Jazz, poetry, chicken and pork chops

TABLE TALK

June 24, 1999|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic

Live jazz, poetry readings on Wednesday nights, fried chicken and smothered pork chops -- Cade's Cafe at 25 N. Liberty St. has it all. Not to mention that Gospel Sundays should be starting up sometime soon.

The restaurant is an offshoot of Indigo Blues and Mama's Kitchen in New York City. The specialty is Southern food, from a catfish sandwich at lunch to ribs, collard greens and candied yams at dinner. Most of the recipes are from the mama in question, Margaret Hill, the mother of one of the owners.

If the location sounds familiar, it's because the space has housed any number of restaurants before this, including Churchill's and Peerce's.

Cade's is open Wednesdays through Sundays for lunch and dinner. Dinner entrees range in price from $9.99 to $24.99.

Changes at Peerce's

Robert Bernard, the new maitre d' of Peerce's Plantation in Phoenix, called me in response to the negative review in last Sunday's paper to say, "I was just brought in to straighten out the front end of the restaurant." Unfortunately, he had probably just started when we were there; I work about three weeks in advance. He also told me he's working on a new menu with the executive chef, which will be a blend of Southwest and nouveau California, "less of the traditional, with more flavorful, lighter fare." A new wine list will feature mostly California wines. "In 20 years in the business," he said, "I've never had a bad review before, and I never intend to have another one." Sounds good to me.

Stern advice

Jane and Michael Stern are at it again. Their newest book is "Eat Your Way Across the U.S.A.," a guide to good grub at American eateries (Broadway Books, $15). Maryland weighs in with eight entries: Attman's, Gunning's, Obrycki's and the Woman's Industrial Exchange in Baltimore; Captain's Galley in Crisfield; Crisfield in Silver Spring; the Crab Claw in St. Michaels; and Harris Crab House in Grasonville.

With no disrespect meant to any of these very fine places, you have to wonder how the Sterns come up with their choices -- even knowing that they've eliminated all the pricey restaurants, the ethnic eateries and any place that has pretensions to haute food. The state still has an awful lot of other good delis and crab houses that don't get a mention.

Bay recipes

Look for a new regional cookbook to be published in July by Millennium Publishing Group called "Chesapeake Bay Cooking Secrets." Recipes from several local restaurants are featured, including Hamilton's in the Admiral Fell Inn, Da Mimmo, Hampton's, Haussner's and Windows in the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.large@baltsun.com.

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