I’ve had the pleasure of living in Maryland for almost ten years. I tell this story all the time, but I had no idea food outside of Tex-Mex and Nigerian dishes existed until I moved to Baltimore. Hamburger subs, cheeseburger subs, fish subs…it’s like everything came in a large sub roll slathered with grease and cheese. Oh Heaven! Then came Greek, Chinese (that didn’t taste like Tex-Mex), Italian, Mediterranean, Greek, Indian, Japanese, Spanish, Cuban, fresh seafood, crab cakes, and cheesesteaks. Here’s a list of all my favorite places to dine:
Mama’s on the Half Shell: The menu has changed since my last visit, but I remember eating delicious fish platters and salmon BLTs with lovely skinny fries. It was always packed with the locals and the decor was something to be desired. But let’s face it, I rarely pay attention to the decor when I’m enthralled in my meal.
Stuggy’s: Who knew hotdogs could taste so darn good?! The menu ranges from Chicago style (“Chi-town” with tomato, pickle spear, pepperoncini, and yellow mustard) to Detroit style (“Motor City” with diced onion, chili, and shredded cheese). Besides the gourmet all-beef dogs, the house-cut french fries are to die for especially topped with chili. If you love dogs, this is the spot to get your fix.
Nacho Mama’s: This place saved my life! Ok that was dramatic, but yes being “from” Texas I consumed Tex-Mex food on a regular. I tried several places in Baltimore and Nacho Mama’s was the only place that came really darn close. My usual fare included the steak enchiladas and fresh handmade guacamole served with chips.
Blue Moon Cafe: They are known for their Captain Crunch French Toast which is what it sounds like — french toast dipped in Captain Crunch cereal batter. I’ve had the pleasure of tasting a bite…too much crunch for me. My go-to meal was the Full Moon made to my liking — two pieces of French toast with two scrambled egg whites and turkey sausage. My drive-by snack (Mfonobong’s definition of a snack) was the homemade cinnamon roll with oooey gooey frosting.
Chaps Pit Beef: Maryland and BBQ — wasn’t realistic until I found Chaps Pit Beef. Granted this isn’t the BBQ I’m used to but it worked for my taste buds. My go-to – beef/sausage combo sandwich with the Ocean fries. On Fridays, I dabbled with the fish platter. The line can get awful long, but it’s worth every bite!
Chicken Rico: First of all, kudos to Chicken Rico for expanding into other areas, including D.C. I’m sad I realized this Peruvian restaurant during my last 1-2 years in Baltimore. You cannot go wrong with a half chicken, beans, and plantains! If you get the chicken special, don’t forget your drink. I was so into the food, I seemed to keep forgetting to grab my drink.
Trinacria Foods: Ah the memories of the delicious smoked turkey panini with artichokes, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and olive oil; variety of good inexpensive wine; and amaretti cookies at this great Italian grocery store.
Mezze: Get the spinach pie, beef and lamb meatballs , and Tzatziki with pita bread from this Greek-inspired Mediterranean restaurant, especially during happy hour! Never went wrong with this and the bartenders were awesome and remembered your face. I was a frequent patron….couldn’t get enough of those beef/lamb meatballs!
Ale Mary’s: I met one of my loves here — sweet potato tater tots! These are not your school cafeteria tots or Sonic tots. These are sweet potato pillows of heaven! The Jive Turkey Reuben was my favorite without the 1000 Island dressing, which was “healthy” in my mind compared to the traditional reuben.
Hummus Corner: Cute family-owned restaurant in Owings Mills with the best fresh hummus ever that was oh so addicting! My go-to: hummus, Kebab Orfali extra spicy, and Fattoush salad.
Samos Restaurant: My #1 Greek spot! They have really good chicken souvlakis and gyros.
Abbey Burger Bistro: Two words — Lamb Burger!
Home Slyce: Addicting cornmeal dusted pizza!
Indian Delight: My favorite local Indian restaurant in a quaint neighborhood.
Papermoon Diner: Darn good diner food….enough said.
The Original Bagby Pizza Co.: I just remember the fresh salads and tasty brick-oven pizza.
Kisling’s Tavern: Best wings ever!
Teavolve Café & Lounge: The happy hour specials….can’t go wrong with the sangria.
Kumari Restaurant & Bar: Great lunch buffet!
- Lebanese Taverna
- Joe Squared Pizza
- Akbar Restaurant
- Di Pasquale’s Marketplace
- Woodberry Kitchen
- Blue Hill Tavern
- Jack’s Bistro
- Salt Tavern
- Annabel Lee Tavern
- Tapas Teatro
- One-Eyed Mike’s
- Asahi Sushi
- Tio Pepe
- Mari Luna