The 1200 block of N. Charles St. is just bursting with new eateries.
Cobbers Pub & Cafe just opened this week at 1218-20 N. Charles St. - a few doors up from the brand-new Tampico. You may have noticed the aboriginal art-themed mosaic inside the building's bay window - one of Cobber's highlights, according to restaurant consultant Michael Dalesio, who helped the owners put the whole thing together.
The restaurant has three different sections that reflect the owners' histories and culture. Dalesio says brothers Manny and John Trikilis were born in Greece but grew up in Australia. They moved to Baltimore, joining cousin John Papastefanou, who grew up here. So, think Aussie atmosphere and Greek/Mediterranean/Baltimore cuisine.
Dalesio says that, on the street level, you'll find a deli with five tables. Lots of sandwiches - American and Greek ($3.95-$6.95) - made with bread from Stone Mill and Della Notte bakeries. There are also a few hot dishes.
Go up a few stairs and you're in the cafe. Dalesio describes the decor as being based on the Australian sunset, with reds, golds, plums and oranges, and canvas arcs that sweep across the ceiling. Seating for about 60. Aboriginal art and artifacts complete the picture.
The menu includes Maryland faves such as crab cakes (market price), Greek-style grilled red snapper ($16.50), New Haven-style pizzas - "very, very thin crusts" - ($12-$15), and Aussie meat pie - sirloin tips in peppered gravy in a pastry pie shell - ($6.50).
Go a few steps downstairs, and you'll find yourself in a pub. Seating for about 45. And menus from both the deli and cafe. Those menus, Dalesio adds, are works in progress - with new additions still coming.
By the way, Dalesio says, the word "cobber" is an Australian term for a "really true friend." Each of the spaces at Cobbers Pub & Cafe, 410-727-0713, has its own hours. The deli is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The cafe's hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. And the pub opens at 11 a.m. each day, closing around midnight Monday through Thursday and at 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Golden West returns
Looks like fans of Hampden's Golden West Cafe won't have to suffer major withdrawal pains. The cafe closed its doors at 842 W. 36th St. two weeks ago - as it began the process of moving into a new, bigger space down and across the street at 1105 W. 36th St. That process is just about complete, and owner Thomas Rudis says he's planning on opening in the Golden West's new digs this weekend.
Rudis says the new cafe will have seating for 180 (compared to 26 in the old place) when the cafe's bar area is finished in early 2004. Right now, the dining room will seat 65.
Rudis also wants to reassure regulars that they won't go through culture shock in the new place. The decor is a familiar "mish-mash of this-and-that" - similar to its original haunt.
The Golden West's menu continues to reflect its primary New Mexican theme with offerings like cream of chicken and green chile stew ($3-$4) and Frito pie ($4.95-$5.95). But there are touches of Asia - like Thai chicken and mint salad ($8.25).
Golden West Cafe, 410-554-0593, is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.