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About MissCindy

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  1. Coming out of the woodwork to answer your question. It’s going to be 95 degrees this weekend so I am ignoring the outdoor part. Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East would be my first choice close to the harbor, it is too bad Cinghiale doesn’t serve lunch on Sundays. You could also take the water taxi over to Fells Point – it is a lovely ride – and have lunch at the Black Olive or Mezze.
  2. Crackers’ suggestions are all good ones…especially Joung Kak. I really love that place. Charming and strong! Here are a few more. One of my favorite (fairly) new places in town is Salt in Butcher’s Hill. It would require a short drive, a mile or two east on Pratt Street. It doesn’t spring to mind as being super kid friendly but if you arrive early, it should be fine. Parking in that neighborhood can be tight, so I’d advise looking for a spot as soon as you cross Washington Street and walking a few blocks to the restaurant at the corner of Pratt & Collington. SoBo Café in Federal Hill is probably not a bad choice with children in tow. Casual comfort food. It sounds like your days are pretty full but it is worth keeping the water taxi in mind. If the weather is good, it is a very pleasant way to get around from the Inner Harbor with stops in South Baltimore, Fells Point, Canton and several others in between. Blue Moon is a good breakfast spot on Aliceanna in Fells Point (get there early to avoid crowds) as is Bonaparte Bakery & Café on Ann St. Upper Fells Point has become the hub of Baltimore’s Hispanic community. Tortilleria & Tacos, at Eastern & Broadway is a great choice for a taco. A bit of a walk from the water taxi stop, though. A much easier walk from the Fells Point water taxi stop is a likable little Indian restaurant called Mehek, on the square (on Broadway). In Canton, the only place I go with any regularity is Mama's on the Half Shell. Casual seafood in a traditional Baltimore kind of way. The water taxi also stops at Tide Point in South Baltimore where Harvest Table serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. And, on Sunday morning the farmer’s market will be happening under the JFX at Holiday & Saratoga. Go hungry. Highly recommended.
  3. We spent some time in Arles a few years ago. Well, actually, it was more than a few years ago now. In fact, we were in the Roman amphitheater in the middle of town when someone heard us speaking English, asked if we were Americans and told us that there was “disaster” at home. He went on to say that the Pentagon “is burning” and planes had struck the World Trade Center in NYC. He then pretty much ordered us to get to a television at once. It still makes me shudder when I think of it. Anywho, my favorite food stuffs that I remember off the top: the lavender and olive oil ice cream, cranberry beans, charcuterie, lavender honey, olives and of course, cheese. And, as for the pleasantly plump—I agree. I saw plenty of that in the small towns and countryside. Not so much in Paris, though. It was a good trip but it was heavily colored by 9/11. I will never forget how well we were treated by people in France in the days following the “disaster.”
  4. Sometimes dreams really do come true. National Bohemian, although it is no longer from the Land of Pleasant Living, is available at Camden Yards this season. My food strategy at games is simple but it does require a bit of prep. I bring in food from the outside. And, more importantly, I bring a "bar in a bag." It involves a messenger style bag with lots of separate compartments, one water bottle filled with gin and another with tonic, plastic cups, ice and lime slices. It works because they allow you to bring in your own water at Camden Yards (without checking to see if the seal has been broken) -- something that a surprising number of parks don't allow.
  5. I like the carnitas tacos at Tulcingo Del Valle on 10th between 46th and 47th...close by yet worlds away from Times Square.
  6. It is true that Samos gets the people's choice award for Greektown and with good reason. The portions are huge, the pita is buttery and chicken is tender. It is BYOB. It often gets so overcrowded that Nick hangs a sign on the door turning people away for the rest of the evening. The last time this happened to us, we went to Zorba’s. I liked it. The night we were there, the place was packed. And, unlike Samos, it was packed with Greek people. It was so filled with Greek people that we were a bit of a novelty act at the bar as we sat waiting for a table, drinking retsina. The Greeks, meanwhile, continued to smoke, drink, watch soccer, listen to Greek pop music (btw, why is horrible pop music so much more palatable when it is in a foreign language?) and have very boisterous conversations. Zorba’s is a long, narrow space with a bar and a few tables on the first floor and a second floor dining room. At the end of the downstairs room is the grill. You can see all sorts of critters turning on the spit and your experience at Zorba’s will be best if you stick to the spit. Get a piece of charcoal grilled meat of your choice, the potatoes and the green beans with tomatoes. The green beans will be badly overcooked. I like them anyway. There is a good chance you will take half your dinner home with you. Another mom-n-pop place in Greektown is Mylos. I had lunch there not too long ago and it wasn’t bad. My least favorite of the three but I’d be willing to go back. Grilled fish with those same potatoes and overcooked green beans that I just can’t seem to stop eating. The woman who took our order made the food. It was uncrowded and very quiet. When we told her we were too full for dessert she gave us some anyway. The best thing about daytime visits to Greektown is sampling the baklava from the Greek Village Bakery and the Greektown Bakery. I don’t know enough about Greek food to name all the varieties but I love the stuff that looks like it has shredded wheat on the top. And, there are several “social” clubs along Eastern Avenue…if you can tolerate the smoke, they are great places to stop in for a Turkish coffee and an interesting cultural experience.
  7. I love Martick's. The food isn't great but I love it anyway. I confess that I am fond of the admittedly too sweet sweet potato soup, though. Morris is a real, live geniune character and his restaurant reflects that in spades. One of my very best friends in the world used to work there many moons ago. She *swore* that he used to cook naked except for socks and shoes. And, when the food was done he would hold the plate up against his chest and make her walk up to him to retrieve it. This yummy tidbit has served to enhance his reputation in my eyes, although I've never had the nerve to ask him if it was true. On the many occasions I've been there, he's always been fully clothed. And, I find that Martick's is also useful as a bright line test--if you can't appreciate Martick's, then you are more than likely fundamentally and irreparably uncool.
  8. I believe that he said buh bye to Merkado some time ago. In fact, I spotted him working the cash register at Iggie's, his former Soigne partner's pizza joint in Mt. Vernon. I did a complete double take and thought "nah, that can't be him." But it was. A week later, I had dinner at Salt (which was highly enjoyable, btw) and a waiter there (who used to work at Soigne) confirmed that Edward had something in the works back here in Mobtown. I was left with the impression that he was quite unhappy at Merkado. I'm glad he's back.
  9. I think that virtually everyone who is from Baltimore has been to Tio Pepe's and there are still people who love it. At this point, there are many, many other places where I would rather spend my money. Sadly, I am convinced that the only way to get a good meal there is to know the secret handshake. My neighbor, a well traveled and fairly sophisticated eater, swears by it. BUT, her father went to Tio Pepe's so often that he had "his own table." The people there have known her since childhood and she orders things that aren't listed on the menu. They take very good care of her. I'd go to Tio Pepe's with her or someone like her but not on my own. The last meal I had there was hideous beyond belief. But, as others have pointed out the sangria is always good. And, if you have enough of it you will forget about the food.
  10. I think that Hampton's is the hands down winner over Pisces. But, I would also consider Abacrombie Fine Foods. They start serving brunch at noon on Sundays. They are less than a mile north of Center Stage so it would allow you to park the car once and walk to both. The food is great and the room is nice but not in the queen for a day way that Hampton's is.
  11. My favorite downtown breakfast spot, Werner’s, is a Monday through Friday operation. A crying shame. And, I don’t think the Hollywood Diner is open on weekends yet, either. I know for sure they are open on Sunday mornings when the downtown farmer’s market is open, but that isn't until the first Sunday in May. So, other than the hotels, I can’t think of anything in the Inner Harbor itself. All of my favorite breakfast spots are in neighborhoods so, if you can find your way out of the harbor, here are some suggestions. Golden West in Hampden, Blue Moon in Fells Point, Bonaparte Bakery in Fells Point. Have also heard good things about Harvest Table in Locust Point. If good coffee and a muffin will suffice, BlueHouse in Harbor East may be walkable for you, if it is a nice day. And, if good croissants will do, Patisserie Poupon is open on Saturdays. It is on E. Baltimore Street, just behind the Shot Tower. City Café in Mt. Vernon is fine for breakfast and again, if it is a nice day, not too long of a walk. It is located in a great old building that was originally a car dealer. Much later, it morphed into a notorious disco, Girard’s. Girard’s then turned into an equally notorious punk club, still called Girard’s. I once saw Stiv Bators play there in his Lords of the New Church days. He hung from a cable in the ceiling, upside down, for at least 45 minutes of the show. It was his birthday and someone brought out a giant cake. The crowd went wild, grabbing big chunks of the cake--eating it, throwing it and climbing onto the stage to rub it all over him while he hung upside down. Stiv kept singing and the band kept playing. City Café isn’t nearly as entertaining but you can get a cup of coffee and a waffle.
  12. I was also at Pazo on Saturday night with a group of friends from my neighborhood. I rarely go to Pazo on weekends just because it is so insanely crowded. We must have a very different definition of hip because I just wasn’t feeling it at all on Saturday night. I thought the crowd was pretty pedestrian and regretfully, I completely missed anything that remotely resembled a “freak show.” I thought the food was as good as ever. All of my favs were spot on – the seared bronzini, slow cooked lamb, tunno crudo, whole wheat fougasse, malloreddus, involtini di tunno. Lots of other plates were passed around the table that I can’t recall because of high alcohol consumption. The one thing that I did not care for was a pizza, simply because it was undercooked. I like a charred crust.
  13. Alonso's in Hampden? Not a chance. I love neighborhood boundary discussions so here goes. Alonso's is actually in a neighborhood known as Keswick but now commonly referred to as Alonsoville. There are several distinct neighborhoods that are surrounded by Roland Park and often lumped in with it, much to the chagrin of the true Roland Parkers. Keswick, Evergreen and Tuxedo Park fall into that pot but it is fairly obvious when you take a look around - the houses in those neighborhoods are much more modest and are not the architectural marvels that Roland Park houses are. Hampden's northern boundary is 40th Street and Cold Spring Lane is well north of 40th. But, most people aren't interested in all of that and I think it is generally accepted that Alonso's is in Roland Park. And, even though it doesn't feel like, except when home owners receive their tax bills, Roland Park is within Baltimore City limits.
  14. Yes, the Classic Catering people also own Loco Hombre and yes, to enter Loco Hombre, you walk through Alonso's. They also planted their demon seed across the street in what used to be the Hair Cuttery. It is now a breakfast place called Miss Shirley's.
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