B'more's eclectic eats: crabs, pie and Thai

By Lauren Bryant | May 7, 2012

May 3, 2012

Five out of five scientists agree: eating is delicious.
What Hopkins students don't always agree on however is where to eat.
In fact, I've heard students complaining about there not being enough cool places to eat in Baltimore.
Maybe you've explored the area a little bit - you've tried Carma's, you've done Paper Moon - but you're just looking for something more. Well, whether you've never eaten further off-campus than Subway or you're a regular food explorer, I'm here to take you on a restaurant adventure.
I've written up five Baltimore restaurants that offer something different. All of them will leave you feeling like you've experienced a different part of the city, but most importantly, all of them will leave your belly feeling full and wonderfully happy.

Waverly Crabs (3400 Greenmount Ave., (410) 243-1181): A ten-minute walk from campus, this totally awesome carry-out crab and seafood place has given me some of my happiest memories of Baltimore. For about $20, you can get a bag of a dozen female crabs (cheaper than males, but smaller) to split with a friend or two. You'll need a hammer of some sort (I'm sure you can improvise) and some newspaper (this one will work) to eat these messy, Old-Bay-covered bites of deliciousness. If you really want the Baltimore experience, grab some Natty Boh, your best B'more tunes (I'd recommend Wye Oak) and an alley-backed wood porch to eat on.

Thai Landing (1207 N. Charles St., (410) 727-1234): Take the JHMI shuttle to Penn Station and walk south on N. Charles for about three blocks. Okay, maybe you should just Google the address. But once you find it, this Asian gem won't disappoint. It is best known among my friends for its excellent red curry, but pretty much any dish will be sure to please. What I like best about Thai Landing, however, is the atmosphere and extremely friendly waitstaff. Quiet and subdued without feeling empty, this is a restaurant for great conversations and maybe even an intimate date. If you don't know what to order, the owner will often come out and personally recommend the dishes he thinks you would like best.

Dogwood (911 West 36th Street., (410) 889-0952) Located on the main street of Hampden, I walked by this restaurant for years without noticing it. It's quiet front masks the bright, intimate atmosphere inside. This is a great date restaurant or some place to go for a special occasion. Dogwood is dedicated to serving seasonal food from local farms - some of the best and freshest food I've had in Baltimore. They also feature a community menu on Wednesdays and Thursdays that offers entrees under $20. My advice would be to order as many small plates as you can and taste a little of everything. It's all amazing!

Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant (1100 Maryland Avenue (410) 385-0318): Oh man, this place is delicious! It's tiny, so I would recommend going at an off-hour or making a reservation, but even if there's a wait, it's worth it. It's about a ten minute walk form the JHMI Peabody stop. My friends and I had no idea what to order when we went, so we just asked the waitress to order for us. I can't tell you, let alone prounounce, anything we had, but I can tell you that we ate well - and cheaply too! This is definitely a delicious bang for your buck. They also offer outdoor seating, perfect for those warm Baltimore nights.

Dangerously Delicious Pies (2839 O'Donnell St. (410) 522-7437): This last place I haven't been to myself, but it's been getting such rave reviews from people I know - both students and local Baltimoreans - that I had to include it. Take the city bus, drive here, or even walk from the inner harbor (no, you won't quite compensate for all the calories you eat) to shovel pieces of both savory and sweet into your pie hole. The menu features pies such as the best-selling Baltimore Bomb, filled with melted Berger Cookies; the Mobtown Brown, made with Swiss chocolate and caramel; and a Pork BBQ pie, filled with slow-roasted pork and homemade barbeque sauce. I can't wait to try this one out!
Reading period begins next week so while you're cramming your mind with not-so-delectable knowledge, why not cram your stomach with some oh-so-delectable B'more chow? These five restaurants just scratch the delicious surface of Baltimore's exotic  eats so pull on your elastic waistband pants and get out there.

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