Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Exit 3A: MD-2 North (Ritchie Hwy to Brooklyn)

This trip was not the best idea. This isn't because of the food I got, but the lunch I had earlier today (hot dogs, chicken tenders, chocolate ice cream - don't ask). But I had to go down to Glen Burnie today, and I saw a crab house down the other way, in Brooklyn Park. In fact, I was in Glen Burnie yesterday, too. I had to drop off my car to get fixed, or else live blissfully with a trunk that will never, ever close.

Cruisin' in my brand new rental vehicle, I left Glen Burnie and headed into the city. I went to said crab house. Now, if you're not from the Baltimore area, you should know that crab shacks, houses and joints are as common here as pizza places in New York City, BBQ in Texas or Philly cheese steaks in, um, Philly. This Crab Depot (map) was not crowded - okay, it was empty. And when I went in I was immediately greeted with the scent of crab. Rotting crab. And the occasional fly didn't help either. Okay, I make this place sound really bad. I don't mean to (and you can see the prices in the link above). But come on, most crab places I enter smell like seafood and fish, not garbage. Maybe it was trash day or something. I got a menu and left. I may come back for the whiting, the catfish or the soft shell crab. And of course, the steamed crab. Truly, I wasn't looking for many tonight, and logcially, the smallest order you can get is half a dozen. The absolute cheapest that costs is $11, for 6 small jimmies.

Holding off on steamed crabs for the night, I headed further into Brooklyn. Passing Ollie's on the right I passed by El Salto (map). I tried to go to the one on the other end of town on Cinco de Mayo, to be greeted with a 60 minute wait for a table. So this visit was sorely overdue, it being, well, cinco de junio instead.

The menu was bewilderingly jam-packed. I liked all the many different dinner combos they offered for just $6 to $7. Beware, though: rice and beans are separate. And I still got pinto beans even though i asked for black.

I perused all the different choices, not having seen such a selection much outside of California. There were regional varieties: steak a la tampiqueña (Tampico-style steak, with avocado, onion and lime), chicken with mole sauce (a favorite in Puebla and Oaxaca states), the Jalisco especial (tamale and taquitos topped with chicken and beef) and various texano (Texan) dishes. Plus, there is a whole assortment of Mexican beers and sodas (Negra Modelo special tonight - two bottles for only $2.75). And the flavors of Mexico's popular Jarritos soft drink (look for it in the Mexican section of any large supermarket) were dizzying! I got a bottle of jamaica Jarritos for $1.75. With that, I settled on the enchiladas supremas ($7.75 for four enchiladas, one each of chicken, beef, cheese and beans), and a side of rice and beans ($2.25).

I got it home, only to find that the salsa they put with the complimentary tortilla chips had spilled all over the bag. Oh well. The whole thing was a mess - but that's mostly due to the travel. not the food. I wasted 10 minutes plating it, mostly because it was less messy that way. Half of it got shoved in the fridge for lunch tomorrow, and the other half waited eagerly to enter my stomach.

The rice and beans were standard, but I rarely finish either and I did finish these - they were pretty good. As for the enchiladas: the chicken was okay, the cheese was memorably good, the bean wasn't bad, but I don't really remember it. The ground beef was pretty forgettable. I didn't finish the nachos, but the few I had were good. Nothing was too hot - a plus for some, a minus for me.

I did like this dinner. I am quite satisfied, and I admit, I am looking forward to finishing it tomorrow at work. Some good food. Still not as good as what I've had in better restaurants in Cali, but this is about as good as it gets in Baltimore.

Places I visited:

El Salto (Mexican) - 5513 Ritchie Hwy, Brooklyn, MD 21225; Phone: (410) 789-1621

  • Would I eat there again? Sure
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Sure, I want to try the steak a la tampiqueña
Places to look up later:

Crab Depot (crabs) - 5717 Ritchie Hwy, Brooklyn Park, MD 21225; Phone: (410) 789-6722

Other photos:

This may be one of the best photos I have taken with my camera phone, mostly due to the rich green color of the trees. Which says something about the phone.


Fairfax said...

YAY! You finally made it there. It was the first place I ate when I moved back from Wales... No tex-mex there!

Alex said...

My friends and I frequent El Salto for dinners. Good selection and taste, quick table service, nice (and cheap) beer selection. I've always thought that their prices were more reasonable than elsewhere. Their chile releno is pretty good, although variably spicy. Now I'm wondering why I didn't include it on my (linked) Eats page.

Plus there's a Value Village across the street.

Baltimore Snacker said...

Fairfax: No Mexican food in Wales? You're kidding :)

Alex: Next time I go I will have to take a seat! Also will help to keep my food from going all over the bag. Do you mean Value Village the thrift store?

Alex said...

The thift store indeed, one of the few places you can buy a retro 3-piece suit for under $10. :)

Anonymous said...

When you go here you MUST get the cheesy dip for the nachos. It is well worth the 2 or 3 bucks they charge for it!!