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Old 03-31-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
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MD - Baltimore ... "Charm City" eats?

Granted I live in WV, but I do spend a lot of weekends here. So what's good? What's your favorites? What's the places worth staying away from unless it's 2AM and you need grease heaps?

One of the only sushi places I've been too, and I like it because it's a great place just to hang out, is Kyodai in Towson. It's mostly bar seating and you can pretty much grab everything at your own pace since it has the conveyor belt with plates.

It's not the best sushi I've ever had, but it's definitely a great place to just go and hang out with friends and talk and stuff your pie hole.

Other than that, most of my excursions into Baltimore end with hitting up a diner. There's a million of them around, so you know what I'm talking about if you're from here. It's like a better Denny's.

What I want to find is a good independent Italian restaraunt that's not going to cost me $100 to take a date too (I'm cheap, but entertaining the idea of McDonalds usually gets me slapped).

I've eyed up Della Notte, but it's expensive and it's in the Inner Harbour, so it seems kind of touristy.

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
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Little Italy in Baltimore has several great Italian/American restaurants family run etc. One of my faves is Chiapparelli's. Phillips' seafood and crab houses are justly famous, one is down at the harbor. Baltimore also has several upscale Bistros...Over on Mt Royal is Vicino Bistro...worth your time. And don't forget to cruise Lexington Market...a famous raw bar, a tempura stand, and cheesesteaks to rival Philys!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Havana Road Cuban Cafe in Towson

Towson is located in northern Baltimore County. Tonight Frank and I joined friends for dinner at the Havana Road Cuban Cafe.

The restaurant is small and allows diners to bring their own bottles. The staff are friendly though the service was questionable. (Our waiter kept forgetting to refill drinks, bring the appetizer, etc.)

The food will make us return though. It was terrific. We shared a platter of bread with three dips. One dip was a thickened salsa, which was flavorful with little heat. Another was a crunchy cucumber/onion dip, which had a vinegar base. The third was a creamy dip that also had cucumber in it - to be honest, it was my favorite as it was delicate and went well with the grilled bread. There was enough dip to order a second round of bread.

Each of us got something different though all of the entrees came with black beans, rice, and sweet plantains. Frank got the pork, which he said was perfectly cooked. I got a Cuban beef stew. The sauce was rich and flavorful, but the beef was cooked to the point where it seemed dry. The rice was basic and went well with everything on the plate, which I devoured with the black beans. I honestly could have made a meal on the black beans, rice and the sweet plantains. The sweet plantains had a hint of sweetness that complimented the strong flavors in my Cuban stew.

Our friends ordered the garlic chicken and another pork dish. Both were pleased with the flavors and found their food well-prepared. They brought their own wine and the restaurant was ready with wine glasses. They also offered virgin drinks to add one's own liquor. We noted several tables that did just that including a large party next to us.

For dessert, we had the rum cake. It had a hint of rum flavoring and a rich icing. Next time I will try the flan.

The most expensive entree on the menu was $16, but there is a huge amount of food. The extras are a bit spendy by comparison with the rum cake costing $6.50.

We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere. People were dressed in jeans to business casual. It was a nice place to meet friends for dinner and linger over a meal. Definitely a good find.

There web site even has recipes! http://www.havanaroad.com/recipes.html

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Old 05-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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The Artful Gourmet Bistro in Owings Mills is great. It's not technically Italian, but the owner is, so the majority of the dishes on the eclectic menu have some Italian flair to them. Artful Gourmet - Home Be warned, the main dining room crowd is older, on Friday nights, especially. On weeknights and Saturday nights it's about 50% over 50. Friday night is the night when all the regulars come out with their friends, so it's more like 75%. The bar crowd is younger and livelier. The food is fantastic. You can check out the menu on the website, Artful Gourmet - Home.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
The Artful Gourmet Bistro in Owings Mills is great. It's not technically Italian, but the owner is, so the majority of the dishes on the eclectic menu have some Italian flair to them. Artful Gourmet - Home Be warned, the main dining room crowd is older, on Friday nights, especially. On weeknights and Saturday nights it's about 50% over 50. Friday night is the night when all the regulars come out with their friends, so it's more like 75%. The bar crowd is younger and livelier. The food is fantastic. You can check out the menu on the website, Artful Gourmet - Home.

Thanks for the suggestion, we are always looking for new eats.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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I just wanted to add that the warning was for Village Idiot, who sounded like he was looking for a younger-feeling scene. I don't how old you and Kathleen are, but if you're over 50, I meant no disrespect. Our over-50 crowd is the reason I'm able to make a living and don't have to deal with all the drama present at many restaurants that target the younger crowds. I appreciate our customer base every time I work!
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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I don't how old you and Kathleen are, but if you're over 50, I meant no disrespect.
If we're under 50 does that mean you meant disrespect?

No worries.. really.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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If we're under 50 does that mean you meant disrespect?

Of course!

On second thought, that may not be the best foot to start on with a potential customer... Good thing I don't go by "Sprout" at work.
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