Adam Greenberg refers to himself as “the world's pickiest eater,” which may explain Bagels 'n Grinds’ distinctive take on the celebrated baked good. Greenberg’s self-professed culinary perfectionism led him to create a secret 10-step bagel recipe that involves a colossal water-purification system, visible to patrons through a glass wall. With scientific precision and occasional mad-scientist cackles, the newly opened shop's staffers create 16 types of bagels that manage the tricky balance of crisp surfaces and soft insides.
Patrons can smear their bagels with low-fat, housemade cream cheeses infused with ingredients such as strawberries or lox, or opt for one of the café’s other creations, such as Bagnini sandwiches topped with piles of meat or marinated portobello mushrooms. Water from the café's purification system also goes into free-trade organic coffees and three different iced-coffee brews. Custom salads incorporate gourmet ingredients such as hormone-free chicken, candied walnuts, or toasted-parmesan crisps, while six distinctive soups are served in cups or bagel bowls. Non-edible amenities inside the new shop include free Internet access, a semi-private conference area, an 18-foot coffee bar, outdoor patio, and flat-screen TVs.
Café Einstein's chefs wield German roots, Swedish roots, formal training in Italy, and fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a weekly rotating menu of European fare that earned accolades such as "a work of genius" from the Baltimore Guide. Culinary journeys begin when diners strap on their tongues' fanny packs, sit amid exposed-brick walls and sconce lighting, and explore bites of appetizers such as the spinach frittata infused with smoked salmon ($9.95). Dinner entrees then take to the tables in shapes that may include edible skyscrapers of lasagna bolognese, in which a hand-minced, browned sirloin steak mingles with a homemade sauce of fresh tomatoes, carrot, organic milk, and onion ($15.95), and a meat-free version that piles up cheese and seasonal vegetables ($14.95). Diners can bisect the day with lunch bites of the curry wurst, a german frankfurter served with curry ketchup and a fresh-made pretzel roll ($8.95), or the pancake sushi, a savory german crêpe stuffed with spinach and cheese ($8.95). Desserts end meals with a sweet note and offer quarreling knights post-treaty bites to feed each other, with selections such as the black-forest cake, with rich chocolate, cherries, whipped cream, and Kirsch liqueur.
With today’s Groupon, $10 gets you $20 worth of any snack, smoothie, dessert, or drink on the menu at Firehouse Coffee Company and Cafe. One of the more cool and unusual places to chill in B-More, the café resides in a revamped Canton firehouse, constructed just off O’Donnell Square during the heyday of ghost-busting. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
At Wild Duck Cafe, good-timers trundle up to the dockside tiki bar to cheer a juggernautical parade of Baltimore specialties and near-daily entertainment. The menu boasts exotic starters such as the crab pretzel, a soft dough knot lurking beneath a canopy of crab dip and shredded cheddar, or the alligator bites, designed to bestow Captain Hook with the chipotle-ranch flavor of vengeance. Tuck into a main course of dish-dominating jumbo crab cake or elegantly sautéed beef tips in white-wine-garlic sauce. This riverside restaurant allows outdoorsy diners an alternative to terrestrial transport, with a 300-foot dock accessible by sailboat or pet beluga.
Sorso's menu features a variety of tasty Italian treats that will teach even the crudest of stomach growls to elegantly roll their r's. Start your morning right with a swift sip of organic espresso ($1.65), a creamy cappuccino ($3.35 for 16 oz.), or an icy frappe ($4.25 for 20 oz.). Sorso Cafe serves only Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. coffee, a company committed to quality and eco-friendly production practices. Calm your caffeine jitters with a hearty breakfast sandwich ($3.55), a refreshing yogurt and granola cup ($3.95), or one of Sorso's sweet pastries ($1.45–$1.95).
A coffee shop is a great place to get work done without being actively social but still feeling completely social. Use today's Groupon to be productive in the comfort of the crowd instead of alone at home. For $10, you get $20 toward anything edible and drinkable (does not include intangibly consumable events) at Peace & A Cup of Joe. You can snag up to three Groupons, which will be converted into gift cards the first time you head into the quaint, independent shop. These will act just as regular gift cards act, with composure and class. Groupons are also good toward daily specials.