In town for the sales and looking for someplace new and different to eat, shop or visit? Let the TDN help!
Following up on our popular Best Bets on the Jersey Shore series during Breeders' Cup week,
TDN subscribers now regularly recommend dining and shopping options to our out-of-town readers.
Mama's on the Half Shell (Baltimore, MD - Dining)
2901 ODonnell St., Baltimore, MD
Type: Seafood and traditional American cuisine
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. The raw bar serves until 1 a.m. daily Bar open until 2 a.m. daily.
Missing the mollusk in your life? Well, get your “slurp” on and head over to Baltimore’s Mama’s on the Half Shell. Located on “The Square” in the hip, bustling,
urban neighborhood of Canton, this seafood house will fix you up “Bawlmer” style. The downstairs bar / raw bar feels like it’s been there for years, with a long dark wood bar, pressed ceilings and just loud enough music.
It gets crowded on weekends, but locals are happy to endure the wait (sometimes over an hour) while sipping on a refreshing Orange Crush (the House Cocktail, made with fresh pressed orange juice) or a minty Mojito. But bivalves are the thing here. Oysters are served on the half-shell, grilled or fried, “on horseback” (wrapped in bacon) or as “shooters”. From Malpeques to Blue Points, the hand-written chalkboard announces the varieties of the night. Slurp them out of the half shell for the real experience, HON (as they say in Baltimore). No forks allowed. There are a few tables downstairs in the bar, but a majority in the cozier, Victorian style upstairs.
Start off with the Tuna Tartare, Oyster Stew or
Peel-and-Eat steamed shrimp. For entrees, try the
Crabcake, which is true Maryland style, broiled with little evidence of breading or filler. The pan-seared scallops are a delight, as well. A side of Mac-and-Cheese will top it off (some say it is the world’s best). The menu is full of fresh fish and traditional burgers and sandwiches (for the non-seafood eater). Owning a Bar / Restaurant has never truly appealed to me, but if it did, I would recreate “Mama’s.”
-- JEFF JACOBSON, Owner
To see the original PDF with all the writeups from 5/14/08 (2008 Preakness S.), click here.
To view other Best Bets, click here.