Flight American Fusion is enthusiastic in Belvedere

Diverse menu likely to draw admiration of vegetarians

September 24, 2014|By Kit Waskom Pollard | For The Baltimore Sun

Belvedere Square, with its hip artisanal vendors, has earned its stripes as a food-lovers' destination. The area just to its south, now home to a handful of casual, capable eateries, is poised to piggyback on that success.

The newest of these restaurants is Flight American Fusion Restaurant & Bar. Opened in late August, Flight is a casual spot with an interesting menu, including a wide variety of vegetarian dishes and flavors inspired by the many different cuisines found in America.

Scene & Decor Flight occupies a corner building with great potential — big windows and high ceilings. The walls are a pretty blue and the building's old character shines through in architectural details on the ceiling and moldings.

Those details feel slightly at odds with some of Flight's more modern accouterments, including a not-terribly-attractive open kitchen in the back and a flashy neon sign in the front window.

During our visit, on a rainy Wednesday, a couple tables were occupied and, though the restaurant was fairly new, we spied a handful of people dropping in to pick up carryout orders, or just for a drink in the bar.

Service As soon as we walked in the door, the staff's enthusiasm was palpable. Our waitress was incredibly sweet but needed some additional training on details, like writing down our order. Everything arrived as requested but she had to come back to our table to confirm our order several times.

Appetizer We started with a simple appetizer of broccoli and cheese bites, served with chunky marinara sauce ($7). The vegetables and cheese were blended into a creamy, green-flecked mix, shaped into little pillows, breaded and fried.

With all the cheese and the frying, they might not have been the healthiest item on the menu, but they did taste good.

Entrees Flight offers a handful of "mojos" — sub-style sandwiches that come with sauteed onions and peppers, fries and a signature sauce that varies from sandwich to sandwich.

On the veggie mojo ($8), most of the heft came from a healthy serving of firm chunks of broccoli. "Broccoli sandwich" certainly sounds less appealing than "veggie mojo" but fortunately, thanks to melted American cheese and a spicy horseradish sauce, the sandwich was enjoyable.

The jerk chicken entree ($14) sounded better than "broccoli sandwich" and it did, actually, taste better, though it wasn't perfect. The flavors on our plate were fantastic. A full breast of chicken was coated in some of the hotter jerk seasoning we've tried. On the side, rice and beans and a scoop of soft, cooked cabbage were impeccably seasoned — the sides could have been a great meal on their own.

Unfortunately, the chicken was cooked unevenly. When we were nearly finished, we discovered that one spot was undercooked. At that point, we were full, so it wasn't a disaster. But with so much else going for the dish, we were disappointed to find that undercooked piece.

Dessert Most desserts are made in-house at Flight, though we ordered one that was not. Still, the limoncello cake ($5) was sweet and airy. It was a nice, easy end to a meal that was good although a bit bumpy.

Drinks Flight has a full bar, though during our visit, it was only partially stocked; they ran out of Heineken ($4) after we'd ordered just one. After an apologetic visit from the charismatic bartender, we opted for Harpoon Brewery's seasonal UFO Pumpkin ($4), a smooth beer that smelled just like pumpkin pie.

It was not, we'll admit, an ideal match for jerk chicken eaten at the tail-end of summer.

Like Flight, the UFO wasn't quite perfect. But in a month, with autumn in full swing, the beer will taste better. And in that same month, with a few more nights under their belts, we bet the crew at Flight will be ready to go as well.

Flight American Fusion Restaurant & Bar

Back story: Flight, near Belvedere Square, is a "melting pot" of cuisines, according to owner Ray Davis. Davis' menu starts with traditional American food then mixes it up, adding flavors and inspiration from around the globe.

Parking: Street parking

Signature dish: The jerk chicken's seasoning is hot, hot, hot — in a good way. With the chicken, rice and beans and soft cabbage are more than just throwaway sides; both are well-seasoned and very tasty.

TVs: Two (with two more in the works)

Where: 5723 York Road, Baltimore

Contact: 410-978-8190; flightbaltimore.com

Open: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday

Credit Cards: All major

Reservations: Accepted

Bottom line: Eager servers and bold seasonings make up for some glitches

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