SpeakeasySpeakeasy, 2840 O'Donnell St., (410) 276-2977...

DINING OUT -- THE CRITICS' REPORT

April 10, 1993|By ELIZABETH LARGE | ELIZABETH LARGE,Restaurant Critic

Speakeasy

Speakeasy, 2840 O'Donnell St., (410) 276-2977. This nice little restaurant is already turning into a popular neighborhood spot because it's pretty and has pleasant food. Nothing about the cuisine will startle you, but sometimes you don't want to be startled. You just want a decent meal after a hard day at work. The menu is a little old-fashioned in that it doesn't make a point of having heart-healthy, low-calorie or vegetarian dishes. But it's nice every once in a while just to give in and order battered and fried mozzarella, spanakopita, coconut beer shrimp, and for dessert, bread pudding: warm, custardy, pecan-studded, nutmeg-scented comfort food. $$ -- moderate. (Last reviewed 3/93.)

Bertha's

Bertha's, 734 S. Broadway, (410) 327-5795. Bertha's Pub is famous for two things: its mussels and its Scottish afternoon tea. I prefer the latter. The atmosphere is just right for a pub tea, and the recipes for the sweets and savories are all authentic -- the owner's mother, who developed them, is from Scotland. The food itself doesn't quite live up to the experience, which is a lot of fun (although it could if Bertha's kitchen would take a little more care with it). You'll get pots of hot tea, a "meat plate" with savory pastries and a plate of sweets with good things like shortbread squares and miniature almond tarts. $ -- inexpensive. (Last reviewed 3/93.)

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