New York-style deli comes to town

TABLE TALK

August 06, 2008|By ELIZABETH LARGE

Mount Washington has its own New York-style deli with the new Freda's Kitchen (1604 Kelly Ave., 410-367-7840). Marty Emmer, who owns it with his wife, Linda, and son, Josh, says almost everything is cooked in-house, from the corned beef to the brisket to the traditional salads like whitefish and chopped herring. Freda is his late mother, and many of the recipes are hers, including the "wonderful" soups.

Freda's is in the old Mount Washington Market space, which was originally an A&P. The old A&P safe has been painted the colors of the deli ("merlot and curry") and set out in front for a decorative accessory. The inside has been renovated so that, says Emmer, "It's like being in your mom's kitchen. People love to linger here. It's a throwback gathering place, with no TV and no video games." Except that your mom's kitchen probably didn't have a full-sized Fiberglas cow named Clementine standing inside it.

Freda's seats 52 inside and a dozen or more outside. The open kitchen produces hamburgers, hot dogs, panini and smoothies; and there's a salad bar as well as deli fare. Emmer is also proud of his local coffee, Orinoco, from a Columbia-based roaster.

Freda's summer hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hours will be extended in the fall, when the Emmers plan to offer dinner and prepared food to take home.

RESTAURANT WEEKS Baltimore's Summer Restaurant Week was officially over Sunday, but some places are extending the event, offering their prix fixe three-course lunches for $20.08 and dinners for $30.08 through Aug. 10.

If you have a craving for a bargain meal at a particular place and missed last week, give the restaurant a call to check. As of now, I've heard from Sotto Sopra, the Ruth's Chris steakhouses in the city, Babalu Grill and Blue Sea Grill, all of which are offering the deals through this Sunday. Not to be outdone, Sammy's Trattoria in Mount Vernon is extending its restaurant week through the end of the year. I'm not sure when that stops being restaurant week and becomes its regular prix-fixe menu.

SWEET Meli, the honey-themed restaurant in Fells Point, is now open for lunch every day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can, of course, still get a light breakfast, dinner and late-night nibbles there.

WINESDAY Some felt that when Junior's Wine Bar in Federal Hill first opened, there wasn't enough emphasis on wine, complaining that it might as well be called Junior's Restaurant. Lately, though, I've been getting e-mails each week about Junior's Wednesday Winesday, which features five different wines from a particular region. It's a good deal. You get five wines for $10, along with cheese and other hors d'oeuvres, discounts on wine to go and a chance to win raffle prizes.

elizabeth.large@baltsun.com

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Check out restaurant critic Elizabeth Large's daily blog (baltimoresun.com/diningatlarge) for restaurant news and notes and reader feedback. Don't miss Top 10 Tuesdays.

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