In the kitchen of Cozy Cafe, cooks marinate chicken breasts in natural spices, craft spicy penne pasta to order, and pan sear southern-style turkey chops. After fully formed dishes pass through the kitchen doors, they travel to wooden tables or lounge-style seating in the restaurant’s dining area, which is brightened by a red accent wall and a flat-screen TV. Patrons can browse the Internet with their laptops or Atari 2600s, using complimentary WiFi while dining on Negril stew chicken and Caribbean-style tofu seasoned with island spices. On the first and third Sunday evening of every month, an open-mic night provides a showcase for musicians, comedians, and poets.
Baltimore City Paper named Santoni's the Best Grocery Store in the metropolitan area for good reason. A local staple since the 1930s, Santoni's is proud of its old-school roots and personal service. The friendly staff acts as one big family, either because they are blood related or because they are brothers and sisters in ritual kiwi juggling. Open 24 hours a day, Santoni's is the perfect place to catch the sunrise over a neatly kept stack of navel oranges.
MOM's Organic Market helps customers live healthier lifestyles, both at the dinner table and out in the world. Each store’s stock of nourishing eats avoids additives and preservatives—and cartoon packaging that markets to children—helping shoppers fill up on treats while eschewing unnatural chemicals. The store’s practices also encourage healthy living with green initiatives such as offering used-light-bulb recycling and hosting holiday-light recycling events. MOM's also helps offset the CO2 created by customers driving to and from their stores by purchasing TerraPass credits that help fund carbon-dioxide-reduction projects. Additionally, select stores house electric-car-charging stations that enable eco-conscious shoppers to fill up their batteries, reducing their need to hire cyclists to pedal their in-trunk generators.
Al’s Seafood—helmed by the Strzegowski family, who have been entrenched in the seafood racket for nearly 60 years—sates sea-fare seekers with its vast menu of oceanic victuals prepared with fresh, locally sourced fish. Starters such as the shrimp cocktail ($7.95) whet appetites in time for salad-and-veggie-furnished main courses, such as the crab imperial ($18.50) or the linguini-lassoed mediterranean seafood platter ($22.95). Cap’t Doc’s broiled seafood medley ($23.95) unites shrimp, crab, and lobster tail to create a partnership more memorable than Martin Van Buren’s alliance with the Ninja Turtles. Mouths can moor to shore with a bevy of land-based eats, such as the Cajun- or grilled-chicken sandwich ($6.25) or the roasted prime rib ($18.95).
For more than 20 years, Vince’s Crab House has drowned appetites in a menu of sandwiches and platters constructed from fresh-caught crab and seafood plucked from the Maryland coast. Dinner diners can initiate an epicurean voyage aboard a half-pound helping of crab dip topped with yellow cheddar cheese and accompanied by crispy pita chips or indulge in a duo of stuffed jumbo shrimp, filled to the tail with crab cake and crowned in crab imperial sauce.