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Eat Feature

Eclectic

Christopher Myers
Golden West Caf?

Eat Special Issue 2009

Cool Comfort EAT: City Paper's annual dining guide

Barbecue and Pit Andy Nelson's Barbecue 11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com, $-$$ Whe...

Breakfast Blue Moon Café 1621 Aliceanna St., (410) 522-3940, $ For years, Blue Moon has been saving t...

Cafés Atwater's Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396; 1425 Clarkview Road, Suit...

Caribbean Judy's Island Grill and Bake Shop 5216 Park Heights Ave., (410) 367-0272, judysislandgrill.com, $-$...

Chinese Grace Garden Chinese Restaurant 1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.co...

Classic American Burke's Restaurant and Café 36 Light St., (410) 752-4189, burkescafe.com, $$-$$$ Burke's is n...

Contemporary American Abacrombie Fine Food and Accommodations 58 W. Biddle St., (410) 837-3630, abacrombie.net, $$$ Cork...

Delis Attman's Authentic New York Delicatessen 1019 E. Lombard St., (410) 563-2666, attmansdeli.com, $ N...

Diners Jimmy's Restaurant 801 S. Broadway, (410) 327-3273, $ A cornerstone of Fells Point, Jimmy's slings ...

Eclectic Golden West Café 1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com, $-$$ Baltimore has ple...

Ethiopian Dukem #2 1100 Maryland Ave., (410) 385-0318, dukemrestaurant.com, $-$$ Luckily, pretty much the on...

French Bonaparte Breads 903 S. Ann St., (410) 342-4000, $ This Fells Point bakery boasts a surprisingly e...

Hawaiian Roy's 720 Aliceanna St., (410) 659-0099, roysrestaurant.com, $$$ With so many fabulous local resta...

Indian and Nepalese Akbar 823 N. Charles St., (410) 539-0944, akbar-restaurant.com, $$ Akbar has the feel of a secret ...

Irish James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant 616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$...

Italian Aldo's 306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com, $$$ "Sophisticated" and Little Italy don't...

Japanese Aloha Sushi 1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531, $-$$ Everything about Aloha Sushi is just right...

Korean Joung Kak 18 W. 20th St., (410) 837-5231, $$ Its partisans will tell you this is the best Korean r...

Latin Arcos Restaurant and Bar 129 S. Broadway, (410) 522-4777, arcosrestaurante.com, $$ Because there's...

Mediterranean Black Olive 814 S. Bond St., (410) 276-7141, theblackolive.com, $$-$$$ Fells Point Greek restauran...

Middle Eastern Amer's Café 7624 Belair Road, Belair Beltway Plaza, Nottingham, (410) 668-5100, amerscafe.com,...

Pizza Angelo's Carry-Out 3600 Keswick Road, (410) 235-2595, angeloshampden.com, $ Best pizza in Hampden ...

Pub Grub Curb Shoppe Bar and Grill 5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299, curbshoppe.com, $ This neighborhood pub...

Russian Vernisage 1004 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7701, $$-$$$ With its glass chandeliers an...

Seafood Blue Sea Grill 614 Water St., (410) 837-7300, blueseagrill.com, $$$ A daily selection of "Fresh ...

Southern Charleston 1000 Lancaster St., (410) 332-7373, charlestonrestaurant.com, $$$ Somewhere along the l...

Spanish Pazo 1425 Aliceanna St., (410) 534-7296, pazorestaurant.com, $$$ If you don't leave Pazo a little ...

Thai Ban Thai 340 N. Charles St., (410) 727-7971, banthai.us, $$ Ban Thai is our favorite place to eave...

Upscale Comfort Food Ale Mary's 1939 Fleet St., (410) 276-2044, alemarys.com, $$ Kudos to Ale Mary's for celebrating th...

Vegetarian Liquid Earth 1626 Aliceanna St., (410) 276-6606, liquidearth.com, $$ We've appreciated the vegetar...

Vietnamese Baltimore Pho 1114 Hollins St., (410) 752-4746, baltimorepho.com, $$ Despite the downtrodden local...

Eat 2009

Posted 3/4/2009

Golden West Café

1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com, $-$$

Baltimore has plenty of good breakfast places, but they rarely stray past the traditional eggs and pork products, or perhaps some sauced-up brunch fare. Golden West's Southwestern slant and early-adopter slow-food-iness remain a breath of fresh air on the local fast-breaking scene, even after a decade. Seriously, the Frisbee-sized pancakes alone make it essential. Even better, Golden West's chile-laden, veggie-friendly menu spans all three major meals with salads, sandwiches, and entrées, while the restaurant itself has hung onto its casual-hang vibe, which is a good thing any time of day.

Helen's Garden

2908 O'Donnell St., (410) 276-2233, helensgarden.com, $$

The setting at Helen's Garden is whimsical and romantic. This O'Donnell Square fixture is a maze of quaint, tiny two-tops dotted by refined lamps and bud vases. The menu is tasteful and straightforward, offering items like pecan-crusted trout, but what the dishes lack in imagination they make up for in taste. Sunday brunch at Helen's is always packed, and it still boasts Baltimore's longest happy hour from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Seating at the sun-lit bar is usually limited, but the atmosphere and food make the wait worth it.

Ixia

518 N. Charles St., (410) 727-1800, ixia-online.com, $$$

If there's a prevailing accent at Ixia, we've never discerned it. Asian ingredients marry with French technique, and New American meets Old World. The eclectic food and equally eclectic décor don't quite congeal into one particular theme or approach, but the creativity and flavor coming out of the kitchen and the soaring ceilings of the main dining room provide the necessary expansiveness to deal with that.

Rocket to Venus

3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, rockettovenus.com, $$

Remember when Hampden had little more than that pizza place with the gargantuan slices? Those days are long gone, partly because of Rocket to Venus, the retro-chic joint with the delicious Brussels sprouts--yeah, we said Brussels sprouts--and cornmeal-fried oysters. There are plenty of draft beers, a wine list that extends from Australia to Europe to California, a knack for large cocktails, plus a jukebox with artists ranging from G.G. Allin to the Jackson Five.

Sascha's 527 Café

527 N. Charles St., (410) 539-8880, saschas.com, $$-$$$,

High ceilings, moody lighting, and dramatic flower arrangements all work to give Sascha's a romantic downtown vibe. Small plates like Baja tacos, shrimp and grits, and the perennial "mental greens" salad hold more interest than larger entrees. Desserts are a meal in themselves.

Ze Mean Bean Café

1739 Fleet St., (410) 675-5999, zemeanbean.com, $$-$$$

Dining at Ze Mean Bean can be pricey, but the Eastern European menu is unique, and the cozy interior is inviting. Because of the menu's heavy reliance on former Soviet-bloc staples like potato cakes and goulash, Ze Bean is a good place to go for a filling wintertime meal. The maple pork with honey and horseradish is especially delectable. Not everything's a hit, though; less adventurous palates should perhaps steer clear of the unfamiliar.

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