This neighborhood pub serves juicy hamburgers with cheese and/or bacon on a sesame seed bun that go so well with a domestic draft and watching the game on the floating flat screens, that we've had little else here, save a little plate of fun from the free Friday happy hour buffet. But they also serve fried poppers, chicken strips, and cheese in plastic baskets, cold and hot sandwiches and subs, hot platters of meat served with fries, wings, chili, and salads.
When Dizzy Issie's closed last year and reopened as the Dizz, folks wondered if there would be many changes in this Remington institution. Aside from a slightly new name, a fresh coat of paint, and a good cleaning, the place is the same--which is not a bad thing. It still offers ace soups, cheap but good burgers, and a rotating list of old-fashioned entrées, written up daily in the familiar loopy handwriting. The upstairs pool table has disappeared, creating more dining space and making eating upstairs feel less like exile.
With the constant upheaval and gentrification in the neighborhood, a trip to Duda's is getting to feel like a journey to disappearing Fells Point. The narrow, corner bar is locally famous for its excellent steamed shrimp, massive burgers, and generally superior pub grub. And then there's the ghost--Doc, a seaman who used to live upstairs when Duda's was a hotel. We don't know if it's the supernatural draw, the food, or the line of great beers on tap, but you might have to wait a few minutes to get an outside table.
If 2008 was the year Baltimoreans re-learned where Hamilton is, it was in no small part due to the success of Tom Creegan's Hamilton Tavern. The tavern's crosstown burger, made with Roseda Farms beef and served with horseradish, cheddar, and bacon and/or a fried egg is worth crossing town for, as are the house-made potato chips and Boh-battered onion rings. Tap selections change regularly. Dine early in order to snag a table and hear your partner's sparkling conversation.
We came to iBar for the $4 hamburgers on Thursday nights, but the burgers usually hit normal burger prices once we start piling on toppings (like cheese), so it's not quite the deal it seems to be. We come back for the Buffalo wings, bright orange things served in a mound that looks like it's been cooked in the heart of Chernobyl, tasty and dangerous (and half price on Wednesdays). Beyond that expect the usual bar food and a cozy, friendly atmosphere that belies both its proximity to the Station North Arts District and its downmarket Maryland Avenue digs.
Kibby's is the kind of place our grandparents would take us to eat. The ambience is casual but the formal dining room tries to class things up a bit. The menu is reasonably priced and the food is hearty, if a little unadventurous (think crab fluff, oyster stew, burgers, hot turkey sandwiches, prime rib, pasta dishes), but when it came to food, our grandparents never steered us wrong. We frequently stop in to Kibby's for a burger and a cold beer, to get our fix of the signature shrimp salad, or nosh on the salty-sweet onion rings.
With its bright yellow paint job, curvy blue cursive logo, and giant painted parrot, it's hard to miss Koco's Pub on Harford Road. But there's another reason folks flock here: the giant lump crab cakes. The rest of the menu is mostly traditional bar food, but don't overlook the spicy wings and substantial hamburger. Kids have a menu and play corner to themselves.
Not surprisingly the menu in this Federal Hill spot is mostly typical bar fare-- wings, wraps, and the like--but MaGerk's takes its cheesesteaks quite seriously. It imports special Philadelphia cheesesteak rolls with just enough chew and elasticity. The steak within is perhaps more moist than that found in the original, but that's no complaint. Combined with fried onions and the traditional Cheez Whiz, the subs are an incredibly unctuous, gooey cylinder of Philly-style goodness, a total steal at $4 on Thursday nights.
Mother's seems to do a booming business in pouring for Federal Hill imbibers and Ravens tailgaters, but the recently expanded spot also boasts a kitchen serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to typical pitcher accompaniments like boardwalk fries and mozzarella sticks, the huge menu features chipotle ahi tuna and trendy kobe beef sliders alongside a full compliment of salads, sandwiches, entrees, etc. Homemade ice cream for dessert, too.
The Owl Bar, on the first floor of the Belvedere Hotel, is a good place to take out-of-towners, and once you get done with the days-gone-by celebrity pictures in the entrance hallway, explaining the significance of the owl statue above the bar, and wondering where the last stanza of the poem across the stained glass went to (hint: check the menu), the food is pretty good. The menu is varied, ranging from enormous paninis to brick-oven pizzas to pan-seared ahi tuna.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201