One of the most delicious weeks of the year — Baltimore Restaurant Week — kicks off on July 28th. So many of Charm City’s favorite restaurants are showing off their menus and chefs, offering two-course brunch and lunch menus from $12-20 and three-course dinner menus range from $20-$35.
Oftentimes, we think of Restaurant Week as the perfect easy-on-the-budget date night. But this summer, why not get the kids in on the foodie action? We had eleven local kids try Restaurant Week dishes from 4 different participating restaurants that get high marks from us on “family friendliness.” Find out what passed the kid taste test.
Miss Shirley’s Cafe
513 W. Cold Spring Lane & 750 E. Pratt Street | $15 Brunch, $18 Lunch, Excludes Weekends | Reservations
A family-friendly staple in Baltimore! All locations are peanut free and the staff goes above and beyond to accommodate food allergies. Etch-a-sketches, books, and coloring materials are offered to keep young kids entertained. Check out our Dining Guide profile on Miss Shirley’s here.
Naptown Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad
Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad, Bibb Lettuce, Red & Yellow Tomato, Avocado Mash on Toasted Multigrain
reviewed by Aidan, 5th Grade
“I might order the shrimp salad. It wasn’t sweet and I could really taste the shrimp and toast. I could only taste the tomatoes a tiny bit and I liked them! Although I don’t really like tomatoes usually on anything except pizza. They tasted good on the sandwich.”
Full stack of Pancakes with Blueberries, Served with Whipped Butter & Grade A Pure Maple Syrup, dusted with Powdered Sugar & Garnished with Raspberry Purée Plate Glaze
reviewed by Amelia, 2nd Grade
“The pancakes are sugary and sweet! Best blueberry pancakes I’ve ever had. They might be as good as the chocolate chip pancakes I always order. Definitely dip them in syrup, don’t put the syrup on top. They were delicious!”
Broiled Grapefruit Brûlée
Broiled Grapefruit Brûlée garnished with a Blackberry & Mint
reviewed by Emma, 1st Grade
“It was really sour. It was a little sweet, but really sour. I’ve never had grapefruit before and needed a drink after. Daddy would probably like this. He likes grapefruit. I don’t think kids should order grapefruit.”
Five and Dime Alehouse
901 W 36th St | $15 Lunch, $30 Dinner | Reservations
Located in the heart of Hampden, Five and Dime Alehouse has a stroller-friendly vibe and great acoustics.
Heirloom Tomato, Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese, Romaine, and Green Goddess Dressing
reviewed by Mia, 7th Grade, and Sean, 4th Grade
“When food is this pretty I am more likely to try it! I think this is good, but I think adults may like it more than kids. There could definitely be a little more bacon. You can never have too much bacon. And I like avocado! The sauce is a little sweet, too. Which is really nice.” – Mia
“This is surprisingly good! I don’t usually like salad but I like this! The best part is the sauce mixed with the lettuce. The bacon is really good, too.” – Sean
“I don’t even know what it is but it is all delicious! It’s very juicy. Kids would like this!” – Sean
“I told you my favorite foods were Jamaican and Chipotle. This corn tastes just like Chipotle! This is definitely something all kids would eat, even my 2-year-old-sister who still eats off of everyone’s plate. The mashed potatoes are smoked? I think that’s why I like them so much!” – Mia
*Editor’s note: Chef Matt chuckled about the Chipotle corn comment — and conceded that Chipotle corn is pretty good. Both of our taste testers cleaned the plate of pork tenderloin. That is a resounding endorsement!
1444 Light Street | $35 Dinner | Reservations
This cozy spot in Federal Hill has one dining room completely covered in chalk paint so kids can literally draw all over the walls. They also have a murphy-bed-style train table, toys, and great outdoor seating options.
Served with Lemon Creme Fraiche & Parmigiano Reggiano
reviewed by Lillian, 4th Grade
“These were really cooked well on the outside and inside! I liked the crunch. As Brendan said, the cheese flavor exploded in my mouth! Kids should try these.”
Gnocchi served with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese, Field Arugula, and Piemonte Hazelnuts
reviewed by Brendan, 1st Grade
“I’ve never had gnocchi before because spaghetti is magic. I thought this was good and creamy, but the lettuce burned my mouth. The pasta is super good. ”
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk
Baked To Order
reviewed by Jack, Kindergarten
“Delicious! Kids will love these.” (Editor’s note: sounded more like “Dwish-crunch-ous” — hard to decipher through the giggles and mouth full of cookie!)
RA Sushi Bar
1390 Lancaster Street | $33 Dinner | Reservations
Our taste testers started their meal with a little chopstick lesson. Don’t worry — RA provides “cheaters” for chopstick newbies.
Viva Las Vegas Roll
Crab and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, lightly Crab† and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, lightly tempura battered and topped with spicy tuna, crab† mix and sliced lotus root; finished with a sweet eel sauce and spinach tempura bits
reviewed by Dixon, 5th Grade, Rainey, 2nd Graden, and Lauren, 7th Grade
“This was my favorite by far! I like spicy food and I really like that this has a kick but isn’t too spicy. The spiciness is in the sauce” – Lauren
“I’m so glad I didn’t know about the eel sauce when I was eating it.” – Rainey
“My favorite thing we tried. It kind of tastes like tuna.” – Dixon
Your choice of Grilled Chicken, Beef, or Salmon with Steamed Rice and Asian Vegetables
reviewed by Rainey, 2nd Grade
“As a picky eater myself, I think this is a good choice. Surprisingly, I liked the chicken. But I love rice. And if a kid doesn’t like the chicken, they get a lot of rice. All kids like rice. And there is no avocado. I don’t like avocado. Two thumbs up!”
Seared Ahi Tuna served with Fresh Sliced Avocado and Creamy Tataki Dipping Sauce
reviewed by Dixon, 5th Grade
“I really thought this was going to be a roll, but I liked it. I don’t know how many other kids are going to like a plate of raw tuna, but I do. The sauce is the most unexpected part of the dish. Very tangy.”
California Roll with one piece each: Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Whitefish, Shrimp and Tamago
reviewed by Lauren, 7th Grade
“I love California Rolls and these are so good! The salmon was my favorite because it had a lot of flavor. I think kids would like this because there wasn’t anything spicy. Nothing that would really require an acquired taste. Just have them stay away from the Soy Sauce. That’s spicy.”
About Our Sponsor: Baltimore Restaurant Week
Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week will take place July 28 – August 6, 2017! Baltimore is a delicious city. Try somewhere new, grab lunch instead of eating at your desk, have a date night (or three). Restaurants aren’t skimping on the food, instead they are showcasing their chefs and menus in hopes of luring you back as a forever customer. Two-course brunch and lunch menus range from $12-20. Three-course dinner menus range from $20-$35. Search below all of the dining destinations and make your reservations now. Reservations are not required to get the deals, but recommended.
All photos by Laura Black.