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May 9, 2008

And the winner is...


I've tentatively decided on Top Ten Uncommon Ethnic Eateries, with Top Ten Bistros a close second and open for discussion to use the following week, and Top Ten Places for Waterfront Dining (suggested by commenter extraordinaire Donny B) to be held for warmer weather, say the week after that.

If I remember.

I decided on ethnic eateries because I can list some restaurants that haven't appeared on too many lists before, because it's a topic that's been suggested before and I ignored it, and because the alliteration is awesome. Just kidding about that last one.

(Colby Ware/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:21 PM | | Comments (32)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Are the top ten to be ethnic eateries that you have personally encountered? Just wondering. There is an Ethiopian restaurant on the NW corner of Cathedral and Chase; I've not been there myself.

Me or Karen Nitkin, the LIVE reviewer. EL

I hope you include everyone's favorite Persian restaurant.

Carlysle club has good lebanese food.

Helmand, Helmand, Helmand.

Also the Korean restaurant, whose name I have forgotten, on 20th Street between Charles and Maryland.

I would like to know why Baltimore has lost so many of its Russian restaurants (New York New York and the Art Cafe) and Russian grocery stores (Everfresh and Babuska Deli).

I've resigned myself to the death of German restaurants in Baltimore, even though German is one of the most common ancestory groups in the area.

I've also resigned myself to the fact that we have about 5 times more Irish Pubs then we actually need in this town. I will say, however, that last weekend I went to Galway Bay in Annapolis, and that Baltimore's Irish pubs would do themselves well by taking some pointers from Annapolis.

RoCK, I think part of the reason for the demise of ethnic groceries and restaurants is that after the first and second generations of immigrants pass on, the later generations become more "Americanized," move to the suburbs, and reject the "old country," including its foods. Also, the restaurants cannot find cooks who know the authentic recipes and the tricks needed to make them. There is always some support of the culture and background, but not enough to support all the stores and restaurants. How many real delis are left on "corned beef row?"

We went to an "irish" bar last night and the only "food" they had was cheetos and old bay. it wasn't as bad as it sounds.

Robert of Cross Keys makes a good point. I can't think of a major metropolis that doesn't have at least a few good German restaurants. But ever since Haussner's packed it's bric-a-brac, we've been short on schnitzel, wurst and the succulence of German-style duckling. As for the plethora of Irish pubs, perhaps it's time for an authentic British pub to open up. The menu wouldn't be all that different -- fish and chips & bangers and mash, for example -- but they might offer "best bitter" on tap. Warm, rich, dark and lightly carbonated. I'd say more -- but I don't want to poach on Rob Kasper's territory.

Old Fart, your point about assimalation may be true when it comes to the German restaurants, as there aren't too many off boat Germans in Baltimore anymore.

I think the Russian situation is a little different. There are quite a few recent immigrants from Russia living in the area. I've noticed the Russian places seem to have atypical business practices. Places like the EverFresh grocery store went through a period of a year with fewer and fewer items on the shelves until the place eventually closed up. The old New York New York as well as the current Red Square seem to have unique staffing hours. I've walked into both places at both lunch and dinner times only to find no body....including staff.

Sounds wary suspicious RoCK. Maybe we should call mouse and squirrel.

Red Maple, in the basement of the Old Belvedere on Charles Street, has Russian (actually Ukranian) food as a buffer for the vodka. As in the mother country, it doesn't really get rolling, even for dinner, until 10 p.m. or so.

FHJim we think you mean Red Square. Red Maple is south of there on the other side of the street. Just don't order a Mojito at RS. a Russian friend of mine said that it's ten dollars and has no fresh mint nor rum in it. Russian mojito which I will call a Boris Badanoff: wodka and creme de menthe. Yukski.
--Moose and squirrel out.

"Wodka and creme de menthe"--GACK!


Have you tried Burke's Cafe on Light St.? Someone more knowledgeable about German food would have to fill you in on how authentic is, but I can tell you it is resonably priced and VERY filling.

Also, more generally, husband and I have become big fans of Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East. Again, I'm not qualified to speak on authenticity, but it is YUMMY.

Burke's has German food? I had no idea! I've only been there for breakfast and lunch (mostly while on jury duty).

Maybe we should call mouse and squirrel.
Isn't that Moose & Squirrel, Owie?

I haven't been to Burke's in years and had no idea they had German food. I ways went for the amazing onion rings.

Isn't that Moose & Squirrel, Owie?

Mousse and Squirrel would be more appropriate here.

Can anyone recommend a good Greek restaurant that isn't in Greektown? (Nothing against Greektown; I'm just to cheap to use the gas it would take to get there.) Thanx.

I"m thrilled, THRILLED, that this is the Top 10. I'd like to nominate Dukem. It's Ethiopian and it's delicious.

Dottie, it depends on where you are and how authentic you are looking for.

Dimitri's, on Frederick Road between Catonsville and Ellicott City in the Western suburbs, has passable Greek specialties among other things. Not fancy, but pretty good overall.

RoCK: There are a couple of German joints around. There is one in Highlandtown. Can't remember the name, but it is on Grundy a block off Eastern Avenue. There is also Blob's Park, whch has good music and beer to help you enjoy the veal sausage.

Dottie: There are only two options in Greektown worth your time: Samos and Milos.

Commenter extraordinaire..."

I like the sound of that!

I know it's you. I had to make up for forgetting you last time. EL

A few years ago my curling team went to the Eichenkrantz in Highlandtown. I went there once before just for a few beers and it has a certain decrepit charm -- dark, lots of wood.

When we returned for food this time it was horrifying. They had gutted the old look and now it was a freak show of bad taste. The room was open and graceless, with tacky wallpaper and lighting that was so bright I swear I could see through my hand. It was so awkward and unappealing an atmosphere that we just went to the bar for some dark beers and left without eating. But if you want ot get your Hasenpfeffer on, this would be the place, just wear your sunglasses.

I love that the web site has a section for REVIEWS. They have none. LOL

Mike, Blob's Park either has closed, or soon will. Been going there since the late 60's.

When I want German food now, I'll drive out to the Bavarian Inn in Shepardstown, WV or a place I can't remember or spell in Hagerstown.

RoCK -- I think you may be referring to Schmankerl Stube in Hagerstown? I haven't eaten there, but a friend of German heritage has recommended it.

Mr. OF -- you are correct about Blob's Park, which closed as of January 1, 2008.

I've never gone, but there's always Deutsches Gasthaus in Aberdeen. Has anyone tried it?

hmpstd, I just looked at the menu for
Shmankerl Stube and its a good thing I wasn't too close to the screen or I would have drooled all over my keyboard, not just the desktop! Takes me back to when I lived in Germany and got to eat such things all the time. My son lives in Hagerstown, and next time we visit, guess where I will ask to go. Thanks for the lead.

Mr. OF: I have to agree with you about that menu. And they serve beer in FIVE LITER STEINS!

Anyone up for a Sandbox field trip?

When I was in Germany the only people you saw drinking from the LARGE steins were the tourists. The folks in the back at the Stammtisch (the "regulars' table") had the half liter glasses. That way they were refilled more often with fresh, cold beer.

Now, a five liter mini-keg is another thing entirely

I've wanted to give the German place in Aberdeen a try, but everytime I called that place no one answered.

Yes, this is another restaurant with atypical business practices or atleast atypical phone practices.

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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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