Ronnie Brooks, Yanna Foster and Victoria Coleman make up the gospel group Immeasurable. As of last week, they are also the owners of a new soul food restaurant, Immeasurable Chicken & Waffle (1700 W. Pratt St., 888-801-2863).
I asked the group's assistant, Michelle Guess, why a gospel group would open a restaurant.
"They wanted a place the community could have a good, nonalcoholic time," she said. "They wanted to bring back something positive to Baltimore."
Chicken and waffles are a good place to start, but the menu doesn't stop there. You can get your chicken fried, barbecued or jerked, with corn, greens, beans, sweet potatoes, potato salad, mac and cheese, or macaroni salad. Sandwiches and subs are also available.
The signature dish is the Immeasurable Chicken Supreme, an "enormous" grilled chicken breast and waffle smothered in gravy. Of course, after that you'll have room for a slice of cake (lemon, pound or chocolate) or sweet potato pie.
Guess promises Immeasurable doesn't look like your usual chicken and waffle place. It has an "edgy, contemporary feel," with both regular and high-top tables, booths, a lounge for coffee, plasma TVs and free wi-fi. The colors are red, white and gold. The building's second floor will be home to a Christian club soon.
Immeasurable Chicken & Waffle is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Italian in Ellicott City : I've written quite a bit about the closing of Jordan's Steakhouse in Ellicott City in this column. Now it looks like the space at 8085 Main St will be a new Italian restaurant called Portalli's.
Lee Biars, managing partner of Diamondback Tavern in Ellicott City, said the owners of Diamondback have joined with new investors to open the restaurant sometime in mid- to late November, assuming the necessary licenses come through on time (always a chancy assumption).
"Portalli" is a family name (on his mother's side) of one of the new owners, Evan Brown. He'll be leaving as general manager of the Greystone Grill to go to the new place. The executive chef will be Keith Holsey, also at Greystone. Holsey was a sous chef at Jordan's before that.
The menu is still being developed, but dinner entrees should cost somewhere between $10 and $25.
"We plan on incorporating everything we love about Italian cuisine from all areas of Italy including several traditional Portalli family dishes," Biars said. "The goal is to create an Italian dining destination that will have enough originality and creativity for foodies, but will also be approachable for the casual diner or families looking for a fun night out."
Open on Thanksgiving : So many restaurants stay open for Thanksgiving these days it won't be possible for me to list them all. I will try to let you know, though, about the ones that are going to be open for the first time this year.
Kali's Court will be serving Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in its history - with a charitable twist. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Maryland Food Bank. The Fells Point restaurant plans to be open from noon to 6 p.m. to the public, then the owners will throw a party for employees. The staff will be asked to bring a can of food to donate to the food bank.
Kali's Thanksgiving menu at this point consists of four courses for $49.95, starting with an amuse. There are lots of choices, including turkey, bronzino, braised veal, lamb shank, filet mignon, and mushroom risotto. You can also request a vegan menu.
The Prime Rib (the Baltimore location, that is) will be open for the first time this year. In addition to its regular menu, you can get a three-course holiday meal for $39.95: soup or salad; roast turkey with stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, creamed spinach and sweet potatoes; and pumpkin, pecan or apple pie for dessert. Kids under 12 eat for $17.95.
Both restaurants are taking reservations now.
Petit Louis in Roland Park will be serving Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year. The menu hasn't been decided yet, but the hours most likely will be 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Deal of the Week
Where: : Mari Luna Latin Grille, 1010 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville
The Deal: : Lunch (South American entree, salad, side and soft drinks)
Call: : 410-653-5151