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November 20, 2008

The review: The Abbey Burger Bistro

burger yum yumYou've seen the sneak preview. Now, read the whole review.

You know, I debated over this review. Normally, I don't review a place until it has been open for a few weeks. That gives them the time to work out the kinks. But this place has generated a lot of interest, and I wanted to get the jump on everybody else.

I tried not to be too hard on the Abbey Burger Bistro, since I went there a week after it opened. Well, to be fair, I went there twice -- once on opening night and again a week later.

Also in today's paper, one of my fastest-written pieces ever ... 

my profile of comedian Carlos Mencia, which ran on the cover of the You and Your Weekend section. This was a classic case of deadline writing: I interviewed him Monday morning, transcribed the interview around lunchtime and finished the piece in late afternoon.

Whew. It's a pretty big article, too -- about 1,000 words or so. Monday was just one of those days.

And, last but not least, a Meet the Band piece on The Christmas Lights. Believe it or not, Cumberland and Frostburg have a blossoming arts and music scene, and the Christmas Lights are part of it. I had them in for a Baltimore Unsigned taping a couple weeks ago, and was pretty impressed.

Note to self: Remind the Web site people to start uploading photos with the Meet the Bands.

(Sun archive photo by Elizabeth Malby) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:04 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I think you could have left out the part about the server recognizing you. From an outside perspective it seems a little small. It's great for the blog - some "insider baseball." That's a good way to distinguish your reviews from your blog. But to be honest, I am not sure that Baltimore diners care about whether or not your cover was blown.

I guess from your perspective you might feel that you couldn't have addressed the service and seating problem without bringing up the server's comments. And maybe you're right. I don't know. But for some reason I can't quite explain I was hoping it wouldn't make the print version.

Sam- What did you think of the food? What did you get and was it any good?

OMG! Recognized like Zack Efron, but far dreamier!!

Srsly, the incident wasn't necessary for the review, but, hell, it's your column.

Hey Jason, I'm glad you brought this up. Since I do the nightlife column, I normally leave the food reviewing up to Elizabeth Large.

But I'm a part-time food critic too, and since this is on the blog, not in the paper, I've got no problem sharing the meaty (zink!) details.

I had the angus burger with bacon and peanut butter. Peanut butter doesn't sound like it belongs on a burger, but it worked.

All four of us ordered our burgers medium or medium-well, and all four of our burgers came rare. That's unacceptable.

We also ordered an appetizer that never came.

So the kitchen definitely has plenty of kinks to work out before the grand opening, whenever that will be.


It is curious that you reviewed a restuarant without commenting on the food, but much attention to decor and the service with some mention of the bar service.


Delete the previous post as you have attend to request already while I was writing.

Let's be fair to Sam. He reviewed the place as a bar, which is his job, where you might also get a burger. And I appreciate the fact that he goes into much more detail about the bar service than EL might while reviewing a restaurant.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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