Thursday, October 20, 2011

M & S Grill--Baltimore, MD

Around here, we don't have any venues of the McCormick & Schmicks apparent steak house empire.  Before heading to the Baltimore Aquarium, we had lunch in the harbor area of the city.  We arrived just as everyone (including the scientists at the convention center) were heading out.  It made things a little more difficult because we were in a new city.  Most of the places around seemed to be chains of that fast-food limbo variety, you know... it is technically fast food but the quality is infinitely high than McDonald's.

Not wanting to walk too far from the pier area, we settled on M&S Grill (Pratt St.).  The patio seating was packed because the day was gorgeous and more people seemed eager to be seated inside.  Lots of people is generally a good sign.  Now that I have done some research, I know the M&S has locations nationwide.  But I also know that the menus vary by region and even between locations in the same city (with a few consistent staples).  All under the parent umbrella, but distinctly different restaurants committed to high quality steaks and seafood at reasonable prices.  I admire that.

We started with the Maryland crab soup.  The soup itself was ok.  Absolutely nothing special.  It tasted like a good quality canned soup.  But it was loaded with fresh crab: sweet, tender, beautiful crab meat.  The amount of gorgeous crab kind of made up for the mediocre soup.
Louis had the rustic vegetable pasta with shrimp.  The squashes and tomatoes were incredibly fresh and the pasta was cooked properly (something which is often overlooked).  The sauce was a light, wine, tomato basil sauce, but thin, so it didn't stick well to the dish very well and they didn't provide bread to sop it up.  He would have asked for bread, but our waitress was mysteriously absent through the entire meal.  Apparently crappy service is not the norm because when we told our friends who live in the area, they were rather shocked.

I had the Prince Edward Island mussels.  It is an appetizer, but after the soup, it was the perfect size for one as a meal.  They were in a traditional wine and tomato broth with garlic--fresh, raw garlic grated over the top.  Obviously, I loved that.  Bread does come with this so I could soak up the delicious broth.

201 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

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