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Sometimes you want a really good sandwich--maybe some really good ham or turkey that you can't buy even at your local deli, stuck between slices of homemade bread, and slathered with some just-right condiment you don't have. Or maybe some steaming, flavorful homemade soup that you don't wanna spend hours making. Thankfully, there's Ned Atwater's thriving, friendly gourmet lunch counter in Govans' Belvedere Square. Problem solved.
Café Zen has got to be one of the most vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Baltimore. C'mon, they've got tofu eight different ways here. And most of their myriad Chinese dishes, from sha cha to moo shu to kung pao, are available in vegetarian versions. It's great to see a restaurant taking seriously the great Chinese tradition of vegetable dishes, serving terrific garlic spinach and string beans rolled in scallion pancakes in place of the generic-veggies-in-gloppy-sauce most places try to get away with. Everything here is cooked crisp-tender with light, flavorful sauces, demonstrating a knowledgeable kitchen staff who cares about the food they create.
"Our company stores are a feast for the eyes and the palate, welcoming you with authentic Italian hospitality. As you walk through our doors, a friendly and knowledgeable Ceriello staff member greets you, ready to offer advice on our extensive line of gourmet Italian cuisine. Browse our counters and shelves of Italian delicacies, enjoy a sample of one of our homemade entrées or have one of our seasoned butchers prepare the perfect cut of our dry-aged prime beef to order."
"Casual fine dining? Crush's menu allows for a variety of options, from small plates to traditional entrees to sandwiches."
"A small plates driven restaurant concept, Demi specializes in modern american cuisine with global influences. Demis intimate 32 seat space offers sleek and minimalistic decor, and includes 8 'chefs' stools that face our open kitchen."
Offering a selection of 30-plus gourmet brick-oven pizzas, as well as other Middle Eastern specialties.
Come here to try out tasting flights, wine by the glass, or entire bottles from the wine shop (marked up only by a modest corkage fee). The friendly staff kill themselves to demystify the wine-tasting experience, making it accessible and enjoyable. Food from neighboring markets--gorgeous antipasti from Ceriellos, awesome smoked morsels from Neopol--help make this the ultimate destination for before or after trips to the nearby Senator Theatre.
Greg Novik and Co. have been making delectable gourmet bagels with fresh ingredients and loving care in Govans for going on 20 years. Perhaps the only thing better than the unique bagel blends (macadamia nut and white chocolate, anyone?) is the array of toppings, which range from the standard schmear to a dizzying array of one-of-a-kind items--custom-smoked salmon, baked Brie, barbecued pork.
"Neopol serves smoked gourmet everything. Its sandwiches and savory cheese pies are well worth a nosh, as are its various smoke meats, but don't miss its brunch."
This Belvedere Square restaurant offers O.G. pub fare--shepherd's pie, fish and chips, lamb dishes--in a family-style setting.
One of the only Vietnamese restaurants within city limits.
Straightforward Tex-Mex food served up amid a roadside American theme for a sports-watching, college-attending bar crowd.
Baltimore City Paper, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278
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