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December 16, 2008

Top 10 Recession-Proof Restaurants

MariLunaLatinG.jpgI liked this suggestion by a reader for a Top 10 Tuesday because it got me to thinking about what makes a recession-proof restaurant. Of course, no place is really recession-proof, and I'm sure each of these has been hurt by the present economy. It's just that they have a better chance than many of our local restaurants to survive.

It's a completely subjective list, although I've asked for suggestions from friends and colleagues. I've tried to give you the reasons they seem to be doing OK. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong or if you have some better choices.

If you're a Top 10 first-timer, please click on this link: ...

* Clementine in Hamilton. It's relatively new with good buzz; kid-friendly; and BYOB (which in another economy could be a negative). Everything on the menu, with one exception, costs less than $20. And the food is comfort plus.

* Helmand in Mount Vernon. It isn't as cheap as it used to be, but it comes darn close. Inexpensive, good ethnic food is usually found in a hole-in-the-wall, but at the Helmand you can dress up and celebrate a special occasion. Plus it's had a national rep ever since a critic from the Big City Up North discovered it.

* Mari Luna Latin Grille in Pikesville. People love the original Mari Luna, and this has the advantage of newness, plus the quality of food, fair pricing and service that the Mexican grill has. It's festive at a time when we need some festiveness.

* Matthews Pizza in Highlandtown. The perfect balance of an incredibly loyal fan base, cheap eats, landmark status, and a hard-to-get table, in part because the place is so small.

* Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn in Essex. This has acquired a mantle once owned by Bo Brooks before it moved: The place that's most recommended by critics when people want steamed crabs in authentic, non-touristy digs. In the Baltimore area, that's pure gold.

* Peter's Inn in Fells Point. Locals take their out-of-town company here for the same reason they like it, to show them the "real" Baltimore or the "secret" Baltimore: Fells Point funkiness combined with haute cuisine. No one can ever get in because it's tiny and doesn't take reservations, so it's even more desirable.

* Phillips in the Inner Harbor. I would feel more sure about this choice if it weren't the dead of winter, but there are always enough visitors to Baltimore who want to go to the Inner Harbor and want Maryland-style seafood. Not to mention the fact that Phillips is now such a large operation it can weather most storms.

* Sabatino's in Little Italy. Obviously I had to include one Little Italy restaurant because the neighborhood is such a tourist attraction. I eliminated the most expensive choices and thought only about the ones that are considered institutions. I chose Sabatino's over Chiapparelli's because the late-night hours give it a slight edge in my mind.

* Samos in Greektown. Baltimoreans have always headed to Eastern Avenue for good, cheap ethnic cuisines; but over the decades Samos has replaced Ikaros as the restaurant most adored for its Greek food. Customers are so fanatically loyal they don't even mind that no credit cards are accepted.

* Woodberry Kitchen in Hampden/Woodberry. It's still the hottest table in town, and if "philosophy-driven restaurant concepts" are a top trend, as we've been told, then its greenness and locavorism will continue to be a drawing card.

(Photo of Mari Luna Latin Grille by Monica Lopossay/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:21 AM | | Comments (80)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays
        

Comments

Can't wait for the thundering hoards to wake up and take this one on! You are one gutsy lady with some of these choices even though sevem of the ten have weathered many economic storms and are still around.

Bring em on. :-) EL

Buh, buh, buh...you left out McDonald's!

I can't let that comment about Samos vs. Ikaros go by unchallenged. Unfortunately, every time I've eaten at Samos, I've found the food terribly greasy and uninspired, the surroundings less than tidy, and the staff unengaged. After the last encounter with what I can only sum up as a sense of entitlement, I will not go back. I have posted here before that I've dined at Ikaros since it opened, though a visit to Samos was never thought of as a visit not to Ikaros. They are two completely different kinds of experiences. However, dining at Ikaros is like sitting in Xenos and Ted's personal dining room. Actually, that's exactly what it is, complete with gracious service, immaculate surroundings, and amazing food.

What I appreciate is the geographic diversity, you seem to have hit one every major neighborhood (though I would swap Woodberry for either Golden West of Holy Frijoles if we mean Hampden proper). Though coverage may have been unintentional, Canton and Federal Hill are noticeably absent. This does not bother me for Canton (the neighborhood itself seems too newly developed to be recession-proof) but what is the recession proof place in Federal Hill?

Nice selection, EL. I would add some of the little hole-in-the-wall neighborhood restaurants like Hunan Szechuan in Hillendale. I know it's been there for close to 17 years, and probably before that, but that's when we first found it.

They frequently have just a few tables full but the phone rings constantly and people keep coming in for carryout. Just last year, we found out that they now deliver to our house.

Some neighborhood places come and go and some just seem to always be there.

I just want to know what is the criteria for being "recession proof"? Is it being able to weather the storm and not go out of business? Or is it not experiencing any sort of drop in business? This list seems a bit cooked up to me. Restaurants are discretionary spending and by definition not recession proof. Please enlighten us on your criteria.

I think my first paragraph pretty much answers that. As for the list being cooked up, please read the link I provided for first-time readers. EL

Sabatino's seems to benefit from its age, too. I can't count the number of women (from the county) who have told me "Oh, my mother went there for prom, so I had to, too." Its packed on every holiday.

I wouldn't say Bill's terace Inn is colpletely recession proof. We went there on a Saturday in August and waited less than an hour. That's unheard of (unless you get there when it opens).

I'm glad for the update. It's been awhile since I've been, but people keep recommending it as the place to get steamed crabs. EL

I would add Szechuan House at the Galleria in Lutherville to your list. Good food at great prices.

Maybe some/any/all brewpubs could've been mentioned, Brewer's Art, Wharf Rat, even DuClaw....people tend to get their drink on when money's tight, go figure!

I think you're right. The problem is picking the one to mention. EL

It just struck me as ironic that you are giving publicity to places that don't need them.

Szechuan House? But yesterday you reported that a seemingly popular place Jesse Wong’s Hong Kong was closed and the quest for good dim dum has become more difficult. And that's my segue into today's feature at the Owl Meat Apocrypha, a poem about the worst Chinese restaurant EVER. Stay away it make you crazy ... hungry.

I would add Hamilton Tavern -- GREAT FOOD - totally reasonable prices - great beer - what else do you need? Sounds recession proof to me -

EL, I appreciate the link, but I am not a first-time reader. What I meant by "cooked up" is that anyone can pull together 10 restaurants that can survive an economic downturn. All you would have to do is to look at the restaurants who have managed to stay open to survive the recession of the mid-70s, early 80s, late 80s, early 80s, the early 00s, and the present downturn--of which there are surely more than 10 in the Baltimore area. You provide us no criteria of why these 10 restaurants are better suited to withstand a bad economic than the others who have stayed open during those times.

I provided them (as in loyal fan base, institutional status etc. etc.). Whether you agree with my reasoning or not, or think that those are good enough reasons, is another matter, and I'm guessing you don't. :-) The reason I asked you to look at the link whether you're actually a first-time reader or not is that I like to think of this blog as an open conversation, not a rigorous argument where I'm trying to persuade you about my position. Rather than argue with you this way, I'd much rather you just say "X has a much better chance to survive than your Y for these reasons." EL

@ matt hudock: Recession-proof in Federal Hill is tough -- Regi's? Canton would be Mama's on the Half Shell

I'd definitely go with Brewer's Art. We were there Friday night & it was as crowded as ever, upstairs and down. And Red Maple was stuffed to the gills as well with people who appeared to be eager to spend large amounts of dough.

...what else do you need?

Parking!

Recession-proof in Canton you have to include Nacho Mama's, and I agree, Mama's on the Halfshell. I was at both restaurants this weekend for dinner and brunch, respectively, and they were both packed. Every table was full at Nacho Mama's at 5 p.m. Federal Hill choice would be Matsuri.

I think "Recession-proof" restaurants are the places that are old standby favorites. In other words, if you are going to spend money on going out to eat, you are going to pick a place that is already tried-and-true and you won't be disappointed, OR something like Woodberry Kitchen where the buzz is unreal. I have eaten there and it's good but certainly not blown away by it. And I wholeheartedly agree that a pub restaurant such as Red Star or Mother's will endure.

OK, here's another one: G & M in Arbutus. Doesn't need publicity, true, but it certainly fits the "recession proof" criteria. This place could sell out their crabcakes anyplace, anytime.

That's an excellent example, and one that slipped my mind. EL

How about Jacks Bistro's Thursday Beer night dinner.

How about Jacks Bistro's Thursday Beer night dinner.

8>(

EL, I think TD has a point. You should do more rigorous logical examinations of your assertions. Perhaps next Tuesday you could do the top ten proofs for the existence of God.

Lists are controversy generators. Controversy gets attention. Attention means blog hits or newpaper/magazine sales. There is no proof that Hugh Jackman is the sexiest man alive, but there it is on the magazine cover.

When I saw that issue I thought of you and how thrilled you would be. No kidding. :-) EL

Urrrr, Hugh Jackman! You think I have a problem with him just because I occasionally report his death? I was up for the role of Wolverine and he stole it. And now he's hosting the Oscars. When will my suffering end?

I agree with the Woodberry kitchen comments. As much as we love the atmoshere the food is mediocre at best. It just gets so much hipe sort of the like the wolf foreman team

Sabatino's is horrible, nuff said. Does anyone besides tourists and drunk after hours diners ever go there?

On a different note, it looks like Red Fish has reopened. though the red fish sign is still there, the open sign has a different name (which I can't read while driving past). A few tables were filled last night...

Eve - I'm with you - the little discussed but so important (to me) parking thing! Ok, the food's great, the prices are great but how's the parking (or do they have a valet).

How bout top 10 places with great parking?

Thanks to it's commitment to the neighborhood and self service policy, I have never seen Pizza John's wanting for business.

The same goes for Squires just minus the self service.

Dockside in Canton: Good Food, Ice Cold Beer...steamed crabs, crab fluffs , crab cakes...other choices of sea food; great atmosphere, senic views out door...warm and welcoming waiters and waitresses...

I went to Canton Dockside once, and my friends and I wanted to occupy an outside table (which, at 7:30 on a comfortable evening in August, was one of MANY outside tables available -- maybe not so recession proof?). We didn't want crabs or anything to eat, but we would have been willing to drink a lot of beer and cocktails and spend the evening there. Did I mention the outside area was empty? Our waitress could not have been more sullen about us not ordering food. It was so uncomfortable. We drained a pitcher of beer as fast as we could and got out of there. How unpleasant! (And I used to be a server myself, so I know better than to take up a table to just drinks on a busy night, but there were plenty of empty tables available for big spenders!) But I did notice most of the servers looked like 18-year-old strippers. Perhaps that's a big draw for some ...

How bout top 10 places with great parking?

WalMart

Dockside in Canton: Good Food, Ice Cold Beer...steamed crabs, crab fluffs , crab cakes...other choices of sea food; great atmosphere, senic views out door...warm and welcoming waiters and waitresses... Posted by: Big Al

You should do an ad for them Big Al.

While doing a little research, I found the stupidest web site feature in a long long time. When I tried to look at their menu at Dockside, I got this message:
* Opens in new window, requires Microsoft Word

So I have to download your menu, open MS Word (or possibly purchase and install it) and load it into Word? Uh, NEVER going to happen. Ever.

Big Al, you should tell your friends (or yourself) at Dockside that that is website poison.

How about (Insert owned property) that has(insert popular menu items) which is all very low priced!??

People are always packed in like sardines at (Insert owned property again).

And beer, they have beer!

It's local too!

What do you know from Walmart, Bird? They're in the suburbs!

Got a hankering for quality food at value prices? Head on down to Wilkinson's Family Restaurant where the friendly staff will be delighted to serve you. Try the veggie platter. And don't forget their world-class selection of beers. Willkinson's ... it's the place to be!

"OK, here's another one: G & M in Arbutus."

Arbutus? What an insult. G&M is in Linthicum.

In Cockeysville, I think Patricks is recession-proof (although not fireproof, unfortunately). It's been around for at least 20 years with great long-term servers and a reliable mid-price menu.

Can't believe Peppermill is not on the list or mentioned. I was there the other day and overheard conversation in the near by table about maturing CD's. In this economic environment where cash is king, those 'mature' patrons aren't hurting nearly as badly as some of us.

That's another excellent suggestion. I wish I had thought of it. Definitely belongs. EL

Whoa, murfneil is throwing down. Why don't you get your Linthicum Sharks and meet the Arbutus Jets behind the Home Depot tonight for some dance-fighting to settle this.

My apologies, murfneil. I am geographically challenged when south of 695. All I know is that I missed the Hammonds Ferry/Nursery Road exit once and wound up in the horrible tunnel....an experience I won't soon forget.

"But I did notice most of the servers looked like 18-year-old strippers. Perhaps that's a big draw for some ...

Sorry, where is this place...?

Akbar in Mount Vernon never fails us. It's the coziest place on a cold night, great food, friendly and efficient service.

I would have picked Amicci's over Sab's in Little Italy. Great prices and much better food. About recession-proof, we were at Ruth's Chris on Water Street for dinner last Saturday. They have a special insert in the menu where you pick a soup or salad, an entree and an accompaniment for $35.95. Even the old expensive restaurants are trying to weather the storm. And, oh, there were plenty of people there that night also.

i honestly believe that Thai Arroy should be in the top three, the customer base is extremely solid to say the least. always packed every night, mon-sun, steady take out, and i believe it to be the best thai in the greater baltimore area...i have tried them all. thai landing is kind of close...but no way its better; cant see that ever going away

I agree with Cheese about Sabatino's being horrible. They were great when I was in high school (went there for New Year's with the 'rents). Went back a few years ago and was sorely disappointed; haven't been back since.

I think EL should add pretty much every bar with a great, cheap bar food menu to this "recession-proof" list, especially those in Canton Square. I can't remember a day when I haven't seen someone in one of those places in a BSSC team shirt. (Yes, shameless plug for the BSSC -- and believe it or not, some of us actually have great taste when it comes to food and drink.)

Aaaaah, we discussed that $35 special over on A birthday and Ruth's Chris

I went to Clementine for the first time this weekend - lunch on Saturday. It wasn't super busy, but WOW do I hope that it does weather the recession well. The food was excellent and, as EL mentions, really reasonably priced.

In the past week, I have been to Ruth's Chris, Capital Grille and Roy's for holiday gatherings..all very crowded with holiday gatherings and all had great food and service..I kept asking.."What recession..don't people know there is a recession?"
Perhaps its their great reputations that keep the finest going strong.

Charm City Gal has a point. Local taverns with food are usually a good choice for folks that want to dine out but not shell out a lot, or go far.

My choice would be the Emerald Tavern in Parkville. We park in the Provident lot since its after the bank is closed.

There are good restaurants south of Baltimore. The Sunset in Glen Burnie along with Snyder's and G&M in Linthicum.

The Parkside, Hamilton Tavern, Lauraville House and Clementine make Lauraville a restaurant lover's recession proof Mecca!

I nominate Paper Moon for the recession-proof list. It is what it is without trying to be something else; that said, the food is good, the prices reasonable, the service prompt and cheerful and parking has never been a problem. In more than 15 years, I've never seen it not busy.

Gotta' join those who feel that Samos is no match for the ambiance and cuisine of Ikaros. On two visits to Samos, we tried their celebrated lamb and found it at best mediocre. The lamb at Ikaros, on the other hand, is invariably succulent, according to my wife. I wouldn't know because I can't resist their broiled rockfish. It's also nice to order a few glasses of retsina and not have to hit the ATM en route to dinner.

While I agree that parking is an issue for some, could I make a plea for restaurants near bus stops on good bus routes?

Could be a challenge, since the MTA thinks everyone has gone home by 7 pm and never goes out on the weekend.

Though Paper Moon seems logical, they just cut back their hours, which worries me. Also, their in a sort of no-man's-land and parking is bad. Three worry signs.

With the mention of Little Italy...one of my favorite places there...La Tavola. Hope they are around for a long time.

Lissa -- What a great idea for a top ten list: Best restaurants on the bus line. You are usually traveling on the east-west routes (I think) but if you can get on the #3 or #11 going north on Charles St. you will surely encounter a number of decent places. There's Donna's, Akbar, Sotto Sopra, Ixia, Brewer's Art, the Helmand in Mt. Vernon, then Tapas Teatro, Sophie's Crepes, and Zodiac in Midtown as well as some Korean places near North Avenue. Up in Charles Village there's another Donna's and Gertrude's at the BMA. Further north at 39th Street it's about a block's walk to Brasserie Tatin, The Spice Company, and The Ambassador Dining Room (disclosure: I used to be married to the owner of that last place and still am interested in its welfare). If you stay on the #11 you'll eventually end up in Towson (no, you won't need a visa Lissa) where you'll find a bunch of eating establishments though I'll leave it to you to decide if any are really worth the ride. You could take the #8 back downtown on York Road but I wouldn't recommend it. Better take a taxi at night. One day maybe they'll design a rapid transit line from Towson to East Baltimore (just dreaming).

Though Paper Moon seems logical, they just cut back their hours, which worries me.

That's what I get for moving to the Land of Hurricanes and Idiots. [I know that's an irresistible set-up but try to be brave.]

I was never worried about the neighborhood and never had a problem parking. Maybe things have changed since we moved.

Ms Lee, I must say for one who we had to arm-twist to comment, your #11 bus trip up Charles Street is very impressive and off the top of my head fairly exhaustive.

Elizabeth, I know that I said yesterday morning that I could not wait for the thundering hoards to awaken, but given the general snarkiness of many of the comments all across the blog I think I will ask them to all sleep in for an hour today. Extra sleep makes everything better.

bra1nchild - hurricanes? what hurricanes?

Good list, Laura Lee. I was thinking of Michael's on Eastern, which is right by a 40 stop (also the 23, maybe the 10 stops there). From my house, Brasserie Tatin (and, therefore, One World Cafe) is a snap on the 22. However, the 22 doesn't meet my definition of a "good bus", since it runs hourly off peak.

Anything in Federal Hill is out. Only the 1 goes down there, IIRC. Canton is out, since you only have the 11 (or the 10, if you are on the northern edge).

Darker than Blue is on the 8, which runs frequently even on Sundays.

5 Guys is right by the Centre St. Light Rail, but there have to be other places by the LR. Can't think of anything by Metro stations, but I don't ride it much.

As you point out, getting home can be an issue. The 11 is hourly after peak, I think. Or twice an hour. I'd hate to see what the County police would do to a person like me hanging out on the street for that long (half joking).

All I know is, at 8:45pm last night there was a 30 min wait at the Towson Cheesecake Factory. We ended up finding a bar table after waiting at least 25 min.

Carey - I know there's always a wait for the CF making them recession proof, but like so many other places, I can't help but wonder what is so wonderful there - besides the cheesecake. I have absolutely no patience for waiting in line whatsoever so I've only eaten in the CF once and that was because my boss, who was driving, insisted.

It's funny, too but, because of my no patience problem, I've actually had some really good meals by detouring to a less busy place. Once, years ago, we started out intending to go to Sabs (we were young, and ummm, that Bookmaker) but we realized the wait would be upwards of 40 minutes. Instead we walked over toward the Bagby building and found this cute little restaurant (now gone) that we took to calling "that ladies house". We literally felt like we went into a Little Italy resident's home and she served us dinner. And delicous dinner too - for about half the price of all the "popular" places. Hmmm. Maybe that's why she's gone!

The CF is run by marketing genii. Everything they do is well-planned. They want you to wait. It's the old NYC velvet rope trick.

[That sounds dirty. Is it magic?]

That being said, all their food is made at a real kitchen factory and shipped to the site frozen in plastic bags which are then boiled for you.

[Why do you have to ruin everything? Can't you just let people be happy?]

Joyce W.

I'm not sure what you got, but everything I've had at CF is consistent and excellent. My fav is the Navajo sandwich: grilled chicken, avacado, tomato, red onion, and mayo sauce on warm fry bread. Who ever thought to fry dough for a sandwich should be canonized a saint.

Their shrimp and angel hair pasta is good too. And the lettuce wraps....and the pizza. OMG and their bread. ok I'm hungry again lol.

Last night we got the Godiva cheesecake. WOW. And I don't even like chocolate.

Owl, I agree with you about the velvet rope trick. The food I've had there (CF) reminded me of our work cafeteria (cooked somewhere else and shipped to site frozen in plastic bags which are then boiled for you).

If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time. - Edith Wharton

Troy, I'd add Chameleon Cafe to your Lauraville list. Also, Red Canoe and Grind On Cafe are nice spots for coffee and breakfast.

bra1nchild - hurricanes? what hurricanes?

None in our area since we installed the $12K accordian shutters. The neighbors are so happy that we're thinking of billing them to offset part of the cost.

The fellow next door noted that there hasn't been any hot weather since we came home from Cambodia and had to replace the dead CAC.

If only we could find such easy fixes for the politics and politicians here. At least it's not Illinois.

bra1nchild - you somehow have the knack for prophylactically repairing things. If I had such powers I'd buy a snowblower!

That's what I get for moving to the Land of Hurricanes and Idiots.

I know exactly what you mean....

Tremendous fog and still the idiots with their blacked-out windows (AL tags of course) pull out onto a 55mph highway without even looking at what might be coming their way. I test my brakes in advance.

Sorry for the topic drift but it was unnerving this AM and will be again tomorrow.

Fl Rob, as much as I love Florida, I always prefer to be schlepped to my destination by a taxi or van or whatever and then rely on public transportation for the remainder of my trip until my van picks me up and takes me back to the airport. The sight of hundreds of "foreigners" piling into rental cars and emerging onto the Florida highways is more than I can stand. And the number of enormous sedans with no visible head seems to growing daily. Thankfully, Miami Beach has one of the best bus systems I've ever been exposed to. You can go the entire length of Collins Avenue without having to drive an armoured tank with rocket launchers.

The former Red Fish space is now redone and re-energized as Meridian 54. The culinary talents of Chef Russell Braitsch and his team will awaken and delight all of your senses AND still leave money in your wallet! Prices range from $6 to $27 BUT you can stop in for happy hour and sample from the Lite Fare menu and Pizza page at 1/2 price from 4-7 Mon-Friday! So happy to have this space back in business...

Martini MD, my best suggestion to you is duck and run. I don't have the energy, this evening to give you a proper Sandbox Flack Attack but I'm sure other members will be up to the task. Lock and Load. Fire at will.

Okay, I lied. If ever there was a location that is not recession (or good times) proof, its Red Fish. As has been discussed, this is one of those cursed locations that has various operators in and out in months. My advice, find a new client for whom to do PR. The talented Chef Russell Braitsch et al aren't long for this world.

[Note to You Don't Say folk: proper use of whom]

I don't have the energy to eviscerate another PR tool like Martini MD, at least not at the moment. These PR people are STUPID. How do they think anyone is going to fall for that lame attempt at casual commenting? Pathetic.

You see, muttonhead, what you just did was poison new-Red Fish (Meridian 54? Stupid name) forever on this blog. Now any positive comments about the place will be suspect. Good job pinhead. I suggest that Chef Russell Braitsch and his team fire whoever wrote that crap.

And yes, that location is doomed.

What I did do was to run his blather through Babelfish as follows: English to German, German to French, French to Greek, and Greek to English. The result is below and I think it makes a whole lot more sense than the original.


L'? the old red sector of fish becomes now still in the 54 as Meridian and energized. Do the talents of kulinarischen head Russell Braitsch and his payment arouse and do satisfy your all directions AND do leave still l'? money in your documents! L'? extent of prices the $6 $27 you can NEVERTHELESS [stamatitheite] in l'? interior happy hour for a long time and sample of Lite-Fahrpreismenü and Pizzaseite in the price of 1/2 of the 4-7 Fridays of Monday! If fortunately you have this back of sector in t o l'? enterprise…

Well said Babelfish.

No place is more recession proof than the Bea Gaddy Soup Kitchen.

Gastroturfing! Way to go, publicly insulting your target demographic!.

The only thing that should be energized is transporters. Beam this idiot away, Scottie!

He's been red-shirted Lissa.

omg,
Red-shirted? Didn't think you were a fan of football.

Joyce,
If only we had decent public transportation here on the Emerald Coast. Yeah, we have the trolley, but it is so infrequent and the routes it travels would not help me at all anyway. I only have a 3-mile drive to work (lucky me!) but sometimes that 5 minutes can be quite the adventure.

I would walk, or even ride my bicycle, but that would be even worse peril.

He's sitting out Freshman year? Explains why he hasn't learned anything yet, I guess.

PCB Rob, have you considered an up-armoured golf cart or a Segway for that commute?

RoCK - I think the recession may actually be a boom time for soup kitchens. I read the other day that so many people are out of work now, that people who've never freqented a soup line are now doing so. Out of gratitude that I am still employed (at least as of this writing) I think I am going to donate a case of canned/boxed food to our local pantry.

Fl Rob - it's tough, I know. Between the tourists and the seniors, Florida can be driving hell! I suggest the armoured tank with grenade/rocket launcher!

SoBo in Federal Hill - good food, good prices - always welcoming. A comfort food place.

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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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