington Market. I've always found it just okay, more of the experience than the food itself.

Mar 17, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Minibar Recently

That was fun to read and look at, but I do mean more recently.

Mar 17, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Minibar Recently

Heading to Minibar for the first time on Saturday. Any recent experiences?

Mar 17, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Can polenta be made in advance?

I frequently do seared polenta cakes (fancier) which must be made in advance. Chill, cut, then sear as needed.

Feb 28, 2014
hotel in Home Cooking

Rome - Seafood lunch or dinner

I had an excellent meal at La Gensola about two years ago. I can't recall the total amount of money but I'd wager it around 250 E for 4 people with a couple bottles of wine. I didn't find anything to be horribly expensive.

Feb 24, 2014
hotel in Italy

Restaurant in Baltimore w/ Tasting Menu

Doesn't the wine market do a prix fixe?

Jan 06, 2014
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

What bourbon are you drinking these days?

Personally I think BMH is a product of great marketing and their quality doesn't reflect their price.

Corner Creek and Old Forrester are both significantly tastier and roughly 22 dollars a bottle.

I was very fortunate this year in scoring a lot of high end limited production bottles so I'm currently enjoying these:

George T. Stagg Bourbon
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac
Eagle Rare 17
PVW 10
PVW 12
PVW 15
PVW 20
PVW Rye

Dec 17, 2013
hotel in Spirits

Pabu

Basically everything is solid to excellent. My wife thinks the happy spoon can be a bit overwhelming if you aren't a huge fan of sea urchin. That being said, I think it's pretty excellent. I do agree with tommyskitchen in that the oysters with ponzu are excellent. Robata platter varies by day but it's a selection of skewered and grilled meats. They do actually bring in Japanese white oak and everything is very good. You may smell a bit like a BBQ when you leave.

I can see how people think it's an izakaya on steroids, but at the same time I've gone to yakitori places in Tokyo that were total dives and spent far more money than I have at Pabu on several occasions. Yes it's not cheap, but it's definitely one of the most unique and best restaurant experiences in Baltimore currently. We recently ate at Daikaya in DC, an izakaya not on steroids. Spent exactly the same amount of money but the quality was just not the same as Pabu. It's also a very nice space here in Harbor East. When the construction on the promenade outside is finished, the view will once again be incredible.

I should also expand on tommyskitchen's note about the sake. They have one of the best sake sommeliers in the entire country curating the list. Ask for her to help you, her name is Tiffany, she is fantastic.

I don't think I've ever spent more than 150 on two people in Pabu, btw.

Dec 14, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pabu

I'll agree with the wine list being excellent but in terms of the food, I feel that it's just alright. Nothing in there blew me away any of the half dozen times I've eaten and I find the non-bar areas of the restaurant a bit stuffy. It's also quite expensive for what you get.

I like Pabu a lot (probably my favorite place in town) and I've eaten pretty much everything on the menu. Not to be missed are the Okonomiyaki, lotus root, tiny eggplants, chicken meatball, and the toro. Last time we were there they had a special scallop roll that was incredible.

I've also had great meals at Verde and Fork & Wrench recently. You can go the other way and go BYOB at Mekong Delta, which is excellent.

Dec 12, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Gems in Baltimore

Is that a common knock on Greek food? I've never heard that, I eat a lot of it and I've been to Greece.

Dec 10, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Little Serow line on anThursday

That was a Friday.

Dec 06, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Little Serow line on anThursday

I was just there last week and was approximately 60th in line at 4:45. We were seated at 8:20.

Dec 04, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore - 10 hungry guys over a fall weekend

Breakfast: Jimmy's in Fells Point for good diner fare. Everyone loves Blue Moon Cafe, but its a crowded nightmare. Saute in Canton has the greatest brunch deal of all time. It's like 15 bucks and is all you can drink mimosa, bloody mary's, screwdrivers, sangria, and Natty Boh's for 4 hours. Shockingly the food is solid.

Crabs: Go to LP Steamers in Locust Point. Mr. Bills, Costa's and Cantler's are all great, but none are convenient. They are all similar in terms of quality.

High End: Assuming you want a private room so things can get rowdy. Personally I'd go to Pabu, eat tons of toro and drink gallons of high end sake in their private room. Plus it's right on the water and in the new Four Seasons Hotel. Charleston is Baltimore's best in terms of food and wine, might be a bit too formal, but it rules. Woodberry Kitchen is always considered one of the best, but I've been unimpressed lately. I've had several good, rowdy prix fixe meals at the Wine Market, plus you're close to a ton of bars in Federal Hill.

The best ethnic hole in the wall downtown is going to be Mekong Delta which is also BYOB.

Bars: Now we're talking. Federal Hill is mostly recent college grads, Canton is young professionals, and Fells Point is everything in between. I'd definitely go to Fells Point. Notable favorites include: Waterfront Hotel, Horse You Came In On Saloon, Cat's Eye Pub, Leadbetters, The Point in Fells, and the Wharf Rat. All of those bars with the exception of the Wharf Rat will definitely have live music with no cover. They are all old, awesome, crowded dives. I'd bar crawl all of them finishing up at the Horse which gets really rowdy and fun.

Aug 21, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Crabs for lunch downtown Baltimore

LP Steamers.

Aug 15, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Duck eggs in Baltimore city or suburbs?

I've purchased duck eggs from Lynn Ferguson at Ferguson Farm before, and they are wonderful. She does weekly drop-offs all over the area.

http://www.fergusonfamilyfarm.com/

Jul 31, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

some help please finding peking duck in the Baltimore area..

I haven't had the crispy roasted duck from Hunan Taste in Catonsville, but everything else I've eaten from there is pretty authentic and delicious.

Jul 25, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where can I buy Efes beer in Baltimore

They definitely sell it at Cazbar on Charles St, might be worth a call to ask if they know where you could buy a 12 pack.

Jul 22, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Food Market Recently?

If everything was just slightly off I'd agree about an off night but everything was a disaster. Amateur mistakes.

Jul 03, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Food Market Recently?

Has anyone been here recently? I went last night and most everything was absolutely flavorless and awful. Lowlights:

Pretzels: Basically an Auntie Ann's pretzel rod with a flavorless mornay sauce. I was expecting some bite from a beer cheese, but nothing remotely close.

Cracked Fried Oysters with bacon & egg emulsion: There was so much breading on these things I couldn't even find an oyster. The bacon & egg emulsion was completely flavorless. Honestly it was like a really poorly made aioli. If you didn't tell me what it was, there's no chance I could have guessed it. Ate 2 of 7 and sent the rest back, still had to pay for them though.

The Chicken: For as much hype as I've heard about this chicken dish I was blown away by how bad it was. They must have roasted that poor leg for 45 minutes then deep fried it to crisp it up. I've never had such a dry piece of chicken in a restaurant - completely nuked. The noodles that came with it were flavorless and out of place. The peas were actually fresh and quite nice but the broth that was poured over the dish was another flavorless add-on.

My wife had a crabcake which was average. Nothing special.

Pretty decent cocktails and a nice setting. Certainly won't be going back however. If you are selling 25 to 30 dollar entrees in Hampden your execution had better be spot on. WAY off.

Jul 03, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Is Baltimore Boring restaurantwise?

You really enjoyed it that much? I went a couple months ago and was really unimpressed. Undercooked risotto, over salted seafood stew. Pretty bad considering how much the tab was.

Jul 01, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Is Baltimore Boring restaurantwise?

I hope this doesn't come off snobbish but I am completely bored with Baltimore's restaurant scene, and have been for some time. With the exception of Charleston and Pabu you can find some version of the exact same dishes in basically every restaurant.

I can't begin to tell everyone how sick of hearing that a new Baltimore restaurant is "new American - farm to table." Give me a break.

My in-laws live in DC and I am there frequently. The variety of quality restaurants compared to Baltimore is startling. I had one of the better meals of my life at The Source two weeks ago. I challenge anyone to name me a restaurant doing anything nearly as inventive as Scott Drewno at The Source up here in Baltimore. You just can't.

I should mention that I compare DC to Baltimore because that city was considered a food desert as recently as a decade ago. Look where they stand now.

Jun 21, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore restaurant reco for a large party?

Actually Wine Market is a great suggestion. I organized a large birthday party there once, prix fixe menu was reasonable and delicious.

May 13, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore restaurant reco for a large party?

I would call Salt or Fork & Wrench. I imagine they can make that happen for you. Those would be my two choices.

May 13, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Budget dining Balimore Inner Harbor

How far are you willing to walk/cab/drive from inner harbor proper? Pretty much all chain stuff in the immediate area.

Apr 25, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

Rosedale/North Balt. for 5 day course

If you are after a gyro the best I've had in America (no joke) is the authentic version at Greektown Grill. I spent some time in a Greece about 5 years ago and this is in my top 3 (again, no joke). They actually use raw pork on the spit, none of that goofy gyro "meat," that cooks progressively as the day goes on and the meat is shaved off.

Despite what most people seem to think, a gyro in Greece is made with pork or occasionally chicken, not lamb.

Apr 04, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore

Recs for four day foodie trip: Wash and Balt requests

It's hard to beat Cantler's for outdoor crabs, but that's in Annapolis.

Apr 02, 2013
hotel in Washington DC & Baltimore