The original Charles Village Pub (not to be confused with its namesake in Towson) is a small, noisy, old time sports pub with a narrow space filled by a long bar with 20 stools on one side and lined with booths along the other side. The walls above the booths are filled with Baltimore sports photos; the booths fit at most four people and there are no tables.
On the floor along the bar, the finish has been worn away after 30 years of bar stools pushing back and forth. The only nods to modernity were a half dozen LCD TV’s providing views of sports events.
The unpretentious realness of the place combined with a mix of hunky Hopkins students, middle age straight couples and 70+ y/o customers gave us a feeling similar to putting on some favorite old shoes that fit just right.
The humble-looking menu offers more than you might expect. A few homemade soups ($4 for a bowl of crab soup?), 15+ “Munchies” (most $6 to $9), Burgers (ranging from a $6 veggie to the 13 oz “Big Daddy” with cheese and bacon for $10), a dozen “club” sandwiches ($8+), a bunch of other sandwiches (most $8), and a dozen platters (most $10).
We started by sharing an order of “Buffalo wings” (a 12 for $8 bargain) with our friends Tom and Paul and the wings proved to be finger licking good and earned a “Thumbs Up” from all of us.
On our waitress’ recommendation, John got the Greek Salad with chicken ($10), Marty ordered a “Cajun Tuna Steak” sandwich ($9) with a side order of curly fries ($3), Tom opted for the “Fish & Chips” platter ($9) and Paul decided on the “Ravens Club” ($8).
John’s salad arrived in a big bowl with lots of feta, olives, a sliced chicken breast, and a really tasty house feta vinaigrette dressing which earned another “Thumbs Up”.
Ditto for the big chunk of nicely cooked tuna in Marty’s sandwich; Marty felt that his delicious curly fries were well worth the cost.
Tom’s platter included three pieces of fried, but not overly greasy, cod and a mountain of regular French fries “chips”; both rated two more “Thumbs Ups”.
Our friendly waitress was hopping yet checked in regularly and kept our drinks filled.
We learned that Charles Village Pub has only two desserts – plain cheesecake and a homemade creation called the “Apple Blossom” (both just $3.50). We were intrigued by the Apple Blossom and shared one order. It included two “blossoms” – artful “petals” of pie pastry encasing slightly tart and not overly sweet slices of baked apple with daubs of whipped cream. Yum! (and yet another “Thumbs Up!”)
the Charles Village Pub is over 30 years old and it’s a small, friendly neighborhood joint with very good bar grub at very reasonable prices
BASICS: Charles Village Pub (Charles Village); 3017 St. Paul St; 410-243-1611; charlesvillagepub.net; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; brunch on weekends; Full bar; Vegetarian options; kitchen open til 1 am; FYI – booths sit a maximum of 4 people so not good for larger groups (DiningOUT visit: 4/15/2012)