City Paper Gives the Inside Scoop

If you pick up Baltimore’s City Paper, you’ll find their Annual Dining Guide!  Their staff of way more people than I felt like couting hit the pavement and chowed down at 170 different restaurants in Baltimore in order to put together a great compilation.  As a woman who loves order and lists, the guide made me quite giddy when I saw that it was organized by the fare that they serve.  Maybe it’ll help Capt. and I find an indian restaurant in Baltimore that we really love, because I’ve been craving some good korma!

In honor of it being 1 week away from St. Patty’s Day, here’s a little peek at the Irish restaurants that they reviewed in the city.  They missed Tir Na Nog, but that’s kind of OK since it’s a chain, and a few other places, but the ones below are definitely the Irish restaurants in the city that I tend to frequent.  Lucy’s is my default pre-theater restaurant and I’ve already made a reservation for dinner there before I see Cirque du Soliel at the end of the month.  Also, I had the most delicious blueberry and peach bread pudding at James Joyce last time I was there.  Mmmm . . . . !

Irish

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant

616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$

James Joyce provides the chance to score a proper pour of Guinness when you absolutely positively have to patronize this neck of the Inner Harbor’s woods. We’ve never tried any of the conventional dinner menu items–crab cakes, pork chops, and the like–but the Irish staples, such as fish and chips and a solid shepherd’s pie, are worth checking out.

Lucy’s

21 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-2100, lucysirishrestaurant.com, $$$

Where Maggie Moore’s, which used to occupy this space, felt more like a pub with nice dining room attached, Lucy’s somehow feels more like a nice restaurant with a pub attached. Lucy’s menu offers an extensive selection of nouveau treats–sliders Irished up with Blarney cheese, seafood and pasta options, and even some small plates at the bar now–but the Irish selections sing, especially a gut-busting traditional Irish breakfast, good day or night.

Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant

1700 Thames St., (410) 563-6600, slaintepub.com, $$

This sprawling Fells Point spot has enough self-identity to avoid the Irish-pub-in-a-box trap. Sure, it’s self-consciously “Irish,” with Celtic motifs and scripts painted hither and yon, but it’s not trying to fool you into thinking you’re getting drunk in front of Aunty Molly’s coal furnace. We go for the real football and rugby matches on the downstairs TVs, relaxing with real, honest-to-god Irish people (and our American pals), drinking expert pours of Guinness, and eating excellent sandwiches, burgers, and respectable, if a bit pricey, shepherd’s pie.

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