No, you haven't had too much to drink. Those really are palm trees swaying overhead as you sip a margarita on the outside deck of the Bay Cafe in Canton. What has been called Baltimore's Gold Coast looks more like Florida's Gulf Coast at this waterfront location.
The palm trees are a wonderfully decadent summertime addition here. Although some of the smaller trees are brought inside for the winter, the larger ones die and are replaced in the spring so that you can again relax in a semi-tropical setting.
Located in a delightfully lofty former power plant behind Tindeco Wharf, the 2-year-old Bay Cafe functions like a large living room ,, for the condo elite of Canton. Although they may give the place its character, anyone with boating shoes is welcome. Why, you might almost feel as if you actually own one of the condos. The sense of slipping into their community is enhanced by the private swimming pool right next to the cafe.
A great summerlong lure at Bay Cafe are Wednesday and Sunday deck parties that present reggae, calypso and just plain happy music. The aptly named Tropical Heat plays Sunday at 3 p.m., Mama Jama on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Rhumba Club on June 30 at 3 p.m.
And the music isn't the only reinforcement of the island motif. The cafe logo-embossed T-shirts come in tropical shades like melon and lemon, and some of the frozen drinks come in the same colors. Frozen drinks such as an Island Breeze (pineapple, orange and rum) or a Nutty Monkey (banana and amaretto) are themselves enough to take your thoughts south. The rum- and Tia Maria-spiked international coffees also have Jamaica and Mexico in mind.
Where management has been less imaginative is with the seafood-oriented menu and the beer list, which could both use some tropical touches. Among beer selections, for instance, Corona is about as exotic as things get.
Where: 2809 Boston St., Canton.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Menu: Seafood, soups, salads, pizza.
Credit cards: All major cards accepted.