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July 29, 2010

The whole Zagat shebang

P.F. Chang'sA Dining@Large reader wanted to know Baltimore's top ten "Most Popular" restaurants, according to the newly released Zagat guide. (Earlier, I'd posted only the top five.)

I'll do better than that. I'll give you the whole Top 40.

But be prepared to be shocked. (Cheesecake Factory? P.F. Chang's? Really?) 

Here goes:

1. Woodberry Kitchen

2. Charleston

3. Volt

4. Cinghiale

5. Prime Rib

6. Helmand

7. Black Olive

8. Petit Louis

9. Pazo

10. Capital Grille

The list actually goes up to 40. Here's the rest:

11. Ruth's Chris

12. Five Guys

13. Cheesecake Factory

14. Tio Pepe

15. Miss Shirley's

16. Samos

17. Wine Market

18. Roy's

19. Linwoods

20. Ambassador Dining Room

21. Brewer's Art

22. Iron Bridge Wine Co.

23. Fogo De Chao

24. b

25. Salt (tied with restaurant above)

26. Atwater's

27. G&M

28. Annabel Lee Tavern

29. McCormick (tied with restaurant above)

30. Sabatino's

31. Antrim 1844

32. P.F. Chang's

33. Attman's Deli

34. Joss Cafe

35. Dogwood

36. Jalapenos

37. Mezze

38. Gertrude's

39. Cantler's Riverside

40. Tersiguel's (tied with restaurant above)

Sun file photo of P.F. Chang's ginger chicken and white rice

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 11:18 AM | | Comments (26)


Five Guys is number 12?

ok, that just ruined it for me.

How is it that PF Changs, a chain of not-so-great "Chinese" food is Zagat rated? And Cheesecake Factory? Please. Listed in the same as Antrim, Woodberry, b, and Brewer's Art? And Tersiguel's makes in at #40?

Zagat is out to lunch. There is no room for those chain food factories in the list. Might as well put TGI McFunsters in there because their $13 3 course meal is such a value.

captcha: how humbugs

what surprised me more wasn't the most popular list but the food list. there are some places on that list that aren't super expensive (and are realllly good: samos, di pasquales, etc):

1. Charleston
2. Volt
3. Prime Rib
4. Samos
5. Di Pasquale’s
6. Tasting Room
7. Thai Arroy
8. Peter’s Inn
9. Linwoods
10. Salt

Gotta keep in mind that the majority of people who respond to the Zagat survey are NOT foodies. They are the common man. People who watch Rachael Ray. (And obviously, Top Chef.) Getting a mention in the Zagat guide is light years away from a mention in Michelin and I don't take a positive Zagat mention into account when I plan a restaurant outing.

You may already know this - Michelin is only in New York and San Francisco in the chance for Baltimore to get Michelin rating on any restaurant.

How did they leave off Wendy's?

A point (and a Happy Meal) to slads!

When did Volt open a location in Baltimore? Now I don't have to drive the hour and a half (from my house) to Frederick. YEA!!!!!

Second to slasds.

This is horrible. Places like cheesecake factory and five guys do not belong on this list. Also have no idea why Dogwood and Dipasquales didn't make this list.

Michelin is currently in Chicago for its newest guide.

It's hard not to feel more than a little elitist about 11-13.

Still, the peanut gallery has spoken - the hours-long lines through Harborplace speak to their popularity. But is that all that Zagat really is now?

All pomp, no circumstance?

Of course Cheesecake Factory and Five Guys belong on this list (as does Wendy's). Zagat is a guide for "the people," not for folks with a hard core interest in food. It's by no means a "Baltimore's Best" list (and even those I suspect.)

Dogwood clearly should have been in the top 20 (Really top 10)! Maybe people like to stay around the waterfront and not venture into the city for the BEST restaurants!

Dogwood clearly should have been in the top 20 (Really top 10)! Maybe people like to stay around the waterfront and not venture into the city for the BEST restaurants!

Dogwood clearly should have been in the top 20 (Really top 10)! Maybe people like to stay around the waterfront and not venture into the city for the BEST restaurants!

Dogwood clearly should have been in the top 20 (Really top 10)! Maybe people like to stay around the waterfront and not venture into the city for the BEST restaurants!

Chameleon Cafe? Peter's Inn? Clementine?

yeah, what pgp said.

Also, how about the Hamilton Tavern and their Crosstown Burger?

Hamilton - driving through sketchy neighborhoods hence no Cameleon, Ham Tav or Clementine. Peter's Inn is great but so small and hipster vibe drives off ma and pa kettle.

I lived in Hamilton and cheered the added great places but in the end - it just will not work.

Hamilton = reverse Soweto

Thank you, no. If you're already trapped there, fine, but no one wants to drive through Crack Boulevard to get some smoked duck.

I had an impulse to answer ash and Dr. Jimmy, but then I realized that if they are shunning Hamilton, I might stand a better chance of getting at table at the Hamilton Tavern after 5:30 p.m.

I for one, have discovered several fine pinot noirs that pair perfectly with crack-smoked duck.

Geez, I can't imagine what we would have to charge for crack-smoked duck. And sure, 'vendors' sell it locally but I don't think we could call it locally sourced.

I drive down "Crack Boulevard" daily and it's fine if you keep your wits about you. The Crosstown Burger is almost crack for me. And I'm with JMc - the fewer people who want to drive to Hamilton Tavern at this point, the better. It is already too hard to get a table unless you get there really early.

Oh, so now Hamilton is bad? Think y'all may want to just avoid the city all together.

If you guys think Hamilton is bad then you may as well pack the hell up and move out of Baltimore. Last time I checked there are crackheads in Canton and Federal Hill too. They just live in prettier houses and drive nicer cars.

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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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