Best Of Baltimore - Pages 18 and 19 - Food and Drink (4)

Best Of Baltimore
- Pages 18 and 19
Food and Drink (4)

BUFFET
FOGO DE CHAO

 

Talk about meat sweats! With as much perfectly cooked meat as your stomach can handle, Fogo De Chao is an easy winner for the area’s best buffet. The Brazilian restaurant, which starts at $30.95 per person for dinner, offers every salad and side imaginable, too.

 

600 E Pratt St., Inner Harbor. 410-528-9292. fogodechao.com

 

CHAIN
CAPITAL GRILLE

 

This might be a chain, but Capital Grille has all the luxuries one might expect from a fine-dining restaurant. With an extensive wine list and an impressive assortment of scrumptious American steakhouse-style dishes, it’s no wonder that the region’s business and political communities flock to the dimly lit Inner Harbor location.

 

500 E. Pratt St., Inner Harbor. 443-703-4064. thecapitalgrille.com

 

CHARCUTERIE
CULTURED

 

Located smack-dab in the middle of Mount Vernon Marketplace, one might not expect to get such elaborate, tasty meat and cheese boards in a food hall concept. But owner Andrew Cole works magic there every day sending out well-thought-out, balanced plates suitable for the most discerning foodie.

 

520 Park Ave., Mount Vernon. 667-212-5797. baltimorecultured.com

 

CHINESE
CHOPSTIX GOURMET

 

Never mind the setting, a drab industrial park off Pulaski Highway in Rosedale. Inside a onetime warehouse is a shrine to Cantonese cooking — one that has struck home with the area’s Asian populace. Enter —past the paper lanterns, decorative statues and trickling waterfalls—and you are handed two menus: one featuring Americanized Chinese dishes, the other, stuff you’d really find on the road to Hong Kong. The first touts comfort foods, like General Tso’s chicken, fried rice and lo mein; the second, rarer Cantonese delicacies such as sauteed duck tongue, curried oxtail and chicken feet. Pork chop Peking-style is a hit here; likewise, the Cantonese beef chow fun.

 

“We are dedicated to serving authentic Asian cuisine,” says Danny Cheung, who, with his brother-in-law Ze Sui Chen, owns the place and another Chopstix Gourmet in Forest Hill. They recently sold a third venue in Perry Hall. Only the Rosedale site offers the bona fide Chinese menu and a celebrated dim sum that routinely draws large crowds.

 

Cheung, who emigrated from Hong Kong as a child and attended Woodlawn High, estimates that 75 percent of his customers are of Asian descent. Word of mouth keeps folks coming, past the lines of semi trucks sprawled outside the nondescript building, which Cheung and his partner own.

 

“It is what it is,” he says of the locale. “We can only control what people perceive on the inside.” To foodies, that’s all that matters.

 

1201 67th St., Rosedale. 410-866- 2903. chopstixgourmet.com

 

CRAB CAKE
BOATYARD BAR& GRILL

 

The restaurant sold 79,780 crab cakes last year, but who’s counting? The six-ounce orbs (don’t call them patties) of jumbo lump crab bring patrons streaming, by land and sea, to Boatyard Bar & Grill. An Eastport landmark, it ships its crab cakes nationwide and has enticed everyone from singer Jimmy Buffett to former first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters to its door to scarf them down.

 

“She [Obama] called them the best crab cakes she’d ever eaten,” owner Dick Franyo said. A plaque on the restaurant’s wall claims as much. A sign just inside the front door reminds customers that the crab cakes are “All Killer, No Filler.”

 

Boatyard’s signature dish is the creation of chef George Betz, a Baltimore native who spent years honing his recipe, which remains secret.

 

“He [Betz] has made the crab cakes on two national cable TV shows,” Franyo said. The only tip the chef will share is: in the making, handle each cake with care.

 

“You’ve got to hold it like a baby bird,” Betz said. Until you bite down, anyway.

 

400 Fourth St., Annapolis. 410-216- 6206. boatyardbarandgrill.com

 

CRAB SOUP
DOCK STREET BAR& GRILL

 

Wedged between a hardware store and another restaurant, this unpretentious eatery in downtown Annapolis, once the site of the city jail, earns kudos for its crab soups — one, the tomato-based Maryland kind, and the other, a crab-and-corn chowder that is also flavored with clams. Can’t decide? Try mixing both; you won’t be the first.

 

136 Dock St., Annapolis. 410-268- 7278. dockstreetbar.net.

 

DELI
ATTMAN’S DELICATESSEN

 

One of the few surviving vestiges of Baltimore’s famed Corned Beef Row (ask your grandparents what this stretch of Lombard Street was like back in its glory days) is still serving the best corned beef in town — plus such classic Charm City fare as hot dogs wrapped in bologna (now that Esskay’s gone, the availability of this delicacy is even more vital) and a host of mouth-watering combination sandwiches (like the black Russian— salami and chopped liver with onion and Russian dressing on black bread).

 

For the full experience, eat-in at the Kibbitz Room, where the essence of Old Baltimore still lives.

 

“We’re the oldest family-owned delicatessen in the United States,” says proud owner-operator Marc Attman, the third generation of the family to run the deli.

 

Keeping the customers happy is key, he says — Attman’s has been known to tweak their prodigious menu at customers’ suggestions. So is maintaining a steady course that builds on past successes: “We learned to do things a certain way, and we continue to do it that way.”

 

The Attmans have been feeding Baltimoreans for more than a century, which makes them a civic treasure in our book.

 

1019 E. Lombard St., Jonestown. 410-563-2666. attmansdeli.com

 

DESSERT
THE BYGONE

 

Jacqueline Mearman, the executive pastry chef for the Atlas Restaurant Group, whips up over-the-top sweets worth noticing. From the