East and Northeast
It's right by the Gold Club, and, um, if that means nothing to you, it's the place that Guy Fieri went to on Food Network. The pit beef here is always tender and moist, if a little bland. However, the meat combinations found in the subs are genius--we like the bulldog, which is sausage topped with pit beef and cheese. Fries are love-hate, as they are tasty, but tend to be a bit floppy. Pit ham and turkey are also good. Skip the ribs, and beware the house barbecue sauce, as it is very, very sweet.
This year Clementine expanded with a second dining room and added a liquor license. Still, the restaurant remains busy with Hamiltonians hungry for homemade charcuterie, Tuesday night tacos, and comfort food from chicken pot pie to shrimp and grits. Famously child-friendly, the restaurant offers a small area inside the entrance devoted to coloring books and games, but the rest of the restaurant is all food, all good.
The name says it all for this modest storefront located in a Gardenville strip mall. Pizzas come thin and chewy thick with all the traditional toppings and none of that barbecue chicken or trendy stuff. Pastas are both delicious and a bargain, topping out at $15 for a huge plate of spaghetti brimming with shellfish, the variety of which depends on what's fresh. A meatball sub makes you yearn for a larger stomach. Counter service is decidedly casual, but everyone is "buddy" or "dear."
This stall at the Northeast Public Market seems cursed, having housed now-defunct crab cake and burger businesses, both very good. Hopefully, Fresh Roast won't suffer the same fate because it's a gem. Roasted turkey and beef are the draw here, and the meat is always supremely moist and tender, a deceptively difficult endeavor. The sides, too, are above par, and while perhaps not from-scratch homemade, they taste pretty damn close. Get gravy on everything, and if you decide to get a half and half to wash it down, ask for unsweetened iced tea, otherwise it's diabetes in a cup.
This intimate spot feels more like a bar than a restaurant, but locals crowd the handful of tables to raid the small menu for ambitious bar eats such as the Roseda beef crosstown burger (only $2 to add bacon and a fried egg) and drunken mussels. Or they just grab a stool and order up a plate of scarfable fried dill pickle chips with goat cheese sauce to go with one of the Tavern's top beers on tap. Comfort food that's more tailored pea coat than pastel Snuggie.
We are so desperately grateful to the Parkside for its in-house children's play area, allowing us to sit and sip our draft Resurrection Ale while the wee ones play with others. And we get to eat terrific seasonal, well-executed, and inexpensive food to boot. The Parkside does upscale but irreverent takes on traditional Baltimore mainstay foods: smoked crab imperial, for example, or expertly fried chicken with hearty cornmeal waffles. Extra points for local food sourcing and intelligent, satisfying vegetarian fare.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201