2011 – The year remembered

The Dearly Departed?

We were enamored with the Feast@4East after our first dinner there and the attraction grew with each return visit. The unusual and interesting menu, the friendly and cute waiter plus the charmingly mismatched antique china and silverware in the impressive former Mt. Vernon mansion will be missed and lingers in our memory.

Milan also called it quits in 2012. The upscale, ultra-contemporary décor ( sort of like Roche Bobois adding a restaurant to their store?) combined with touting its acceptance of Euro’s as well as Dollars seemed out of place in old fashioned Little Italy (and left us pondering how it might have fared in Harbor East).

Cici’s Pizza Buffet in Rosedale, one of Marty’s favorite haunts with its “All you can eat” pizza and salad for just $6 (plus dessert pizzas! Wow!) was perhaps too much of a bargain for its own good and shut down (perhaps to the benefit of some waistlines we know? <Wink>)

Biggest Surprise?

Perhaps because we had avoided it for the past 10 years due to past disappointments, the Rusty Scupper’s food, atmosphere, service and view were so good they had us looking at it with new eyes. (FYI – It would have earned our “Thumbs Up!” even if Marty hadn’t fallen in lust with our server!)

Most Disappointing?

Between dining room air conditioning set to a frigid 62 degrees (and no one on duty who knew how to change the thermostat), servers who seemed absolutely clueless about how to serve, a plethora of missing items on the menu that it took 10 minutes each for the server to find out they were missing compounded by memories of finer dining at the Brass Elephant, dinner at “The Museum” was our biggest disappointment in 2012.

Our meal at the Midtown BBQ and Brew, which replaced our long time favorite Midtown Yacht Club, was a downer. The featured BBQ chicken arrived at our table not fully cooked with what tasted like supermarket bargain BBQ sauce which appeared to be brushed on just before serving. Our long time favorite two pounds of steamed mussels for $9 bargain has disappeared from the menu leaving the sole consolation that the barrel of free peanuts was still there.

Our dinner at “Café Hon” left us thinking that the erstwhile miracles wrought by Chef Gordon Ramsay on “Kitchen Nightmares” are not always as miraculous as they appear. Regardless of whatever impact Chef Ramsay had, “Café Hon” still lags far behind the competing restaurants on “The Avenue” in Hampden.

John’s Favorite Places That We Haven’t Reviewed?

Little Spice in Hanover (not far from Arundel Mills and well worth the drive) offers some of the most delicious Thai food that John has encountered. The appetizers are “Thumbs Up!” standouts (consider making a meal out of a couple of them!).

In contrast, Jennings Café in “downtown” Catonsville offers “American” food at reasonable prices. A $8 chicken pot pie is a “Thumbs Up!” favorite (and we’re eagerly awaiting Marty’s verdict on the fried chicken livers appetizer!) If you’re lucky, you’ll get seated at one of the tables assigned to Peggy Bailey. Zagat crowned her “best waitress in Baltimore” back in 2004 and this senior lady still has more energy than Marty’s retired friends!

Marty’s Favorite Server?

Near the end of an enjoyable dinner at newbie Gordon Biersch in Harbor East, Marty confided to the young woman serving us that we were reviewers for Gay Life. She responded with a wink and big smile: “I thought you were family!”

Favorite Monday Night Bargains?

We heartily recommend the $5 burgers at “Glory Days” in Towson (it’s hard for us not to feel even more manly and butch surrounded by all those flat screen tv’s playing non-stop sports!) The $7 rack of ribs (aka “Just The Meat!”) at uber gay friendly Mt Vernon Stables is another great bargain!

A Dubious Restaurant Trend?

We’re ticked off by restaurants increasingly charging about $3 for a glass of ice tea or a soda (when it costs them less than quarter!) We often now request a free glass of water – with lemon – and use the savings to treat ourselves to a shared dessert!

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