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PaulaG's Profile

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Anyone been to Dogwood since it reopened?

My husband and I ate at Dogwood last night, after finding that Woodberry Kitchen was booked. We had a wonderful meal.

We started with two innovative summer cocktails--one with gin and Aperol, another with fresh sage and whiskey. We shared the horseradish Caesar salad and the eggplant strata. Both were split in the kitchen and plated individually; they were large portions. The Caesar was tangy, lemony, fresh and delicious. The strata was on the heavy side but the flavors were well-developed. I left most of the smashed potato component on the plate so that I wouldn't be full before the entrees arrived.

My cioppino, the Wednesday special, was more stewlike than brothy, but still appealing. There were mussels and small shrimp in a thick roasted tomato and garlic sauce, topped with a broiled fillet of rainbow trout (I think). Also present was a handful of farfalle pasta. Overall, hearty and homey.

My husband had the seared scallops over mushroom corn risotto with snap peas, which was outstanding. The scallops were buttery and perfectly seared. I rank their scallops among the best I've ever eaten.

We rounded out the meal by sharing a maple creme brulee with berries, simple and light and perfect.

The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming. I look forward to a return visit in the near future.

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Woodberry Kitchen
2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD

The Dogwood Restaurant
911 W. 36th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211

Jul 22, 2010
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Puffs & Pastries Opening Next Week in Hampden

This small storefront bakery is nothing short of amazing! My 7 year-old daughter Zoe and I stopped by for the first time last Thursday. We bought strawberry coconut cupcakes to take home (which were filled with pastry cream). These were moist and delicious, not too sweet.

Zoe insisted on a cream puff on the spot, and I practically had to wrestle her for a second bite. Delicious! And all week she begged me to go back...

So now it's our Thursday tradition. We bought cream puffs for this week, and we ordered some with pumpkin cream for Thanksgiving.

Give the quality of the product, the prices are very reasonable. The cupcakes and the cream puffs were $2.25 each.

Treat yourself!

Nov 20, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Fresh Mangosteens

I bought some on Tuesday at Song Que in the Eden Center. They were around $8 a pound. Interesting experience.... Tasty, but not earth-shattering.

Jun 08, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Cafe Zen on Belvedere Ave

The "old lettuce" is a leaf of napa cabbage, and it's there to absorb any extra oil and keep the wontons from skittering off the plate. Cafe Zen doesn't really do garnish. My family have been regulars at Zen for at least a decade now. The tofu with garlic spinach is my all-time favorite; homemade dumplings are great, too. The service is usually somewhat ham-handed but forgivable since servers ares usually very nice. Good quality food at relatively low prices keep us coming back.

Whitemarshjohn, I enjoy reading your reviews! Could you please do us a favor, though and break them into multiple paragraphs? They would be much easier to read that way. What can I say; I'm a former English teacher.

Mar 18, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Woodberry Kitchen

That's the only place I have ever been seated (3 visits), and I have no complaints. Our service was just fine, thankyouverymuch. Besides, from up there you can bounce fried hominy kernels off the railing...

Mar 06, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Vegetarian B'more B-Day Dinner this Friday

My Thai on Charles Street--great variety, cool atmosphere and very reasonable.

Mar 04, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Finding Fish in Baltimore

I've been happy with the quality/price at Wegmans.

Feb 22, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Night of the Cookers - Baltimore

The menu looks interesting, especially "Sautéed Mussels
Finished with Charizo sausage, caramelized onions, fresh herbs and Boston logger". I can get past the chorizo spelling, but I'm concerned about the Boston logger. Shades of Sweeney Todd?

Jan 24, 2008
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bonjour Bakery in Balto's Mt. Washington

Isn't there a Bonaparte outpost in Fells Point?

And yes, Bonjour has attitude issues--as if they're doing you a favor to allow you to buy their baked goods!

Dec 31, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annapolis Dinner Thursday Suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions. We went to Tsunami, which was quite good. The calamari was tasty, and the Tsunami salad was perfectly dressed with a light ginger scallion dressing. I loved the thin curls of raw beet. We had a kamikaze roll, which was just okay.

The steak entrees were outstanding. We had the teryaki hanger steak with miso ratatouille and the chili-rubbed strip with wasabi/veggie mashed potatoes.

I'd happily go there again.

Dec 21, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hampden dinner with (well-behaved) 2 year old?

I haven't been in a couple of months but I always enjoyed it. Can you elaborate, please?

Dec 20, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hampden dinner with (well-behaved) 2 year old?

I think it's hit or miss. My daughter wasn't offered anything when we were there in October.

Dec 20, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hampden dinner with (well-behaved) 2 year old?

Woodberry is kid-friendly, and they even have a decent specific kids' menu. Chef Spike is a dad to young children himself. Make an early reservation and let them know you're bringing a little one so maybe you can be near the open kitchen. The food is wonderful.

Golden West makes no accommodations for anyone's needs, let alone a two year-old. I have had way too many negative experiences there.

Rocket to Venus is also a decent choice; their menu is online. They're more casual. They don't do reservations.

And while I like Petit Louis well enough, just because it's loud and bustling doesn't make it kid friendly. The times I've seen kids there were kids buttoned up in their Sunday best, looking uncomfortable.

Brasserie Tatin is nicely decorated for the holidays, and they have a terrific fireplace. They were very welcoming to my six year-old daughter last week, so much so that she says she wants to go back there for her birthday.

Dec 20, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Annapolis Dinner Thursday Suggestions

Hey all--I'm looking for a place for dinner within walking distance of Ram's Head before the Nellie McKay concert. We're open to any cuisine; I'd just like some decent chow. The food at Ram's Head itself is vastly disappointing.

Dec 19, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Brunch in Baltimore

I highly recommend Miss Shirley's on Coldspring Lane in Roland Park. It's a little pricey but the food is outstanding.

Dec 13, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Fancy birthday dinner - Baltimore

At the risk of sounding like their publicist, I can't say enough good things about Chameleon Cafe. The name is misleading; it makes me think of Southwestern cuisinewhen in reality it's New American with French techniques. I had my birthday dinner there last week.

http://www.thechameleoncafe.com

Dec 07, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need Recomendations....

I just celebrated my birthday last week at Chameleon Cafe. The food is outstanding and the prices are very reasonable for the quality. It has a homey kind of feel; the building is an old rowhouse and the owners live upstairs. The two-top tables are around the perimeter of the room, so there's somewhat of a private feeling.

You can easily eat well for around $100; the rest depends on what you oder to drink!

http://www.thechameleoncafe.com

Dec 07, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

My Thai Baltimore - recommendations?

I was there Wednesday night, and my friend and I really enjoyed the food. He's vegetarian, and since we like to share I stuck with the veg menu. The green papaya salad was excellent---a good interplay of spicy, salty and tangy, and I liked the addition of raw green beans. The summer rolls were pretty standard, but good.

We ordered three entrees, which were bargain-priced at $9 each. There was a tofu in red curry with kaffir lime leaves that was outstanding. We really enjoyed the pad thai. The third item was vegetables stirfried with garlic and holy basil. There was a nice variety of snow peas, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, baby corn, mushrooms, peppers, beans cooked al dente, but the garlic sauce was a little raw/harsh.

The service left something to be desired. I think some of it is due to a language barrier. We ordered a bottle of wine, and the glasses were chilled by being plunged into the ice bucket, so they were wet when she put them down! She missed our third entree, but it was quickly rushed out once we asked. We also had to keep asking for new silverware, and serving spoons.

Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable meal at a bargain price. The check was $66 for two apps, three entrees, and a bottle of wine.

Dec 07, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Miss Shirley's in Baltimore: Good but...

Yes, it is pricey, but the ingredients and presentation are top-notch. I think it's more of a splurge than an everyday kind of place.

My husband and I had breakfast there last week to celebrate my birthday. I had two eggs over easy, applewood bacon, creamy cheese grits and a biscuit, which was a bargain at $7.99. My husband had the Greek omelet with has browns. We split the fried green tomatoes and had a hot cider each. The tab was $32 pre-tip, and worth every penny.

Dec 04, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Mari Luna

After hearing many good things, we finally tried Mari Luna at the beginning of the summer. Meh. I had the lamb shank, which had no depth of flavor, no seasoning. I was bored after a few bites. I wasn't excited about anything on the table--except for an outstanding flan. My tres leches cake had some kind of fakey white whipped product and chocolate syrup on it. Blech.

I really need to try something authentic in Fells Point.

Nov 20, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Help! I need a Kid friendly suggestion in Baltimore

On the "yes, I recommend it" side, here are some suggestions of places that we have been to successfully as a family in the last 3-4 months:

-Amicci's in Little Italy. Good food, reasonable prices. There is a decent kids' menu, waitresses are friendly and they take reservations.

-Cafe Zen on Belvedere. Very kid-friendly, cheap, and tasty. As an added bonus, you can browse at Daedalus Books (catty-corner across the street) for sale/remaindered afterwards. They have a large kids' section with comfy couches!

-Cafe Hon. Not as inexpensive as it should be, but solid. One beware: there isn't a lot of "get up and walk around" space that young kids always need.

-Bill Bateman's on York Road (near Towson). Yes, it's kinda chain-y (local), but there is something to please everyone and the prices are right. The baby back ribs are excellent, and believe it or not, their crabcakes are pretty good. I also think they have the best coleslaw ever. LOTS of space to walk, including a game area....

-Sushi Hana in Towson. Out of your way, yes, but great with young kids. The sushi is very fresh, and they have other Japanese mainstays, like tempura. The fish pond is a plus, and you can order "marble soda"--a fruity pop which contains a glass marble safely trapped in the neck.

Good luck!

Nov 15, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Help! I need a Kid friendly suggestion in Baltimore

It's kid-friendly but the odds that you will have to wait a half hour or more for food are HIGH. Golden West's kids' menu is extremely limited: pancake, cheese quesadilla....and the chef/owner (a father himself) allows no substitutions or alterations of the regular menu. Arrogance personified.

I have three kids (16, 13, and 6) and we used to be regulars but poor service and erratic food quality drove us away. You'd order something one week, and it was delicious. Two weeks later the same menu item looks and tastes completely different--how does that happen?

Nov 15, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Recommendations for cheap balto dinner?

I had a great experience at Joe Squared (North Ave. and Howard) last Friday. Service is kind of slow, but the food is delicious. And if you have a few drinks in good company, you might not even notice the food delay...

We had a variety of salads, a couple of risottos, and thin-crust individual pizzas at the table. I tried an amazing mushroom reuben sandwich--nice and toasty on a ciabbata-type roll with a small side salad for $7.

Nov 14, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dining near Lisner/GW next Saturday

I need a place for an early-ish dinner before a 7:30 Tegan and Sara concert next Saturday (11/24). My husband, precocious 6 year-old, and I are open to almost any cuisine, provided it's well-prepared. I want something casual to upscale/casual--NO chains, please!

Thanks in advance!

Nov 13, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Recent Chameleon Cafe visit?

There have been 6-7 entree choices for quite awhile--my husband and I try to make it in at least once per seasonal menu. We had dinner there three weeks ago, on the first Friday of their new fall menu.

For starters we had the fried oysters over spinach (a menu staple), the frisee salad with roasted brussel sprouts and bacon (which looked pale and unappetizing but was in fact an amazing blend of textures and deep flavors), and the barley cake with mushrooms (a gift from the chef, delicious and unusual).

My husband had the venison shank with red-wine risotto, and I had the New York strip with a gratin of potato and celeriac. The vegetable was broccoli rapini--a perfect foil to the richness of everything else. The entrees were superb.

We shared the chocolate terrine for dinner, and enjoyed cups of Zeke's coffee. I love this place, and I can't wait to go back for my birthday in a few weeks.

I'm on their e-mail list, and a message from the owners (yesterday?) indicated nothing out of the ordinary other than that they had finally bought themselves a house nearby so they could eventually move from the apartment above the restaurant.

Question: How did they handle the cold stew? Did you eventually get a hot version, and was it good?

Nov 13, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Woodberry Kitchen

"Smug for a new and smugger generation"--ha! You truly captured the essence of the crowd at Woodberry. They aren't the usual Hampden/Remington (the bordering neighborhoods) denizens. My husband and I tried WK Friday night, and had much the same experience.

The food is outstanding--well thought out and executed. We started with a couple of glasses of Wolaver's organic porter, and the oh-so-fun and tasty fried hominy coupled with a plate of deviled eggs.

From there we moved to the iced oysters--I loved the mignonette but yes, lemon alone would have sufficed. We also had a plate of the wood-roasted oysters with bacon, which had a nice depth of flavor.

My husband had the cast-iron ribeye, which came with a potato gratin in a very cute little cast-iron rectangular casserole. Delicious. I chose the special: cornmeal-encrusted trout with fried green tomatoes and the same cast-iron casserole, his time filled with cubes of sweet potato and a complementing cheese.
It was comfort food at it's finest, and not greasy at all, not heavy.

I am already conspiring as to how I can return in the next week or so. Maybe if we go the hamburger and fries route....

Service was friendly, enthusiastic and attentive. We had an initial glitch because our hostess seated us at an upstairs table, where we sat unnoticed for 15 minutes. Once we flagged a server, she was most apologetic that no one had "claimed" us, and immediately took over. I was very impressed with her recitation of the specials. Plus she looked like Chloe Sevigny! The busser was also friendly and attentive without being intrusive.

All-in-all, his place is a winner. You would never guess that they've only been open for about a week. Spike Gjerde is an incredibly talented chef, someone with great vision.

Nov 06, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

In Baltimore, MD August (Sat) 11th & 12th

Ha! We're Red Truckers at my house, too! When it first came out, we scored a case fro $7.99 a bottle. Unfortunately, ridiculous wine mark-up is the usual at hotel restaurants.

I'm sorry about your dining companions, but again, it's a hotel restaurant. Moreover, it's a hotel restaurant in Baltimore. They can't afford to send any paying guests away. They just want to fill the tables. It's different in NYC, but not here.

Aug 22, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Vietnamese Sandwhiches in NoVA

Song Que in Eden has a handful of small tables inside. Order and pay at the counter, and have a seat. They've go great bubble teas, too--more like fruit smoothies.

Aug 21, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Which gift card to use (B'more)?

Some friends of mine did Brasserie Tatin for RW, and thy couldn't stop gushing about it. It seems as though the new chef has done some great things for the place. I look forward to trying it myself.

I have to say that while I loved Salt a year ago, the bloom is off the rose. Service was just terrible (no bread offered until we saw the table next to us getting some from their server), no recitation of specials, eat and get out mentality--when I was there in May. The duckfat fries and foie gras burger were great, but entrees were meh.

Ruth's Chris is usually dependable, but that means Inner Harbor on a Saturday...'

Happy Birthday! Enjoy and report back, whatever you do!

Aug 17, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore

Suggestions with kids

We went to 2 Amys a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night (I know, crazy busy!) and were told it would be a 45 minute wait. My 6 year-old daughter (who needed to eat immediately) wanted to go to Sushi Sushi across the street. So we did a roll each for an "appetizer", and by the time we were finished, our table was ready at 2 Amys.

The sushi was pretty good, but 2 Amys was amazing. The seasonal appetizers are simply prepared, top quality ingredients. The thin crust Neapolitan pizzas are delicious. I think of it as DC's answer to NY's Otto, only with fewer wine choices.

Best of all, it's a stone's throw from the National Zoo, which is free. Go see the pandas, and the new baby anteater.

Aug 15, 2007
PaulaG in Washington DC & Baltimore