Fogo de Chao is a place to go for special occasions – or for someone who really likes high quality meat. We went to this Brazilian steakhouse across the street from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor/Power Plant one evening in early summer. The couple I was with had been here before and had told me what to expect.
There is no menu and it is a set price - $50/person for dinner or $33/person for lunch. Once seated and drinks ordered (not included in the price of the meal), you are guided to the huge salad bar. We were given a warning – don’t fill up on the salad bar because you’ll want to save plenty of room for the main course.
When you are ready to begin your main course (which is mostly meat and some veggies), you flip over your red/green disc (red = stop, green=bring food). Almost as soon as we flipped those discs we were inundated with servers carrying skewers of various cuts of beef, pork, and lamb. You can say yes or no to what the server is offering. Once you make a selection (and you can select from all of the servers – as many times as you like since it is all you can eat) they will slice it in front of you, cutting from the area closest to how you would like your meat cooked. Once your plate is full, flip your disc to red until you are ready for the next round.
The food was awesome. No doubt about that. And the service was fantastic. Even the salad bar was really well done with some unique inclusions not found on typical salad bars.
I would definitely come here again – but for a special occasion only to keep it special.
In downtown Baltimore, parking can be an issue, but there is a parking garage near the restaurant so it wasn’t too bad finding a place for the car. Fogo de Chao also offers valet parking should you desire that service.
I don’t have any photos from the restaurant – I decided to simply enjoy my evening without dragging the camera around. Next time, I plan to get some photos of the servers with their skewers of meat!
We went into this neighborhood favorite on a Monday evening and there was a line out the door. It was incredible! The cookie case was insane. There were like 50 cookie choices. Not to mention cakes, profiteroles, Italian sodas, coffees, gelatos, home made cannoli's, cheesecakes, napoleons, etc.
It was hard to choose, but we each got a coffee and a dessert. Whoa! Big mistake! For the five of us we should have shared 2 desserts, they were huge! But we didn't complain as we stuffed ourselves! :)
Favorite Dish: I think the home made cannoli's are a must. But the Nutella cheesecake my husband ordered was also amazing!
This is the site of Chef Duff's Charm City Cakes. You may recognize Chef Duff from the food network bc he and his team are famous for creating the most amazing cakes. Just watching the show you can't help to be impressed with Chef Duff's team, serious artistry happens at this place. It's kinda cool that the building looks like a castle too.
We showed up, but we couldn't get in. They are so popular now that they only take appointments during the week and walk ins on Saturdays from 10-4.
It was still cool to see the place. But I am bummed I couldn't at least have caught a glimps of the awesomeness of which is produced within!
It would be impossible to miss Cafe Hon. At 50' Pink flamingo is attached to the front of the building. I saw Cafe Hon on Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares about a year ago, so when we knew we were coming to Baltimore I had to visit. Apparently, the owner was in a little disagreement with the local radio dj's bc they were talking bad about the restaurant. And ppl were calling into discuss their terrible experiences with Cafe Hon. It really wasn't too much about the food but complaints abt the owner. Long story short, Gorden Ramsey insisted she remove the flamingo, she refused but follow most of his recommendations. I agree the flamingo is sort of a staple to the "Hon" theme of the neighborhood. They even have their own entry in Wikipedia. :)
Overall, Cafe Hon was good. It had good food and ambience.
Marylanders love their crabs. So you cant visit Maryland without eating some crabs. Capt. James CrabShack can be reached easily by the water taxi via Captain James Landing. The Taxi unloads at the pier behind the CrabShack.
All You Can Eat $29.99 (2hr limit) Includes white corn on the Cobb and crab soup.
The crabs are delicious. The soup was ok and the Maryland white corn on the cobb was terrible. Sorry to those that are proud of their Maryland white corn, but I'm bias being from Indiana. Indiana sweet corn blows Maryland corn out of the water. Maryland corn is just tasteless, but that doesn't matter, that means more rooms for crabs! :)
The restaurant opens at 4pm.
*those not from Maryland/East Coast the crabs are covered with Old Bay Seasoning. It is a salty and slightly spicy seasoning. I am probably commiting blasphemy here toward Marylanders, but the seasoning can get a bit overwhelming after eating a dozen or so crabs. You'll need lots of water!
On our last evening, we decided to go for burgers and beer once again, but this time we wanted to try a local microbrewery. We landed on the quick walk past the harbor to Pratt Street Ale House. When we arrived, the place was packed, but it was a night of an Oriole's game, and this is a popular place to stop on the way to the game, which started about 20 minutes after we arrived. At that point, it cleared out quickly and we were seated promptly.
Our server was attentive - as she had to keep the drinks going. The Ale house has about 15 of it's own beers on tap, and about another dozen bottles - but their own beers are a good mix, so there's not a lot of reason to drift off that part of the menu.
The food is your typical bar food - burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pizza. They have a couple of nifty twists in their signature burgers though. I had a tough time choosing, but ended up with the Reuben burger - a burger burger piled corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. The fries on the side were good too.
Ultimately, we passed a good hour sitting there eating and trying a few of their beers. A great place for a casual meal!
We had to give the crabs a once over if we were in Baltimore, and after reviewing the places we could walk to, we landed on Canton Dockside. They were able to accommodate our large group of 8, and were apologetic that all that they had were "mediums". We told the server we were there for the experience, and about 5 of us went in to eat 2 dozen crabs.
This is quite a laid-back place. Our server was incredibly attentive - he answered many questions, and kept the drinks flowing. He took time to help one of our party who has a shellfish allergy find something he could eat. And when it came to picking, he patiently took us through the process. We asked a few questions about crab fishing, and he answered everything.
The feast was a fun one, but as he predicted, by about the fourth crab, the work begins to get tedious. Still, I was grateful for the fun evening. What's more, I got to top it off with a generous slice of red velvet cheesecake. They have a fairly extensive beer selection, so that was a plus as well. Highly recommended.
After a three hour walking tour, we decided to walk a little more and head over to this place on Federal Hill. They tout that they were "Named Maryland's "Great Burger Joint" by USA Today." It's easy to see why. However, it's not a huge place - they have a large bar area, with a few smaller tables in the bar, then about 4-5 tables that can hold a group of 6 in the back. Luckily, we had just 6, and there was a table open.
The servers was very friendly, and very knowledgeable about the beer menu. They have a huge bottle menu as well as about a dozen on tap. After we settled on our first round of beer, it was on to the main course. The specialties are burgers and sandwiches. You have the option to build your own burger, or you can pick from the menu. I had to try the Baltimore burger - a burger topped with crab dip, cheddar and bacon. It was as awesome as it sounds. Comes with a side of chips - which helped absorb some of the beer.
It's a way off from the Inner Harbor, but definitely worth the hike if you enjoy a good burger!
As I arrived a little later than expected, and I needed to eat quickly before my walking tour began, I frantically began walking near the hotel to try to find something to eat. My eyes spotted Taco Fiesta, and I popped in. As you walk into the restaurant, there's a bar to the left, and a large board with menu options straight ahead. They have your standard Mexican options - burritos, tacos, etc. Pricing is slightly higher than you would pay at Chipotle. The burritos are about the same size - I ended up landing on a shrimp burrito and a glass of a melon drink. You pick a table and they bring the food to you in a basket - about 5-10 minutes or so. As mentioned, the burrito was good sized, with a decent amount of shrimp. They have a salsa bar, where you can choose from a number of salsas to cover your food in - some were pretty good.
The atmosphere is colorful - but this really is more of a quick service place, so expect a nice quick meal. It ended up being a little more than I wanted, but the food was pretty good.
The restaurant and pub are set in a stately townhouse, with fancy chandeliers and wood paneling. As you would expect from the name, this place features beer. It proudly displays an impressive array of various styles of beer. Appetizers are available in the bar, while full (and pricey) gourmet meals are served in the adjacent restaurant.
Opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 4PM-2AM, Sunday 5PM-2AM. Dinner is served 5:30PM-9PM.
Favorite Dish: I had the "Ozzy," a Duvel-style brew. Many other brews are available, with additional seasonal selections. Be aware that the beer is quite potent; a little truly does go a long way. Several "guest" beers are also available -- check the website for details.
This hidden jewel looks somewhat like a dump on the outside but "get over that" because their pit beef sandwich is excellent. The fries are hand peeled and cut on site and delicious. Some of my friends find this place hard to find but I sincerely do not understand that. They are open for lunch only but I do not recall the precise hours.
Favorite Dish: Being a Southerner may predispose one to loving barbecue. When I lived in Baltimore, I had trouble finding anything resembling the barbecued brisket sandwich. The closest that I ever found was probably the pit beef sandwich which I found to be a working-class staple of the region. Despite the name, however, there is no pit in the strict sense of the term – pit beef is a char-grilled top round of beef, sliced very thin, and served with horseradish on a kaiser roll (or rye at some restaurants). While this sandwich is widely available in the Baltimore area, my favorite place to eat one was Pioneer Pit Beef in the Windsor Mill community.
UPDATE : This restaurant has now changed ownership and management to Poe Boys Oyster Bar.
We visited this restaurant during the Fell's Point Festival. Unfortunately, the young waitress who served us was very confused and mixed up table numbers and orders were going wrong all over the place. Furthermore, she proceeded to tell the clientele that the fault lay at the feet of the serving staff who was taking the food to the table numbers she had written on the orders and not to the table numbers that she was verbally instructing them she had gotten incorrect - hardly their fault.
The food was mixed up and orders were wrong all over the place. I'm sure it would have been lovely, but the whole experience was spoilt.
It will be interesting to see what this change of ownership will result in.
Food is just what the doctor order as I was having a staycation on Bethany Beach and decided that I had a taste for cornbeef sandwich, piled high on jewish rye wit mustard. After a exhausted search for a place in the area, google search sent me packin three and a half hour drive to Baltimore , Maryland. My doctor friends said I was nuts to drive that far, but it's my vacation. When you gotta have a cornbeef sandwich on rye, make it the best. I didn't want to actually drive to NYC, so this was the alternative.
Favorite Dish: Cornbeef sandwich on Jewish rye wit mustard. It taste sooooo good, the other sandwich to compare is the pastrami and swiss on rye like Katz's or Carnagie in NYC. It was good, but did not get the excellent. Second a best to NYC.....then they charge 1.59 for a pickle.
As the name suggests, this coffee shop is located in a former firehouse. The coffee is good, baked goods are great. They have a few outdoor tables so you can enjoy your coffee outside when the weather is good.
Favorite Dish: I get a coffee and a muffin or cookie. They have sandwiches etc. but I have not tried them. They are not open in the evenings.
If you happen to be around Mt Vernon area, specifically Charles St, on a cold and wet autumn day, it may be time to seek refuge at Ban Thai, and keep yourself happy with a steaming bowl of wonton soup - comforting and subtly seasoned to bring out the broth's meaty flavor.
And while you're at it, try their chicken satay and seafood fried rice (kao pad ta-lay). The former, rightly grilled and the peanut sauce brings you back to Khao San in Bangkok. The latter, not as oily as I expected it to be, which is good, and the bits of seafood - squid, crab, fish - in it, fresh and flavorful.
Finish it off with sticky rice with ripe mango - yes, just like how they do it in Thailand. And yes, ripe tropical mango in autumn in the mid-Atlantic United States.
The place was buzzing at lunchtime, but the service was good and attentive.
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