“Earth, Wood & Fire”, a comparatively new addition along the Falls Road corridor offers “Coal-Fired Cuisine”. In front, there’s a patio area that you can eat at that’s a bit sheltered from the parking lot with lots of shrubs and flowers. Inside, it’s an attractive, casual space with lots of windows and tall ceilings. There’s a large dining room that’s adjacent to the kitchen with a mix of tables and booths and a bar/lounge area. Regretfully, the tables are pretty close together (From our table, I had trouble tuning out the conversation of the people sitting at the booth near us)
The menu is small yet interesting (but some of the prices raised our eyebrows). Soups including “fire roasted” tomato, crab and corn chowder and Maryland crab are $7-$8 a bowl. Ten small plates range from $6 to $10. Personal sized pizzas start at $11 but with toppings at $2-$3 each, the cost of a small pizza can add up quickly. A half dozen speciality pizzas range from $12 to $16 for personal size and $15 to $19 for the larger size. (We’ve tried the pizza before and have judged it good but with less than the amount of toppings that the prices would otherwise suggest). A half dozen vegetable salads (no meat/no protein) are available as small side versions ($7-$8) or entree size ($10-$11). A catch with the salads is that adding protein is pretty darn expensive – $6 extra for grilled chicken, $8 for shrimp or salmon and $10 for steak (e.g., a steak salad can cost you a whopping $21…) Ten sandwiches/burgers range from $10-$12 and come with choice of Fries, Cole Slaw or a Small Garden Salad (but adding fresh fruit or sweet potato fries will cost you $3.25 extra).
John decided on a cheese burger ($11 including fries; John opted for the unusual addition of goat cheese); Tom decided on a Lorenzo entree salad ($11) while Marty went with a special Chicken Pesto sandwich ($12).
John’s burger made an immediate good impression between the amount of goat cheese piled on top of his burger, the beefy roll and the big pile of still hot fries. The burger turned out to be medium rare as ordered When I asked for mustard, dijon was an option and it quickly appeared (Service at Earth, Wood & Fire was both friendly and attentive). The burger and fries not only looked good – but they tasted good as well. Very satisfying and earning John’s “Thumbs Up!”.
Marty’s Chicken with Pesto sandwich proved to be another winner including a thick piece of chicken breast and a generous amount of pesto under melted cheese. Marty found the fries tasty and the sandwich proved more than than he could finish off
The menu description of Tom’s “Lorenzo” salad cited that it included Arugula and Belgian Endive, Blue Cheese, Red Seedless Grapes, Toasted Macadamia Nuts. Regretfully, it was easy to see that John had about twice as much cheese on top of his burger as Tom had on his salad. It was hard to spot the couple of grapes and few and far between pieces of nuts. Once the lemon vinaigrette was mixed in, it looked like just a pile of greens that should at most was worth about half of the $11 charge and left Tom looking a tad woebegone (and hungry!). Consider again that the addition of just some Grilled Chicken would have cost $6 extra bringing the price of the salad up to $17. We’d suggest not ordering an entree salad at Earth, Wood & Fire unless you’re not hungry or unless you’ve got money to burn.
Earth, Wood & Fire is a mixed bag – the pleasant dining room, friendly young staff and great sandwiches are counter balanced by tables being a tad too close together and some menu options that are comparatively expensive and seemed at least 25% overpriced.
FACTS: Earth, Wood & Fire – Brooklandville/Falls Road – 1407 Clarkview Rd; 410-825-3473; http://www.earthwoodfire.com ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner (closing most nights at 9 pm) ; Full bar; Veggie (but no vegan) options; Adjacent off street parking lot.