Eddie’s Market

Eddie’s Market is a great spot for lunch, even when you are in a hurry. IMG_2552
I went to the one in Charles Village – they have great folks working behind the deli counter. They can whip up a sandwich in minutes and have a bazillion choices. Plus, you can make your own. Monday through Friday, they have at least three lunch specials – usually a vegetarian option, a cold sammy and also a panini. They come with chips and a drink for about $6 – how can you beat that?
IMG_2553I went with on a Friday and the panini special was the Marilyn Monroe. Eddie’s uses mostly Boar’s Head meats. This one comes with chicken breast and a little pepperoni. As a panini they put it on a flatbread (instead of the kaiser) and then melt fresh mozzarella. It’s grilled in the panini press after being topped with a little lettuce, tomato and honey mustard. This was one of those lunches that I was almost a little sad eating the last bite.

When you go, make sure to pick up a sandwich card (or salad for the fresh salad bar). Buy 6, get the 7th free.

Eddie's Market of Charles Village on Urbanspoon

SoBo Cafe

My dinner at SoBo Café needs two scores. These guys earn high praise for food and terrible marks for service. IMG_2542

For starters, we couldn’t get a reservation until close to 9pm, even though the dining room was completely empty when we arrived about 8:30pm.  We were greeted promptly and asked about 3 times in 3 minutes by 3 different people about drinks.  That’s where the attention stopped.  There was a small snafu in one of the entrees; they brought us the wrong one.  That wasn’t the main problem.  They proceeded to mishandle the situation.  It took 15 minutes for her food to finally come out.  The closest thing to an apology was the server offering to buy her a drink.  Although, she ran away immediately before anyone else could get a word out – so we became those girls who ordered one item at time.

The food was astounding; so good I won’t let that botched service deter me from dining again.  We started with a couple of appetizers. IMG_2543
Apparently, one of their standout menu items is the Mac-n-Cheese. This version was completely vegetarian. The cheddar cheese melted into a luscious cream sauce mixed with tomatoes.  Chef uses a tubini style pasta (longish tubes without ridges, and straight ends) rather than the classic macaroni.  They bake this after adding a crunchy crumb topping. This is delightful and I will probably order it again.  I might add a little crushed red pepper or something spicy to balance the richness.
IMG_2545My friend Jamie loved the Roasted Squash Soup.  This is a ginormous, filling bowl of smoothly pureed squash topped with bacon crumbles, a pumpkin seed pesto and a sprinkle of cumin. I think she was set on ordering that before she even decided on her drink.

I also split the Duck Confit Salad.  This was a little confusing for me.  The beets were roasted perfectly making them tender and sweet.  The duck was lovely: rich and gamey, yet still succulent. The duck and beets were combined with walnuts, Great Hill blue cheese and topped with some fresh frisée and a pomegranate vinaigrette.  I liked each of the components on their own, but did not find the salad to be a coherent dish.

For dinner – the splitting of dishes continues.  We went with another vegetarian dish - Pumpkin Agnolotti. IMG_2546 I liked this pasta dish – not as much as the pumpkin pasta at Sotta Soppra.  The agnolotti is a stuffed pasta like the ravioli, but is usually folded over on one side.  The chef stuffed the fresh pasta with classic slightly sweet pumpkin flavors.  They toss it all with roasted squash, mushrooms, and crushed pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  The whole dish is drizzled with a bay leaf butter and a little balsamic vinegar.  Yums.

Jamie loved the Chicken Piccatta, once it finally arrived to the table.  Chicken was incredibly full of flavor and juicy and went perfectly with the potatoes and haricot vert.

SoBo Café on Urbanspoon

Bookmaker’s Cocktail Club

This is no longer the old divey karaoke bar and it’s exactly the kind of place that Federal Hill needs. IMG_2541 The walls are a neutral gray, the large bar is very classy with chandeliers and textured wall of premium liquor bottles.  Plus, the very little outside decor makes it seem fancy.  And yet, there is a warm, cozy and inviting feeling in this bar.  I ate here shortly after they opened.  They haven’t been open for 90 days yet (I think it’s closer to 60 days).  They have confirmed why I should kept to that rule, although delish – the menu and chef have already changed once since they have opened.  I’m excited though; I loved Chef Sarah from Le Garage.

They have a few choices for red wines, but none of my normal go tos.  I asked the bartender for her thoughts on the Côtes-du-Rhône IMG_2534 She said it was medium bodied and had very low tannins.  Sounded like a winner for me.  This one is a 2012 Domain St. Gres from France.  There are some smokey and olive notes on the nose, but I mostly smelled the plum or berry like aroma.  Don’t let the dark berry color of this wine fool you.  It has ripe fruity flavors, with what I think was a hint of sweet herbs.  The bartender was right; the wine finished with subtle tannins.

IMG_2533 Jamie went with their Heart Shaped Box cocktail. They shake bootlegger vodka with creme de mure (a blackberry liqueur) with a little thyme and fresh lime.  Lastly, they top it with a little LaLuca prosecco and a very pretty flower.  So pretty, in fact, that about 3000 people said, “oooo, what did you get with the flower?”.  She loved it, but she is a big fan of sweet, fruity drinks. The bubbles, of course, are always fun.

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I definitely won’t mind making this one of my regular stops for drinks, and maybe for food after another few weeks…

Bookmakers Cocktail Club on Urbanspoon