Saturday, September 1, 2012
Of Love And Regret
Baltimore, MD 21224
When I was a much younger man, my friends and I used to frequent the Good Love Bar in Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. This was early on in it's history before it suffered from a fire and before it became caught up in the bar/club/DJ scene. The place had a nice, hip vibe with great drinks and lots of dark nooks and crannies to get lost in. When I saw that a gastropub called Of Love and Regret had recently opened up in Canton, I thought it to be a nice little evolution from my younger days. Besides, considering my life was full of both love and regret, how could you resist visiting a place like named after your own story.
When you do enter, it's a whole new experience. There's exposed brick, long wooden communal tables, a huge bar top, a long row of beer taps and eclectic decorations. I want to say that the artwork looks Victorian but I don't really know what Victorian is supposed to look like so I'm just going to go with that it looks like what I picture Victorian artwork is supposed to look like. That sentence was probably funnier in my head, but I digress. Here's what I know, I was there for brunch so it was a little empty but I liked the vibe right away. The service staff was helpful and easy-going. They were knowledgeable, friendly, and I can definitely envision spending many long hours in this joint.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
Blog post was back on track. You're probably thinking that you've eaten french dip in most diners and every dive bar alive, so that doesn't sound like interesting food. However, if you've been reading this space for a while, I've been looking for a good french dip sandwich for some time. Naturally, I ordered the french dip and I can't even remember the other offerings. My meal was rounded out with two of their home brewed beers and a Brandy & Honey Poached Pear.
The french dip was chopped up ribeye with what tasted like cheddar and white cheddar melted on top along with caramelized onions. All this was placed between two thick buttered slices of Texas toast. It wasn't the classic, crusty roll that I'm used to but it was also served with steak fries which made up for it. Oh, and let's not forget the au jus on the side which was just au jus which is exactly what it should be. Yes, I think you can safely classify this as an elevated french dip with the choice of meat (which was nicely medium rare), the two types of cheese and the onion treatment. However, it still had all the flavors of french dip that I had been craving for a long time.
For dessert, it was described to me that they had this peanut butter and jelly dessert with tahini butter, other things, and crack cocaine. It sounded fantastic. So fantastic that they ran out so I went with their Brandy & Honey Poached Pear. This was a poached pear with some caramel & chocolate ice cream on top which was, in turn, topped with almond toffee. Overall, I enjoyed the dessert and I think all the elements worked well together. I just got a bit thrown off by a couple of things. First, the caramel flavor was a bit overwhelming and tended to take over the whole dish on occasion. Second, I found the poached pear consistency to be not of my liking. I found myself wishing that they roasted it for just a bit (or roasted it a bit longer). The toffee bits, however, were a good revelation the dish was well balanced on the times you got to eat all the ingredients at once.