Eaters in Cross Keys can let it all hang out at new Cafe Drubay

THE REAL DISH

May 02, 1993|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

In the spring, a diner's fancy turns to outdoor cafes. And Baltimore got its newest last week when Cafe Drubay opened in Cross Keys.

An espresso-wine bar with Euroamerican cuisine, the restaurant has eight outdoor tables in the tree-filled courtyard. (There are tables inside, too.)

Located in the spot vacated by the Crazy Carrot, the cafe is the brainchild of Alexa Fong Drubay and her husband, Philippe. The two met in France while Ms. Drubay was studying at Le Cordon Bleu and Mr. Drubay was teaching skiing.

As for the division of labor, Ms. Drubay oversees the menu of salads, sandwiches, cold platters and sweets, while Mr. Drubay runs the bar, with its 24 wines by the glass.

They also sell select gourmet items, including chocolates, spices and teas.

The couple, who married last year, have no qualms about working together.

"You have to be here 24 hours a day," says Ms. Drubay. "The only way a marriage can survive is if you work together."

DINER REDUX: Baltimore continues to be a hotbed for '50s food -- although some wonder whether we ever stopped eating our meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The latest is the Harbor City Diner, a breakfast and lunch spot run by the Baltimore International Culinary College. So far, the business crowd has made favorites of the fish cakes, burgers and chicken pot pie.

One other perk: Milk shakes are served the old-fashioned way, in metal containers.

WANNA DANCE?: If the answer is yes, you may want to check out the Gas Lamp Club.

The new two-story nightspot in Mount Vernon is owned by Ernest "Murph" Murphy, the economist-turned-restaurateur who brought the Eager House back to life.

The music runs the gamut from 10,000 Maniacs to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. On Fridays, the club has a "kick-off-the-weekend" party with a free buffet.

As to the clientele, club manager Ramzy Hussein says, "We're going after the 25-to-35 crowd who always say, 'There's no place to dance in Baltimore.'

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