NOTE: Click on a restaurant's name to get more information in our Eat Guide.
5713 Harford Road, (410) 444-6422, www.bigbadwolfbarbeque.com
Eating at Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque is simple: Pick your meat, add sauce and sides, devour. Meat-wise, there are pork ribs or beef ribs--both dry rubbed with a secret spice mix before they're smoked to perfection--and chicken available as classic BBQ bird or Eastern Shore style, with lots of Old Bay seasoning. Then you get to pick from six homemade barbecue sauces in an educated representation of regional Southern bbq tradition: classic Kansas City, either spicy or sweet; tangy Carolina mustard; super-tangy Carolina vinegar; tomato-based Texas pit; or mild sweet honey sauce. The ribs are excellent dry, but the sauces are swell, so either way you win.
4341 Harford Road, (410) 254-2376, www.thechameleoncafe.com
Chameleon Café is one of those truly magical, invaluable local restaurants where the food is always inventive and excellent yet well-priced, the wine list is intelligently chosen, and a table is almost always available. The menu changes seasonally but always shows classic Continental flare with offerings like braised veal cheeks with grapes and cremini mushrooms or house-made charcroute garni. Despite the sophisticated menu, Chameleon has a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere and knowledgeable but affable servers. Don't miss the house-made desserts. Kudos to chef/co-owner--and Parkville native--Jeff Smith for returning to the 'hood to bring us this stellar but comfortable bistro.
6000 Harford Road, (410) 426-3100, www.edelweissbakery.com
Simple and satisfying are the words that best describe the food at this modest Harford Road café. Standard breakfast fare includes egg sandwiches, home fries, omelets, and French toast, but lunch is our favorite meal at Edelweiss. Old-school dishes like homemade potato salad, egg salad, bratwurst-and-kraut, and tuna melts are on the menu every day, and on Thursdays they offer a delish sauerbraten with red cabbage and dumplings. End your lunch with something from the bakery: German bienenstich, apple cakes, pineapple upside down cakes, sugar cookies, and more.
5506 Harford Road, (410) 444-4220, www.losamigosbaltimore.com
The staff at Los Amigos is always happy to see you--indeed, they chime a lilting “hello, amigos!” as soon as you walk in the door. It's easy to love such an earnest, friendly restaurant, but even more so when the food is so good. Those looking for burritos, quesadillas, and tacos will find them in abundance, but Los Amigos' menu is much broader than those usual combo-plate suspects. For instance, Los Amigos' fiery, mouth-puckering ceviche mixto is a powerful blend of fish, squid, scallops, and shrimp that is enough for two and never fails to please. Anything cooked in either the deeply spiced smoky mole sauce or piquant green tomatillo sauce is highly recommended. There is also a vegetarian menu with interesting items like potato burritos.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201