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Eat Feature

Q is for Quirks

Holy Frijoles · Ye Olde Malt Shoppe/Earl's Beauty Inn · Tamber's Nifty Fifties Dining · Captain James Landing

Michelle Gienow

Eat Special Issue 1999

Alphabet Soup We know where we like to go for a good burger--and we'll bet you do too. Or a good omelet. Or a good...

A is for Appetizers The Helmand · Café Madrid · Henninger's Tavern · Café Zen · Grand Palace · Morgan Millard · Al Pacino Café · Sarah's Café · Iola Café

B is for Breakfast Jimmy's · Blue Moon Café · Golden West Café · Morning Edition Café · Helen's Garden Café · Hull Street Blues Café · Loco Hombre · Weber's on Boston · Suburban House

C is for Carry-out DiPasquale's · Cosmos · Rotisseria · Chow Mein Charlie's · Chokchai · Thairish · Caribbean Kitchen · Viccino's · Michaelangelo's · The Roost

D is for Dessert Vaccaro's · Cheesecake Factory · Adrian's Book Café · Moxley's · Louie's Bookstore Café · Coney Island

E is for Expensive Charleston · The Black Olive · Milton Inn · Polo Grill · Chart House · Oregon Grille

F is for Frugal Pete's Grill · Trolley Stop · Fazzini's Italian Kitchen · jr. · Rallo's · Mamie's Café · Caribbean Food Carry Out · Silk Road Café · Frisco Burritos · Winterling's · Valley View Inn · Fresh

G is for Guilty Pleasures Anne's Dari-Creme · Howard's Delly · Maria D's · Johnny Rockets · Thrasher's · Steak Out Express · New System Bakery · Krispy Kreme

H is for Happy Hour The Brewer's Art · Mick O'Shea's · Brass Elephant · Speakeasy Saloon · Calvert House · Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood Co.

I is for Incendiary Sushi Café · Ko Hyang · Joung Kak · Thai Landing · Sisson's · Café Tattoo · Austin Grill

J is for Java Needful Things · The Hidden Bean · City Café · Donna's · Empire Café · Xando · The Daily Grind

K is for Kids Friendly Farm · Hacienda Mexican Restaurant · Fuddruckers · Overlea Diner · Funk's Democratic Coffee House and Bistro · Mount Vernon Stable and Saloon

L is for Lunch Women's Industrial Exchange · Sascha's Daily · Mughal Garden · Akbar · Bombay Grill · Nate's and Leon's · Snyder's Cafe and Deli

M is for Meat Prime Rib · Shula's Steakhouse · Ruth's Chris Steak House · Alonso's · The Crease · Bill Bateman's · Lenny's · Attman's · Boomerang Pub

N is for New School Joy America Café · Spike and Charlie's · Sotta Sopra · La Tavola · Opa! · Viccino Bistro · Café Pangea

O is for Old School Haussner's · Tio Pepe's · Ikaros · Acropolis · Bo Brooks · Forest Diner · Angelina's · Kawasaki · Thai Restaurant · Perring Place Restaurant · Sanders Corner · Sabatino's · Matthew's Pizzaria 

P is for Pub Grub Peter's Inn · Simon's Pub · Duda's · Sobo Café · Koco's Pub · Kisling's · McCabe's · Dougherty's Pub · Charles Village Pub

Q is for Quirks Holy Frijoles · Ye Olde Malt Shoppe/Earl's Beauty Inn · Tamber's Nifty Fifties Dining · Captain James Landing

R is for Romantic Corks · Pierpoint · Banjara · Ambassador Dining Room · Tersiguel's

S is for Seafood Gunning's Crab House · Gunning's Seafood Restaurant · Faidley's Seafood · Legal Sea Foods · John Steven Ltd. · Anne Arundel Seafood · G&M Restaurant · Mo's Fisherman's Exchange · Bill's Terrace Inn · Bay Caf

T is for Tourists Waterfront · Hollywood Diner · Café Hon · Obrycki's · Bertha's · Lista's · McCormick and Schmick's · Wharf Rat · Gallery Sandwich Shoppe · Hard Rock Café · Planet Hollywood · ESPN Zone

U is for United Nations Restaurant · Silk Road · Braznell's Caribbean Kitchen · Orchard Market and Café · Ze Mean Bean Café · Saigon · House of Kabob · Desert Café · Restaurante San Luis · Little Havana · Café

V is for Vegetarian Golden Temple · Liquid Earth · One World Café · Wild Mushroom · Puffins · Sin Carne · Village Market

W is for Worth the Drive Captain Billy's · Captain John's · Cantler's Riverside Inn · Gabler's · Baugher's Family Restaurant · Rudy's 2900 · Olney Ale House

X is for XXL New No Da Ji · The Yellow Bowl · Micah's Cafeteria · Cactus Willie's

Y is for Yeast Baltimore Brewing Company · Big Sky Bread Co. · Stone Mill Bakery · Ellicott Mills Brewing Company · Capitol City Brewing Co.

Z is for ZZZ Sip & Bite · Double T Diner · Valentino's · Star Light Diner · Bel-Loc Diner · Gampy's · Nam Kang

Posted 2/24/1999

Thanks to John Waters, Baltimore is now marked as America's weirdest city. 'Course, it's not for nothing that St. John has been quoted describing his films as documentaries, but if you cruise local restaurants looking for a granny doing ventriloquism with the Virgin Mary or a 200-pound make-up-smeared bald transvestite, you're likely to be disappointed. That said, several of our eateries do their best to live up to the Waterian ideal of Baltimore as Quirk City, U.S.A. And who knows: You might run into that tea- bagging drag queen yet.

We'll take Hampden's Holy Frijoles (906 West 36th St., [410] 235-2326) over its pricier Tex-Mex peers any day, Hon--even if we do have to sidle through the tiny dining room and park our carcass on a wooden bench. The servers negotiate the narrow aisle with grace, ferrying heaping platters of great, cheap T-M staples such as tamales, tacos, and gloriously grand chilis rellenos. And yes, the frijoles (beans) are holy, as is the rice. You can BYOB (one warning, and our one complaint--the margarita set-up they offer those toting their own tequila is on the pricey side), or wash down your grub with a bottled Mexican soda. Re: the décor, words like "funky" and "eclectic" come to mind. The same adjectives describe the vast assortment of hot sauces available to give your beans an extra kick.

Come for the ice cream, stay for a haircut at South Baltimore's Ye Olde Malt Shoppe/Earl's Beauty Inn (635 E. Fort Ave., [410] 752-3680). The beauty salon's in the back; in the front room, there's a retro soda counter where owner Earl Gallion serves up bubbly root-beer floats and thick, creamy milk shakes. Earl's is a charming retro oasis in a neighborhood that's increasingly being de-Formstoned and gentrified into a Federal Hill Jr.

Eisenhower-era malt shop meets authentic Indian restaurant at Tamber's Nifty Fifties Dining (3327 St. Paul St., [410] 243-0383), a cultural crossover that doesn't clash. If the sight of someone savoring a juicy burger next to a diner tucking into a plate of channa masala (while both sway to the sounds of the Dixie Cups or the Everly Brothers, courtesy of Tamber's constantly humming, oldies-stocked jukebox) doesn't jolt you, you may fall prey to this Charles Village mainstay's odd but undeniable charms.

Why spend thousands on that Caribbean cruise when a nautical experience is at your fingertips at Captain James Landing (2127 Boston St., [410] 337-8600)? OK, it's not a Caribbean cruise, but anytime is a good time to visit the big boat at the corner of Boston and Aliceanna, what with both the dining room and adjoining carry-out wing open 24 hours. However, you might enjoy your trip if you forgo the overpriced dinner specials. Stick with after-pub grub, or sail away a salty summer evening on the upper deck, enjoying drinks and dessert in the briny Fells Point breeze.

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