Helmand, 806 N. Charles St. (410) 752-0311. One of my...

DINING OUT/THE CRITIC'S REPORT

October 10, 1992|By ELIZABETH LARGE | ELIZABETH LARGE,Restaurant Critic

Helmand, 806 N. Charles St. (410) 752-0311. One of my favorite of Baltimore's ethnic restaurants is the Helmand, for a variety of reasons. The food is well-prepared and accessible to American palates, the setting pleases, the service is excellent and none of the dishes costs more than $10. The first courses are uniformly good, whether you choose the baked pumpkin, the Afghan ravioli, eggplant sauteed with tomatoes, or any of the others. Main courses aren't quite so interesting but the stews and grilled meats are enjoyable. (The best choices are the daily ++ specials.) If you're a chocoholic you'll have to go elsewhere for dessert, but otherwise you'll be happy with your dinner at the

Helmand. $$ -- moderate. (Last reviewed 9/92.)

Hull Street Blues Cafe, 1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476. This quirky little cafe hasn't been discovered yet -- at least for dinner -- even though it's been open for four years. That's surprising because the food is good and it has a pretty little dining room. The short menu is ambitious and weighted toward seafood: Everything we had was exceptionally fresh, including a wonderful piece of salmon and an enormous pile of mussels. Less successful were the crab cakes -- they tasted good but they were tiny -- and crab soup was fairly standard. Sunday brunch seems to be the cafe's big draw. It's an extravagant all-you-can-eat buffet for $9.95. $$ -- moderate. (Last reviewed 9/92.)

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