I like to walk around Baltimore’s Hampdenneighborhood on Sunday mornings with my dog, Mr. Jefferson for exercise and during the holidays to see the characters of the area! Walking does build up an appetite and after checking out the kiddies and adults in costume, I started thinking about dinner options that would work with the dog in tow. At first, I thought carry-out might be the default choice or perhaps my go-to option — Angelo’s for pizza.
As it started to rain, I looked longingly at the enclosed porch at Rocket to Venus. They were so kind and let me in with the puppy! Their menu is eclectic and fun — as befits Hampden — conducive to drinking potent cocktails with.
I started with a “Spicy Maria,” their house version of the Bloody Mary. Yeah, I know it was nighttime, but it was Halloween — a more laid-back night — and their drink looked fun! It was garnished with a jalapeno slice, a cube of cheese, a slice of salami, a green olive and a cornichon, rimmed with Old Bay. It’s powerfully spicy! You might want to have something creamy on hand or some bread.
Their fried pickles are really good quality deli spears with a great, crunchy crust . . . more like the kind you find on fish and chips than the soggy kind associated with fried pickles. It’s served with chipotle ranch dressing.
There was a special that night of grilled NY Strip with truffle shoestring fries and red wine beef juice. The dish satisfied a little gourmet hankering; the steak was very juicy — even without the jus — and had good grill flavors.
They serve a bahn mi, which my husband likes to order:pickled carrot & daikon \ jalapeño \ lettuce \ cilantro \ cucumber \ mint aioli \ baguette\ choose: country pate \ bbq pork\ grilled chicken \ blackened catfish \ beef bulgogi \ tofu \ kimchi. Though there are several options, he always likes the traditional country pate filling.