M & S Grill
201 East Pratt Street
Meal: Lunch for one with non- alcoholic beverage & tip: $15.55
Web: Right Here
A weekday business trip to Baltimore, aka “Charm City”, offered an opportunity for a quick lunch downtown near the famous Inner Harbor. Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train from Philadelphia was a bit late in leaving but it didn’t put lunch in jeopardy. Not having all that much time to wander the area and choose among the many restaurants in the area, my business colleague and I decided on the M&S Grill. It is located on busy Pratt Street right at the Inner Harbor and is a relatively easy ride from Penn Station. Once inside it looked vaguely familiar, the dark paneling, brass & glass surroundings. Likewise I thought that the oval logo and initials reminded me of Mc Cormick & Schmick…and as it turned out I was correct! So much for those senior moments. Since it was still early at 11:30 there was no problem in finding a place to sit. A booth with a view of Pratt Street did the trick and our waitress soon appeared with the menus in hand.
After a quick look at the menu I decided that I wanted a hot meal that would carry me through my several hour meeting, plus the train ride back north. There were about 10 appetizers to choose from that started at $8.95 for Asian Style Beef Short Ribs or half dozen Oysters on the Half Shell for $11.95. I also checked out the Soups and Side Salads and there were 8 of them, including a regionally appropriate Maryland Crab Soup for $4.50 a cup or $5.95 for the bowl. However it was the Blue Plate Specials that ultimately caused me to make my selection for the Home Style Meatloaf with Beef Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables. At $9.95 the price couldn’t be beat. My business associate selected a bowl of the Classic French Onion Soup for $6.95 and a Roast Turkey Club Wrap for $9.95. I munched on the crusty bread while he enjoyed his soup. When our lunch orders arrived I saw two liberal slices of the meatloaf crown the “taters”; on the side were Carrots & Peas. It was a meal that Aunt Bea could have made for Opie! The food was appropriately warm, and the meatloaf was juicy and I found no fault with the vegetables. However the mashed potatoes were a bit disappointing, needing more butter and milk. Although adequate they should have been a bit more comforting on this chilly day I thought.
Service was good, and my colleague rated his lunch as satisfactory. Every week day there is a different Blue Plate Special with a common price of $9.95. This includes Prime Rib French Dip with Au Jus and “fries”, Herb Crusted Marinated Half Chicken with Roasted Veggies or a Seafood Stir Fry with Teriyaki Sauce and White Rice. The menu offers five Entrée Salads starting at $13.95 for the Traditional Cobb and also a Marinated Hanger Steak Salad for $14.95. There are about nine sandwich selections including Lump Crab Cake at $14.95 or a grilled half pound Cheeseburger for $9.95. Seafood and pasta selections round out the offerings. Wines by the glass are available starting at $6.95. The wine selection is extensive with Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc’s, Pinot Grigio’s, Chardonnay’s, Pinot Noir’s, Red’s, Shiraz’s and Merlot’s. I would return to this establishment if I am in the area again, and lunch seems to offer exceptional value for the money. Since this was my first visit, I would give a rating of 2.75 Chews to the M&S Grill.
Pop Pop’s Score: 2.75 Chews
Subjective rating: Not too fishy.
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