Best Of Baltimore - Page 23 - Food and Drink (8)

Best Of Baltimore
- Page 23
Food and Drink (8)



Remember the Seinfeld episode that asked the question: When is a soup a meal? At Atwater’s, that’s a given. Soups and stews are hearty fare at this family-owned lunch spot that has expanded from its original site in Belvedere Square to five other locales. Each day, owner Ned Atwater and his staff serve up160 gallons total of four distinct soups (meat, vegan, vegetarian and seafood) dubbed “Ploughboys.” They range from standbys like chicken noodle to seasonal bowls of tangy gazpacho or a silky cream of asparagus. Seafood gumbo was a hit from the start in 2003; likewise, the parade of bean soups and butternut squash that greet customers.


All told, there are 100 soups in Atwater’s rotation, said the owner, who is constantly trying new recipes. Some come from patrons, who share family hand-me-downs; other suggestions come from the staff.


“We have some folks in the kitchen who are from the Middle East, and we’re trying to learn from them, using lamb and chickpeas,” Atwater said. Here, soup-making is an art, though not every creation has met with success.


“A cold garlic soup was not received very well,” he said.


The owner’s favorites? Vegetarian offerings like white bean and basil, or wheat berry and mushroom. There’s a stick-to-the-ribs chicken and dumplings soup in the offing as well.


529 E. Belvedere Ave., Govans, and five more area locations. 410-323-2396.




Sure, there are far fancier raw bars in town, and a couple quahog clams from Fells Point’s Thames Street Oyster House (a steal at only $1.75 each) constitute a meal all by themselves. But Faidley, a Lexington Market institution since 1886, is a raw bar at its rawest — no frills, just plates of delicious bivalves on the half-shell, served with saltines and Tabasco or cocktail sauce (or both).