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Abby Logsdon

Friend Kitchen

Address:1103 West 36th Street.
Baltimore, MD 21211

More on Friend Kitchen.

By Michael Byrne | Posted 12/16/2009

It should probably be a red flag when a restaurant offers up an introductory special of free food nearly equal to food paid for. This is what happened with Hampden's Friend Kitchen: a couple of standard entrées (Hunan chicken, $8.55, and kung pao tofu, $7.95, both excellent by cheap-delivery standards) came with free crab and cheese won tons (tasty but, c'mon, it's the Chinese equivalent of mozzarella sticks), free won ton soup (the best thing we've had here), and free egg rolls. Which is a whole lot of cheap fried goodness to suck a diner in. Next time, we basically repeated the order subbing a Szechuan bean curd ($7.85) dish for the Hunan chicken, and somehow everything had gotten notably sweeter and, well, slimier--and our extra hot mustard request turned into no mustard. Not crappy, but not outstanding either. Hoping the second round with Friend Kitchen was a fluke, we went for number three, trying General Tso's tofu ($7.95) and, once again, kung pao tofu. This time, the kung pao was almost inedible, candy-sweet, loaded with, like, half a can of peanut halves, and ultimately ruined by undercooked celery. And extra mustard again equaled no mustard. We'd been eager to try Friend Kitchen's Thai dishes, but given that the primarily Chinese restaurant bombed on so many Chinese dishes, we'll probably be taking our appetites elsewhere.

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