Endless Summer: Baltimore and DC Restaurant Reviews

I got to try out three stand out restaurants this summer, Miss Shirley’s Café Inner Harbor, The Waterfront Hotel in Fells Point, and Vidalia in DC.

Miss Shirley’s gets an A- in my book!!! You can’t beat the location although downtown parking can be pricey or hard to find. I always park past President Street in the residential area which is always quiet and most importantly FREE!!!! The food was absolutely delicious!!!! I had their version of chicken and waffles which was the Benne Seed Chicken ‘N Waffles on the menu. The describe it as: fried boneless breast of chicken pieces & a honey mustard aioli drizzle on cheddar green onion waffles with peppadew-jalapeño butter, dusted with Cajun spice. I HIGHLY recommend it. The only reason why I wouldn’t give it a higher rating is because it’s a little pricey for brunch (if you’re on a budget) and because they don’t have a bottomless drink option. After brunch on my way back to the car, I noticed that the gates were actually opened to this beautiful courtyard that I always pass whenever I park past President Street. I waltzed in and found out it’s the Flag Museum. The weather was great and I walked around and enjoyed all the beautiful flowers they had and saw tour groups going in and out of the building. The map of the US made in different stones was really cool to look at and of course Texas’ had the most bling haha. Everything has to be bigger and better in Texas!!!!

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The Waterfront Hotel is a hotel turned restaurant (surprise surprise) right by the water.  It was originally built as a private residence back in 1771 according to their website. Check out the ‘history’ section for more interesting facts about WTF. Parking can be a little hectic in Fells but I scored a space right across the street. I would give my brunch experience a strong B+. The downstairs area was very crowded and they didn’t have a standard way of seating folk (i.e. taking down your name when you come in). You have to rely on the server’s ability to remember who came in first. After a wait of less than 10 min, we were offered the upstairs space which only had couches and since we were starving and wanted to take advantage of the bottomless mimosas we gladly took it. My only complaint was that the food took a long time to come out but our waitress warned us about it beforehand. We told her we would be fine as long as the drinks kept flowing and boy did they flow! I opted for the mimosas and my friend got the Bloody Mary. I tasted a bit of his and I finally can say with certainty that I don’t like them. It was my first experience and I’m sure it was worse because they gave us what was from the bottom of the pitcher with all the dregs. It was hella spicy as my friend put I……. I would just say it was hella disgusting haha. I ordered the French toast made with sourdough bread with cinnamon. The dish came with your choice of bacon or sausage, I also ordered a side of scrambled eggs with cheese. My friend was more daring than I was and he ordered Crab Hash which is  lump crabmeat with potatoes, roasted corn, peppers, onions, mozzarella, poached eggs, and jalapeno aioli, and choice of toast. What I really loved about the place is that the second floor was empty. It was such a relaxed vibe, we had so much fun!! They had music playing in the background, the TV was on….(I can’t even tell you what was on because I was having so much fun), and we had a big comfy sofa sectional to ourselves!!! The only other people there were three guys sitting at a different section, and then a lady at the bar. I couldn’t believe everyone else was willing to wait or be cramped downstairs. Our waitress was great and she didn’t charge us for the second set of bottomless drink since the food took so long. You know she got a great tip!!! We were so stuffed so we walked around to the pier and enjoyed the sunny weather and cool breeze. *Warning* Ladies if you want to walk around this section of Fells, leave your heels and home, the cobble stone is not fun to walk on!!!!

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I wanted to take one of my close girlfriend’s to a nice restaurant for her birthday. I had the Friday off so it was the perfect time to take advantage of places in DC not being so crowded. I really wanted to do something on the waterfront but I couldn’t find anything that I knew she would like. I then searched for the top rated restaurants in the district and decided on Vidalia for lunch! I would rate the place at an A! My only complaint was that you had to go downstairs to access the restaurant so there weren’t any nice views to look at. I will say that Vidalia did everything possible to make up for this shortcoming because the décor was FABULOUS!!! When you open there door you’re greeted by a tall wall of flowers behind transparent panels. Then when you go downstairs they even have a selection of reading glasses at different prescriptions for people to use to read the menu!! I HIGHLY recommend it as a place to go on a date (just be mindful that it’s expensive but then again, that’s relative isn’t it??). Our server was wonderful and the food…. OMG the food!!! My girlfriend and I both started out with the Shady Lane Salad which had bibb, radish, apricot, candied pecans, goat cheese, and vidalia onion-poppy seed vinaigrette. I should also mention that they gave us a basket of assorted bread while we were waiting. Hardly anyone does that these days or if they do, you have to pay extra. From there I decided to order the charles farm duck confit with carolina rice grits, cinderella pumpkin, coriander jus, pumpkin seed, praline, and frisée. My mouth is watering as I think about it!!! My girlfriend had the shrimp and grits which the restaurant describes as anson mill’s grits, sweet onion, spinach, tasso ham, peas, and smoked shellfish emulsion. We decided to share the vidalia’s baked macaroni which has amish cheddar, goat cheese, and normally comes with smoked ham  but we had ours without it since my gf doesn’t do pig. To top things off (we were being really greedy… well she’s pregnant so she has an excuse but I’m just shameful) we shared a lemon chess pie with lemon custard, berry gelée, and chantilly cream. I am still amazed at the fact that we were able to walk up those steps after eating all of that good food!!!

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What are some of your favorite restaurants? Please share!!!

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