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February 5, 2008

Top Ten Locations We Miss Terribly


Whoever commented that I would have many more restaurants than 10 that could legitimately be part of this list was right on. I tried to pick some that weren't immediately obvious, and yet that I miss as much as a Marconi's or Haussner's.

If you didn't see my earlier post Next Tuesday's Top Ten, please take a look. When I last counted, there were 83 comments under it, and I can't believe there are any restaurants you miss that aren't there somewhere. But if so, please post below.

Here's my list, and the reasons I miss them: ...


* Chester River Inn on Kent Island. Local culinary giant Mark Henry owned his own restaurant for awhile on the Eastern Shore between his successes at the Milton Inn and the Oregon Grille. You could get his wonderful food at very reasonable prices there. 

* Danny's on North Charles Street below the train station. For years, this was considered Baltimore's most elegant restaurant. It had French food, tableside cooking of dishes like steak Diane, and yet just a touch of Hon in its waitresses. It was the first restaurant I reviewed for The Sun.

* Gabler's on the river in Aberdeen. Open from mid-April until September, Gabler's was basically one big screened-in porch with a kitchen attached. A great setting to eat steamed crabs.

* Hampton's in Harbor Court. I could never afford to eat here when The Sun wasn't paying, but it was nice to have one restaurant in town where the service was always four star.

* Jeannier's in Homewood. It was good, traditional French food, which you could get at other area restaurants, and the dining rooms had no style, but I loved having birthday dinners there and I loved the oeufs a la neige with spun sugar for dessert.

* M. Gettier in Fells Point. Michael Gettier was also at the Conservatory at Peabody Court, a fine restaurant that didn't last long, and a Towson location until he finally ended up where he is now, at Antrim 1844 in Taneytown; but I loved this restaurant for its cozy French dining room as well as his good cooking. 

* Louie's the Bookstore and Cafe in Mount Vernon. I miss that Chestertown chicken. Why didn't I get that recipe?

* Metropolitan in Annapolis. This is the newest restaurant on this list. I enjoyed its rooftop dining, cutting-edge style, and artistry in the kitchen. I just learned it closed recently and has been replaced by Jerry's Seafood, so it's like the recent death of a friend.

* Pinebrook in Hampden. This was true hole-in-the-wall Chinese -- dingy, lots of linoleum and an iron gate when it was closed -- but it had the best dumplings in the world made by the owner. When he got too old to make them anymore, the place closed. My daughter always called it The Cheapest Chinese Restaurant in the World, and it was.

* Woman's Industrial Exchange downtown. I only survived 18 months on a political corruption grand jury because we could walk here for lunch and eat chicken salad, tomato aspic, homemade rolls and ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. 

(Photo of M.Gettier by Kim Hairston/Sun photographer, 1993)


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:01 AM | | Comments (163)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Haussner's and Marconi's, especially Marconi's, bought and closed by the same individual who bought and has run down the Orioles. But, Mr. Angelos aside, in addition to many wonderful main courses I even miss the vegetables, for example, fried egg plant at each of those now lamented Baltimore landmarks.

The Chesapeake on Charles Street - their Oysters Chesapeake was to die for!

I miss DiNitti's in Little Italy. THe staff was great and friendly, they knew their customer's the food was good and the atmosphere was relaxed. It was a great Friday night plate of pasta.

A little tobacco joint in Fells Point called Jabali used to make the greatest little tapas plates. They were nothing special, but the wait staff were all flakey art students and they illustrated all of the menus. The food was simple, straight-forward and maybe just a bit salty. It was the anti-Charleston or the anti-Cingale.

2 in Dundalk come to mind. Karsons was a romantic, dress up kind of place with the best oysters, oyster stew and crab imperial. Plus, the desserts and rolls were memorable. Brentwood Inn featured Pittsburgh style filet mignon plus a showy somollier and good wine selection.

Chintao in Laurel had the best beef sechuan ever. Also, the moo shu pork, orange beef and empress chicken and egg drop soup were better than any other I've ever had. The restaurant burned down years ago along with the Irish pub next door where, apparently, the fire had started. This place was a popular hidden gem.

I MISS CONNELY'S or CONNELLY'S. On Pratt Street. Thirty years ago, I could sit down next to William Donald Shaefer and have a bowl of crab soup. What a warm memory and a unforgettable atmosphere. Thanks for the invite to reflect.

I worked at Louie''s funny, I never liked the Chestertown Chicken. Otherwise, a pretty good menu all-in-all. There doesn't seem to be a great place to go for late-night desert and coffee, and that sense, Louie's seems to be unreplaced.

Marconi's was my all time favorite; their fried eggplant, lobster cardinale, hot fudge sundaes... It was not only my special occasion place, but my any- excuse-to-go-there place. When Mr. Angelos bought it my family and I were worried, for months the staff always reassured us they weren't going anywhere. When they closed it was under the auspicious notion that Angelos would re-open the restaurant in Charles Towers or some building project of his. Sometimes I can't tell which bothers me more, him nearly destroying the Orioles or actually destroying my favorite restaurant.

Torrmellino's , the Spanish restaurant located at Monument and Cathederal in the basement of what is now a hotel I believe. Great rack of lamb and sangria. Also Spanish Meson on Eastern Ave, best zarzuela I've had...great atmosphere.

M Gettier? His place paled by comparison to LauBerge who was the previous French restauranst at that location. His version of Antrim 1844 is also no comparison to his predessor there. He is so overrated it's not funny,.

I had forgotten all about L'Auberge. Thanks! I forget who owned it. Anybody remember?

as for the Metropolitan, maybe if they didn't charge $30 for a beer they'd be still in business. Oh well.

Does anyone remember Tail of the Fox? I think that's right.

I remember when my mother went out with "the girls" they always went there. She took me there once and it seemed so fancy and grownup. I have no idea where it was.

Oh my yes, Tail of the Fox. High-falutin' eating in Timonium.

There was also a place in Glenmont Towers on Goucher Blvd. that seemed to specialize in flaming food; I had my first Steak Diane there. Naturally, the name escapes me--anybody remember it?

Gotta miss the Cultured Pearl. Good food, good atmosphere and great people. Never had a bad time there. Thanks for the memories!

One of the places my wife and I used to love was "Welsh's Steakhouse" with their sizzling platters. A couple of other places we used to enjoy were "The Greenspring Inn" and "Shatzies" the German Restaurant next to the "Shot Tower".

Jimmy Wu's New China Inn. I have fond memories of stopping in for an egg roll while attending Seton High School.

Nice list, Elizabeth. Don't remember the name of Gettier's place in Towson but it is another one I also miss. It was a restaurant within a restaurant. About the time of the nouvelle cusine craze.

I loved Louie's Book Store & Cafe. The chains just aren't the same.
There was a cool restaurant across from the Everyman Theater that I loved. It closed in the early 00's and is still abandoned. It was a very colorful place. The name escapes me but it had something to do being friendly or welcoming which was very fitting. Anyone know the place?

Mi Jan Low (sp) the hole-in- the-wall Chinese joint up a smally stairway in an alley off Howard Street. The food was so-so but the atmosphere and clientele were fascinating!

Nick, do you mean the House of Welsh? I seem to remember that the waiters were all elderly gentleman and very attentive.

Rudy's 2900 in Finksburg -- decor was a little stuffy, but not the food. Rudy Speckamp--master chef; Rudy Paul--terrific host. And don't get me started on that dessert cart.... sigh.

The restaurant at Glenmont Towers was Tom Jones. Good food, great bar crowd on Thursday nights.

I miss that Chestertown chicken too. Any chance one of your readers was an old employee with the recipe to share?

I miss Bandaloops in Federal Hill, which is where Drifters is now. I never had a bad meal there and it was the one place you could take your grandmother to in Federal Hill. We miss them terribly :(

I miss Sopranos that was located on Foster Ave. in Canton. We use to go there every Friday and order the shrimp gorgonzola. Makes my mouth water just thinking of it. Now we just eat at home on Fridays which is a lot less fun.

Does anyone know if Martick's Restaurant Francais is still in business? The last review I see if November of 2006. I may have missed another review or news piece.

The restaurant at Glenmont Towers was Tom Jones. Good food, great bar crowd on Thursday nights.

The Tail of the Fox is indeed going back a long way! My parents used to go there when I was a child (and I'm no spring chicken). My father would bring home the empty Lancer's Rose bottles to make lamps out of (hey, I never said my parents had good taste in wine. :-)

Although it doesn't sound right, for some reason I want to say that the place in Glenmont Towers was called "Tom Jones".

L'Auberge was wonderful. Happened to have dinner there when the chef had walked out on the owner and we had a choice of two items. There was also a restaurant called "2110" I believe. Excellent! From my childhood, family meals at Sid Mandell's restuarant in Woodmoor and Hot Dogs and Ice Cream from Price's Dairy.

I miss Gampy's for late night food. There was a place near Patterson Park called the Planet on the Corner that had a great vibe and some good meal concepts -- there was a brie, apple and raspberry sandwich that was really good, and a pizza with black beans and corn.

Chokchai, the Thai takeout place on Harford, closed about a month ago and I miss it already.

Oh! And Joy America Cafe. Not only for the guacamole, but also for the avocado smoothie, the really good sweet potato fries, and just about every entree I ever tried there. And the view, though that is fast disappearing.

I miss Hoang's Sushi on York Road. It was place in north Baltimore to get good sushi. The interior was sparse and simple, and the sushi was delicious.
From back in the old days growing up in Charles Village, I miss the old Homewood Deli (circa late 70's/ early 80's) and and the old Jen's Restaurant at the corner of 32nd and St.Paul. Oh, and also the Burrito Molenese on Eastern Ave

I miss Rudy's 2900 out in Finksburg. The menue always had traditional continental items without the latest trend to muck them up and the desserts where fantastic. I also miss Cafe Madrid which to my mind was head and shoulders above Tio Pepe's. Other places I miss are M. Getier, Hamptons in the Harbour Court and the Conservatory which was at the top of the hotel that faces the Washington monument in Mt. Vernon. There are a lot of places that I wish would close because they are highly over rated and the service is terrible but I won't mention any of them by name.

Thanks, Alan and Hal, for refreshing me on Tom Jones! That place was HOT!

Michael Gettier bought the Orchard Inn, but Hersh's steak and crab cake crowd didn't take to his fancy French food. I loved it, but I was definitely in the minority! You may recall that Michael also tried to rejuvenate Peerce's, but it was too late.

Hey Hal, Lancer's was pretty sophisticated for us "children of the 60's"! I'm SO glad I'm better educated about wine.

That's it! It was Gampy's.
What a great place.

Why are so many vacant businesses that strip of Charles St? The spots where Chesapeake & Gampy's were have been vacant for years. What gives?

Tail of the Fox. For a long time on York Rd just before Timonium Rd. My cousin got married there. Very Elegant. That also was bought by Peter Angelos and torn down for a shopping center!

Can't believe no one's mentioned The Pimlico. Had a salad that rocked! Also The Orchard Inn. Loved the steaks there.

LDJ, I think lack of parking is at least part of the problem. I remember having to park blocks away from Gampy's or the Chesapeake. I don't feel as safe downtown as I did in the 80's and don't want the car to be too far away.

I miss Uncle Charlie's Bistro in Mount Vernon. It was one of the first small bistro style restaurants in the mid-late 1970's, and it was in the cellar of the old University Club on tghe corner of Charles and Madison.

Wow, Mee Jun Low !

Standing on the stairs for an hour and passing bottles of wine up and down was part of the fun. Then having Irene argue with your choices and scream your order back to the cook.

And the most literate graffiti (in the stairwell) I've ever had the pleasure to read.

I also miss the Greek place in Harborplace - Taverna Athena?? and the custom made habenero salsa at La Hacienda.

I have very fond memories of Uncle Charlie's Bistro, where I took my wife on our first date

The summer I turned 18 I worked as a hostess Sundays at Gordon's on Orleans Street. Wearing a dress, high heels and a smile, I'd guide diners to their tables. One time Mrs. Gordon admonished me for saying "Come on" instead of the more polite "This way, please." Funny the things that stick in your head.
Restaurants such as Gordon's, Mee Jan Lo, Karson's, The Pimlico Hotel, The Classroom on Charles Street, Open House on 29th Street, are evocative for the memories, even more than the food.

My friends and I miss the Middleborough Inn that was in Essex. Their seafood was delicious and reasonably priced.

Margaret's in Fells Point had wonderful food with an artsy relaxed atmosphere.

I don't remember the name of the chef at L'Auberge but I do know he left there to return to his native France.

Anyone remember a great French gem in the Ellicott City area named Papillon? That place was incredible.

I was saddened to see Rudy's close; we put our wedding guests on buses and sent them out there from Baltimore for our rehearsal dinner. Most of our wedding guests stayed at The Colonnade and got to eat at Polo Grill. It's a crime that place folded. At least the marriage is still functioning!

Marconi's is at the top of my list. There's still a chance it will reopen with Andy McPhail as maitre d'.

Like Joyce, I was surprised more people hadn't mentioned the Pimlico Hotel, with its book-length menu (including a full Chinese one) and its warm, vibrant atmosphere. It was right for any occasion, from a casual lunch to a special dinner.

It seems what we should do is take all the restuarants we have that sell seared ahi tuna, crab quesadillas, and buffalo anything and cut their numbers in half. Next, we bring back all the restaurants that offered terrapin soup, lobster thermador, chateaubriand and tableside cherries jubilee.

This goes way back, but I fondly remember eating bear, buffalo, whale, etc. at Miller Brothers. I was young, so I don't remember where it was, just we went there every other time my father went to the old Bank's factory to get suits fitted. The other choice was Haussners.

We went to Martick's in the summer and it was as good as ever. I saw Martick in Lexington Market in November and he said he was still around. Go there! It is worth the trip!

Gampy's had the best Monte Cristo sandwich I've ever had. They deep fried it and served it with a raspberry sauce and some sort of a potato side dish. It was the unhealthiest sandwich ever and oh so good.

Oh how I miss Mee Jun Lows (probably spelled wrong) on Mulberry between Park and Howard. John Dorsey's favorite Chinese restaurant - you could look right into the kitchen and see them preparing the food (always wondered why there were so few dogs and cats around).

From a west Baltimore kid:
The Varsity drive in
The sodas and milkshakes at the Arundel in Edmondson Village
the barbecue at Tommy Tucker's in Edmondson Village

"...I think lack of parking is at least part of the problem. I remember having to park blocks away from Gampy's or the Chesapeake. I don't feel as safe downtown as I did in the 80's and don't want the car to be too far away."
This fact has not hurt The Helmand or Tapas Teatro. But I agree it is an issue. Baltimore's decision to not build a subway 100 years ago continues to haunt the city. I can imagine more street life (= safer neighborhoods). Baltimore would be a different city.

What a blast from the past...Sid Mandells in Woodmoor, talk about best hotdogs. There hasn't been a hotdog like that since. Restaurant 2110 was opened/owned by friends of mine from college. Superb!

Does anyone know if Martick's Restaurant Francais is still in business?

I was just there in late December. Still in business, and still as quirky as ever.

Like Joyce, I was surprised more people hadn't mentioned the Pimlico Hotel

The Pimlico was mentioned in the very first comment when this subject was started last Friday (see Next Tuesday's Top Ten).

How about some spots in the NW? The original Pimlico Hotel, or its spinoff, the 4 C's. If you want to go further back, how about the Golden Plough in Owings Mills - now R&H Mercedes. I also liked Puffins in Pikesville.

The Vanguard Cafe on Charles Street & The Charles Street Pantry

Martick's is open! We're having dinner there tonight.

Heck with all of that good food. I miss Beefsteak Charlies. All you can eat ribs, shrimp and salad bar along with all you can drink beer and sangria for 10.95.

Going way back, I used to love going to Rossiter's in Cockeysville.

What about the crab cakes at Thompson's??

Bud Paolino's Crab House
Connolly's seafood restaurant
Danny’s Restaurant
Duff’s Famous Smorgasbord
Family Fish House
Gino's Hamburgers
Golden Arm
Ground Round
Hersh’s Orchard Inn
Homewood Deli
Horn & Horn Cafeteria
Horn & Horn Smorgasbord
Jimmy Wu's
Little Tavern (only 1 left; they used to be all over town)
Obrycki's Carry-Out (at the end of The Alameda just north of Walker Ave.)
Pappy’s Pizza
Pollock Johnny's
Roy Rogers
Steak & Egg
Thompson’s Sea Girt
White Coffee Pot, Jr.
White Coffee Pot family Inn

Zingaro's on Pratt Street - Good Italian food and neat atmosphere

Multiple thanks for the update on Martick's! Now just to find a dining companion.

I really miss the Country Fare Inn when it was in the Samuel Owings House. Great atmosphere upstairs and downstairs in the basement. It was also nice when it on 140 where North Star is now.

When we first moved to B-more from SF in 1976 (pre-Harborplace) it seemed like we had stepped back into a grim version of the '50s, but then this cute little cafe opened up on Cross Street in Fells Point that had great fresh bread and soup (and crepes?) and sort of a "hippie" vibe. Anyone remember the name?
This also reminds me of a late night TV editorial I heard around then by Hyman Pressman (?) who said roughly "some people are saying Baltimore is headed toward becoming the San Francisco of the East Coast. I predict that one day they will be calling San Francisco the Baltimore of the West Coast!". Are we there yet?

The Wild Mushroom in Canton!

DC beat me to the punch. I couldn't remember the name, but yes, Thompson's also had the best Imperial Crab, it was mounded into a pyramid and their seafood platter was the best. Another one, the Yorkshire at York and Belvedere.

Nancy, couldn't agree more with Sid Mandell's. I have wonderful memories of going there as a child and getting the best french fries with gravy ever, with a chocolate soda of course.

Speaking of deli-type food, I miss Corned Beef Row in its heydey, when it had 20 or so delis, plus Stone's magnificent bakery.

Anyone claiming to know me in the 80's could be accurately tested by asking what my favorite plate was -- the Monte Cristo sandwich at Gampy's. I miss ogling Chip and rubbernecking every time the door opened to see whether any more of the "in" crowd was making an apperance. Oh, and getting wasted on the Great American Wet Dream concoction.

Sign of the Swan (owned by Peter Keyser) - in small historical rowhouse on St. Paul in the block before Mercy Hospital - which is now torn down - & the restaurant (?) on the first floor of Cold Spring Towers apartments, which is now dorms for Loyola - both restaurants were wonderful & on the other end of the spectrum, Pollock Johnnys


Always had great service, and the steaks were fantastic.

I miss Bo Brooks when it was on Belair Rd. Especially the bright orange seats. It's just not the same since they sold out to the tourist crowd and relocated to the canton waterfront. But hey, if they can maximize their profits by becomming yuppified, more power to them. That''s what capitalism is all about, I guess.

Rudys 2900 was one I was trying to remember. It was a little Germanic in atmosphere, but they Had Standards.

Was anything ever built where they tore down the Samuel Owings house? That was a crime against humanity, in my book.

I'm amazed at the response I started with a simple little question. Between the Next Top Ten listing and this, the count is ~150. And in all of that I don't recall anyone (but maybe me) mentioning the Ambassador Dining Room (original.) Really great Maryland seafood dishes and wonderful sweetbreads in a cream sauce (don't even think about the cholesterol in that wonderful dish.

As someone else said to Nik in Fla, it was the House of Welsh on Guilford Avenue, just down from the back of the Sun . First real restaurant to which my parents took me. Ah, the parker house rolls (the tastes of youth can not be held against us, later, please.)

One other place I have not seen mentioned, but again a favourite of my parents (I never got there): The Eagar House on, (wait for it) Eagar Street. My recollection of stories of dinners: steaks and mixed drinks, in a world before wine was discovered (this is even Before Lancers).

Dahlink: its Owings Mills, I'm pretty sure a lovely stone 19th century house was replaced by an office building and multi-level car park.

What about the original Uncle Lee's (on Greenmount in Waverly)? We used to eat there with the kids pretty much every Friday night. I've never found cold sesame noodles with peanut butter sauce that were as good (even at the downtown Uncle Lee's).

Homewood Deli- wow that takes me back - the absolute best reubens in the world.

Shellhaus's on Howard St. The sauerbraten was awesome. And the mugs on the wall from the old Saturday Night Club. Baltimore lost a bit of its history. SHAME, SHAME.

The original Uncle Lee's on Greenmount was the first place I ever had Szechwan food. You youngsters might not know that at one time Szechwan food in Baltimore was a new-fangled and exciting thing.

The restaurant in the Hutzlers in Towson, I think it was called the "Valley View Room".

Fiori's on Westminster Pike in Reisterstown was like Little Italy in the 'burbs.

Hausner's and Louie's are the two I miss the most

I miss the Anne Arundel Poultry Company in Brooklyn Park. They had the best barbecue chicken back in the eighties. They would roast a whole chicken on a spit, cut it up and put it in a bucket and poured the best homemade sauce I've ever tasted. I think they put Old Bay in it.

Joy America is going to reopen.

I miss the Silk Road on Charles Street (great Afghan lunches, terrific soups) and the Silk Road by Hopkins (spicy tofu... smoothies...).

I believe someone mentioned the Pimlico Hotel Restaurant that was near the Race Course. Wonderful atmosphere, great food and huge portions. They moved into Reisterstown and I believe they are closed now.

Also there was a restaurant downtown, I think called Baltimore Cafe that made the greatest fresh baked bread, especially the wheat.

I also miss the Pargo's on Caton Avenue. They had the best atmosphere, the best potatoe skins, the best ribs, and the best French Onion soup. The lines would be wrapped around the parking lot and on special occasions, you just could not get in the place. They had a wild drink called Miss Nubie's Hunch Punch.

I second the shout out to the Cultured Pearl. And I miss Sisson's on Cross Street, back when it first opened and was just the one, small rowhouse.

On a slightly different note, they're not all gone yet but I'm starting to miss the small corner bars on Fort Avenue that are slowly morphing into something different, younger, hipper. Everyone should go to LP Docks or Muir's before those sorts of old timer's hangouts completely disappear.

We still miss Bandaloops in Federal Hill. We were there several times a month for the good, consistent food and friendly service. Best chicken salad and crab potato skins ever! They also made a great seafood soup called Potage Mongol. Yum!

I spent the last several hours racking my brain, and someone else named it in the meantime: Charles Street Pantry. Late late-night food and a tremendous back patio for warm weather nights.

The list is amazing... what great recollections. Sid Mandell's is where my grandmother always wanted to go for lunch. I grew up walking distance to the Varsity Drive-In/Champs. But I still miss Harley's Subs...all over town and they seemed to be open 24/7.

Lot's of great delis are gone. Jack's, Nate's & Leon's, Mandell and Ballow.

If you can make a movie about Diner Guys you ought to be able to make a movie about Deli Guys.

My parents introduced me to Danny's, the Chesapeake, the Eager House, the Greenspring Inn and Tail of the Fox.

Dates took me to Mee Jun Low, Jimmy Wu's or the Lotus Inn after a movie.

We cruised the Varsity and Champs on Rt. 40.

And yes, hot dogs at Sid Mandell's and milk shakes at Price's Dairy were to die for. My family also liked the old Hilltop Diner (don't think I ever ran into any of the Diner guys, though) and the old Howard Johnson's at Cold Spring Lane and Reisterstown Road. I remember it mostly for pine panelling, and I liked the ice cream, too.

I also remember wonderful milk shakes and ice cream cones at Emerson Farms Dairy, now the Montessori School at the corner of Falls Road and Greenspring Valley Road.

There was also a place called Longley's at the old Towson Plaza (now buried somewhere deep within the mall) that served lovely individual loaves of hot bread with whipped butter.

When we went shopping downtown we either went to the Court Yard (in Hecht's?), which was decorated as a Williamsburg-like patio surrounded by fake buildings, or the Quixie (in Hochschold's), which was strictly utilitarian but had great chocolate ice cream sodas.

From my days living in Annapolis, I miss the Little Campus on Maryland Avenue, which had a little bit of everything and a nice atmosphere. There was also a place on Route 50, closer to the Bay Bridge than Busch's, with a distinctive roof, but I can't remember the name.

Of more recent vintage, I miss the Backfin in Pikesville, which had really great burgers at phenomenal prices.

Does anyone remember the Grotto right off Loch Raven Blvd.on Joppa Rd.near the Orchard Inn? I believe it had an indoor grill and was noted for its cheesburgers. 1970s?

Ohhhh... Little Campus. Friday night happy hours with 2-fer drinks, both at the same time. Huge wonderful onion rings.

Also, probably not a wonderful food place, but when I was really little, we used to go to Delvale in Roland Park. It was at the opposite end of the shopping center (the oldest in the US) from Morgan & Millard.

I loved Mee Jung Low (sp?). As was mentioned, Irene was part of the atmosphere yelling orders into the kitchen hung with many chickens, (etc.?). There were not too many tables in the second floor eatery and you would sit sometimes with people you didn't know beforehand. You would see people in this very modest room from every walks of life... In the early to mid 60s we would go several times a month.

There was a little restaurant in the "basement or ground level" of one of the big apartment buildings near JHU. It was best for their pizza and salad buffet. The interior seemed to glow with all of the beautiful knotty pine and if I recall correctly it was done horizontally. (My childhood house had vertical knotty pine panelling.)

I can't recall the name. Does anyone else? I think I would have lived there for the good pizza and the atmosphere.

Great French and Moroccan food at the Cafe de Paris on N. Charles Street.
The unique Harvey House also on N.Charles Street.
Winterlings on Foster Ave great sauerbraten.
The Athenian on Eastern Ave that moved to the Inner Harbor(not as good there tho)then on to Aliceanna street as Opa's that didn't surrvive the floods,unfortunately.

I miss Hersh's Orchard Inn and the Old Pimlico Hotel by the racetrack..Baltimore Institutions that did it right..always a celeb in the place and the waitstaff was always on their game..They also had great musical talent on any given nite..
Where have they all gone??

Thank you so much for this journey of happy memories from Baltimore's great gastronomic history. I live in Florida now, but for so many years I loved Danny's. No where in America can you get Steak Dianne like Danny's. Or his desert souffles. Shad in the Springtime, Chateaubriand with pommes souffles. I remember once telling one of his inimitable 'Hon' waitresses after a meal that the dessert menu was full of elaborate strawberry creations, but I just wished I could have a strawberry shortcake. She returned momentarily and told me that if I had time to wait "Mr. Danny said he would make you a strawberry shortcake", and sure enough he did, presenting a real 'short' cake piled with beautiful strawberries. I also miss Jeanniers, the old Oyster Bay, Dici Naz Vellegia in Towson (best Veal Francaise in town), and of course Marconi's. Mr. Angelos has indeed destroyed much of Baltimore with his twin destruction of the Orioles and that institution which was Marconi's.

Dahlink - Although you never went to the Eager House, I was in there pick up my mom who was a lunchtime waitress there. They had the best ribs. I was still in my single digits then (the 60's) and remember well the Crow's Nest, the Bouy's Room and the Gull's Room, the waitresses wore Sailor style uniforms and the DARK smokey bar and the bright bar in the dining room. Ahh what a memory..thank you!

Reading this list makes me realize how much better food is today. Don't get me wrong, I miss some of these places too (especially Homewood Deli).
But we're eating fresher, healthier, more multi-ethnic food now, and that's a good thing.

Lizzie, good call on the Howard Johnson's. You might be the 1st one to have posted that one. We used to go to HoJo's ourselves on occasion. The one we went to was in Towson on the corner of York Rd and Fairmont (Goucher Blvd.). Good Call.

Zingaro's on Pratt Street . That was the place in the mid-late '80's for innovative Italian.

Two favorites no one seems to have mentioned, but each a legend in it's time. The Penn Hotel in Towson with the amazing Bernie Lee and Peerce's Plantation at it's peak with Josef as Chef and Peerce Lake the affable owner.

Lizzie...Are you refering to the Whitehall Inn? As a kid I LOVED their fruit fritters!!! And the big salad bowl served family style with a selection of housemade dressings.

I think it is time to jump in here with one I have not seen mentioned yet, although it is outside of Baltimore way down in Annapolis. But does anyone remember Buzzy's Pizza. It was a warehouse style pizza place , I believe was on Maryland Ave. down near the front gate of the Academy. It was a great weekend place for a young teenager to go for Pizza and sodas and just to hang out and listen to the live ragtime music.

I'm going to have to do Top Ten Pizza Places We Miss Terribly :-)

I remember Buzzy's Pizza! I grew up in Cape St. Clare and it was a treat to got there for my birthday, sit at big picnic tables and watch silent films while eating really good pizza!

Was there a restaurant called Churchill at the base of one of the Charles towers on the Liberty St side near Lexington St? I pass by there and see an awning that says the name.

Kimmer -- Yes, it was the Whitehall Inn, and the fruit fritters were a treat. Thanks.

And Ralph -- I can't believe I forgot about Buzzy's. It wasn't on Maryland Avenue, but on the street that runs parallel to the academy wall. What a great place!

Another favorite old Annapolis place was Meuhlmeister's Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street, which featured waitresses in mini-1890s outfits and a HUGE menu of ice cream treats.

And up by Fort Meade (Annapolis Junction, I think) was a dive of a place
called Hinckles or Henckles that featured ham through the garden. This was a sandwich with paper-thin slices of ham piled almost too high to get your mouth around, garnished with lots and lots of finely shredded lettuce and onions, and tomato slices.

Sony's on Park Avenue. Fabulous Filipino food. Home-cooked flavor but remarkably elegant, with pan-Asian dishes that were before their time. A preposterous trademark infringement lawsuit by the Sony Corp. forced the restaurant out of business, and I've boycotted the Corp's products ever since.

Thanks for the Meuhlmeister's memories. Oddly enough. my mom and I were just talking about them today. Do you remember their unGodly metal chairs?

When I was a kid (mid 50's to 60's), we didn't generally eat at local Howard Johnson's but, when traveling up and down the east coast, we always stayed at motels with a Howard Johnson's attached. I loved the clam strips and the ice cream.

Imagine my surprise to find out all these years later that Jacques Pepin was the executive chef for the chain.

Read's at Howard and Lexington for the grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes. Pixie Pizza also on Howard St. near Hecht Co. for the slices. We would stop there after school - late 60s.

When I was in elementary & jr. high, my grandmother used to take me to lunch and a movie "uptown" at the beginning of June each year. We dressed up and wore hats and gloves and at the Read's at Howard and Lexington (on the mezzanine so we could watch the people) and then went to the Hippodrome for a movie. It was my gift for "passing".

When my grandmother died, I confiscated the Read's spoon from her kitchen drawer.

Since this is the anniversary of the Baltimore fire, just a reminder that the House of Welch, when on Guilford Avenue, was in the only surviving building from the fire area. The knotty pine walls had lots of pictures from the fire.

A recent passing, the Backfin, which was mentioned earlier. It had the perfect summer dinner - good gazpacho, a fine soft crab sandwich (done the real way) and very cold Backfin Pale Ale (no relation). They also had very good imperial crab. It was very senior friendly, but they also let the rest of us dine.

Susan, what's the "real way" to do a soft crab sandwich?

Ms Janet: You just had to do that? Crab cakes, part 47. Real way, indeed. I can see the hit rate going to 50,000. Get the children back; don't let them watch.

To Janet, the "real" way to put together a soft crab sandwich is a sauted crab (preferably with no breading), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and horror of horrors, white bread. Somehow ordering a soft crab platter with a garlic aioli sauce just doesn't do it. Now, let me say this is my personal opinion.

You are sauteing with butter, right?


#49998 the real soft crab. Grab your dip net on a soft summer(August) afternoon, amble down to the pier, dip a doubler off of the pilings. Take the soft crab up to Mom(along the way grab a nice ripe tomato or if your lucky enough an ear or two of corn also) Mom cleans and pan fries the soft crab as you wash your hands and get a couple of slices of plain ole white bread, slice some tomato, add a little iceberg(yes) lettuce a dab or two of mayonaisse and the freshly fried soft crab. Grab a glass of homemade ice tea and go out under the mulberry tree, take a seat on the picnic bench and enjoy!!

I know this is a long shot, but does anyone else remember a Towson restaurant that may have been called Cafe Regina (late 70's or 80's)? It was just south of the movie theater (now the Recher) and was upstairs. My husband think it only lasted about a year (that upstairs location didn't help, no doubt) but he can still remember their grouper special.

I remember many of the places mentioned but also The Buttery on Charles in Mt. Vernon. We loved the cheeseburgers! Also the restaurant in Stewarts Dept. store downtown for grilled cheese sandwiches, and Woolworths for their ice cream sundaes and cherry cokes! Great memories!!! JoAnn

Wasn't the Buttery originally called the White Tower Buttery? I seem to recall it being called that back in the late 60s. I used to ride the bus from Baynesville carrying my cello to play in Maryland Youth Symphony in the basement of one of the churches in Mt. Vernon (I forget which one).

The Alcazar Hotel (now part of the School for the Arts) was my landmark to know when to get off the bus, and I'd usually go into the White Tower for something to eat or drink to kill time if I got there too early.

Dahlink -- I recall that Cafe Regina had the place now occupied by the Melting Pot, at 418 York Road, back in ca. 1984. That space has had a revolving door of restaurant tenants since then. Indeed, the downtown core of Towson has been a rough area for restaurants over the years, due to perceived parking issues (although The Orient seems to live on forever).

Hal - you're right, it was the White Tower Buttery. I used to eat there in the mid to late 60's when I studied at the Peabody. I hadn't thought of that place in years.

What wonderful memories of so many of the old time "Bawlmer" restaurants. I'm surprised, however, that no one mentioned Cy Bloom's Place in the Alley. Great food, great bar and wonderful dance area - three floors if I remember correctly.

BTW: The House of Welsh is open in Fenwick Island. Not quite the charm of the old place but their steaks are still great.

OMG! Gampy's was the best, especially after Gerard's would close. Does anyone know if one of Gampy's best: the Monte Cristo sandwich, can be found in or near Annapolis?

OMG! Gampy's was the best, especially after Gerard's would close. Does anyone know if one of Gampy's best: the Monte Cristo sandwich, can be found in or near Annapolis?

Soul Shack

I miss DiNittis too !

And now we can all miss Martick's, which was still kicking when this post originated.

I walked by Martink's Thursday, and someone was painting the front grey.

I second Louie's. Grad school at Hopkins triggers the taste of the "Frozen Almond" drinks they made, and I drank, when my metabolism let me drink them.

Big second for L'Auberge. Food was great and setting intimate. Had my first bottle of great wine there--1985 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape.

Buzzy's in Annapolis circa 1968 (they served pitchers to minors! Ann's footlongs, Brookwood Farms for Ice Cream, Clark St. Garage on St. Paul for soup, Hinkles in Laurel NO BETTER sandwich, Highland Inn crabcake and Snyders Willow Inn for a softcrab sandwich,

Snyder's Willow Grove is still around, isn't it? As is Ann's Dari-Creme.

Oh Wow...Ron mentioned White Coffee Pot. My dad and I would go every weekend to the one in Timonium (which is now The Charred Rib). What great memories. For some reason we would say we were going to breakfast at Tiffany's...

Trixie - we used to go to the one in Hillandale. We used say "let's go hit the Pot".

Re-reading these posts I'm remembering my first favorite restaurant, Randy Rock. It was on the corner of Old Court and Liberty and had a big oval lunch counter in the center and booths with individual juke boxes around the outside. They may have had car service, I was only about 4 and don't remember that much. My favorite part of the meal was my cherry coke that came in a silver looking outer ring fitted with a cone shaped paper cup.


I didn't think anyone would remember Hinkle's in Laurel. My last duty station in the Navy was at Ft. Meade/NSA and we would go to Hinkle's for lunch. Sure did pile the meat high on those sandwiches.

Ming's in Timonium

Louise's Pizza
English Chicken Steak House
Kaplans's Deli
Silber's Bakery
Flower Drum
Benny Goodman's
Bratwurst House
Peter Pan
Arthur Treacher's
Beefsteak Charlie's
Gypsy Cafe
Guido Burrito

Wasn't Arthur Treacher's a chain?

Lissa -- Arthur Treacher's is still a chain, albeit with very few outlets in this area: two in Maryland, in Deale (southern Anne Arundel County) and Temple Hills (Prince George's County), and two in Northern Virginia, in Fairfax and Alexandria. Besides, with dozens of Irish bars and English gastropubs serving fish and chips these days, who needs a fast-food chain?

Arthur Treacher's was and is a chain. I think there might be one or two left in Maryland. The last one I actually saw was in Breezewood.

I think I remember reading something about how increases in the price of Cod back in the 1970's brought on the demise of AT's. It also brought on the Icelandic Cod Wars, but that is another topic.

Wasn't Arthur Treacher's a chain?

Yes. As was Lum's, I think.

Lissa - I think Mark must have grown up in Randallstown or Woodmoor because most of those places were on Liberty Road between the beltway and Old Court Road.

Does anyone remember Carmans, I belive it was on 25th Street, near Charles or maybe St Paul. A wonderful place for shad in the spring. If I was trying to impress a girl I would always take her there. Haussners was another place to impress the ladies. How about Winterlins in Highlandtown? They had great German food. Hasslingers for fried oysters & crab cakes. This has been a great ride down memory lane.

I can't name 10, but does anyone remember Buzzy's Pizza on West St. In Annapolis? We used to like eating in the "jail". I also loved Pappy's Pizza, Ferrall's Ice Cream in Landover. And Bob's Big Boy in New Carrolton.

Love's in Charles Village.
The Toddle House.
Lipton's Govans Grill.
Hasslinger's (carry out)
Thompson's Sea Girt House.
The John Eager Howard Room in the Belvedere Hotel.
Alonso's (the old one).

The Pump Room (for crabs)

Peabody Bookstore & Beer Stube
The American Revolution Tavern
The Classroom
The Average Bear (Hampden)
McCabe's (Hampden)
The Buttery
The Turf Inn


Hinkels...not a dive but a wonderful place where lifelong friends made parties, births of our first many laughs and good times that we will never forget. Friends that are no longer with us...Henkels ham through the garden..Lordy..what a wonderful sandwich. I hate that the place is gone. Us Navy guys at NSA were regulars..over the years i know i took more than one girlfriend back there...good stuff...great times. Me and Dick and Crazy Bob...we knew how to have fun.

oh yeah...not only was Hinkels the most wonderful place on earth, We would occasionally stray away from the Hinkels Ham and go to Connellys for tacos...Bob would eat them so hot that sweat would pop out on his forehead and lip...then if we wanted a sandwich and a beer it was the Silver Dollar where the bartenders name was 38. Asked why the name he would always say.."cause i carry one"..and he did.. that was the late 60s..NSA had 20,000 employees and 19,000 of them were good looking single women. yeah...that was a time. I would cruise with Dixie to Brighton dam, with Susie all over the and the guys were gonna live forever. oh well...

I miss the build your own burrito place with crayons and packing paper on the tables and great beer in ?SoweBo. Can't remember the name.

That would be Mencken's Cultured Pearl.

To answer the query from about the hippy style joint that served soup in Federal Hill, the name of the place, aptly enough, was the Soup Kitchen. I remember it well

I too miss a lot of these restaurants mentioned. I also dearly miss the Penguin Room at the Hochschild, Kohn store in Eastpoint if for no other reason than the ice cream penguins they served. Also being from the East side I miss the A-1 steak house and the Thunderbird drive inn. But truthfully, I would really just enjoy a Gino Giant right now.

the pizza and salad bar place on 33rd Street in the basement of the apartment building was called Pizzapeal (not sure how that was spelled)
Great place to take the kids and not worry about how messy or loud they were.

Sid Mandell, who created the four by four and the 106 and the other great deli dishes at Mandell's at Woodmoor, died two days ago. The passing of an era for Liberty Road memories.

hats off to Hungryman who remembers the BEST BBQ sauce EVER at Anne Arundel Poultry. I tried to get the receipe once, but he wouldn't part with it. I dream about it!!

The place in Annapolis Junction was called Henkels. I worked there nights thirty years ago during my last year in the Air Force at NSA on nearby Ft. Meade. They had ham through the garden, roast beef through the garden, and corn-beef through the garden. The Washington Bullets came in once and I served Wes Unseld and Mitch Kupchek. It was owned by three brothers, Jim, Tim, and a third whose name I forget. Jim passed away over twenty years ago, and they actually burned down the building in a controlled fire for the fire department after the remaining two brothers retired. I've many good memories from there.

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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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