4 Stars - Federal Hill/ Locust Point - $$$
Weeknight Out, Dinner-Date, and Upscale Dining
I had heard of HSB Café from someone who normally does business in Locust Point, but was never really drawn to check it out until I saw a restaurant.com coupon for it. (I will eventually do a post on the beauty of Restaurant.com ). I was a bit hesitant because entrees were a little more expensive than I would like to spend on a Wednesday – 17.95-26.95. However, the medium size menu did offer twelve entrees, and included every major category of meat.
Upon arrival, you no longer feel like you are in Federal Hill. The clientele is a little older and more blue-collar, with a couple yuppies sitting at the bar – and by the time we left surprisingly busy for a Wednesday. There are three options for seating - Bar, Bar/Dining area in an adjacent room, and the Dining Room (which actually looked quite elegant, and is separated by a closed glass door). We elected to sit in the Bar/Dining area which was a little bit on the noisy side.
We started with the Crab-Dip appetizer, which was a little disappointing. Small for 10.95, it came with sesame seed crackers to dip with, which tended to overpower the dip. We ended up using the bread basket for most of it. I had the Lime Chipotle BBQ Pork Loin ($16.95), and my friend had the Tokyo Tuna ($17.95). I really enjoyed the Pork, but it was definitely more aptly described as pork chops. The menu did not specify what would occupancy the pork – and it was served with mashed potatoes with bacon on top, and asparagus. The asparagus was the weakest part of my meal and tasted like it was made with a little Crisco. My comrade in eating had the Tokyo Tuna. I am no fan of fish unless it is bought from a store, covered in bread crumbs, and is 1-inch by 3-inches covered in tartar sauce. However, I was very impressed by the fish and the side of rice with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. His asparagus was much better tasting, but the rice and fish were extremely salty. I liked his meal more, however as he pointed out “I could have made this at home”.
Overall, HSB Café is a nice bridge for weeknight dinner out and upscale dining. The food was good, not great, but I really enjoyed the selection. The restaurant.com coupon for $25 helped to offset the above average weeknight dinner price – and they were not fussy about accepting it which is always a plus. An after dinner walk to Silo-Point and Latrobe park is a must, as Locust Point has a very different feel from federal hill, even though we share the peninsula.
On Tuesday's there is a slightly abridged Menu for 12.99. It is not yet known if you can use a restaurant.com coupon for this special.
This was a bit longer than I expected, and hope to be more precise in the future. Let me know if you have been to this restaurant and what you thought!The Federal Foodie