My sister and I had our "culture club" on Friday - the two of us and a few of her co-workers and ex-coworkers. The place we went was the fabulous Brewer's Art Pub., a constant standby on "best of" lists all over Baltimore. I was quite impressed, and everyone else seemed to be as well. A few things we got that were so good:
- I started with the Proletary Ale and Onion Soup with Broiled Gruyere Cheese ($7). I liked this soup, particularly because of the broth. Everything else is usually my favorite part of the soup, but not usually the broth. Not so with this soup - good everything.
- I washed that down - if you really need to wash down soup - with two glasses of their Resurrection Ale ($7 each). At least I think that's the one it was.
- My entrée was the tasty Roasted Pork Tenderloin, which I could have eaten with a spoon ($19). This was medium rare - not as unwise a choice as I thought it would be. It was covered in a chocolate demi-glace, though I really was so focused on the pork that I didn't taste it much. Coupled with that was a dish of roasted apples and potato pavé. I wasn't terribly crazy about this pavé thing, which was a dried-out stack of thin potato slices in a sort of really broad obtuse triangular prism sort of formation (oooh, go back to your 10th grade geometry now). I would've been much more satisfied with the buttery mashed potatoes that Cathy got, which were heavenly. She got grouper, I think. She liked hers too.
- Dessert was the densest chocolate cake I have ever had. Yummy.
The grand total for each person was, on average, $50 after tax and tip (there were six of us, leading to a "gratuitous gratuity" of 18%).
Eddie's of Roland Park
The next night my landlord - he was first a friend before he became my landlord - threw this big St. Patrick's Day party. So much liquor, wine and beer - Guinness, Harp, some ale made by Guinness, and Corona (?). While he did make the desserts himself, he bought all the dinner from Eddie's. who make a mean corned beef and cabbage. Yes, I have had better, but for store-made-and-bought it was pretty good. Their mashed potatoes actually impressed me. No soda bread, but I've never been impressed with the store bought soda bread.
Just a reminder: don't tell a room full of gay men that today is your 35th birthday, unless you want a really campy birthday serenade. Especially if some of them are in theater.
Since I paid for Cathy at the Brewer's Art, she returned the favor by paying for me at Edo Sushi. I felt bad going to a more expensive sushi place than normal, and suggested alternatives, but she insisted. Actually, for a while we were wishing we had looked for something else. It was either Edo Sushi or something in Federal Hill, maybe Thai Arroy, or Matsuri, or one of those other places there. I never get there often enough anyway. "No, let's go to Edo Sushi!"
Then we got into a massive backup. Cars just sitting there by Harborplace. We were wondering what the hell could be causing this!
I hit myself in the head the way they do in the V8 juice commercials when I saw all the people starting down Pratt Street in green clothes, carrying Irish flags. Guess who forgot the St. Patrick's Day Parade was at that exact hour. Yep, me.
So half an hour later we are in Edo Sushi. We were very impressed with the lunch, not impressed at all with our dessert:
- We started out with miso soup. But it was not your simple miso. It was hearty, with scallions, tofu, and whatnot in a big bowl. I almost didn't finish it.
- I was getting impatient since our food wasn't coming out and there weren't many people there for lunch. But then the waiter brought everything out at once, and we.
- The Harbor Maki ($14) was just eight slices of crunchy, crabby, shrimpy goodness. The presentation? Also gorgeous. It was one of the tastiest rolls I have had. And none of it was raw, I don't think.
- Of course, raw never stops up. Our sashimi plate ($20) had a beautiful, fully edible presentation next to typically satisfying tuna, salmon and other types of sashimi. We were just very satisfied and happy.
- So of course there had to be a little letdown at some point. There was - the tempura ice cream (about $5) was greasy and not in any way crispy on the outside, with a ton of vanilla ice cream on the inside. Every tempura ice cream I have previously had has been much better, and that includes the one I got out in Pasadena, CA, which was just ice cream inserted whole into a pre-fried tempura shell (!?). Avoid it, please.