Where are the best places to eat and read?

READ STREET

March 22, 2009|By DAVE ROSENTHAL | DAVE ROSENTHAL,dave.rosenthal@baltsun.com

This week on Read Street, we've been discussing a topic dear to my heart (and stomach): Baltimore's best places to eat and read.

I developed the habit in my years as a reporter, traveling around the mid-Atlantic and beyond. When you have to eat by yourself, there's nothing better than a good book to shake that sense of alone-ness.

You need the right restaurant, one that's not too noisy, not too dark, not too rushed. The food must be right, too. I often read at Charles Village's Chipotle, which gets great light from huge windows, but it took months to perfect a system of holding my chicken burrito, keeping my book flat on the table and turning the pages. (Borrowing one of the metal utensil holders helps.)

When the stars are aligned, it's a great way to pass time. What could be better than pairing The Flaneur with steak frites at a local bistro? Or A Passage to India with a plate of chicken korma?

Help me find the region's best "Eat-N-Read" spots. Send your favorites in an e-mail or leave a comment at Read Street.

Here's what readers recommended:

I always found Mick O'Shea's between two and four on weekdays to be a good atmosphere for undisturbed reading. Three, maybe four people in the whole place ... music is at a comfortably non-distracting level, and no one bothers you. - WP Tandy

With one side of its dining area sheathed in floor-to-ceiling windows, The Northstar Bistro (1417 Thames) gives perfect light for reading. ... Plus, free Wi-Fi. - LauravilleMom

The Towson Library! ... Get a coffee drink and one of Jay's mom's homemade cupcakes at the connected coffee bar ('Spro), and take it to the quiet lounge. Best of all, the reading material is free. - Paula

Baltimore Coffee & Tea, especially the new shops in Annapolis and Frederick. Most of my reading (including books) is online, so the free internet access is great. ... The only drawback is they are bustling in the early a.m., so I shoot to stop by late morning and clock in some time between meetings. - Triple L

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