While gearing up for a friend’s annual birthday bar crawl, my roommate and I decided we needed sustenance to prepare for the evening’s festivities, which were to take place in Fells Point. So we settled on the Waterfront Hotel on Thames Street.
Previously, I had only been eaten at the Waterfront for Sunday morning brunch, and I hadn’t been inside. But I had not forgotten the delicious Maryland-influenced brunch menu with its Eggs Chesapeake (an Eggs Benedict with crab cakes instead of ham) and its cinnamon sourdough French toast.
Originally a private residence, the space is the second oldest brick building in Baltimore, built in 1771. It became a hotel and tavern in 1861 and wasn’t converted into a restaurant until 1955. What remains is a rickety charm and endearing character that makes it ideal for any meal or drinks.
When we arrived early in the evening, the spacious bar on the lower floor was mostly empty. Upon returning later on a stop along the bar crawl, the area had filled up and was pulsing with live music and people playing pool in the back, almost unrecognizable from the earlier scene. We went upstairs to the second floor, which has a traditional dining room that overlooks the harbor and features a fireplace. But we ate at the bar in the lounge area, which is outfitted with a smattering of tables and big, enticing leather couches and chairs. The dimly lit space is so laid-back and comforting, and the food was so delicious, I was tempted to skip the bar crawl and spend the evening watching the Orioles and chatting with the friendly and entertaining bartenders.
The menu has a slew of appetizers, soups and salads. The entrees and sandwiches are comparably limited, but there is a nice selection of unique tacos like the pork belly with mango barbecue sauce and lime cabbage and the mahi-mahi with guacamole and grilled pineapple salsa.
I recommend the blackened shrimp tacos, which come with a delectable tomato cucumber pico de gallo that is equal parts refreshing, spicy and tangy. Not in a hurry to leave, we had to try the featured WTF SMORES!!! The exclamation points, abbreviation and capitalization were included on the menu, and after one bite, I knew why.
The three picturesque toasted marshmallow and dark chocolate graham cracker sandwiches covered in powdered sugar almost looked too good to eat. Almost. The sticky, gooey sweetness was irresistible and left me tempted to order three more. But instead, I’ll just go back for more. Unless I get sidetracked by the key lime coconut cheesecake with raspberry sauce or the banana bread pudding with walnuts and espresso anglaise. Decisions, decisions.
The Waterfront Hotel
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Sat 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Sun 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 a.m.
–By Staci Wolfson