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August 11, 2009

Top 10 Dishes for $10 or Under



This Top 10 could have gone several ways. It could be a list of good dishes at down-home eateries, where you wouldn't expect the food to be expensive.  Or it could be a list of really good bargains at chains. Commenters under an earlier post had suggestions for both.

I decided to limit it to places that were a little more unexpected than either of those. Maybe the restaurants on my list are places you've wanted to try but thought they might be too pricey. Or maybe you've simply forgotten the good review I gave them.

Obviously this list is heavily weighted toward places I've been to in the last year or so, but I hope you'll round it out with other recommendations.  And I had to rely maybe too much on small plates to keep the price at $10 or under.

Still, I don't think you'll go wrong with any of these: ...

* Handmade ravioli stuffed with chicken and mushrooms with braised kale, a foie gras tarragon cream sauce and truffle oil at Bistro Blanc for $10

* Roast pork belly with pickled peaches and scallion jam over cornbread at the Brewer's Art for $9

* Masala dosa (spiced potatoes, onions and lentils) at the Carlyle Club with sambar and fresh coconut chutney for $8

* Red Thai Mussels at Frank & Nic's West End Grille. Mussels steamed in a red Thai curry sauce with coconut milk. Served with toasted baguette for $10

* The individual cipolla pizza at Iggies. Red onion confit, ricotta, pancetta, mozzarella for $9.50

* Tamales de pollo at the Mari Luna Latin Grille, filled with shredded chicken. Served on banana leaves with guacamole and pico de gallo salsa for $9

* Grilled Mission figs wrapped in prosciutto for $10 at Salt.

* Shrimp, mango and other tropical fruit ceviche at Talara for $5 (during happy hour)

* Sauteed artichoke hearts, shrimp and capers in a tomato and parmesan cheese cream sauce at Tapas Teatro for $8.95

* Flatbreads at Woodberry Kitchen for $9 (toppings subject to change)

(Lloyd Fox/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:19 AM | | Comments (39)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Good list, Elizabeth. Makes me more likely to try out some of the restaurants I've been wanting to get to but haven't yet.

I will have one of each, please.

Crosstown burger at Hamilton tavern - Roseda beef - be sure to get with bacon - awesome !

JEEZE, what about Henninger's nightly $10 TV Dinner? There is always a full meal including a cupcake for dessert for $10.

That's a great one I forgot about. Where were you when I asked for suggestions? :-) EL

thank you for the excellent list. i had to flee here because that horrible man owl meat gravy has ruined tuesdays for me at my beloved Midnight Sun with his inppropriate posts. i blame you elizabeth large for creating such a monster. maybe you could have a top ten ways to scare away owls. thank you.

I agree with sue. All of the silly comments posted by regulars are really starting to grow tiring. Why don't we try focusing on the food a little more.

$5 footlongs at subway :)

I'll third the comments from Sue and Ham Sandwich about how this blog seems increasingly larded (pardon the pun) with in-jokes for insiders. The percentage of content devoted to banter among "the regulars" seems to be increasing, and the useful comments on the Baltimore food scene seems to be a shrinking as a percentage of total post volume.

It's your blog of course, and it can and should be whatever you and the posters wish it to be, but if it's a conscious choice to be about non-food discussion among posters, where you ate on your various vacations, or canoes and kayaks, please let people know, so that's what they expect.

As it is, a new reader might reasonably expect the blog of the Baltimore Sun restaurant critic to be about food in the Baltimore area, or perhaps food trends in general. I'm not sure that assumption is holding as solidly these days as it used to, and thus the expectations of readers may not be met.

I know from experience that one cannot "force" an online community to go in any particular direction, but in the case of a moderated blog or board, the moderator has some latitude to steer gently.

Maybe it's time for a revised blog "Mission Statement" as the one in the masthead of the blog doesn't seem to describe the prevailing content as accurately as it once did.

Having said all that, today's offering is a good list of useful suggestions.

Why don't you all join in the banter? We'd be happy to have you participating. It only takes about 1.3 witty comments to become a regular here.

As someone who has sat through many a strategic planning session, is anything more painful than crafting a mission statement?

I only post three comments a month to avoid the stigma of being a regular :)

A mission statement? Oh dear, please, no no no no no no no. RoCK, I agree with you. Been there, done that, ad infinitum.

As Lissa said, everyone should feel free to join in. All are welcome -- just jump. Or, if not, pick and choose to read what interests you, as many others do, rather than focusing on a few issues you dislike and condemning the whole.

Did Mr./Ms. Ham Sandwich and Mr./Ms. Warthog not recognize that sue plopper had his/her tongue firmly in cheek?

Heather, it's like being a regular in a bar. Come there once every two weeks and they fall over you when you come in. Go there every day and it's, "Oh, you again."

Warthog's calculation of regulars as an increasing proportion of an increasing volume is rather ... complex.

Why not celebrate the great volume and diversity of comments to choose from? I ignore the ones that are negative or otherwise don't interest me. Don't hate the buffet because you don't like creamed corn and jello.

This bar still has the best regulars in town. I dare you to name another. Cheers.

Harumph. It sounds like some of you have a case of, "I wouldn't want join any club that would have me as a member."

Join in, I love new members. ;-P

How about any of the amazing breakfast/lunch items at Clementine?

my fave is the breakfast cassarole with grits for $5. anything more painful than crafting a mission statement?

Not even root canal.

I appreciate the energy and enthusiasm you and your regular readers have to your blog. Very informative, occasionally amusing, and mostly kind.

Unfortunately, the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator seems to be down.

OK, scratch the use of the term "Mission Statement", since that seems to be sending us off on a tangent.

The heading on the blog says "Sun Restaurant Critic Elizibeth Large blogs about the region's restaurants". All I'm saying is that if that's really the intent of the blog, the signal (food related posts and comments) is being overtaken by "other" (banter among the regulars, off-topic asides, etc.)

If all parties are happy with that state of affairs, that's fine. It's just a bit frustrating for those who expect or want more food chat and less "other", based on the "advertised" intent of the blog.

Warthog (are you the real Warthog), if you want draconian moderation, stick with Chowhound. This blog would be much less interesting if it was run like Chowhound.

I am happy with the "state of affairs". I enjoy the banter,asides, topic swerves, and wit/cleverness. It feels like a group of friends having a discussion that usually, but not always involves food. As several previous posters have said, everyone is welcome (even encouraged) to join in. If this blog was all food all the time I doubt that I would participate as much. I know that I wouldn't enjoy it as much.
I'm sure that there are other blogs that focus only on food, but I haven't sought them out because I'm perfectly happy here. I sometimes don't get all of the "inside jokes" but that's alright. I do get a LOT of information about food/dining/restaurants from this blog. I'm not trying to be exclusionary, but you can't please all the people all the time.

you can get a decent crab cake at eddie's market in charles village for under $10.


I agree that it's VERY possible to err in the other direction, too. That's why I used the term "steer gently" in the original comment.

I'm the same Warthog (verbose pizza freak) here and elsewhere - I'm not aware of anybody else using the name on any board I post to.

Finally a discussion that I can sink my teeth into! Necessity demands that I know where to get good dinners under $10.

Two favorites: Chicken Rico-- 1/4 chicken, two huge sides & drink for $5.99.

Attwater's in Belvedere Mkt.-- a big cup of soup with a hunk of wonderful bread for around $5.00, or you can splurge & get a whole bowl for under $10.

There also are a whole raft of carryouts that qualify, and if I weren't afraid of having scorn heaped upon me, I'd mention some chains that actually have tasty and cheap food.

They may heap scorn, but they'll secretly write the names down. :-) EL

Oops, sorry. I got excited & ignored the fact that you wanted classier places than I frequent.

Anon Mary - please participate and recommend your chain preferences.

Classier? Come on, Anon Mary, this no elite club. We had 125 comments on ketchup vs mustard on HOTDOGS. I myself am sitting on the sidewalk in LIttle Italy ghetto-tanning and thinking about nachos. As unofficial Rush Chairman, I would like to welcome you and note that you have a cool name and offer that your new Delta Tau Chi pledge name is .... Rainbow Trout. The bar is in the basement.

Pho Nam at 6477 Rt. 40W - in the shopping center fronted by Applebees - is a real bargain. Great pho under $10. Not much else on the menu, but you're there for pho, right?

Anon Mary, in the thread that spawned this one, I mentioned Chicken Rico. In fact, I've mentioned it so much that one of the in-jokes around here is that I'll mention Chicken Rico anytime someone wants a good meal.

I think their quarter chicken, 2 huge sides and can of soda special is the best meal bargain in town, period. It is also damned tasty.

If it tastes good, I want to hear about it.

Chiyo in Mt. Washington has a Sashimi special for lunch that includes soup and salad for $9.95...mmmmm sashimi mmmmm...

Oh and the Village Cafe has ridiculously good fried oysters for $8.95. I mean seriously I want to order them in bulk!!!!

Sinful Muffin of Love

Ok, I'll bite. Where does one get a Sinful Muffin of Love, lab rat? At the Capitalist Cradle of Cupcakes?

Ale Mary's! I also recommend '!@#$ on biscuits', both are

less than $10. I tried to use mathematical terms, but am ill-versed in programming.

Second RayRay's 3:06 PM comment!

No one has mentioned the souvlaki pita at Samos! I am amazed. Really good, and not that bad for you. I think it is about $7 these days.

Not only the Ravioli are delicious at Bistro Blanc. Yummy !!!!!

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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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