Fill up in Denton on the way to O.C.


Eats: dining reviews, Table Talk

March 25, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Cafe Hon's Denise Whiting called the other day to rave about a nifty little spot she came across on her way "downee ocean" - the Market Street Cafe in Denton. Real comfort food, our favorite hon declares.

"Fabulous shrimp salad, chicken salad, and - oh my god - somebody does meatloaf that's as good as mine!"

Check it out on your next drive east, at 200 Market St. Comfort food, huh? Now there's something we all needed to make it through the past few months. As we bid farewell (we hope) to winter, we thought we'd check with some of B-more's dining-out crowd to find out their favorite restaurant comfort-food dishes.

Denise acknowledges that sometimes she simply has to get a fruit smoothie fix at Port City Java, where they make smoothies with frozen fruit - no ice - and fresh squeezed juice.

Wouldn't you know that chili cheese fries at Denise's Cafe Hon are the fave of Karen Bokram, Girls' Life magazine publisher/editor in chief ?

Meanwhile, Jed Dietz, Maryland Film Festival founder/director, is at home with Petit Louis Bistro's duck confit.

WQSR's morning man, Steve Rouse, gets all mushy about the mashed potatoes at City Crab & Seafood Co. And Baltimore mag's senior editor, Max Weiss, waxes "pseudo-nostalgic" about the blueberry pancakes at Golden West Cafe.

"Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside," he says. "... Not that my mother ever made blueberry pancakes like that!"

Former Colt Tom Matte flips over Boccaccio's Dover sole. The American Dime Museum's Dick Horne is content tucking into a turkey club at Dizzy Issie's.

"Anything on the menu at the Ambassador Dining Room is comfort with a capital C," says Walters Art Museum Director Gary Vikan. PR and media maven Rhonda Overby of Camera Ready Inc. adores the rockfish with crabmeat in champagne sauce at Tio Pepe's.

Primo casting director Pat Moran enthuses over the escargot at the Prime Rib. ("How much butter can you get in one dish?" she asks.

And Baltimore School for the Arts community outreach co-director Leslie Polokoff says she and hubby Larry often sneak over to Sascha's 527 for the Monday night $10 fried chicken special. (Note: Sascha's is now also dishing out live jazz every Thursday night.)

Best Courage Awards

Last week's Ed Block Courage Awards dinner was the "hands down" best event the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation has ever had, according to the foundation's Tim Richardson. Two reasons: No. 1, a tightened program schedule, so folks were outta there by 9:30. But, mostly it was the tops because of the evening's big tribute to outgoing Ravens owner Art Modell. Several people spoke at the Baltimore Convention Center shebang, including Ravens trainer Bill Tessendorf, who has been with the team - first as the Cleveland Browns, then Ravens - and Modell for 31 years. Part of the tribute involved Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV's sports director, reading a letter from someone who couldn't make it that night. Tim says the crowd loudly applauded when Scott read that the NFL wouldn't be the best of the four professional sports leagues today if it wasn't for Art. But the applause turned to boos when Scott read the name of the sender: NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Tim says the most touching moment came when Ravens Super Bowl quarterback Trent Dilfer - now with the Seattle Seahawks - led the room in a standing ovation.

Tim said Art was pretty choked up and couldn't say much, so he pulled his wife, Pat, up to the podium, and she thanked everyone.

"There were a lot of wet eyes in that room," he said.

`Dueling Designers'

All eyes were on two 12 foot by 22 foot spaces in Federal Hill's Gaines McHale Antiques during the recent "Celebrate Style!" event thrown by the Junior League of Baltimore. The weekendlong extravaganza - this year's chairwomen were Stephanie Bartel and Mia Walsh - featured all sorts of workshops, seminars and house tours about interior decorating.

Celebrate Style! committee member Laura Pappas says one of the highlights was Saturday's "Dueling Designers Challenge." Two teams of local decorators and designers were each given a space and a description of what they had to turn it into - a family room for a family with two children, 8 and 11, and a yellow Labrador. Each room also had to include the same red leather chair.

And each team had from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day to do everything, from painting the walls to installing window treatments to moving in furniture and accents. Meanwhile, folks could watch the show. Like reality TV without the TV.

Laura says each one was a winner. A team of Steve Sutor, Marcy Sagel and Elizabeth Mesora created a cozy den with chocolate brown glazed walls, crisp white drapes and a pine entertainment center. The team of Missy Connolly, Joy Owens and Cindy Warner made theirs a light, airy space with lime green walls, white plantation shutters and baby-blue bookshelves.

"People really loved it," Laura says. "The challenge gets interior designers in front of people, and you get to pick their brains."

To submit tips, ideas and possible items for Hot Stuff, send e-mail to or fax to 410-675-3451.

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