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December 11, 2007

Top Ten Restaurants Open Christmas Day



This list has more hotel dining rooms on it than I had hoped, but it turned out that some of the restaurants Open Table lists as serving Christmas dinner (Pazza Luna, Trapeze) actually aren't, I was told when I called. That glitch may have been fixed by the time you read this.

I called some restaurants I hoped would be open but aren't, like Antrim 1844. Still, there are more open than when I used to make up a list for my Table Talk column 15 years ago, and the list was about two.  Restaurants are catching on that people these days like to eat out, even on the major holidays.

I wanted to give a range of options so that people who are just looking for a place that isn't Chinese and people who are willing to spend major amounts of money on a special holiday meal will find something to like. I also hope that if I missed any, restaurants will feel free to post what they have to offer below. ...



*Bistro 300 in the Hyatt downtown has been recently renovated; it will be open its regular hours with its regular menu. Pisces, the Hyatt's fancier restaurant, will be closed; and, in fact, will be closed after New Year's Eve for the month of January.

*Brightons in the Intercontinental Harbor Court Hotel will be one of the prettiest places to have Christmas dinner. It will probably be just offering its regular menu with a few festive touches.

*Chart House in Annapolis plans to be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The regular menu, with its emphasis on seafood, will be served, plus holiday specials that haven't been decided yet.

*Eichenkranz will be serving its regular menu of German and American dishes plus a special holiday dinner of turkey and ham. It will be open from 8:30 a.m. (for breakfast!) to 8 p.m., at least that's what they told me; but I would call closer to Christmas Day to make sure that doesn't change.

*Grille 700 in the Marriott, Harbor East, does contemporary American food. I went when it first opened and had a good meal for a hotel restaurant. It will be serving its regular menu all day.

*Jimmy's Famous Seafood (6526 Holabird Ave. in Dundalk, 410-633-4040) will have a Christmas menu, but the details haven't been finalized. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

*McCormick & Schmick's in the Inner Harbor is serving its regular menu from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a few holiday specials, says the chef, but they will be seafood.

*Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis is kind of a funky choice for Christmas dinner, but it will be open after 6 p.m. serving its regular menu. I just found out the Baltimore location's restaurant closed this past weekend.

*Sotto Sopra in Mount Vernon will have a special menu; the details haven't been set yet. Hours: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

*Sherwood's Landing in the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels is a trek for Baltimoreans, but there is a holiday package with lodging available. Or you can just have dinner there from noon to 8 p.m. The regular menu is being served with some holiday dishes.


(John Makely/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:25 AM | | Comments (75)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Thanks, Elizabeth, for this list. Now all I have to do is decide where to go! I am intrigued by breakfast at Eichenkranz. Then I could walk that off as I make my way to Brightons for lunch. Another brisk walk around the Inner Harbor and up Charles Street for Christmas dinner at Sotto Sopra. What a gastronomic treat - my Christmas present to me. Anyone interested in joining the tour? LOL - Happy Holidays, all!

Interesting list of the Top-10 "non-Chinese" places to go on Christmas.
But how about a list of the Top 10 Chinese restaurants to dine on Christmas????

Hunan Manner in Columbia would be at or near the top of my list. Mr. Chan's in Pikesville is pretty good too, as is the Chinatown Cafe on park Ave. I believe Ming's in Timonium is closed but that WAS a good one.

Back in the 70's and 80's, I used to go to the Golden Star on Greenmount--it was the best in town. The original "Uncle Lee's" was right across the street and it was fantastic as well. Haven't been to Golden Star in about 15 years. Is it still there, and is it still as good as it was 20 years ago. Back then it was the best egg roll in the city.

Not sure if its open Christmas Day, but the Dogwood restaurant in Hampden has a marvelous three-course Sephardic Hanukkah dinner through this month.

On Christmas Eve, they're also having a Irish take on the Feast of Seven Fishes.

i don't understand why restaurant owner's open on a day such as christmas. I'll bet that they will stay home but someone else he'll run his businees and do not care that others might have family as well to be with.
All this people should be ashamed of themselves to put others in a such a position.

Movie cliches aside, we were glad to find a Chinese restaurant open in Paris on Christmas Day 1991. We enjoyed the food as well as the view of the decorated but deserted Champs Elysee through the front window.

“i don't understand why restaurant owner's open on a day such as christmas.”

On principle, I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, we all know why some restauranteurs opt to open on Christmas, an opportunity for large profits. I hope those who choose to go to a restaurant on Christmas day realize that their decision to patronize a restaurant is the cause of the restaurant workers having to work a 14+ hour day, after having just finished a grueling shift the night before - and consequently, have no opportunity to spend any time with their families.

A friend once told me an amusing story about a Christmas restaurant double shift of his. He was waiting on a family, and the sixteen year old son had to leave early for his shift at MacDonald’s... or a movie theatre or something. The father was enraged that the son’s employer opened on Christmas day and his son was required to work. All the while stuffing his face in an open restaurant and snapping his fingers for service.

I feel emergency medical workers should be required to work on Christmas. Begrudgingly, hotels and their employees also need to be functioning. Otherwise, EVERYTHING else should be closed. I never spend a penny on services Christmas day. I admire restaurant and gas station owners who choose to close on Christmas day. They’re making the noble decision at the expense of their own profits.

A lot of us, for various reasons would rather eat out on Christmas than sit at home, alone, eating a nuked TV turkey dinner. So, get off your high-horses and realise that not everyone has your Ozzie & Harriet lives.

Its a particular 'gift' to be out and enjoy a nice/fine meal on this holiday. So, if you're open on Christmas and not already listed, please post to the blog. Its free advertising (EL's gift to you) and some of us will likely join you.

“i don't understand why restaurant owner's open on a day such as christmas.”

What about restaurants in jewish areas of the country?

There's no reason why a business in with a significant Jewish clientele should be guilted into closing every year on December 25th.

Also, a lot of bars are open on Christmas day, but guess what, most of them open late in the day so that their employees can spend tha morning and afternoon with their families. And guess what, Christmas night is a huge bar night for the young professional "20-somethings" who don't have kids, who no longer live at home, and who for the most part probably have the next day off as well.

And I'll tell you soemthing, in those establishments, the staff probably get taken care of very well for working on Christmas, on top of their tips they get for the night.

Heh. Gee-whiz, the responses to my comment are certainly filled with the Christmas spirit, aren’t they.

“A lot of us, for various reasons would rather eat out on Christmas than sit at home, alone, eating a nuked TV turkey dinner.”

Perhaps, but I am sure that many restaurant workers would like to spend Christmas with their families. Open presents with their children, or nieces and nephews, play a little touch football, etc. But alas, they worked until 1 or 2 a.m. the night before and have to be at work at 8 or 9 the next morning and will have to work until midnight. Christmas shift is generally an all employee, all hands on deck from morning to close shift.

MJ, on the jewish clientele argument, I think it is important to note that not one of the restaurants listed above are anywhere near the jewish areas. The restaurants listed are offering a special christmas dinner, targeted towards customers who are celebrating christmas. The root of my argument centers on the employees who are required to work, not the customers. And in keeping with my argument, I think it is unforgivable for any employer to require his jewish employees to work on a jewish high holy day - unless that employee works in an emergency medical capacity. I will concede, though, Chinese food on Christmas is something that I have no problem with, if the employees of the Chinese restaurants are not celebrators of Christmas, of course. Dukem will also be open, and as the employees celebrate Christmas on a different day, I think this is also justified.

“And I'll tell you soemthing, in those establishments, the staff probably get taken care of very well for working on Christmas...”

Actually, they’re not. Hotels pay time and a half on christmas. The servers, consequently, earn less than $6 an hour. Restaurant not associated with hotels generally pay standard wages.

“ ...on top of their tips they get for the night.” As I explained earlier, as I’m specifically addressing restaurant workers, the shift is morning, day AND night, and the earnings are generally equivalent to an average Saturday.

As for bars... well, you actually have a strong argument. Most of the bartenders I know don’t mind working Saturday night... as the bars that open usually only open at 9 p.m., giving them the entire day to enjoy with their families. If only “restaurant” workers had it so good.

" ...mind working Saturday night" Oops, I meant Christmas night.

elizabeth i did it again......raise an important issue.
anyway i usually do not reply to people reply my messages but i make an ecception for mj, i have no idea why you made such a comment, first of all i am in the restaurant business for the last 18 years and for the last 9 i live in the US and i can tell you this on christmas restaurants do not make any money and as owner i would not open on that day because you kind of forcing people to worked the day and when you force people to do something they will not apply themselves at 100%.
also i used to go out on christmas nights when i was single and bars were not busy as you say and yes this places open late instead 7pm they open at 9pm, boooo, big deal.
to end this message it's to at least respect this people working on that day some might do not care but alot more really care.
Ooh-oh-ohh Merry Christamas and Buon Natale

'The anti-scrooge', I think not. I've been told to sit home alone, eat my frozen turkey dinner and enjoy it. May I at least have a lump of coal in my stocking, the anti-scrooge?

"sit at home, alone, eating a nuked TV turkey dinner" - So does this mean you eat out alone, on Christmas of all holidays, as well?

Elizabeth, when will we see your 10 restaurants for eating solo? I think it might be useful even for this season that ought to be spent with others (such as family/friends/community/loved one) and not just another customer in a restaurant that has workers who might not want to be there in the first place.

Didn't I do that yet? :-)

To Eric:

Did the majority of Christmases for the last 10 years. (Other years with a friend.) I don't mind: its nice to be out amongst people & I have my trusty book for reading. I'm not looking for sympathy, just a nice place to eat. (The why of 'alone' is not relevant to this blog.)

“i don't understand why restaurant owner's open on a day such as christmas.”

That's so almost gracious of you. In my case, I'm hoping to take my ordinarily nursing-facility-bound father out for a Christmas dinner (leaving the facility is quite a special treat), along with other family members who will travel here to be with him. He can't travel long distances, so it's here, or not. So either we all try to eat in the Nursing Facility (not a good idea), or we try to find some restaurant where they realize that Christmas-out is not a sin against nature. Sadly, if they do stay open for us, they have to endure the slings and arrows of holier-than-thou whiners whose world-view comes from nonstop Rush Limbaugh. Curious. But not very gracious.

On occasion I eat at a bar solo and at any restaurant is fine for me. And I appreciate that time by myself as you do. I guess its a personal preference because I can't bear to think of doing that on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or any other civic or religious holiday for that matter.

Robert, my concern in this instance, namely, the restaurant workers, is for others on Christmas. Your concern for Christmas is you. Your decision or desire to have many options takes Christmas away from others. You express absolutely no concern over this, and you want me to be concerned for you, even though the welfare of others over this is something you don’t care about? You’ve made it abundantly clear that you don’t care how many people lose their Christmas, as long as you have many options, a tasty meal and a nice place to read a book.

Options you have that do not rob others of their Christmas:







Consider these and spare me the turkey tv dinner little violin song and dance.

Curious, it’s funny to me how you assume that all who disagree with your would view must listen to some radio personality whom you apparently demonize. I don’t quite see how Rush Limbaugh falls into this argument, unless you are trying to equate my argument so some ‘War on Christmas’ nonsense. I am neither a christian or a conservative, but I do celebrate Christmas. I have never listened to Rush Limbaugh or any other talk radio blowhard, conservative or liberal. To carry the logic of your argument to its conclusion, liberals feel that all services employed by workers that are of a lesser social strata than yourself should be open on Christmas for your convenience and pleasure, and conservatives are more concerned for the welfare of the service class. Hmmmm? You paint a very interesting picture of cultural political positions. Of course, it is a very different picture from the one I’ve always assumed to be true.

Should we establish a boxer day in this country so all the service employees can have a christmas day too after serving all of us on the real Christmas? I’ve always thought that we had egalitarian ideals that made concepts like Boxer Day unnecessary in this country. Perhaps I was wrong.

Forget the rhetoric. If restaurant owners decide to seek profits on Christmas, and you intend to patronize these businesses, just remember, those people serving you, and those people cooking your food, and those people cleaning your dishes don’t get a Christmas. They’re not working a single shift. They’re working from morning until midnight. EVERY Christmas. EVERY Easter. EVERY Thanksgiving. It’s interesting to me that people don’t think twice about that, on Christmas of all days. Robert is concerned about himself. Curious is equating limited service options on Christmas to a vast right-wing conspiracy and portraying restaurant profiteering as an act of charity. Will you be thanking the line cooks? Will you be slipping dish washers tips? No, you’ll be thanking the restaurant owner of all people. Amazing.

It's part of the deal of working in the service industry that you may be asked to work on a holiday. If you're not willing to do that, then get some other kind of job. It comes with the territory (service). There is obviously a demand for dining out at christmas, and not all service workers even celebrate christmas or celebrate it in the same way.

It seems people here are assuming that all the service people either a) are christian or b) didn't understand when taking their job that you have to make sacrifices that come with the nature of the industry.

Some of the responses also assume that people have family in the area and, if they do, actually want to spend time with them. That's a lot of assumptions.

If people care so much about workers' rights on christian holidays, they should vote for democrats and support unions, who negotiate contracts for workers. When I was a union member and worked holidays, I was paid handsomely for it. And if I didn't want to work a holiday, there were plenty of people who would, given the double pay.

Whoa--this discussion has veered pretty far from the original topic, hasn't it? I wish some good soul would invite Robert to the Christmas table, but something tells me he would prefer to be alone with his book.

When I worked in the service industry, we alternated each year between working on Christmas and working on Thanksgiving. Everyone had either one or the other, but could trade off with willing co-workers if needed, or work both, if desired.
We made time and a half on holidays and the tips were always excellent.

We always did a huge lot of business on holidays - mostly solo diners, but also several couples and many familes. Whatever their reasons for eating out were mostly their own.

I remember one family in particular who had to do this one year when they opened the oven to check on the turkey and found that the oven had died.

Of course this was more years ago than I care to count.

This exchange has got me wondering...what does everyone do to thank EMS, fire and law enforcement personnel who are required to work on holidays, their kids' birthdays, etc.? Ever drop off holiday cookies at your local fire station? Buy a ham on Easter? Say thank you?

Many work 24 hr. shifts and won't get to tear open presents on Christmas morning before heading off to work or make up for it by having dinner that evening. Therefore, a really nice dinner reminiscent of family favorites becomes a playful hodge-podge at the dinner tables of your local fire stations on holidays - Joe's refrigerator rolls, with Mark's mom's lasagna, with Mary's fried plaintains along with tres leches for dessert, Danny's fried turkey, etc.

Elizabeth, you did a Make Over My Meal a while ago with with an air medical transport team. Perhaps a call in to them on what's going to be on the dinner table for Christmas might inspire?

And once again, Elizabeth, this is a fine mess you have gotten us Can't we all just get along?

It's always the most unexpected and seemingly innocuous topics, too.

LJ, I have no stats at hand but am willing to estimate that a least 90% of people in the service industry in this country celibrate Christmas: whether practicing Christians or not. I myself am not a Christian, but I celibrate Christmas.

There simply being a demand for services being open on Christmas does not justify service industries being open. As Elizabeth Large stated in the beginning of this post, 15 years ago it was nearly impossible to find an open restaurant... and this wasn't because being open on Christmas lacked profitability; it was because it was more frowned upon in the past for employers to demand that they’re employees to work on Christmas.

The only presumptions that I’m willing to make about restaurant workers is that they very likely need a job and that they may want to celibrate Christmas. I am not willing to presume that they are qualified in other fields. If I presume that they may not celebrate Christmas, that they may not have families or other loved ones in the area and that if they do, they probably don’t want to see them anyway, then my presumptions would be both self serving and in more than 90% of cases contrary to the truth.

For whatever reason, unions have failed to infiltrate the restaurant business for the past 1-200 years. Something tells me they’ll fail to infiltrate the restaurant business in the forceable future.

The nurses I know, as an example of unionized employees, have very intricate holiday schedules. There is not increased demand for nursing on holidays, only limited supply. If you work this Thanksgiving, then you don’t have to next Thanksgiving or this Christmas. When you work a holiday, you receive double pay. Your shifts are only 12 hours long. This isn’t how it works in the restaurant business. If your employer chooses to be open on holidays, EVERYONE has to work with no exceptions on ALL holidays. The shifts are at least 14 hours for the servers and 16 or more in the kitchen. In restaurants that are not connected to hotels (which this post is promoting the proliferation of) all employees receive regular pay.

Whether I vote democrat or republican, whether I support unions or not, unions and the restaurant business will remain unassociated entities and the working conditions for restaurant employees will remain the same. This seems to make everyone happy, as everyone seems to be thrilled by the notion of increased services being available on Christmas. Everyone, except, for the restaurant employees, of course. And who is going to speak up for them? Unions? I’m not speaking for myself. I don’t need to work on Christmas. But apparently my life and restaurant worker’s lives are Ozzie & Harriotesque. Apparently, being concerned for the restaurant workers makes me a fan of Rush Limbaugh. Apparently, I’m the “whiner,” even though Robert and Curious are the ones that are presenting their own tales of woe. Curious indeed.

oh my Santa Claus what's happening here what did I do?
anyway this is for curious, i feel really sorry about what you said especially if last year i had to spend Christmas in the hospital nursing my own 4 years old baby for something seriouss.thats one of the reasons i really hate people been forced to work on such holidays, but on the same time i tell you this people do not want to work on this holidays because of that i saved my daughter, because on Christmas day we waited 2 hours for anyone to comeback and check on us to see i she was doing and soon i transfer her to another hospital they stick in her morphine for the pain.
so my point is if you can and believe to it, spend this holidays at home with your family, food its fun make your own dinner be proud to serve your own food to your own family, BUT if you decide to spend such a important (for many) when you sit down in any of this places make sure you respect this people more than other day's, when they serve you they'll be thinking of they're family.
For the anti-scrooge, great stuff you put in there.
Thank you and wish everyone a happy and safe holiday

Well thank you, The anti-scrooge. I had not realised what a thoughtless monster I was when I ask about reataurants open on Chritmas. You have been a great help to a wretch like me.

One small point, well two actually. I never mentioned Mr. Limbuagh. And if you can at least look down from your high horse, frozen turkey is an attempt at light humour. Something you seem singularly lacking.

"I feel emergency medical workers should be required to work on Christmas. Begrudgingly, hotels and their employees also need to be functioning. Otherwise, EVERYTHING else should be closed."

This would make for a fairly nonexistent newspaper the day after Christmas. Just sayin' ...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for trying insert some calm into this issue. I am a frequent reader but seldom make comments. Now I feel even less inclined, this negativity is enough to put me off this blog.

Well, my Jewish wife goes over to my parents house for Christmas dinner where she receives Christmas presents. She also receives Hanukka gifts as well from me...I'm not sure how she worked that angle.

Anyway, we would never go out for Christmas dinner.

Oh, and I'm another Robert...the Pro Christmas Robert. I also like America and puppies.

And you like poking ant hills with a stick. :-)

For nearly two decades, in the food service industry, I have worked every weekend, holiday, and special function. I have never been paid any extra for those days. It is what I am good at and I actually enjoy being one of the guys that makes all those occasions special. I love preparing and presenting the food. I love serving the food. I love helping patrons have the best time of their lives. I really love what I do.

I love my family too.

So, with that in mind, I have a Christmas wish.

I wish that everyone could have his or her big Christmas meal on Christmas Eve. I wish you the best of times. With your family or by yourself. With a book by the fireplace or friends at the bar. I am happy to serve and make it the best.

Then you can have your Christmas and I can have mine.

Merry Christmas everyone.

wow, quite a debate. I thought that there wouldn't have been restaurants open on Christmas 15-20 years because perhaps there wasn't a demand.

Please remember that there are the family cooks that might like a day off from cooking, so going out is a treat!

Then there are the people who think they can cook and they can't, ovens that go up, lost electricity, family emergecies that happen during the holidays, Squabbling families--sometimes it is better to eat out then start ww3 at the dinner table.
The exhausted new mom who has ENTIRE family over because they thought it would be easier

I fully appreciate all those who work those holidays. I also know that there are lots of folks who don't celebrate xmas and they should have more than two options during that day

Yikes. This has gotten out of hand. Remember, people, we’re talking about Christmas. I’ve been a server in the industry for 17 years. I pretty much second everything Bill said above. I love what I do and I love doing it well. I don’t mind working Easter. I don’t mind working Thanksgiving. But Christmas, well... let’s just say that I love what I do 364 days of the year. I have such ugly memories of my days working in the hotel business. Hating all the customers with my coworkers all day long was so exhausting, with all of my family in town angry at me and not understanding I couldn’t even stop by to say hello. I was simply too exhausted and overworked after nearly a month of working Christmas parties. Christmas was a very long day. Thankfully, I now work for a restauranteur who insists that we close, for us. Like Bill said, please come in on Christmas Eve. We can still love you then. Merry Christmas!

Funny that Christmas Day is one of the biggest days for movie houses. So there must be a bunch of people out there who want (or need) to get out of the house. My local pub always opens at 6pm on Christmas.
The owner says it's cause by that time people have had it with families. And he always has a crowd.

stumbled across this short list and wondered if it might help someone, somewhere, find a meal on Christmas day.

FYI: some Chinese people are Baptists; in fact, there's a certain road in Montgomery County with *three* Chinese Baptist chuches within a mile of each other.

You can't just pick a certain food nationality and assume that poor Robert will be safe from
participating in the persecution of Christian wait staff.

I thought I was done, but: thanks dancing monkey.

Another spot you might want to try...M&S Grill located in the Inner Harbor. They will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 12 a.m.-5 p.m. and they will also be open on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Reservations can be made by calling 410-547-9333. Cheers!

If you ask me the competition out there is fierce as far as restaurants go. Usually it's just plain foolish for one to stay closed on Xmas when the one across the street is open. Also, there are so many diverse cultures in our society these days. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. I make sure that the wait staff knows how much they are appreciated as well.

Don't Know Tavern will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The bar and the kitchen will be open with employees that want to work or need to work, otherwise it would be closed. There are a lot of people that want to go out for a drink after spending all day with the family.

Christmas Eve 11am-2am
Christmas Day 4pm-2am

Thanks. I meant to post this, and I forgot. EL

I called around yesterday and every chain in White Marsh and Towson is closed on Christmas Day. So is Mezze in FP.

That said, Chopstix in Perry Hall is open and that's where we will be eating after a movie.


This exchange has got me wondering...what does everyone do to thank EMS, fire and law enforcement personnel who are required to work on holidays, their kids' birthdays, etc.? Ever drop off holiday cookies at your local fire station? Buy a ham on Easter? Say thank you?

Many work 24 hr. shifts and won't get to tear open presents on Christmas morning before heading off to work or make up for it by having dinner that evening. Therefore, a really nice dinner reminiscent of family favorites becomes a playful hodge-podge at the dinner tables of your local fire stations on holidays - Joe's refrigerator rolls, with Mark's mom's lasagna, with Mary's fried plaintains along with tres leches for dessert, Danny's fried turkey, etc.

Thanks for reminding everyone of this. Unless you know a firefighter, police officer, or EMT, you tend to forget. Their schedule knows no holidays. It is what it is and they do it, even when it means risking their life for you. They do it again and again. And they don't complain.

It isn't just police, fire and medics who work on holidays. Emergency dispatchers, nurses, docs (maybe), nursing home personnel, convenience store and gas station clerks, restaurant staff at those that are open, cabbies, bus drivers, security guards, hotel staff, computer geeks...there are a lot of people working, mostly in poorly paid, forgotten jobs. If they are lucky, they'll get time and a half. If they aren't, they'll get nothing or "comp" time.

If you were wondering who Dorothy Fuchs might be, here you go...

from the Baltimore Examiner

Independent PR professionals allow companies to customize

BALTIMORE - Dorothy Fuchs understands small businesses because she owns one.

“Clients like the fact that they are entrepreneurs and I am an entrepreneur,” she said. “We understand each other and there is a certain mentality that goes along with that.”

After working at various agencies, Fuchs started her own public relations company, called Purple Dot Public Relations, in May of 2003.

“I love being an independent practitioner,” she said. “I love the clients that I work with; I am my own boss and although I work more hours than I used to, I work them smarter. I don’t have as many meetings as I did when I worked in organizations, so I have a lot more time to focus on the work that I’m doing.”

Fuchs currently works with eight to 10 clients, including the M&S Grill, Historic Savage Mill, Baltimore Main Streets, Max’s Taphouse and more.

“The beauty of being independent is that if I have a client [who wants something bigger], I can form a virtual agency, with an independent graphic designer or web designer,” she said. “I can customize what the client wants and bring in the person who really fits the bill.”

McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant has been a client of Fuchs’ for the past eight years.

“I think it’s the personal relations that she has with us that separate her from a big company,” said Kevin Bonner, executive general manager of the restaurant. “She gives her own personal touch to the success of our events.”

I'm not Christian, and I resent being forced to "celebrate" Christian holidays. For years, I worked every single Christian holiday so my co-workers could spend time with their families. Which I didn't mind. I'd to it again.

But, since a small group of fundamentalist Christians started trying to shove their love of Jesus down everyone's throat with the help of local, state and federal governments, I'm over it.

As for whoever it was that said if you don't like working Christmas, just get another job - are you kidding? You think jobs and careers grow on trees?

Lissa, My complaint is that the sidewalks roll up on Christmas, like it's some kind of state enforced holiday!


My 2 cents is likely worth even less, but my thought is this: having establishments open on Christmas Day (and trust me, I would hate it if I had to work on Christmas Day, if that factors into how much weight you give my opinion) is simply a sign of the times, and I think it's a good sign. Some might argue capitalism has taken too strong of a hold, but I think it's potentially a sign of equalization amongst religions. Such deference is paid in this country, traditionally, to Christian holidays - one needs simply to note that the vast majority of offices are closed for all of the "major" Christian holidays and exactly NONE of the holidays of the world's other religions. Some schools in our area now close for Jewish holidays, but I would venture to guess that is not the case in even every county of Maryland. Anyway, if we value the melting pot atmosphere of our country and believe in the separation of church and state... well, you get my drift.

I will say that only one Chinese restaurant in Federal Hill was open last year on Christmas, Sun Hing - and yes, I know that because after a 3 p.m. dinner I was hungry again at 8 p.m. Thanks Sun Hing!

I prefer the religion of capitalism over the capitalism of religion.

very wise indeed, oh, Feathered One!

BTW, RtSO, it's true. You DID get your butt kicked all over Baltimore last year for expressing the wish to find places that would be opened! Well, you have a few comrades this year (besides book).

I usually enjoy working the big holidays. I am a server and on the big days the patrons are more relaxed and happy than an average night. And the kitchen staff is too. Complaining that you want to spend the day with family is just so uncreative. I arrange with my family to celebrate before or after the big day so there is plenty of family time to enjoy. My better half is a retired cop, and the same went there. A lot of people have to work, so just be a little flexible and enjoy. And yes, taking in good food to the precincts and fire stations is usually very well received.

The only holiday I hate working is Easter brunch. I haven't figured out why, but people are miserable that day. I think they should make that one all capitalist too, you know, lose the meaning of Easter and make it about presents or something. Then everyone can enjoy it, not just Christians. B/c you don't need to be religious to celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. You just have to like big dinners, sparkly lights, and visiting family. And who doesn't like sparkly lights?

Hands down, the best night I work is New Years Eve. I am getting paid, still have a blast, and the patrons are, without fail, in a great mood.

I suppose that some of you will spend at least a little time of Christmas Day reading the newspaper, which is not produced by elves. I'll be at the desk tonight, forgoing the annual holy supper with my wife's family and the Christmas Eve music and Eucharist at my parish.

If you go to a movie, watch television or listen to the radio on Christmas, then you are requiring people to be at work. If you have to travel over the holiday, people will be at work in your hotel. If your aged parent is in a nursing home, someone will be providing care.

A complex society cannot be shut down as easily as was the case when "blue laws" were widely in effect. And frankly, most people (I suspect including a few who have posted here) would not want the entire city, state and nation to shut down apart from police, fire, hospitals and the military.

And while it is commendable to be concerned about restaurant workers who do not get the holiday, it seems singularly ungracious to turn that concern into an attack on someone looking for a meal on Christmas Day as a heartless exploiter of the workers.

Ms JW, I've been following this year's discussion and its amazing what a difference a year makes. The interesting thing is that, if anything, the Sandbox is less inhibited now than it was, but this has been a very restrained discussion. Maybe I should ask where I could take my squealing 4-year old on Christmas. That one stills seems to get the juices flowing.

Well, Happy Christmas to all (or not if that offends you.)

Well, let me add my two cents...if you do not want to work on a holiday, go to school and get an education in a field that will never work on the holidays. Simple Solution! to those who think it is okay to ask one group to work while all others should be home with their families is unfair...("I feel emergency medical workers should be required to work on Christmas. Begrudgingly, hotels and their employees also need to be functioning. Otherwise, EVERYTHING else should be closed." )

I am a Paramedic/Firefighter, I work 24 hour shifts and it does not matter what holiday or family event or milestone someone in my family is celebrating, I have to work if I am scheduled. To those of you who do not know someone in emergency services, we do it with honor and pleasure. To those of you who think that everything should be closed, then let's give EVERYONE Christmas Day off, dispatcher's (hope you do not have a fire or need an ambulance), police forces (wonder what the crime rate will be that day??), hospitals and nursing homes(hmm who will take care of Aunt Sally in Room 210 that day when she can't get out of bed or do anything for herself, and who will cook her meal in the hospital that day or clean up her room? Who will tend to that family that was just in an accident on the way home from Grandma's), Where will you buy gas to make it home from Grandma's?

I think you see what I am getting at. And as far as dispatcher's, police officer's (my dad was a police officer), nurses, doctor's, nursing home staff, waitresses, etc...Guess what at least at some point in the day, they WILL be at home with their families...Those of us in EMS will NOT, but we don't mind, we make our holiday work for us, your hoilday celebration does not HAVE to be on that particular day. It is what you make it...LIFE is what YOU make it!

I myself lost my father Dec. 6th, I have chosen to not celebrate today and tomorrow with the rest of the world, I do not feel much like a celebration, so I may very well, see a movie and eat out to distract my mind from my grief and sorrow of not having my father, my best friend, my hero here with me this year!

All of you have a Great Holiday and make it what you want it to be! Cherish your loved ones and do not dwell on how much money you can or can not spend, take commercial out of Christmas and make memories instead!

RtSO, yes, indeed, the addition of the squealing tot would tend to do something to the dynamics of the discussion!

Nicole - so sorry for your recent loss. My mom's b-day was Christmas eve and for many years I found it difficult to be around the bright lights and music from the Christmas season, but now, I rather enjoy it knowing that my mom always liked the lights and loved a good sale. Hopefully, you will enjoy the holidays more next year.

I didn't realize that this was from last year - before I was born. There is something very different about the tone. Less fun, more tedious.

I think holidays in general are stupid.

Just want to give you a great big thank you for providing a list of places for guest staying at hotels on our city and those that might be alone and need to eat out for a Holiday Dinner. and Then there are those that just do not want to cook a meal and enjoy eating at a resturant with family and friends.
Yes many of us work on the holiday and give up our time with our family to help make a holiday for our guest. It is our pleasure .

Lissa said: docs (maybe)...there are a lot of people working

Though this thread has "avoid at all costs" written all over it, I will add that doctors most certainly do work Christmas. My father worked Christmas Eve and will work today and is on call tonight and into Boxing Day. Next year, it's a good bet I'll be doing a similar thing with a likely 30-hour shift somewhere in there. It comes with the work you do, and it needs to be done by someone, and so you do it. But there are medical technicians, janitors, cafeteria workers and the people who put the bedpans in the dishwashers, (of which I was once one), who are also considered essential personnel in a hospital, and you are right to point out that they are often forgotten in the list of people that must work on the holidays.

As for me, I will be flying this morning to be with my family, and I am immensely grateful for the pilots, flight attendants, janitors, mechanics and baggage handlers - among others - that will make my trip possible. Thanks to them, weather permitting, I will be home for Christmas.

Hey everyone-this has been a very interesting thread. I am thankful for my family being able to be with me today in a Baltimore hotel. We have to eat somewhere. So this list was a boon. One thing that no one seemed to mention though is all the service people who not only can't be with there families today but may not for months (or sadly sometimes ever.) May the holidays keep all you and yours safe wherever you are and may everyone enjoy the holidays. If there was a lot less complaining everyone would have more fun!!!! (I work in the medical field; put myself through school in the resturaunt business, etc... how you live any given day is a choice----so live it the way you want.)

Abigail Carlson, I also have worked my share of Christmas holidays in the hospital and am thankful that in recent years I can be at home with my family to celebrate. I do recall however that some of my best yuletide moments happened in the still small hours before dawn on Christmas Day at my patient's bedside. All the best to you and yours during your sojourn in the north country.

My mother lives in an adult care facility and requires a wheelchair whenever I take her out. Very unfortunately, I can't get the wheelchair (or her) up the steps into my Baltimore rowhouse, and the rear entrance is not an option either. So if I want to enjoy a high quality holdiay meal with my mother, we have to go out to a restaurant. I am very grateful for this option, and I would not be surprised if the workers in the restaurant are grateful for the extra money they make. I can't speak for everyone, but I am ordinarily a generous tipper, but even more so on holidays, especially the big ones like Christmas.

wow. I have a lump in my throat, seeing my conversation with RtSO.

(just want to point out that the Lissa above is not me, the usual Lissa here. Amusingly, I've worked a ton of Christian holidays as a nurse's aide, an emergency dispatcher, a police officer, a computer tech etc. It was always assumed that, as a non-Christian, I wouldn't care. I don't - it isn't my holiday. I do mind the presumption that this is a Christian country.)

I would venture to say that the US is a majority Christian country, just as there are majority Muslim or majority Hindu countries. Yes, there are other religions present in American society, but they don't get as much publicity because they are practiced by the minority. Is it fair, well no, but I am sure if you live in a highly populated Jewish area that their holidays are highly visible throughout the community. People need to accept the fact that Americans are going to celebrate Christmas and *GASP*, some might reallllllly be in to. I would never live in a majority Muslim or Jewish country and make a big stink that very few people recognize Christmas. I celebrate Christmas and maybe it is hard for me to relate to non-Christians this time of year, but I'm also left-handed, and in the minority. I don't make a big deal that most of the world caters to right-handed people. I've learned to adapt and move on. If anything I've learned to do stuff the right-handed way, and it doesn't bother me one bit.

Needed_to_rant: That was a powerful analogy. Like it says in The Constitution of the United States, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of handedness, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

sigh. I had hoped that for all of us, seeing RtSO's lovely presence here would preclude the annual battle over this is christmas, this is OUR world, live with it thing. but that is what seems to happen every year no matter what.

fyi, ranter, I work in a Jewish hospital and people complain constantly that although Christmas is a paid holiday for them, and pretty much all but the emergency parts of the hospital shut down, that's not enough for them. Maybe they should learn to adapt the majority and shut up.

I'm American. I served in the Army. I am *not* Christian.

How dare any of you assume I'm less American because I don't follow the religion most profess (but seem not to practise)?


Where's my Red Rider?

Where's my leg lamp?

beloved operatic (my Al Capone-era singer name)

One of my favorite Christmas memories involves walking around a completely shut down Montreal Christmas 1991 and stumbling across a place to eat, finally: an Iranian restaurant. I was the only non-Iranian in there, they were watching Farsi music videos, laughing, eating and drinking tea. Everyone was supremely friendly to me and all wished me a merry Christmas when I left.

On Boxing Day, I had a repeat performance at an Indian place, the difference being that I could drink beer at the Indian place...:^)

What did surprise me was that Schwartz's Smoked Meat was closed on Christmas! I had really banked on that one being open...but I went on the 27th and it was incredible.

"This would make for a fairly nonexistent newspaper the day after Christmas. "

sarahkk: And this would be different from any given Monday nowadays--how?

soaks but (oh my goodness, this thing is prescient--it's what I do after a long day at the word processor--or my Texas Five Card Hold 'em tournament name)

Ah Cleatus, I am so sorry you missed this one...Lindsay sleazily. My harlequin romance novel name

I'm adding Mama's on the Half Shell to the list. I just called them today and they are open on Christmas!!

I am having surgery on Dec.23rd and will be unable to cook my usual fabulous feast and am looking for someplace really good where I can take everyone
that would normally be conming to my home. there are situations
like mine all over town. I say open up for people like me,unable to cook on that day

Can you morons get back to talking about restaurants?

Nope, n0d0gs. I'm too stupid.

Double T at Rolling and Rt 40 did a credible job a few years back. Anyone considering Szechuan House should only get carryout as the line at 6 Thursday was outside of the door and they say they're fully reserved Christmas day.

Went to Eichenkranz for Christmas dinner . Never again . Not sure I'll ever go there again period . Service was the worse . Took almost an hour before we got our drinks and orders taken . Not like theres hundreds of people there . Small establishment . No organization at all . I saw several tables of people get up from their tables and just leave . Food wasn't all that . One waitress running around making it look like shes so busy . Even when we were done and getting ready to leave took time to get the bill and our doggy bags . Then the bills not right , billed for things we ordered and never got . Not sure I'm gonna give my dogs the left overs . I was expecting so much more . Even if the service were better or something . I would not recommend at all . If you decide to go , go at your own risk .

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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