|Tucked in the heart of Main Street Catonsville, MD hides a great little lunch place – Duesenberg’s.
The wait can sometimes be long (not many tables), but this place serves up all your favorite American classics at reasonable prices. French Dips, Burgers, Mac N Cheese ….
I highly recommend this place for lunch if/when you are in the area.
|The newest place try drink quality craft beer in Baltimore! 40 taps – proper glassware and a nice bottle list sets this place apart from other venues (Pictures attached below).
I had a burger (my standard test). It was delicious, juicy and overall a high quality offering. The fries were also great, and obviously fresh. If had to complain about anything, the food menu is small and may be a little too fancy. Can this place stay open where at least 2 others have already failed? – Time will tell.
I’ll be back. Other reviews here.
|Being in town for the Furthur show, a group of us were looking for a good place to have lunch and some good beers. Obviously Yards and Victory were both represented, but was also happy to find some brews from Stoudt’s and Troegs.
Very cool décor and old atmosphere. The food was decent pub grub but nothing I would seek out either. My only complaint – the music. Some of the worst 80’s tunes I’ve heard in a while.
|It’s not too often that I give a restaurant a thumbs down review, but that is what happened during my first visit to Portalli’s. So after waiting a while, the crew and I headed back down for a another visit. I am excited to say that every single complaint I had during my previous visit was rectified. Frankly, just forget what I said before.|
|Like the last time, our service started off with a bang! But this time it was a whole different story. The wait staff was not only professional but guided us through our meal and made this experience 100% pleasurable. All of the service issues I complained about last time were resolved. Wow!|
|What would a revisit be without trying some of the same dishes? The Carbonara was excellent, the Cheese Tortellini and Grilled Chicken was very moist and flavorful. The Crispy Polenta was very good also. One of the nicest things was to see entrees no longer on the menu where the quality wasn’t up to standards. My sister-in-law had the Swordfish special and it was easily the most moist well-cooked swordfish I’ve ever tasted - Incredible. The food in one word was Fantastic!|
|It is simply amazing the turnaround that this restaurant made from one trip to another. I WILL be heading back and hopefully this place remains as good as it was this trip. Can Portalli’s keep this up? I sure hope so. Other reviews here.|
|We had a serving of the meatballs which I thought were delicious. Highly recommended. Easily in my top 10 list of best places to get a beer. More reviews here.|
|Sushi Sono. Not much else to say other than this is easily the best, unpretentious straight-forward sushi house around. On a recent visit, my wife and I both had the miso soup and shared a tuna tataki appetizer (lightly seared with a scallion, vinegar & ponzu sauce). The salmon sashimi along with the tuna sashimi were of the highest quality. I thought the special live scallops sashimi was exceptional. Are you a sushi newbie? No worries – they serve great maki (rolls) too.|
|The 22 oz servings of Kirin Ichiban or Sapporo are the icing on the cake! I hope to expand into some Sake in the near future as I know little about this beverage.|
|Don’t believe me how fantastic this place is? Check out the list of recognitions they have put together – simply stunning. More reviews here.|
|We walked through the crowd and were immediately seated at a romantic table in front of a window; a great start. I knew I wanted to start with the deviled eggs and pickles and olives (I did my homework). The eggs arrived, 3 creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, golden works of art, garnished with thin strips of salty ham. Hands down, these were the best I’d ever had. The pickles consisted of carrot, parsnip (we think) and onion. Light and tangy, we enjoyed them casually throughout the meal. The olives (only green) were very good and until then, I didn’t even think I liked green olives. Mmmm.|
|Next, I slurped down 5 oysters (Ben tried one). I wish I could tell you the names – I do know that they were the 2 smallest oysters (my preference) on the list, 3 of each. They were excellent quality and very enjoyable.|
|After the oysters, we shared a flatbread with wild mushrooms, tofu, spinach, and garlic. We planned to eat just a piece or two but without any convincing, we slowly polished off the whole thing. The toppings were flavorful and savory. The dough slightly sweet with a nice smokiness from the grill.|
|Did I mention the drinks? Ben started with the best Old Fashioned I’d ever sipped. I tried a signature drink, the Clear Creek Flip (vodka/cranberry liquor/lemon/apple spiced syrup). I enjoyed some French Sauvignon Blanc with my dishes. Ben polished off a couple of microbrews (Victory Prima Pils & Tröegs Nugget Nectar) – What did you expect? (The site is called Brewnotes).|
|We enjoyed a nice break between the flatbread and our main entree. After all, we needed time to digest! However, our attentive server felt that perhaps we were waiting too long, so we were treated to a free small-plate of coddies with a nice spicy mustard (there’s a funny story about that mustard). Wonderfully light and fluffy, the coddies were gone in minutes.|
|Hooray entrees! The party continued with Ben’s ribeye and my scallop special. The ribeye (perfectly cooked) came with a delicately scalloped potato gratin with sharp cheddar cheese, while my scallops were perched on some sort of rice/whole grain with andouille sausage, herbs and culinary love. I wish I could remember the exact ingredients, because these may have been the best scallops I’d ever had. I still dream about them. *sigh*|
After our entrees, I am nearly bursting out of my skirt. However, I’m determined to make it through dessert. You see, they had something on the list that I could NEVER turn down: a dark chocolate peanut butter cup (peanut butter cream, dark chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, ladyfinger cracker jack). So insanely good. INSANE! Cloud nine, peanut butter bliss. Meanwhile, Ben enjoyed a cheese plate, but due to my delirium I really have no idea what it was. Cheese… yeah… whatever. PB rules!
I can’t get back to Woodberry Kitchen soon enough. Impeccable service, food, and atmosphere. Wow! More reviews here.
|A guest post contributed from my dining partner, my wife.|
|Tonight we had our first visit to Azul 17 on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia. We had a hankering for some sort of ethnic food and nearly sealed the deal with one of our favorites, House of India. However, we made a last minute decision to try this relatively new eatery. We both love Mexican food – one of our old favs is El Salto in Brooklyn. We both had high hopes to have found an "authentic" (thanks, Kevin & Ann) Mexican restaurant near the homestead.|
|The decor is very bright white, minimalist, and modern. The main dining room was mostly empty, so we sat at the bar. The bar stools were wobbly with VERY low backs, and not very comfortable. Large, high-quality TVs were mounted near the bar playing a slideshow of artistic agave pictures and food. Party-boy music played loudly. It wasn’t quite our style, yet we were still hopeful our food would be worth the trip.|
|There were many Mexican beers available by the bottle, and many, many tequila options (it IS a tequileria, after all). With only 4 draught options, I liked the choices – Dos Equis, Negra Modelo, Stella Artois, and Hoegaarden. I started with a glass of (properly carbonated) Stella and Ben had a traditional margarita. Ben’s margarita was a winner, so I had one also. Delicious.|
The bartender brought us chips and salsa. The salsa was great; full of fresh flavor. The chips seemed a little stale, but that did not stop us from nearly emptying the basket, thanks to the salsa. We proceeded to order 2 Platos Pequeños (small plates): Tuna Azul and Chile Relleno de Queso. In addition I ordered 3 tacos, De Alambre (grilled steak with onions), Tacos de Salmon (you guessed it), and Chorizo Picante (spicy pork chorizo). Ben ordered the Enchiladas de Pollo (chicken enchiladas). I had expected our small plates to come first, followed by the tacos & enchiladas. However, food just came out as it was ready with no thought to the order. In the end, Ben stared at me while I ate my tacos and I stared at Ben while he ate his enchiladas. Oh well, this place isn’t exactly fine dining. It’s just a little disappointing how often this happens.
|The tacos were the star of my meal, with my clear favorite being the salmon. It was cooked well, light, with nice heat balanced with sweetness, and full of flavor. The other 2 tacos were good, but not spectacular. If I were to return, I’d likely get 3-4 of the salmon tacos, or try something new. If you order the chorizo tacos, you should know that it is quite greasy; a puddle formed on the bar while I ate the other tacos.|
The Tuna Azul was a good quality, nicely prepared piece of tuna, seared to medium rare with a flavorful crust. The tomato/onion/arugala/jicama salad was bland and after a couple of bites, it remained on my plate. The tuna itself would have been very enjoyable, had it not been for the overly sweet cranberry drizzle. It was so sweet that I did my best to scrape it off. I’m not sure what they were going for here, but they’d be smart to skip the drizzle, or devise a better match for the tuna.
|Once the Chile Relleno arrived, Ben found the dish enjoyable, but understated. The chili pepper was cooked nicely, stuffed with a little cheese, and served in a tomato based sauce. All the flavors were nice but the dish was not memorable.|
The Enchiladas de Pollo arrived after I finished my food, so Ben offered me a bite. The quality of the shredded chicken was good and the sauce was pleasant, but it left me thinking of tomato soup. Where was the bite? The rich flavor? I’m all for fresh and light, I felt the the dish was so light that it was lacking flavor and excitement. There was a very light crumble of white "queso fresco" on top. Perhaps I’m not accustomed to "authentic Mexican" food, but I missed some melty, cheesy goodness.
Looking back at the entire meal, it was all good, but unfortunately not GREAT. Howard County is home to so many fantastic restaurants, it’s not likely that I’d return this this one. If I’m craving Mexican or Tex-Mex, I’ll head over to Frisco’s for a yummy fajita sandwich or some mahi tacos. Oh, and El Salto still rules. More reviews here.
|We started with the grilled calamari and the steamed mussels. The sauce with the calamari was delicious but sadly, the calamari was rubbery. The mussels were middle of the road – not bad but not great either. Onto our entrees, fish ‘n chips (Cod) and a steak sandwich. The fish was good, flakey and beer battered. The steak sandwich was really good. Charred flank steak, blue cheese and roasted mushrooms on a baguette. The potato chips were clearly homemade and were also quite good.|
|Sitting at the upstairs bar, the service was good but could have been better. The bartenders not only were covering the bar but all the tables upstairs. I appreciate their effort but they could have used some help.|
|My take – this place fits in nicely with the relaxed feel of Federal Hill. You won’t have you best meal ever here but judging by the number of patrons, Ryleigh’s is clearly popular. I felt the price point was fair and I’m sure I’ll be back at some point in time.|
|More reviews here.|
|Stopped in here for a a casual Sunday afternoon lunch and a few beers. This isn’t the first time we’ve been here but I’ve never written about it before. Alex, the bar manager, keeps an incredible beer list. I really dig seeing something new every time I stop in. This trip, on draught, I encountered Allagash Hugh Malone and Troegs Nugget Nectar – both very tasty. My only complaint – all the beers are high octane! I would prefer a few few more session beverages.|
|Now to eating – I had a Mushroom and Swiss KOBE burger. Exceptional, full flavored burger; couple that with smoked paprika fries and I can’t imagine a better lunch. My wife had the roasted beet salad, with blue cheese and toasted nuts. She was very pleased with the salad and remarked that it was nice that it wasn’t dripping in dressing and it was a good value.|
|My take: definitely a place to check out. I like the bar better than the dining room. Some of the food can be a little over the top but the draught and bottle list is worth a stop alone. Other reviews here.|