Located in Station North, The Charles is one of Baltimore’s oldest theaters.
Recently I’ve been craving some good tacos.
Last weekend my taco craving, lack of groceries and hunger all seemed to line up at the same time, so I explored my options.
I could have taken advantage of the free delivery GrubHub was offering for Taco Bell orders above $12, but my friends and I were seeing a movie later, and I would definitely have my fill of junk food later.
I could have gone to Chipotle, but after consistently eating there for months on end, I didn’t want to end up with the same old ingredients rearranged into three smaller units as opposed to one questionably wrapped burrito.
I could have eaten at Clavel, an Old Goucher restaurant/mezcaleria from the legendary Lane Harlan, just down the street from campus. My friends and I tried to go on a similar winter weekend night two years ago, and it was packed to the brim. There was barely room to stand and wait, and seeing as we were underage, we couldn’t exactly take up the host’s offer to grab a couple drinks at the bar.
With that sad, sad experience all but forgotten and the turn of the decade behind us, my friends and I attempted to go on this fine Saturday night. Unfortunately for us (but probably fortunately for Clavel), some things never change, and history repeated itself.
The wait time we were told was about an hour and a half, and we had a movie to catch (also there was no way I was waiting that long for food in Baltimore; if I wanted to wait in mad lines and pay premium prices at the same time, I would’ve gone to D.C.). We decided we would try again in another couple of years.
Fortunately for us, there is Mi Comalito. For those looking for more traditional Mexican offerings, this is the place to go. It is in Blue Jay Shuttle range and for us, it was only a couple blocks from Clavel in that cold night.
At first glance, this store doesn’t stick out. Inside, the place is bright, with tables filling the main dining room as well as an annex that can seat many more. Their offerings include homier Mexican and Salvadorian dishes, like camarones a la plancha and pupusas.
My friends got tacos, chicken enchiladas and carne asada with rice, and I went with the steak enchiladas. Aubin, who was feeling especially cosmopolitan, ordered the horchata to go with his tacos.
The food came relatively quickly, and before we could watch an entire Spanish-language music video on the TV in the corner, we were face deep in an explosion of flavor. The only slight issue was that the waitresses seemed to hover over us and come back every three to four minutes to check in.
After a satisfying experience at Mi Comalito and the realization that I never got the tacos I craved, we headed out to The Charles Theatre to watch Parasite.
The Charles is a charming little place to get fill your film needs in the city. It’s pretty easy to get to, as it’s accessible by JHMI shuttle, Charm City Circulator and just a couple blocks away from the nearest Blue Jay Shuttle location.
Seeing a movie there isn’t indulgent; there are no leather recliners that tilt back at the press of a button. There are no assigned seats and fancy modern-looking self-service kiosks.
But it’s a cute place. The outside advertises currently showing movies with old-time-y letters. Inside, the exposed brick walls are lined with scrapbook-y decorations and film posters. The foyer faces North Charles Street with tall windows, and the snack bar meets all your junk food needs.
It’s a great place to go for a boring weekend night or a daytime matinee. The movie we saw, Parasite, was great, with a decently original story written and executed very well. It’s very interesting that it has gotten so much attention in the United States given that it is a Korean-made film.
A new semester at Hopkins presents all sorts of opportunities to go out and do cool stuff. I would highly recommend exploring Station North due to its proximity to Homewood and the plethora of interesting places and people it harbors.
But I think next weekend, I’ll just GrubHub some Taco Bell.