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Everything posted by monsterriffs

  1. Latest news is that Papi's will be opening a second location in Hampden soon, taking over the old Dimitri's space (thank god; that place was sketch). Papi's is reliable, but given the proximity of Clavel, I'm not certain this move makes a ton of sense. I think it makes sense only for Hampdenites who literally want to go no further than two blocks away.
  2. Qualia's future in Petworth put into question with 2019 lease expiration. All options appear to be on the table, but Qualia may or may not stay in its current location past 2019.
  3. This should not come as a surprise. There were constant rumors of staff dissent and turnover, and frequent unexplained closures during the week. Current word on the street (from my neighbor, who I would not say is the most credible source...) is that the head chef on the Charcuterie side will be taking over the establishment and rebooting. We'll hear more soon, I'm sure.
  4. Just realized that there was no thread for Ekiben, which was an oversight on my part. Though I haven't actually visited their brick and mortar, I have partaken of their bao sandwiches at the Charm City Cross cyclocross race (excellent post-race refuel), Hampdenfest, and at the 83 farmers market. The baos are reliably tasty, though frequently overstuffed and unwieldy; I wouldn't be mad if they split one bao into two smaller bites and sold them as a pair. In some ways, Ekiben reminds me of my beloved late Shophouse---similar spice level, flavor, and relative level of accessibility. I do need to stop into the brick and mortar location at some point soon to scratch the itch, but I'm glad that the 83 market has reopened for the season so I can visit them there if I don't make it all the way to Fells!
  5. Ladies and gentlemen, your number 1 cocktail bar in Baltimore. The original establishment from Lane Harlan - who also owns Clavel Mezcaleria - WC Harlan is a cocktail joint that really does do a far better job at the speakeasy vibe than most places that would actively market themselves as speakeasies. The focus here is on amari, with an extensive menu of familiar and rare bitter spirits, and stuff that I'm amazed they procured. I need to plan a visit so I can take advantage of the amaro-tasting options. Seats can be hard to come by during peak days and times (weekend evenings primarily) owing to the fact that a lot of people go here to grab drinks while they wait for the call from Clavel. Nearly all cocktails are great, with the occasional miss (fiancee recently got something that was effectively borscht in a glass). Harlan's is non-descript but arguably one of the earliest forces in the rapidly accelerating development of Remington.
  6. 10 years later, and this assessment of the lengua still stands. I got carryout this past Friday of the lengua, al pastor, pollo, and barbacoa. The latter 3 tacos were tasty, but ultimately didn't stand out. The lengua, however, was a knockout. These tacos are pretty much carried on the strength of the tortillas, especially where the fillings don't shine. I realize that my assessment should come with the heavy caveat that tacos don't always travel well and they are best eaten in-house, but I think the lengua should stand tall as an exception to this rule. I'm really looking forward to taking a seat at the shop and eating, so I can provide a full assessment. Nevertheless, this place should be a candidate for italizication. I'm still thinking about those tortillas today...
  7. Hoo boy, Maura Judkis and Tim Carman with the deep dive: Mike Isabella’s restaurants used nondisclosure agreements to silence sexual harassment accounts, new lawsuit alleges
  8. Haha, why is anyone surprised? Has no one been to Woodberry Kitchen or Artifact Coffee, where you are destined to eat nothing but root vegetables during the entirety of winter.
  9. Forgive me if this has been addressed in another thread, but when I read this, I was wondering if there was a connection between Jen Carroll's sudden departure and the allegations of a hostile work environment detailed in Ms. Caras' complaint.
  10. A Farms store south of Columbia??? Since when?! RoFo chicken is pretty tasty, but if we're talking fast food fried chicken, I'm still going to Popeye's. Either way, having Western fries available pretty much 24/7 across the street from me (RoFo corp. headquarters!) is dangerous. I'm fortunate not to have succumbed to such temptation, but it is nice to have a spot for that stuff plus easy access to Berger cookies.
  11. No, Wet City is not a strip joint. It is, rather, Baltimore's best beer bar. Don't @ me bro. Featuring a frequently rotating list of craft beer kegs on tap---as well a list of kegs that are on deck (!)---it is apparent that the owners of Wet City are beer nerds with deep knowledge and want to make sure you share in that passion. Though Wet City primarily features domestic craft brews, a variety of import craft beers make the list as well. The kitchen is no weak link here either. Often seasonal fare, the kitchen demonstrates thoughtfulness and care in its dishes, which run from the Nashville Hot Chicken to pork rinds to deviled eggs. The spare is bright and airy, which is appreciated given that a lot of beer bars revel in dankness (e.g., the late Brickskeller in DC). White cinderblock walls, wood floors, and light-colored wood table and seating choices set in a minimally decorated space, save for some plant life tastefully arranged throughout. The open space works well so the bar feels bigger than it actually is. Many times, I've been surprised that the place isn't more packed, but I'm happy that it isn't.
  12. Indeed. The expectation is something a little dicey when you walk in, but the menu proves otherwise. It’s great; looking forward to returning.
  13. Needed to start a thread on the very good neighborhood tavern in Highlandtown, Snake Hill. Highlandtown is, arguably, one of the current frontiers of Baltimore gentrification with fancy new condos next to bodegas. Notwithstanding this development, it still maintains the diversity of ethnicity and races that other neighborhoods (cough*Canton*cough) no longer have. Tucked just off the main artery of Highlandtown is Snake Hill, a seeming hole-in-the-wall that actually maintains an excellent beer list and, notably, a delicious array of handmade sausages. Not content to focus on the standards, i.e., bratwurst, Italian sausage, chorizo, etc., Snake Hill also incorporates exotic meats into its menu, such as alligator and rabbit + rattlesnake. I enjoyed the 'Pho-Q' sausage, a pork, fennel, and Sriracha sausage, which I opted to have served in the 'Pho' Real' sandwich format; it is what you would expect---the sausage served with pho accouterments such as Thai basil, sprouts, hoisin, and jalapeno. I certainly recommend a visit, and I will be certainly be aiming for a return visit to continue working my way through the menu.
  14. Cocktails are very good and not all are whiskey-focused, and they usually have a daily special cocktail. The space is cozy because it occupies an old corner store. I’d peg it at about the size of Southern Efficiency on 7th St. in Shaw.
  15. There should be a thread for Dylan's, which should be regarded as the best (or a top 3) restaurant in Hampden. Spotlight here is on oysters, naturally, but easy to say that the remainder of the menu often steals the show. Bar program is high-quality too, with an emphasis on whiskies (the main bartender is a serious whiskey nerd). Highlights over several visits have included: - Coddies - basically giant cod croquettes; these are must haves - Fish sandwich - rotating selection of delicious fried fish on sesame bun with added hots. - Ramp toast - a seriously loaded-up roasted ramp and ricotta (I think? this was in the spring) toast. They occasionally have a burger special, which is supposed to be fantastic, and there is a rumored off-menu item called a "Smasher," which is essentially a coddie with the fish sandwich bun and accouterments. Sidewalk eatin' is great here too with an fun view of the busy intersection of Chestnut Ave. and 36th St. (aka "the Avenue").
  16. monsterriffs


    Blue Pit BBQ in Baltimore has jackfruit tacos as its token vegetarian item on the menu and, which, from what I understand, is the only good item on the menu.
  17. You should go to Dooby's next time. I'm usually really happy with their bibimbaps, but I admit I ought to branch out and explore more of their menu because it's quite extensive and I have no reason to believe it would be bad. Fun fact - a couple of years ago at Maryland Deathfest, the owner of Dooby's had set up a taco stand called Pork Lord Tacos and, in a desert of festival food garbage, they were an oasis. Back to the topic - go to Sugarvale; I may end up there tonight in order to update this thread with additional information.
  18. Rounding out the top 3 current cocktail spots in Baltimore is Sugarvale in Mt. Vernon, from the owners of Dooby's. Rather than focus on a particular spirit or theme, Sugarvale's cocktail menu takes a light-to-dark approach in terms of the strength and flavor profiles of its drinks. So there is a menu of classic cocktails, as well as menus devoted to lighter sipping drinks and spirit-heavy concoctions. Though it's been a minute since I've dropped in, memory recalls consistency over multiple visits. The space is seemingly built out of a basement apartment, and does a good job of maintaining the cozy vibe. Good menu of bar snacks, including some Korean-inspired ones due to the Dooby's connection. You could easily do the Charles St. sweep on one evening starting at Brewers Art, getting dinner at the Helmand, and wrapping up at Sugarvale.
  19. Hampden recently got a proper cocktail bar, the Bluebird Cocktail Room, which took over a former art gallery space that sits above the De Kleine Duivel Belgian beer hall. The space itself is extraordinary. To enter the establishment, you walk through the heated patio that has been outfitted with bench swings for those longer, summer days, up a flight of stairs and through a hallway at which the space opens up in front of you. Marble tables anchor the center of the room, while a long marble bar features to the left of the space and cushioned benches ring the remainder of the room. Cocktails here vary from poor to outstanding, but there are more misses than hits. The price point is, dare I say, far too tied to DC prices and should really come down a couple of bucks across the board. Nevertheless, the liquor selection is excellent, but lately, I have stuck to the Old Fashioned because it is potent and delicious, and is something the bartenders can consistently produce. Bar snacks are also not an afterthought here, and some of the more noteworthy items from the kitchen have been a merguez sausage and a salmon crostini. A batch of fries recently, however, was forgettable. I'm happy to have this space here, but I'd like to see less silliness and more consistency across the board with regard to the drinks.
  20. I love Hersh's so much. Every time I go, everything---especially the pizza---is great to excellent. This place should be italicized in the Dining Guide.
  21. Aromes closed about 6 months ago; Chef Monnier is working on a new space downtown. A new restaurant named Foraged, run by an alum of Blue Hill in NY and Fleet St. Kitchen, has since moved in to the space.
  22. monsterriffs

    McCabe's Restaurant

    McCabe's closed back in 2015. It has since been replaced by Wicked Sisters.
  23. There's no thread for R. House? Guys, c'mon --- it's the closest thing we have to Union Market! If I had to rank the stalls I've tried in there --- no comments on White Envelope (Arepas --- my fiancee was not impressed), ARBA (Mediterranean), Little Baby's Ice Cream, Hilo (poke and sushi) --- it would go as follows: 1) Ground & Griddled - the reincarnation of the beloved, and now shuttered, Cafe Cito in Hampden. Focus is solely on coffee (Stumptown Roasters) and breakfast sandwiches on their signature ciabatta. 2) BRD - had this once and it was an outstanding, ridiculously large fried chicken sandwich. 3) Be.bim - pretty good to occasionally middling bibimbap; usually my go-to option if I'm not feeling anything else. 4) Molina - a new addition; pretty decent brick-oven pizzas that I need to try again now that they've had time to work the kinks out. 4) Stall 11 - caveat: I pretty much get one thing from here, and one thing only, and that's the crispy cauliflower; this thing get me every. damn. time. Done in a Korean BBQ sauce, it's sweet, tangy, and crunchy with plentiful scallions. I wish I was eating some right now! 5) Amano Taco - fugouttahere with this crap; do you love overly stuffed tacos drenched in different variations of a mayo sauce? Really? This sounds like your joint, but I'll just go to Clavel. R. Bar deserves a separate paragraph independent of the numerical ranking because it serves the entire hall. They have a good selection of amari, whiskies, and other fine liquors, as well as good beers. Cocktails range from excellent to wtf-were-they-thinking.
  24. I don't know if I agree with this. Belvedere Square has more of a "market" feel in that there are actual shops from which to buy groceries and other goods (the wine place and Italian market), but the options feel much more limited than R. House or Mt. Vernon Marketplace. Depending on what time you get there, your choices may only be down to Ejji for ramen or Atwater's for sandwiches, etc. I do hope R. House mixes up the stalls because I always thought that place would be an incubator of sorts for new chefs, etc., and there's really only a couple of places that are consistently good.
  25. Was just here a few weeks ago. Cochinita was indeed excellent, and they had some delicious house-made tepache on the drinks menu as well (a current obsession of mine; been making it successfully at home, but the habanero addition brings way too much heat to make it enjoyable on its own).