Best Of Baltimore - Page 15 - Food and drink (2)

Best Of Baltimore
- Page 15
Food and drink (2)



The small Fells Point restaurant, which grew from a hot dog truck that served steamed bun sandwiches, has evolved into one of the state’s most popular dining options. Known for its scrumptious twists on classic Asian dishes, Ekiben has been included on most top dining lists in Baltimore. It was honored for Maryland’s best sandwich in 2017 by Travel & Leisure and to Yelp’s annual top 100 eateries nationwide in 2019.


But the restaurant is more than steamed buns and a strong Instagram presence. Its owners are all children of immigrants, and that feel comes through in its dishes. PapaChu’s char siu ribs are a nod to owner Steve Chu’s father. The red beans and rice — served with spicy lentils and tomato salad — and the spicy neighborhood bird sandwich both feature a blend that reflects co-owner Ephrem Abebe’s Ethiopian heritage.


“They [customers] have been super supportive in what we do,” said Chu, who cut his teeth working for “Top Chef” winner Harold Dieterle.


Chu credits Ben Lefenfeld, the owner of La Cuchara and Minnow, who encouraged him to open Ekiben.


“Ben doesn’t mince words. When he tells you he likes your product, you better listen,” Chu said.


1622 Eastern Ave., Fells Point. 410- 558-1914.




With bright colors, darling shapes and sleek finishes, the pastries at the Fells Point bakery are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


After a bite, you’ll be entranced by an explosion of flavor. Take the Robin’s egg blue dome-shaped Sofia petit gateau, which is filled with layers of almond cake, crunchy almond praline and an Earl Grey-and bergamot mousse. Or try the toasty éclair, which features a torched marshmallow topping.


Owners Manuel Sanchez and Dane Thibodeau want to teach you some of their tricks with their macaron-making classes. The sessions feature a wine-and-cheese hour and allow you to take home all the macarons you make in class. And if your creations fall flat, they’ll send you home with macarons they have made themselves.


Sanchez attributes the shop’s success to having “passion and dedication in everything we do.”


Headded:“ We are bringing amore modern approach to our pastries, combining unusual flavors, modern glazing techniques and textures.”


That means using ingredients and spices like wasabi, Mexican mole, jasmine, bergamot and eucalyptus.


“When we think about creating a dessert, we think in terms of an experience or a symphony of flavors and textures in your mouth,” Sanchez said.


2001 Fleet St., Fells Point. 443-873- 0020.