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April 14, 2009

Top 10 Places to Hear Good Jazz While You Eat



Because I'm on vacation this week, I'm turning Top 10 Tuesday over to a guest poster.

I've been thinking about doing this for awhile, but I hadn't hit on the right person. Then Barry Glassman, founder of the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, e-mailed me about doing a Top 10 on places to hear live music with good food.

"Why don't you send me your list?" I suggested.

And here it is, in alphabetical order: ...

* Café de Paris (Tuesdays and Fridays)

* Donna's Columbia location (Saturdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

* Joe Squared Pizza (most Sundays)

* Jordan's Steakhouse (Thursday evenings)

* Meli (Sunday evenings)

* Prime Rib (most nights in the bar area)

* Radisson at Cross Keys (Thursdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

* Tug's at the Tremont Hotel (Friday and Saturday evenings)

* Tyson's Tavern (most Sunday afternoons)

* Ze Mean Bean (Sunday brunch)

The following four Barry describes as "music venue with food. Others are primarily food venues with music." (But I have to say I think of Bertha's more of a restaurant than the other three.)

* Bertha's (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)

* Caton Castle (Saturday evening jazz with full menu)

* Club 347 (Monday, Tuesday, occasional Thursdays)

* New Haven Lounge (Sunday afternoon jazz with free buffet)

Always check the jazz calendar at to confirm, he says.

(Photo courtesy of Caton Castle)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:51 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Bertha's as a whole might be more of a restaurant, but the music is in the bar, not the dining rooms.

Sascha's used to have a live jazz singer and accompanist (sp?) on Thursday and Friday nights. The whole space is open, so the music is heard by both the bar and the dining room.

A few weeks ago, some friends and I went to Georgia Brown's in DC for Sunday brunch. They had a very tight jazz trio with a vocalist. Her voice was one of the cleanest I've ever heard live, truly amazing.

If you find yourself in the Nation's Capital on a Sunday morning, check it out for the food and the music. The combination may be worth the trip down 95.

There's some great jazz at the New Haven Lounge (a.k.a. "The Haven"), but the location is in a rather dangerous part of town after dark. keep in mind, it's the same bar where former Baltimore City Councilman Ken Harris was gunned down in cold blood.

I would hop in there from time to time back in the early-mid 1980's, back when the O's were still playing at Memorial Stadium. There was even a Hecht's department store in the same shopping center back in the 1970's, along with the old "Reeds Drug Store" and a "White Coffee Pot, Jr."

But that shopping center and that general part of town has gone to crap in the last 25 years.

I was last there about 5 years ago and almost got mugged. I will never go there again. Too bad because it;s a neat little place and they have really cool jazz.

Sullivan's Steakhouse has live Jazz and great Happy Hour.

How is this possible, three Howard County restaurants have good food and good music? Truly shocking.

Howard County? Is that in the NE part of Baltimore?

The Baltimorese way of pronouncing Howard County is difficult to show, its kinda like Ha'ard Cownee.

Lissa, Howard is southwest of Baltimore City and is home to both Columbia and Ellicott City.

Perhaps you were thinking of Harford County? It is northeast of Baltimore and includes Bel Air. Or, as us locals pronounce Route 1 that goes up that way, Blair Road.

Living down by the Park, I'm sure you have heard this familiar Baltimore refrain:
How 'bout dem O's, hon!

I was joking. I am most unfortunately aware of where Howard County is. Although I do get it mixed up with Harford County, because, well, you know, all those counties look alike.

PCB Rob makes an important point for us Harford Countians. Bel Air (one syllable) Road does indeed lead one to Bel Air (two syllables, emphasis on the first).

I can't think of anywhere that features jazz, but there is pretty good bluegrass on Sundays at the Broom's Bloom Dairy store on Rte 543 near Churchville.

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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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