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May 3, 2009

Next Sunday's review: Carlyle Club


Oh, look. It's raining again. Isn't that nice. And to think I turned down a chance to live in Seattle, where it would have been drier.

Anyway, next Sunday I review the reinvented Carlyle Club in, sigh, Tuscany/Canterbury. I don't say Homewood anymore because there's a guy who always sends me a nasty e-mail when I do.

I shouldn't be mean. The poor man is probably head of the Tuscany/Canterbury Neighborhood Association and is tired of people saying, "Where's that? Ohhhh, you mean near the Homewood campus."

The Carlyle Club is now a "coastal Indian" restaurant, which translates to "We're offering something different from the Ambassador, our other Indian restaurant in the same neighborhood [Tuscany/Canterbury]."

So check out my review in next Sunday's Arts & Entertainment section. And, of course, I'll link to it here in my Monday Morning Quarterbacking feature.

(Lloyd Fox/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:06 AM | | Comments (39)
Categories: Review Preview


Coastal Indian? Um...there is an awful lot of coast there. Could be Gujarati, Marathi, Goan, Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali or several other kinds of cuisine.

True story: We were in Seattle once, I got up and the sky was as blue as any I've ever seen. The sun was shining brilliantly.

I turned on the television and on the local morning news, the lead story was that the sun was out.

Bucky, I think you are on to something. What with all the cuts in the newsroom, the Sun's headline can just be whether or not the sun is out.

Bucky, I believe it. Our older son lives in Seattle. His first summer there I think he saw the sun about three times--total!

The Ambassador's web site describes the location as Homewood. Ha. More accurately the Zagat blurb on their web site describes it as Homewood. Homewood as best I can figure from EL means near the Homewood campus in the area that is not Remington, not Hamden, not Charles Village, not Guilford. It always confused me.

To make things even more confusing there is something called The Greater Homewood Community Corporation that has been in existence for 40 years. They define greater Homewood as being from "the county line on the north, just below North Avenue to our south, along the Jones Falls on the west, and along York Road and Hillen Parkway, including Ednor Gardens and Better Waverly, to the east."

Suddenly I like Tuscany-Canterbury or as I used to call it Greater Hopkins Lacrosse Field.

Coastal sounds good to me because that means fish and seafood. In my experience most Indian restaurants are horrible with fish and seafood. I don't think I've ever been to an Indian place that specialized in fish/seafood. Bring it!

IIRC, the "Welcome to Roland Park" sign is almost in front of Carlyle Club driving up University at 41st. As a former resident, I felt Tuscany/Canterbury's northwest border was that cozy example of Brutalist architecture, Hopkins House, another instance of architects having their way with lovely old 500 W. University Carlyle's in, that glass trapezoidal Brown building at MICA and the precious Harborview Condom with the fluorescent light on top...

Greater Hopkins Lacrosse Field...I like it!

I hear you about the rain. I pretty much looked and felt like a drowned rat after my half-marathon in Frederick this morning. And the drive back to Baltimore in even heavier rain was loads of fun as well.

On a happier (and food-related) note, we accidentally spotted May's Restaurant on Urbana Pike just south of Frederick proper. We had some really nice steamed crabs there for lunch before driving home. The place reminded me a lot of the old-time Baltimore seafood restaurants that seem to be becoming rarer every year.

Two Indian restaurants in the same neighborhood? Does that make sense?

"Two Indian restaurants in the same neighborhood? Does that make sense?"

If you can have multiple Starbucks on a block (or even an intersection) why not two Indian restaurants? Especially if it has a different cuisine. As Lissa pointed out there is a wide variety of "coastal" specialties that could be served.

Tuscany/Canterbury? Huh? Just when I think I'm starting to sort out all of B'more's neighborhoods, you throw this in the mix to confuse me.

Often, when I say I live in Hampden and get a blank stare, I add "it's just to the west of Hopkins' Homewood campus" and then the person I'm conversing with says "Oh, right". I wonder what sort of response I'll get if I say "just to the west of Tuscany/Canterbury"?

Several years ago my Mom gave me an Indian cookbook for Christmas. The only recipes I recognized were from the Punjab region. So I asked a colleague at work who is from India about this: "What most Americans consider to be 'Indian' food is really Punjabian, right?" He agreed.

So I agree with RiE that it's good to have 2 Indian restaurants on a block, "especially if it has a different cuisine".

I love "Indian food", which I now know is limited to Punjabian food, so I'd like to have more variety.

I suppose I shouldn't even mention "Chinese" food. I work with several people from China, and what they bring in for lunch is nothing like what we get from "Chinese restaurants". I have to say, I prefer the Americanized version...

WHY AREN"T .... sorry, excuse me .. Why, pray tell, aren't these wonderful people open for lunch, even once a week???

Yes, most Indian food in the US is Punjabi. It is a fine cuisine, but thinking it is representative is like thinking we all have grits for breakfast.

Coastal doesn't necessarily mean fish in India. Not only does geographical region have a big impact on what and how one cooks, but religion and caste do, too. Most Brahmins traditionally do not eat fish.

So I'm dying to know what kind of Indian they really are. Ok, not dying. Curious. Possibly curious to venture into that strange and dangerous place that is called "North Baltimore."

We have 5 or 6 pitbeef stands in walking distance of our house, so why not 2 Indian restaurants?

I once made the mistake of inviting an old friend to have lunch at the Carlyle Club some years ago. When we got there we realized they weren't open for lunch, but they graciously hustled up some menus and fed us a glorious meal. MD Canon, maybe you could try making the same mistake--? I also saw someone come in and pick up some takeout--you might call and ask about that.

At the risk of sounding odd and demented I'm going to throw this out there: I like the rain.:-)

RayRay, has your brain mildewed?

After a long difficult week, a rainy Sunday afternoon watching an old Thin Man movie is so relaxing. Throw in a pizza from Tutti Gusti and it's "sheer bliss". Also, doesn't a sunny day look that much brighter after a few gloomy days.

RayRay, by the time the sun comes out again, I'm going to need sunglasses for cloudy weather.

Thank you, Dahlink.

Interesting that the Carlye Club is distinguishing itself from the other Indian restaurants by being costal, but it nevertheless assimilates with all the other Baltimore restaurants by offering a crab cake.

Their crab cake is served with a ginger cocktail sauce, which I do find intriguing.

Mmm.. I think a crab cake should be served with different spices and ginger is exemplary. The celery salt based abomination called, I forget, is a hate crime. I stand by that statement ... ladies.

A crab cake without Old Bay is a hate crime.

Ah, but, Joyce, I hate Old Bay.

No, no, Joyce W., we are bigger than that. There is room here for all sorts of crab cakes--as long as the crab isn't minced (shudder).

Dahlink, you are right. Lissa, I acknowledge that some people hate Old Bay.

Yes, room for all crab cakes and crab cake lovers!

Yes, there many different ways to make a great crab cake.

Didn't the Crack Pot once offer a bunch of different kinds of flavored crab cakes, like Hawaiian, Cajun, etc.?

Two Indian restaurants in the same neighborhood? Does that make sense?

Somehow it seems to work on Charles Street in Mount Vernon ... I count three Indian north of the monument (four if you expand the category to South Asian and include Kumari).

I haven't been to the Devil's Playground lately (Towson) but they had about 5 or 6 sushi places in a 3 block radius

One can never have too many sushi places.

Would you believe I've never tried sushi? I would like to branch out soon and have some. Recommendations for a place that will be gentle on a newbie?

Stacy, it doesn't matter where you do it the first time. The more important thing is to find someone experienced who can guide you through the experience. Get a gentle guide, one who will introduce you to the pleasures of sushi in a slow gentle manner. Don't make the mistake that I did. I did it with Flip Dover, in my sophomore year of college. First he got me drunk on sake and then wham bam it's all hand rolls, giant clams and something called an octopus surprise.

TM, are you talking about the sushi?

Oh Hal ..... you're adorable.

TerrierMom, is that what you called it back then?

Well, *◄:o)Yum~ , I have learned to roll my own sushi since then. I especially like a good futomaki. I am also working on teaching Jesus (the pool boy) how to make the sorpresa del pulpo Terrier style!

You're on fire today TM. You might actually want to check yourself for embers.

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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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