Meat-Free Recommendations for The Holidays
If you are like me, you have a tough time finding a way through the day without meat (my apologies to my vegan friends!) Based on the amount of celebration on the peninsula for St. Patrick’s Day, I know this a pretty religious area! I’m kidding, but I know there will be a lot of people who will be fasting for upcoming religious holidays. So here are my recommendations for some of the best meat-free dishes around town.
Not only is pizza like the best food on earth, but you can change the ingredients to fit any agenda. Pizza is a great option as long as you top them with veggies or seafood or both. Here are some of my favorite pizza spots:
Barfly’s, Riverside: The food at Barfly’s is delicious and very reasonably priced. Their pizzas are similar to world famous Matthews and are always cooked to perfection. Another great option is their soft pretzels, which I strongly recommend!
Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks, SoBo: Hersh’s has been in SoBo for about a year serving Neapolitan-style pizza. Their menu offers a kale and pistachio pizza, clam pizza and a list of really fresh toppings if you want to build your own pie. They also have many other great options for meat-free dining, as well.
HomeSlyce, SoBo: HomeSlyce burst onto the scene last year in SoBo and now they have a second location in Mt. Vernon (and are in the process of opening a third!) The Classic pizza is always a popular choice and fit for vegetarian dining. It features goat and mozzarella cheese, walnuts, eggplant, spinach, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and the HomeSlyce sauce.
Pub Dog, Federal Hill: More than 20 types of pizza. Here is my recent article about the local favorite.
I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like nachos. Here are some plates you have to try – just don’t add chicken!
No Idea Tavern, SoBo: Chef Craig makes the chips in the kitchen from fresh tortillas. His nachos will melt in your mouth and seriously fill you up. I also recommend the tater tots and mozz sticks.
Little Havana, Key Highway: Havana has really good nachos and they’ll be ready within 5 minutes of ordering them. Grab a mojito and peruse some of their seafood options as well.
Barracudas, Locust Point: Their surf and turf nachos are huge and feature fresh tortilla chips topped with grilled steak, shrimp, crab, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, black beans and sour cream… just remove the steak. They also have plenty of seafood. Read our recent review.
This isn’t Japan or Seattle, but I must say we have some pretty good sushi options around here.
Nick’s at Cross Street Market, Federal Hill: Nick’s offers a huge menu of delicious sushi options and, best part, you can watch them roll it right in front of you while you sip on one of the “big beers.” Nick’s also has crabs, shrimp, clams and, of course, raw oysters!
Matsuri, Federal Hill: Dining at Matsuri is a great experience. Lots of varieties of sushi, plus delicious soups, salads and Japanese dishes. The food is great and the saki bombs are the icing on the cake.
Magerks, Federal Hill: When Magerks hired Rich, a former owner Nichiban, to run a sushi stand they immediately had some of the best sushi around. I recommend the soft shell crab roll or the spicy shrimp wrap… don’t forget the edamame! Rich left to open a restaurant in New York, but is now the owner of Park Bench where he brought his sushi creations.
Shoyou Sushi, SoBo: The former site of Soho Eatery is now under new ownership and has really great spicy tuna, rolls and more. Definitely sample the Japanese Burrito featuring lightly battered shrimp tempura, crabmeat, spicy tuna and avocado. It’s wrapped with soy paper and served with three sauces. You’ll want to order another!
I’m sure you where wondering why I haven’t gotten to seafood yet… so here we go (no lack of options in Baltimore!)
Ryleigh’s Oyster, Federal Hill: Ryleigh’s has a great menu full of seafood including the mussels, crab soup, crab cakes, raw oysters, crab dip, calamari and much more! I really recommend the grilled seafood salad and the crab soup. Make sure to also try their feta corn on the cob.
Nick’s Fish House, Port Covington: When it comes to seafood, Nick’s has it all. If the name Nick sounds familiar, yes it’s the same owners from the Cross St. Market location. I recommend the calamari, crab cakes, mussels and lobster grilled cheese.
Porters, Federal Hill: Everything on the menu is good, but for meat-free options try the mussels, flatbreads, salads and many of their entrees like the boulibase-style risotto, which is loaded with shrimp, mussels, crab and white fish with a tomato broth and garlic crouton… yum!
I hope that gives you some good advice to help exclude meat from your diet for upcoming religious holidays. I have to stop typing, I’m getting too hungry!