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February 1, 2008

Next week's Top Ten

Marconi%27sThis is a Top Ten I've been meaning to do, and then one of the Roberts suggested it recently and I promised I'd do it soon. (I'm sorry, I can't remember which one, and I can't remember which entry he posted it under so I can link to it. Please hold up your hand, Robert who suggested it.)

The discussion under Pizza! Pizza! And one diner! about Pappy's finally inspired me to make it next Tuesday.

This will be the Top Ten Restaurants We Miss Terribly. Originally The Sun's architecture critic Ed Gunts came up with the idea. These are places, and they don't have to be fine dining, that have closed and we wish were still with us.

Suggestions are more than welcome, but everyone's list will of necessity be different. Please tell us why you miss your restaurants as well as their names.

I don't think I'll have trouble coming up with 10, but I'm not sure. So many good places have opened in recent years it's hard to feel too grief-stricken about what's not here.


(Sun archives) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:49 AM | | Comments (144)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


The Old Pimlico Hotel. Even when it moved to Pikesville, it was still delicious but the original couldn't be topped.

When I was a kid my uncle, who has since passed away, took me to get what I though was the best hot dog I've ever had. It was a kosher dog wrapped in salami (I think) and a sliver of pickle. I was really young and have no idea what the name of the place was or if it's still around. I do know that it wasn't downtown in "deli row". Anyone have a guess? If not, my vote for the top 10 is "No-Name Kosher Hot Dog Place."

One place we used to go for birthdays when my kids were little was the Family Fish House that used to be in the old Eudowood Shopping Center before it was closed in.

They had a salad bar and unlimited hush puppies and you could get all-you-can-eat seafood selections. You’d make you selection and then anything of the same price or less was included - my sister could really put away the steamed shrimp.

I doubt I'd like it as much now, but my kids still mention it on occasion in a really wistful manner.

Guilty, sort of, I think. I know I suggested missing things like the Gino Giant and Silber's Peach Cake. And almost anything from Jeannier's. the original Ambassador Dinning Room. ... Maybe it should be a top 50 or 100. Ten may not be enough.

Pimlico Hotel-Great food, service, varied menu. Best restaurant of it's era.
Brentwood Inn-Great food, wine list, very hospitable.
Peerce's Plantation-Great food, service, view.
Danny's, The Chesapeake,
Jack's Corned Beef (Lenny's can't carry their mustard!)

Burke's on Lombard and Light - I miss it even as I watch it come down. No one else serves a better onion ring.

I really miss Louie's Bookshop and Cafe. Sitting up top listening to jazz on Thursdays, enjoying a glass of red with friends and devouring their stirfry vegies with the brown rice.... it was one of the first places I dined when I moved to Baltimore and have very fond memories of it.
I also miss the Lamb Roast's @ Boomerang Pub on S. Charles Street; just like the sunday roasts back home.

Oh, and the chicken salad and tomato aspic at the Women's Industrial Exchange.

Thompson's Sea Girt House
Chesapeake Restaurant
Silber's Bakery
Horn & Horn
Yorkshire Restaurant
Last but certainly not least, whatever the cellar restaurant on the southwest corner off Maryland & 22nd was called...Wood-something? I think it's Korean now. Our family went SO many times after church for Sunday dinner.

OMG, I haven't thought of that for years. Someone has to remember the name. Didn't the meals involve a Jell-O salad sometimes?

Does anyone remember a place in Cockeysville called Wild Dog? We used to go there when I was a kid. I think it is Giorgio's now.

What? No one else misses Sizzler? Seriously though, I miss the original Turf Inn at the fairgrounds in Timonium. My family used to go there when I was a kid and I loved seeing the pictures on the wall of the 1950's racing set.

Burke's on Lombard and Light - I miss it even as I watch it come down

What? Burke's is closed? When did this happen?

Hausner's of course!!

Louie's Bookstore Cafe- a true Baltimore classic, and sorely missed.

Mencken's Cultured Pearl- another wonderful spot, best mexican food in town.

Haussner's- nuff said.

Geno’s – This place meant two things to me - Colts and quality fast food. Way before the Colts BIG MOVE, I was a die-hard fan and going to Geno’s seemed kind of like a way to be part of the team. I know it really wasn’t true, but when there are only single digits in your age, some fantasies feel very real. Admitting I am remembering through kid’s eyes, I felt that-> McDonalds was the low-end fast food, Roy Rogers was the middle ground, and Geno’s was the good stuff. Even the interior was nicer than the others. Our location had solid wood booths with brass railings, carpeted floors, plants lining the windowsills, always clean, family friendly, and it was the only place to get KFC or had a salad bar (yes, I was a kid that liked salad.)

Rustlers Steak House – I loved this place for three reasons. First, it was the only place my Mom would ever let me get a steak and I loved steak. Second, I really liked their gimmick (an old west wood building exterior, a stagecoach mural in the dinning room that must have been 35 feet long, a frontier style interior, and staff dressed like cowboys and cowgirls.) Third, they used a unique method for the dining walls. Instead of solid walls separating the different seating areas, they used pass through bookshelves that were just loaded with books. We would find rare and interesting books and would ask the manager if we could take some home to read. After a while, they kind of became our library. Once or twice a month, we would go back, have a nice meal, return the borrowed books, and take new ones. I really miss that place and when I am in an unfamiliar neighborhood looking for a place to eat, I still say, “Lets find a Rustlers or something.”

And for those of you who might mention - Yes, I did know the same people owned both of these places.

There are a few obvious ones. Pappy's and Gino's come right to mind. Also, that last Steak & Egg that someone pointed out that was in DC on Wisconsin Ave is now called "Osman & Joe's." I don't believe there are any left.

But I have a few questions that need to be addressed on this one:

1.) Can the list include places that had lots and lots of locations all over the region, but are now down to only one or two (like Little Tavern and Polock Johnny's).

Unless you live or work near Hollibird Avenue, you'd never know there was still a Little Tavern left in Baltimore (the one on Eastern Av, is closed and the one in Laurel is now a donut shop).

I read on another post that there's still one Polock Johnny's in SW Baltimore, plus the one in Lexington market. But that' it. They used to be all over town and unless you frequent those areas, you'd never know they were still around. You used to be able to get a Polock Johnny's anywhere around town.

2.) Can the list include places that once had--but no longer--franchises in the Baltimore area, even though they currently have franchises in other parts of the country?

Such places that come to mind are:

- Arthur Treachers: I remember one in Cockeysville, Towson, and Perring Parkway. They faded away from the area in the very early 80's , and by 1981 they were gone all together. There are no more in the Baltimore area, but they do have franchises in other states.

- Roy Rogers: other than the one in Aberdeen, the only ones left in the state are all the way out in in Western MD--Frederick County and points west. There used to be a Roy's near just about every neighborhood in the metropolitan area.

- Bojangles. I remember one near Hopkins Medical center, and one on the corner of Belair Rd & Northern Parkway, just to name a few locations. Bojangles is still in business around the country but there are none in the Baltimore area.

In terms of higher-end restaurants, does anyone remember Danny's restaurant on Charles Street. Stuart and Danny Dickmanran the place. Best ceaser salad ever !!!!

Janet, that reminds me so much of Po Folks on Richie Highway near the DMV, except I was the kid. Hush puppies, chicken fried steak, iced tea in mason jars... That would hit the spot on a day like today.

And I enthusiastically second Haussner's.

1. Connolly’s, Connolly’s, Connolly’s !!!!!! (R.I.P.)

Connolly's was authentic old school Baltimore seafood at it's best, long before Harborplace came around. It was literally right on the Harbor on Pratt street. They tore it down in the 90's to build that ugly biotech research center that's there now.

2.) The Homewood Deli in Charles Village. Melt in your mouth corned beef, and wonderful fried chicken.

3.) La Hacendia on Belair Rd, I want to say south of Frankford Ave. Probably the only mexican restaurant in town for years.

4.) Thompson's Sea Girt on York Rd, between Belvedere and Northern Pkwy (next to Swallow at the Hallow). Thompson's was another authentic Maryland seafood Restaurant. Fabulous crab cakes and the city's best crab soup.

5.) Chicken George. Please tell me enough of you oyt there remember the old "Chicken George" franchises. A bunch were in West Baltimore. I remember one on York Rd in Govans too.

6.) Last but CERTAINLY not least, The Golden Arm, named for it's proprieter, the greatest QB in the history of the game, Johnny Unitas. I loved the fact that in later years, the men's bathrroom was named "The Irsay Room."

How about Bob's Big Boy. They are still operating in other parts of the country, but there are none left in Maryland.

Roy Rogers was another one. They were all over town. Most of the Gino's stores were converted into Roys. But I'll be darned if I can find one nowadays anywhere.

Hal - It sure looks like they're planning to do something to the Burke's building; workers were chopping away at the decorative stuff at the top of the building. Hopefully I am in error as to the fate of the building.

Housner's goes without saying.

But the place that will always hld a special plac ein my heart isthe old Buddy Paolino's crab house on Lombard Street.

I can still see Mimi DiPetro holding court there.

To Janet--I TOTALLY remember the Family Fish House. It was there before Towson marketplace was built, over by Calvert Hall. Montgomery Wards and Toys R Us were the other tennents Eudawood. I seem to remember elaborate fish tanks. Also it was the first (and last) place I ever ate frog legs.

And who here remembers Duff's. The ll you can eat smorgasbord, which was off of Joppa Rd in that far and away little shopping center where Luskin's was.

Can we hear it for Farrells at Golden Ring Mall. Was there ever a kid from baltimore in the 70's & 80's who DIDN'T go to a birthday party at Farrell's?

And how about Amy Joy Donuts anyone? That's always an easy one for me to remember!

Task for Elizabeth--

Try to find an old photo of the Pappy's Pizza sign, partucularly of the little cartoon man they had as a mascot who kind of resembled the natty Boh man (at least that's how I remembered him anyway). I loked all though the Internet, but came up with nothing.

White Coffee Pot Jr. I grew up near Morgan state and we always used to go to the one in the Northwood Shopping Center after little league games for burgers. But their fried chicken was SOOO good. We would get that almost every other friday and bring it home for dinner.

Other locations I remember were--

York Rd in Lutherville, right at bellona. It's a used car lot now. Was a Jack's Corned Beef at one point.

There was one on Sinclair and Moravia where the Popeye's currently is.

There was another on Edison Highway across from Catholic High School.

The White Cofee Pot Jr. locations were like fast food joints. But they also had seperate restaurants called the "White Coffee Pot Family Inn." These were more cafateria type family restaurants if I remember correctly.

Anyone else remember these?

Are there still any Lee's Ice Cream parlors around town? I remember the one onYork Rd. in Towson near the Towson Bootery. they ahd a barber chair in the back. First place I ever seen Oreo ice cream.

The old Morgan & Millard in Roland Park. Almost a diner... you could eat all three meals there. Great to watch the matrons, and the waitresses were a million years old (to my 10-year old eyes).

Robert (the single one)... ah Silber's! I loved that bakery. My brother particularly enjoyed the peach cake. I didn't think anyone else knew of the place.

other resturants missed:
Pimlico Hotel

Louie's Bookshop and Cafe: It might sound childish but I was in my early 20's and working in Mt. Vernon. I'd walk down on a Friday night, join friends, enjoy a coffee and some cake... always seemed to be there on "experimental string instrument" night.

Hausser's: I do not know which was better the veal hunter style or the atmosphere.

Gampy's for a smoothie after dancing.

I dont think Burke's is closing. They are tearing down a portion of the block to put in a parking garage but I was told that Burkes & the comedy factory will still have a little portion of the building to work with!
I can't make any promises but that's whatI've been told.

The original Spike & Charlie's.

ralphies diner in timonium was the joint. i still remember the cinder block portion of meatloaf with the mashed potatos and gravy on top. please. someone let me know where to find some good meatloaf.

Well, where do I begin?

In no particular order of 'missedness':

Family Fish House, Rices Bakery Louisiana Ring, American Cafe Chicken Salad, Muhly's Bologna Sandwiches, Gordons of Orleans Street on Orleans Street, Marconi's,
Thompson's Sea Girt House, Horn and Horn, Towson Inn for Broasted Chicken, The Soup Kitchen in south Baltimore not Harbor Place, The Chart House for the view and artichokes, Grant's counter for hot dogs, Jai Hind, Kreskge's lunch counter (which all of the kids in the family pronounced as kresiges), Hausners, Arundel ice cream, Jean Claude's at Harbor Place, the little bistro that was downstairs in the building that housed Uncle Lees at some point (I think it was Uncle Lees but it is in the 800 block of North

I will stop now but there are many more!

Good luck narrowing these down to to a Top Ten Elizabeth!

I'm surprised I haven't seen a mention of The Harvey House on Charles Street. Brings back memories (as do many of the others on this blog).

I miss Karson's Inn, formerly on Holabird Ave. (around the corner from the Poncabird). It was an old-fashioned Baltimore place, the kind of place where you could take your parents when they were visiting. Our regular waitress, Karen, always remembered us and each of our quirks.

I miss Bud Paulino's crab house on Lombard St. in north Highlandtown. An unpretentious place with great crabs, and big enough that you could pretty much always get a table without a reservation.

"And who here remembers Duff's."

Yes Duff's on Luskin's Hill. They had the most interesting way of presenting the food. Instead of walking down the steam tables to choose what you wanted, you'd stand in place while the food moved slowly around a circular contraption - half of it where people stood and the other half inside the kitchen where they reloaded each compartment. I've never seen that anywhere else.

Oh yes!! "The Morgue" and the Soup Kitchen and Spike & Charlie's and Connolly’s and...
Oh, such wonderful memories!!
Thanks, Elizabeth, for this great topic! Good luck picking just ten.

I think I had a similar request for your Sunday review. When you are on vacation I would love the Sun to reprint old reviews of Baltimore's great restaurants.

That being said, there are many restaurants I wish I could have tried, such as Chesapeake, Hausner's, Marconi's, Danny's, Harvey House, etc.. Unfortunately, I never got the chace to go to any of these places. Most of these places closed before I was an adult, but I have no excuse for not getting to Marconi's

Spike & Charlie's (by far the best food and service i've had in baltimore)

Joy America Cafe (wow that was good guacamole, made fresh at your table by a cute guy)

Victor's Cafe (not so much for the food, but because you were right next to the water when seated outside. if you think about it, there aren't that many places, despite all of our waterfront, where you are right on the water and not 30 feet or more away)

Misha - in my youth, Silber's had shops all over the area. Mine was near Stewart's York Road (now called Drum Castle, but the Stewart's part was not called that, then)

Ode to Silber's:

Peach cake
Sugar cookies
Sugar cookies
Sugar cookies (okay, I was a kid and they were sooooo good.
Rye bread
Cinnamon twists
Layer cakes (for birthdays)

As to other places, don't get me started on Jeannier's and Marconi's. So sad.

The Country Faire Inn in Owings Mills ... and then Reisterstown ... and then Owings Mills again. It kept moving, but I kept finding it. Beautiful location sitting on top of a little hill before everything in O.M. got built up. They also had a less formal dining room/bar in the cellar. Excellent food (lump crab in marinara sauce over little pasta shells; half of a steamed lobster stuffed with shrimp) at a great price. Sniff! I'm getting weepy now.

Wasn't it originally way out somewhere, not in Owings Mills? When Roland Jeannier was chef?

OMG...JLA... at a very low time in my life I was the kitchen manager at the Po Folks in Glen Burnie!!! Apparently, there is enough alcohol on this planet to make me remember!!
Gotta say that it isn't fun to remember such a low point in my life!

Kevin, Homewood Deli - Did they move or close down? i'd heard a rumour that they moved and I was scouting around on Thrusday bc I was craving a falafel sandwich (theirs were pretty dang good).
Joy America - I miss the margharitas
Wild Mushroom in Canton
The Italian place that was on Hudson Street in Canton behind the Can Company, the name eludes could mix and match pasta with sauces, they had quite a funky interior (for 1998)...
Rudy's 2900

Does anyone else remember Stahl 1043, somewhere near the Cross Street Market, back in the early 80s? I was waitressing at the aforementioned Country Fare Inn (yes, with Roland Jeannier presiding) and a friend of mine was cooking at the Stahl. It was way ahead of it's time, with a prix-fixe, mostly seasonal approach. Yannick Cam was the chef, I believe. I still have the menu.

Yes, it was Baltimore's first nouvelle cuisine restaurant. Very exciting at the time.

Robert (the single one), thanks for the update I was so young when Silber's was around... at least in this area, that I did not realize it was part of a chain. What I seem to recall with hazy memory are the bronze toned beehive hanging string dispensers were lovely. The other area bakeries just tended to have spools of twin on the counter.

Wasn't it originally way out somewhere, not in Owings Mills?

I think the Country Fare Inn was out on Westminster Pike just past Reisterstown at one point, but this was a long time ago back when many of us just said yes, so my memory is suspect.

The Italian place that was on Hudson Street in Canton behind the Can Company, the name eludes me

The place that had the weird exterior that looked like a slanted wall? Darn, I can't remember it's name either. Maybe Maggia or Mangia or something like that.

Hal- I think it was Mangia Mangia. They had homemade pasta and you could pick the sauce. I loved it there. They had a wonderful mushroom pasta dish.

I miss Tabrizi's on Charles St. in Federal Hill. Good dolmas, falafals, and chicken with dried fruit. I seem to remember rose water.

Have you tried the new one?

Ahhhh... Silbers. Our branch was the one in Cross Keys, and occasionally on York Road. My father used to buy some pillow-shaped things called kickle. But what I've had recently that's called kickle is more strip-like than pillow-like. And yes, the peach cake!

Thanks Christine...a lightbulb went off this morning when I was out walking, you're right: Mangia Mangia.
The original Peerce's Plantation.
Golden Gate Noodle House - I loved thier Pork Wonton Noodle Soup, just like you get @ the hawker stores in Singapore.

Love to hear the poster mentioning White Coffee Pot Jr., the one on Liberty Rd. in Randallstown was a weekly family tradition growing up. Another Randallstown institution was Morty's on Liberty Rd. Greatest fried chicken and western fries ever!!

The adult in me however really misses Ruby Lounge on Charles St. in Mt. Vernon. Whenever my wife and I wanted a fun place on a Saturday night and weren't craving a specific style of ethnic cuisine, Ruby Lounge was always a hip, delicious, reliable friend. A beer or two at Brewer's Art and a late dinner at Ruby Lounge was always a great Saturday night.

The Golden Arm
Jimmy Wu's
Little Tavern
Pollock Johnny's
Steak & Egg
Roy Rogers
Bud Paolino's Crab House
Bella Roma Pizza (on keswick rd.)
Obrycki's Carry Out (at the end of The Alameda just north of Walker Ave.)
Little Tavern (only 1 left; they used to be all over town)
The Ground Round

Here goes...
Haussner's without a doubt; loved the strawberry pie and the basket of assorted muffins and rolls. I was lucky to make a trip back to MD with my hubby just before the restaurant closed so he could experience it. I grew up nearby many years ago and remember when there would be a line waiting to get in.
Also: Thompson's on York Road, was a favorite place of my dear departed Aunt Mary.
Also: Gampy's was a fun place to eat after barhopping, the Monte Cristo was a favorite, and the servers always made a production of removing drinks from tables at 2 a.m.

Just finished reading all the other comments and it brought back many memories of my years in Baltimore.

I had many a chicken salad and tomato aspic at the Women's Exchange...and remember being scolded if I didn't finish my lunch.

I didn't know the Hacienda closed...I remember going there with friends whenever there was a birthday, and the owner would put a sombrero on your head and take a Polaroid photo of your group.

I grew up in Randallstown in the late 50’s, early 60,s and the Country Fare Inn on Westminster Pike was a frequent destination for Sunday dinner. In its first incarnation as I knew it, it was indeed “country fare” serving great fried chicken and everything else served family style in large serving dishes. After being acquired by what would be the restaurant group that would also own the Brass Elephant, City Lights and others, the cuisine was changed to “continental”. With the beginning of growth in Owings Mills, the restaurant known as Country Fare moved to Painters Mill Road and Jeannier was the chef. He produced the best Bouillabaisse I have ever had. The restaurant morphed into Samuel Owings and that died when the developer tore the old mansion down.

Another good restaurant out that way, at that time, was the Branding Iron in Finksburg. A good solid steak and crab imperial type of place, it formed the basis for what I consider a great crab imperial to be, and to this day I make it from a recipe that duplicates its taste. This restaurant too was sold and became Rudys’ 2000.

Rudys’ was a place where we never had a meal that was less than excellent plus, whether lunch or dinner. Even after we moved to Kentucky 10 years ago we would return regularly for a great meal or a birthday or graduation party dinner. The 2 Rudys sure set up great expectations at both ends of the house for others that are very rarely met.

I certainly hope that Burke’s hasn’t met the fate of the Baltimore Street Horn and Horn and becomes a parking lot site. They are both places that had good food and have pleasant memories for us.

The original Polock Johnny’s on Baltimore Street is definitely missed. I believe it was home to the original hot dog eating contest, now appropriated by Nathan’s, its replacement, John’s, somehow is not as good.

And finally, as I think I have mentioned before on here, there is Dombroski’s Polish Village on Ann Street that had the best ever sour beef and dumplings at their weekly buffet lunch during the 70’s.

Taverna Athena in Harborplace -- not as good as Ikaros, but still good food overlooking the water, back when Harborplace had good restaurants.

The old Village Roost in the Cross Keys Inn -- casual, unpretentious, great for breakfast and good, casual dinners.

The little French cafe below the Chambord on Charles and Madison...don't remember if its was part of the Chambord or separate.

Burke's is still open and the building where it is, is not getting torn down. They only tore the side of the same larger brick building that was unocuppied to build a large parking garage for the tenants of 10 Light St. It's a shame because that was architecturally more appealing than whatever they're going to replace it with. Oh well, just like instutional restaurants long gone, another one bites the dust - literally (and it's not Burke's).

Taverna Athena in Harborplace -- not as good as Ikaros, but still good food overlooking the water, back when Harborplace had good restaurants.

Ah, I'd forgotten about Taverna Athena. I have fond memories of a bunch of us playing hooky from work on a sunny afternoon, sitting outside at Taverna Athena drinking retsina.

Another place in Harborplace that was pretty good was Jean Claude's.

White Rice Inn on Park Avenue and the upstairs dive hidden around the corner on Saratoga, behind Abe Sherman's news stand, Mee Jun Low --with 3D faux stone wallpaper and the best spare ribs teenage snow-shoveling and car-washing earnings could buy. And the Ambassador House on Eutaw, with nearly-home-made Eastern European fare.

Shortly after we moved to Baltimore some fifteen years ago, we discovered Gypsy's Cafe in Sowebo, across the street from the Hollins Market. Hidden behind the Tom Thumb saloon, the decor was casual, no two tables or chairs alike. The garden in the back was a pleasure in Summer. And the food was terrific, from inventive sandwiches at lunch to ever-changing dinner specials -- like enormous bowls of zesty Hungarian goulash -- at incredibly low prices. Then, suddenly one day ten years ago, we turned up for lunch -- and Gypsy's was no more.

Gypsy's Cafe was a cozy spot, had good food, but I never went back after the time we were eating and there were roaches crawling on the wall next to our table. Blame it on the neighborhood.....

Back in my youth we used to frequent a place called the Open House on 29th St. in Remington. Now it is the Paper Moon and I've been to this eclectic place a number of times as an adult.

Was it true that the White Rice Inn on Park and The Golden Star on Greenmount were owned by the same people? I remember being told that. I miss them both. Also, the splendid dinning rooms of Jimmy Wu's.

There was a wonderful Spanish restaurant on (I believe) Eastern Avenue. I'm thinking the name was La Pescatore. Or I might be hallucinating. Anyone else recall such a place.

OMG...we're so OLD!! Y'all have dredged a few more out of my aged memory-box:
Golden Plough on Reisterstown Road (we jokingly called it "pluff").
Oriole Cafeteria on York Rd & Winston Ave..
Ice cream at Murry's or Knox's (opposite corners of Loch Raven & Taylor)...each had its fans; nobody patronized both.
And...TA DA...the cellar restaurant at Maryland & 22nd was The Westwood. "Our" waitress was Miss Rose.
Oh gosh this is fun!

La Pescatore? El Pescador (The Fisherman)? Yeah, I sort of ate there once and the waiter actually admitted that the kitchen rinsed the shrimp in bleach water because they were getting old. 23 skidoo out the door. There used to be a Spanish restaurant in LIttle Italy where La Tavola is now. There was a Spanish place in the Brown's arcade building on Charles Street that I used to go to all the time around 1989.

There was a wonderful Spanish restaurant on (I believe) Eastern Avenue. I'm thinking the name was La Pescatore.

Do you mean the one just west of Broadway? When I first became aware of it it was called Spanish Meson, and it later changed its name to The Fishery to try to attract tourists looking for seafood. After it closed, that location became Chester's steak house, and is now Timothy Dean's Bistro. I don't think there was anything between Chester's and Timothy Dean's, but if there was I'm sure someone will tell us.

Interestingly, I used to think the Fishery was one of the better places in the Fells Point area to get a steak.

Youknow, I necer really thought about it, but WHERE have all the Roy Rogers gone? I never gave it much thought until I read some of these posts, but there isn't a Roy's anywhere in town that I can think of, and I drive all over area for work.

I remember only a handful around town as a kid, but Gino's was sold to Roy's parent company, and most of the Gino's were converted into Roy Rogers.

For a brief time, all the Roy's were converted to Hardees, but they didn;t so well, tso their parent company reverted them back to Roy's. That was at least 15 or 16 years ago. But it seems like over night, Roy Rogers as we know it has evaporated.

I personally was a big fan of their roast beef sandwiches, I always thought they were better than Arby's. their fried chicken was pretty good too, but not anywhere near that of Popeye's or Bojangles.

Speaking of which, I remember in the 980's we had a few Bojangles around town too, but they went away as well.

How about Mount Vernon Restaurant (predecessor of Gampy's), where BSO members often ate dinner before gigs-- my friend and I were in the chorus.

Hacienda never quite got its fan base back when it reopened about a year after a big kitchen fire. The owner sold it to the owner of a local car dealership, then a while later opened Armadillo in Fell's Point. Does Armadillo still exist?

Dottie said:

Does Armadillo (sic) still exist?

No, that's where Todd Connors just opened.

Yes it was The Fishery I slammed. I guess I accidentally translated it into Spanish sort of.

I never eat fast food, but I used to ride the bike trail to Annapolis and back and I really looked forward to getting a bunch of Roy Roger's roast beef sandwiches smothered in pickles, horse radish and barbecue sauce. After a few hours marinating in my backpack they were ready. Mmmm.

Though I feel unqualified to chime in, only have lived here for 10 years, one place I dearly miss is the Madrid Cafe in Fells Point. Great Spanish food, but every time we went in the head waiter and chef (who both owned the place) were the only ones there so we always asked how they stayed open. Despite this, there was always warm friendly service and great paella. My wife was talked into the veal sweetmeats and loved them. Sadly, it's now some generic tex-mex place.

Ten years is an eternity! I'm going to include one in my list tomorrow that closed in 2008.

Did Owl Meat change from Jerky to Gravy just so it could be abbreviated "OMG"?

The Fishery got kind of squirrelly in its last years, but at one time it was a really good restaurant.

The very last time we ate at The Morgue (Morgan Millard to those who weren't around then) I think the kitchen must have tried the bleach treatment on some very elderly shrimp. It made it easier to see it close down.

Now I understand how Jerky became Gravy--thanks, as always, Hal Laurent!

Poe's Tell-Tale Hearth near Hollins Market... loved it there.

Does anyone else remember a restaurant that was maybe called The Bistro, on N. Charles St. around the 800 block (it later became a BOP pizza) ... excellent food. About 20 years ago (yikes, I'm old).

The Fishery... thanks guys!

I wanted to make sure I wasn't misrecalling the name. I ate there only once for a company's dinner party. The food was amazing... perhaps the shrimp was fresh that night? What I do recall that everything was very lovely that night from the food to the service.

The bistro on Madison at Charles was Uncle Charlie's Bistro (they used the dishes with the old University Club initials on it-hence the name). It was a wonderful place and had fabulous mushroom soup.

In any mention of Silber's you can't forget the Colonial Coffee cake. It was the best and I always try to replicate it. And another vote for Louie's Bookstore. It was a great place to go when you didn't have alot of money, but wanted to browse, schmooze and get great desserts.

I really enjoyed eating at the old Webers on Boston Street. Last I was down that way it was called Red Fish. Not sure what it is now.

the old Webers on Boston Street. Last I was down that way it was called Red Fish

It's still called Red Fish, although I think it may have changed ownership a time or two. I think Elizabeth knows some of those details.

I can't keep up with it, and I don't even try anymore. Every time I report a new owner or chef, it's out of date already.

Thanks to everyone who remembered Uncle Charlies Bistro; I could not remember the name and had forgotten about The Chambord, thought the Chinese place was upstairs but was mistaken.

I cannot wait to see what Lady Liz comes up with tomorrow.

That's Lady Elizabeth, please :-)

Uncle Charlie's Bistro--now that is a blast from the past! I seem to remember that they chose the name because they bought some cutlery or place settings from a defunct University Club and they used those initials as inspiration--or did I just make that up?

Here's a b'ast from the past. Who here remembers Beefsteak Charlie's

There was one in the old "Towson Plaza", which is now Towson Town Center.

I'm sure Beefsteak Charlie's was a chain, but the Towson location was the only one I knew of.

Restaurants I remember: Brookwood Farms on Ritchie Highway, The Barn on Ritchie Highway, George's Lunch on Light Street, F&L Winterling's in East Baltimore, The Brentwood Inn in Dundalk, The Francis Scott Key on Light Street, Rossiter's, Hooper's on Fayette Street... The list goes on & on!

Ameche's drive-ins on Loch Raven and in Timonium! Best steak and cheese.

For those looking for a local (non-western MD) Roy's, there is one in Westminster on 140 right before the turn off to MD97 to head towards Gettysburg, newly remodeled.

I miss DeGroen's and Hausner's and what has happened to cause the demise of German restaraunts in general?

Mee Jun Low...the wait on the bowed stairs and the fabulous Miss Irene...

Chop chop two egg roll...

The White Coffee Pot Jr. in Hillendale was my branch...and it was a very popular meeting spot for cabbies.

Huztler's Valley View
Oriole Cafeteria
Iron Horse

How about the Hawaiian room at the Embassy Hotel. I don't remember the food to well, but the theme was fun.

The Spanish place on Eastern Ave. The one with the salsa dancing and the tapas bar in basement? That was Rio Madrid and then changed to Rio Lisboa for a bit. Never ate upstairs but the tapas were fantastic in the crowded bar downstairs.

My Favorites are:

Spauldings in Pikesville, Mrs Spauldings fantastic crab cakes, and best cheeseburger on the planet. Gone now for many years

Silbers Bakery, we lived in colonial village just a few blocks from the actual bakery. I can remember it being built in a field that once had barns where horses were boarded. Anyway, on certain nights, usually damp, humid summer nights if the wind was blowing just the right direction, the scent of pastries would wake me up in the middle of the night. I wanted to go right over and get a sticky bun, but of course my Mom barred the door.

Last but not least, Price's Dairy on Liberty Road. Best ice cream and milk shakes, especially after a Saturday Matinee at the Gwynn, or in later years, after an evening show at the Ambassador. Mr. Guilfuss (sp?) ran a jitney bus from Gwynn Oak Junction up Liberty Road, across Campfield Road to Milford Mill Road and then through Colonial Village. After we jumped off the Jitney heading back across Milford Mill throught Sudbrook Park to the end of the line in front of Spicknall's Esso station in Pikesville. Ah, the good ole days.

There is still a Roy Rogers in Bel Air by Spenceloa Antiques. For awhile, they made it something else but recently, the sign went back to Roy Rogers.

What memories!!!

How about DeNetti's--the only place you could get pizza in Little Italy?

Hersch's Orchard Inn--Coconut Snowball Ice Cream--yummy!!!

Busch's Chesapeake Inn on Route 50, before the Bay Bridge? Fantastic food, great service. The BEST!!!! I cried when they closed!!!

Will be interested in seeing the list of restaurants that closed in 2007. Two that come to mind: Nichi Bei Kai in Towson and Wolford's European Bakery in Towson.

Wow! What a reverie this list sent me on. My personal long lost favorite hasn't been mentioned yet. 25 years ago we used to eat at a Spanish restaurant near Johns Hopkins (and maybe in the space occupied by Niwana now?) that was called Madrid. In those days Tio Pepe's was the perennial number 1 on the Best of Baltimore lists, but many of us thought the food at Madrid was better, to say nothing of half the price. I also really miss Dimitri's when I'm in Annapolis. I have never had better gazpacho from a restaurant.

Yes, someone has mentioned it. But beats me where, there are too many comments for me to find it :-)

This is going back 40 years or so. There was a restaurant near the intersection of Joppa and Old Harford Rd called "The Whistle Stop" if my memory is still working. It would probably be classified as a diner :-)
There was a circular or semi-circular counter, and a train would deliver your meal. Probably HO gauge. The plate would sit on top of the railroad car, the waitress or someone would stop the train when your food reached you.
The food was pretty good too...

Not at all surprised that more people miss Rudy's 2900 than the Polo Grill.Rudy's was definately a polished class act with superb food,service and management. Yes- people probably do miss Marconi's,but your cardiologist is happy that you are not eating their cream laden sauces and hot fudge sundaes !! Marconi's to reopen? Marconi's to serve "current trendy food" -- yeah,right !!!

This is going back 40 years or so. There was a restaurant near the intersection of Joppa and Old Harford Rd called "The Whistle Stop" if my memory is still working. It would probably be classified as a diner :-)
There was a circular or semi-circular counter, and a train would deliver your meal.

That place was called "Hamburger Junction".

Off the topic for a moment... We were driving up Charles Street Saturday night and it looked like Sascha's 527 was closed... I'm hoping not. Does anyone know?

I don't think so.

First, I do believe that there is still an Arthur Treacher's on Reisterstown Rd., and there is a Little Tavern on York Rd. in the Rodgers Forge area.
Does anyone remember a place called Hamburger Junction? You sat around a diner counter and a train would bring your food - a Choo-Choo Burger! It was the best for kids! And don't forget Longley's in Towson Plaza!

I would love to see some old photos of the pappy's pizza guy. boy! those were the days.

I miss Jack in the Box. I know they were owned by Ralston Purina (the logo was right on the taco wrapper), and the tacos were super greasy, but they were less than 25 cents in the 70s at the location on Reisterstown Road near the Plaza. They just had a certain taste to them that made you want to have just one more (that is, until you were quesy from the grease).

Ok, besides a Beefsteak Charlies, what was the restaurant in the location of the Rainforest Cafe? I also love Pappy's Pizza. I loved how you could watch them making the pizza but then I was younger than 9 when I was last there. Anybody remember Shakey's Pizza in Cockeysville and how they would show Abbot and Costello movies among other black and white movies while you ate?
Regarding Roy's, it was bought by Hardee's and then Hardee's were bought by McDonald's. Most of the corporate owed Roy's were either converted to McDonalds or closed. The franchised ones could remain Roy's. There is also a Roy's at BWI Airport in Concourse "D."

I remember first having orange chicken at Tony Changs on Charles St. I also remember having great pizza and subs in the late 80s at a Fells Point establishment called Tug Boat Annies, and who can forget the original Double T Diner on rt.40! In the original Columbia Mall, Barrys served the cheesest pizza ever.Last but not least the original Roost, better known as "Lake Trout" on Reisterstown Rd.!

Many fond memories of Hamburger Junction, La Hacienda, Homewood Deli, but there's a few that need to be mentioned:

Alonso's - the most unfriendly staff & management in town, but the food was truly amazing. The Fish Thing will be missed.

Emerson's - Back when I was making almost nothing, their all-you-can-eat steak/salad/beer was a godsend. I and several friends may have put them out of business by going there five nights a week.

The Grad Club - A makeshift bar with food in the basement of a Johns Hopkins Univ. dormitory/apartment building. I didn't go to JHU, but could always talk my way in until they hired this really belligerent philosophy grad student as a doorman. Food, beer, backgammon and live solo piano from a very talented Math PhD student (Winston?).

The Steak & Egg - Lutherville branch. My ex-wife's all-time favorite, and I liked it too.

The Pinebrook - possibly one of the only restaurants in the US serving Taiwanese food, right there on 36th street in Hampden. Is it still open??? Lucy and her husband treated us like family.

Ohmigosh--I hadn't thought of the Grad Club in years! Thanks for the memory jogger, Scott. But when did Alonso's close??? Are we thinking of the same place?

"Subs by George" in Howard County off Route 40. All the ops wouls stop in for their gret sandwiches.

All the ops wouls stop in for their gret sandwiches

Could someone translate that? :-)

There's also an Arthur Treacher's in Deale on Deale Churchton Rd.

I left Maryland ( Towson) in 1986 and have not been back much, BUT... growing up I remember a few places I LOVED...
Pappy's Pizza..I remember the great smell of the pizza ( I was young)

The Family Fish House...always got stuffed there with the free hush puppies..they were great.

English's Chicken on Joppa road..They had all you could eat Chicken on some nights and my Dad would put a hurting on that is the best Chicken I ever had.

White Coffee pot...I hated that place because my Mom and Dad would sit and drink coffee and smoke for what seemed like HOURS after we finished dinner.

Woolworths cafeteria...they had the BEST milkshakes in the world.

Things and places of childhood...they are great and this blog really brought back some great smells, sights, and sounds of growing up in Towson.

All the ops wouls stop in for their gret sandwiches

Hal Laurent, VoR asked, Could someone translate that? :-)

How about "All the cops would stop in for their great sandwiches"--? But I'm sure OMG could come up with something much more colorful.

When I googled that sentence (All the ops ..) I was referred to this page:

Because the governors had tasty sandwiches?

tommy tucker's lunch counter at edmondson milshakes on the planet..hand dipped, and whipped up in that green milkshake machine...ahhh memories

Oh Yes! Silber's Bakery and Price's Dairy were staples of my growing up years. Also miss Louise's Sub shop on Liberty Road, and The Hot Shoppe's at the Plaza. My GM and Great Aunt didn't speak for years over an argument over whether it "shops" or "shoppys" (LOL). For a cheap good steak dinner in later years nothing beat the York Steak House at the Plaza - not sure if same places as Hot Shoppes or not. Oh yeah, and near the harbor, loved Zanino's.

I moved away from Baltimore in 1989. I came back to visit about 3 years ago and couldn't believe all the places that were gone! Whatever happened to Gampy's (the best place for a late-night Monte Cristo) or the Conservatory atop the once-fabulous Peabody Court? The John Eager Howard Room? Is the Owl Bar still open? I walked down Charles St. (around Mt. Vernon) and it seemed like a ghost town. Really sad!

The Owl Bar is still open. I haven't eaten there yet, but the waiter was quite adamant that the tour guide tell us all about their brick oven when we wandered through.

Back in 1989 the Belvedere was probably still a hotel (I forget when it was turned into condos).

The Owl Bar is one of the most visually appealing places to sip bourbon in town. And the food is pretty good too, at all levels of the menu, from appetizers to pricey steaks. Just don't be in a hurry for anything.

Lissa - tour guide?

Well, the Owl Bar looked much nicer before they put in that stupid monstrosity of a pizza oven!

Yes, Tim, we miss the Conservatory, too. It's been gone for many years now, but I don't know why--it seemed to have it all at a certain point in time.

Bourbon Girl, I was on a literary walking tour of Mt. Vernon, with a rather real estate-agentish definition of "Mt. Vernon."

Of course, half the people on the tour were either Pratt employees, retired Pratt employees or tourists who were librarians...

We ended up at Iggy's for lunch. We probably should have gone back to the Owl. I like thin crust pizza, but that was cracker crust pizza.

Gutmans Tea Room on Howard St
Sid Mandels
Attmans Corned Beef
Silbers Bakery
Twin Kiss- Draught Root Beer
E.J. Korvettes lunchroom Rt 40
Champs drive-in

Here are my blasts from the past:
The Middlebourgh Inn (Middle River)
(my husband proposed there)
White Coffee Pot Family Inn
White Coffe Pot Jr.
The Barn (on Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie way back in the early 70's)
Horn & Horn Cafeteria
Roy Rogers (go get roast beef sands. and take them to Memorial Stadium and watch the O's in the 70's & 80's)
Family Fish House
Fass Brothers (seafood restaurant on Belair Rd. Putty Hill Plaza), then became Rivertown (cool place for kids) and currently is Tully's

Ponderosa & Rustler steakhouses

Stahl 1043 was not the first nouvelle cuisine restaurant in Baltimore. That was Sarabande, located in Towson from 1976-1979. The owner and chef, Patrick McDonnell (my husband), later went to New York City and worked at Le Coup de Fusil (the first nouvelle restaurant in the United States. Yannick Cam had worked there previously. As for other favorite places from the past, does anyone remember the Jade East on York Rd. in Towson? I had my first "pu pu platter" there. And my brothers and I ate many a Little Tavern burger in Towson before we hit the Sat matinee at the Towson Theatre. My mother would give each of us 50 cents which bought two burgers, a coke and got us into the movie where we'd routinely see the movie at least twice. They never kicked you out (unless my brother had bought a 5 cent box of Red Hots from the candy machine and was started shooting them through his peashooter at unsuspecting patrons). I still miss the food at Hutzler's and all the other places mentioned.

How about Munder's
4526 Harford Road

Munder's and Hausser's

Lost Forever !

I moved from Towson in 1971. I always loved Smatana's Deli on York Road in Towson-the best subs ever, the House of Welsh, streaks coming to your table still sizzling on the well my grandparents were always going to the Tail of the Fox in Timonium, and the Boumi Temple on Charles street

There was never a better stag oyster roast than that at the Boumi Temple on Charles. There were twenty to twenty-five shuckers that were so skilled they kept ahead of the lines that formed in front of them. The specially formulated sausage for the event added to the great experience.

I want some oysters!

I reviewed the Top Ten once again, brought back many memories.

One place never mentioned, Read's downtown, I think on Howard St.
I had my first club sandwich there, the servers wore a handkerchief in the place of a flower on their uniforms.

Leon's Pig Pen, North Ave. near Greenmount, if memory serves. I'll never forget the disbelieving, suspicious looks of locals when a car full of white kids would pull up--but once I layed down a little New Orleans drawl and it was clear we were there for the most amazing chicken and ribs possibly on the planet, certainly in B'more, it was like we were family. I still crave and can nowhere find the very spicey (remember I'm from NOLA-I do mean spicey) honey/pepper sauce they'd slather over the fried chicken. I really miss Thompson's Sea Girt House, too, when I visit Charm City--just not quite as charming without 'em.

My best memories was Hinkles Ham through the Garden. We think about the ever now and then. Sure wish there was another one like it.

I miss The Soup Kitchen in Harbor Place, the best!

So glad someone mentioned Rossiter's. They had Crab Imperial second to none. I went with my parents back in the late 40's, early 50's. Very basic "atmosphere" but great steaks and crab. I loved "The Pixie" cafeteria(believe that was the name) at one of the department stores.....special lunch treat with my grandmother. This site has sure brought back lots of fond memories: Haussner's where I had my first baked Alaska.....prom night at Chesapeake Inn....Ameche's powerhouse burgers. Tail of the Fox was an elegant dining treat!

The Varsity - I was a little boy in the backseat, but my parents used to enjoy driving around and around the The Varsity Drive-In on Edmondson Ave. I think they built a Hot Shoppes Jr there in the late '60's which wasn't too bad in it's own right.

For those who grew up or ate on the West side, thank you for all these amazing food memories. To add to the list, the grilled hot dog with an Orange Julius from the shop of the same name, the buffet at Woolworth's at Security Square Mall, the house dressing at The Westview Lounge and the first place I ate quiche--the restaurant in The Hecht Co.---forgot the name.

Had to keep this alive.

Harundale boy with memories of The White Coffe Pot in the strip mall between Harundale Mall and Rte 2, you know, the one with Eddie's Supermarket and Allen Drugs?

Best bakery was the Cakery Bakery in the Harundale Mall. Everything was great, but the best was the Chocolate (hard) layer cake with the mocha middle frosing that had small chocolate kisses in it. Second bes were the cinammon raison buns.

Got here looking for the name of the Pizza Joint in Glen Burnie off of Route 2, North, kind of across from the McDonald's and before the car dealerships and the Glen Burnie Mall. I think it was a Pappy's.

Smells and tatstes go last, just before the lyrics to all those old songs. Why, why, why?

Thanks for the memories!

oh man! The memories.

Steak and Egg in Lutherville- Would sneak out of the house with friends when i was 14/15 around 2 in the morning and go there. They hated us because we would not leave any tip.

Family Fish House - That place almost killed me. Got the worst case of food poisoning when i was 9. Cant believbe my parents did not take me to the hospital

Shackey's Pizza- in Cockeysville. Man... That was a fun place.

HoJo's in Lutherville, Real Thing in Towson.

My best memories was Hinkles Ham through the Garden. We think about the ever now and then. Sure wish there was another one like it.

Posted by: Ina Wilson

Was there a Hinkles in Baltimore? I know there was one not far from NSA...We would order the Hinkles Ham Through the Garden every chance we got, when we had lunch there...first date I had w/late husband!! I fell in love with the place and him :>)!
Wow...I have tried to re-create that taste...almost had it a few times now...and yes, Haussner's...ate there many times...was the most awesome German food...why doesn't anyone try to bring back some of these old places...well, sorta replicas...
One side question...why didn't Hamburger Junction make it? It was a chain...but the most delicious hamburgers and half price on Sundays...I left Maryland in 1972 (married a guy in the Army in 67 and he was transferred)...came back briefly for a year, in 1980-81...things had changed so much...came back again in 2002, I believe and so much more had changed...Hey, reminds me...anyone remember Ann's Dairy Cream, in Glen Burnie? The VERY BEST chili dog I ever ate...

Ann's Dari-Creme in Glen Burnie is still around.

Brookwood hamburgers and ff
silbers cookies with the chocolate on top and of course, Hausner's.

So long ago .....;(

Angelina's on Harford Road in Hamilton.
Italian above, Irish pub in the basement.
Amazing crab cakes, wonderful pasta, and a Guinness? Plus old-school Bawlmer sweethearts for waitresses.

Wasn't the old Angelina's going to become something called Rain, as per this prior LV post? Or did it reopen under the old name>

It turns out that Rain did, in fact, open in March. No web page, but it's on Facebook. It bills itself as a "Restaurant Bar & lounge", and it looks like like one or more promoters are booking events at the place. Hmm, maybe they've taken a page out of the same book as Milan?

does anyone remerber the framer market the was on ritchie hwy near brooklyn park md there was a chicken stand in there were they had the best bbq sauce does anyone no what the name of that sauce was or the name of the store.thank u denise

Wow, that was a walk down memory lane. I think of Nana, Mom, Aunt Barbara and us kids going to either Hutzler's or Stewarts for fancy lunch. I swear I remember being in Stewart's or Hutzler's (they are interchangeable to me) when Kennedy was shot and women weeping, am I right Mom, I was 3 at the time? Getting shoes and haircuts at Hess Shoes with the sliding board in Towson "Plaza", was a fun outing. Oriole Cafeteria reminds me of Grandma and Grandpa. Food, especially Gino's (Gino Giant, yum) and Silbers (sugar!) cookies. Also, wacky Hausner's, Moriconi's and Obrickis (but that was much later.)

A few old and now gone restaurants where I remember eating:
TEN MILE HOUSE (Reisterstown Road)
1 WEST (which is where the Pink Hippo is now)

Oh, and then the ones that were housed in apartment houses years ago like
3900 (3900 N. Charles)

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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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