A. CURRELL /CC-BY-NC 2.0 The dining room of Remington’s Parts & Labor is bustling and lively but does not feel over-crowded.
What comes to mind when you hear Parts & Labor? A friend of mine thought it was a hardware store. Indeed the name Parts and Labor is not the most mouth-watering name.
But do not be turned off by the rather technical name. This gem is a butcher shop and a restaurant all in one. According to their own introduction, Parts & Labor “features locally sourced, pasture-raised, whole-animal butchery, hand-picked provisions, and grocery items.”
The price range is 31-60 dollars, so be careful! This restaurant is for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. It is located in Remington, not a bad walk from campus. Most nice restaurants are located in the Inner Harbor or Hampden, but P&L is a nice hidden surprise near Hopkins.
The butcher shop is open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., so if you’re looking for a variety of some fresh cuts, stop by. Aside from the butcher shop menu, there are many eccentric meat dishes on the Parts & Labor dining menu. Grilled chicken hearts, chicken liver spread and even a raw cheeseburger are one of the few on the list. I was too much of a scaredy-cat to try such exotic plates, but I recommend exploring such exciting options!
The first time I was at Parts & Labor, a big group of friends was holding a going-away dinner for a dear friend who was leaving for a study abroad program in Denmark. I ordered the spiced chicken and was pleasantly surprised by it. As I said at the time, it is hard to impress me, but this chicken has truly impressed me.
The outside was fire-grilled to perfection and the inside was juicy — just the way anyone wants their chicken to be cooked. The seasoning was the perfect mix of savory spices and herbs, just the right amount to not overpower the chicken.
The spiced chicken comes with a side dish of potatoes, also cooked to perfection. A friend gave me a bite of the raw cheeseburger. The seasoning was strong enough that I couldn’t taste the rawness of the burger.
This time, our group for a birthday dinner was unfortunately late due to birthday preparations, so we got a seat outside in the patio, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The air was not too cold, and there was a fireplace in the middle to keep us warm and enjoy the fresh air. Seats inside the restaurant are great as well. Parts & Labor has high ceilings and plenty of space, so it never feels crowded and it is easy to hear over numerous conversations.
The menu at Parts & Labor changes according to the ingredients, so beware. This time, the spiced chicken was nowhere to be found. Instead I opted for the sausage-stuffed chicken, which came with risotto. The chicken was crispy on the outside, and the sausage was a zesty addition.
Parts & Labor has an extensive wine list and when shared among people, the price is not bad at all. Two of us ordered a strawberry honey ginger ale, a refreshing edition. It truly does not taste like any other drink I have ever tasted.
When we made the reservation I indicated that it was a birthday for two, and at the end, a birthday cookie with a candle was provided. Short walking distance, great food, spacious and exotic interior. What more can you ask for in a restaurant? Tip: Say it is your birthday and get a free cookie. What? Who said that?