Situated in the heart of Federal Hill, Spoons (spoonsbaltimore.com, 24 East Cross St., 410-539-8395) is a bustling, family-friendly place, decorated with a wooden carousel horse, that serves enormous breakfast platters. Huevos rancheros ($13.70), fried eggs served on top of a corn tortilla with black beans and salsa, also comes with a generous heap of home fries dotted with herbs. Other great options are cinnamon-roll pancakes with maple-coffee glaze ($9 for three pancakes, $2 extra if you want bacon inside the pancake); eggs Benedict ($12.70); fried oysters and grits ($14.70), featuring chicken-fried oysters, bacon, mushrooms, garlic, green onions and Old Mill cheesy grits; and something called the Beast ($14), which includes a buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken, smoked bacon, American cheese, a fried egg and sausage gravy. I wasn’t brave enough for that one. Tasty drinks include the cafe au lait, made with beans roasted in-house, and a Chinese breakfast tea. On a busy weekend morning, the no-reservations place fills up fast.
Speaking of Gjerde (who also recently rolled out
A Rake’s Progress in the District), an excellent lunch spot is the recently revamped Parts & Labor (partsandlaborbutchery.com, 2600 N. Howard St., 443-873-8887). The meat-centric place — it’s also a butcher shop — in the Remington neighborhood, named for its original role as a tire store and car garage, has playful options such as a sandwich called Dad Bod ($16): smoked ham, pit beef, krakowska (a Polish sausage), onion, barbecue sauce and spicy tiger sauce. Although our waitress suggested the raw cheeseburger ($11) and the chicken soup ($12) served with Carolina gold rice, carrots, leeks and cilantro, we went for the Cuban ($16), a tender combination of smoked shoulder, capicola (Italian salami), lomo (dried pork tenderloin), plus mustard and pickles; and the turkey Appalachian sausage made with ground turkey and cheese and ordered (for another $1 each) with sauerkraut and a roll ($10). To drink, there’s a vast local beer selection, such as a Blue Moon-style Yellow Sudmarine ($3 during happy hour). We didn’t save room for dessert, although persimmon pie was tempting.
Bruno is a writer based in the District. Find her on Twitter: @brunodebbie.
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