What You'll Get
Hungry stomachs are forced to contemplate cooking their own food while our brains are busy plotting ways to make Hollywood starlets fall in love with our ungainly cousins. Quell an insurgent appetite with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of eclectic international cuisine at Mr. Rain's Fun House, located on the third floor of the American Visionary Art Museum near Federal Hill Park. This deal is valid for dinner only and may not be used toward take-out.
Mr. Rain's Fun House upholds the aggressively creative ethos of the American Visionary Art Museum, offering strangely innovative entrees and elixirs within a zany, aesthetically stimulating dining room. Chef Bill Buszinski, formerly of the beloved Sputnik Café, has packed the house’s menu with culinary experimentation and traditional American cuisine with clever twists. Munch on a pile of fried chicken cooked Filipino-style, braised in adobo, and served with green papaya ($16). Families can forget arguments about remote-control-ownership rights while they share the hog roast platter, a barbecue feast with peppery tasso ham ($38). From the drink menu, five types of sangria tempt diners; sip the sherry concoction for a taste of Regan's orange bitters and orange pekoe tea ($11).
The waitstaff, who wear Western shirts and aprons, will attentively help any indecisive diner choose an entree to soothe his or her stomach and or superbly complement the house décor. Shiny, flashy pendants dangle from the ceiling, and the rest of Mr. Rain's Fun House explodes with a cavalcade of images and bright, psychedelic colors, including a pink-and-orange-painted wall that, when stared at for 40 minutes, reveals a 3-D image of Christian Slater driving a dune buggy.
Mr. Rain's Fun House is closed on Mondays.
Mr. Rain's Fun House has been featured by Style magazine, Charmed magazine, and City Paper. Five OpenTable diners give Mr. Rain's Fun House a 4.2-star average, and eight Yelpers give it an average of four stars:
- …it’s eclectic in the best sense of the word – Style
- While the food and drink take center stage, the eclectic décor combining art, culture and tradition help to create a memorable dining delight. – Charmed
- If Tim Burton designed a restaurant, it would be Mr. Rain's Fun House. – Mary K. Zajac, City Paper
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Jul 12, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person. Limit 1 per table. Valid for dinner only. Dine-in only. Must use in 1 visit, no cash back. Not valid with other offers. Tax and gratuity not included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Mr. Rain's Fun House
Mr. Rain's Fun House appears to have witnessed a stampede of exotic animals. On the curved surface of one wall, a flamboyantly colored sculpture of a walrus head stares from between two equally glitzy cows. There are no flowers on the tables—instead, peacock feathers wind upward from curlicued metal bases. Then there's the menu, which offers wild boar and pheasant sausage alongside housemade sauerkraut. From the rohan duck breast to the ruby-red trout, the entrees seek to capture the eye as much as the decor does, a fitting goal for a restaurant located on the third floor of the American Visionary Art Museum.
Bill Buszinski doesn't consider his methods entirely avant-garde, however. The self-trained chef grew up on a 200-acre farm, where he learned the value of made-from-scratch meals and the importance of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs when entering a 100-acre cornfield. His selection of seasonal dishes therefore relies on locally sourced meat and produce. Beverage director Perez Klebahn collaborates with Bill to invent handcrafted cocktails that complement the rotating plates, such as the To Autumn: Jameson Irish whiskey, acorn-squash liqueur, apple cider, Suze bitters, and lemon juice. Maria Buszinski rounds out the staff with her penchant for quirky art design, helping arrange a communal dining space that also hosts "pop-up" gallery shows and events from area artists.