Lauraville — a neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore — is home to Maggie’s Farm, what used to be Chameleon. The look as you enter has the same feel in the little cubby hole of a space. There’s more of an emphasis on offal on the tightly edited menu. You can find a vegetarian offering, but not a vegan one on the night I was there. I was quite pleased with the execution and general recipes/concept.
Fried green tomatoes at Maggie’s Farm
I started out the evening with an interesting non-alcoholic drink: Harney’s peppermint tea served with iced espresso. I slurped it down in about 5 seconds!
The fried green tomatoes are presented with house-made pimento cheese, country ham and basil aioli. The tomato crusts were the crunchy cornmeal (opposed to flour) variety. the dish was garnished with plenty of garden fresh herbs. The pimento cheese was chunkier, not runny, with a bit of heat. The ham was smoky and added salt to the dish. While I appreciate the new take on a southern traditional favorite, the basil flavors overwhelmed the other flavors, and thus didn’t work for me.
Brussels sprouts at Maggie’s Farm
Roasted Brussels sprouts are difficult to master . . . trust me, we’ve tried at my house. Maggie’s Farm has: theirs are crispy outside without getting a burned char flavor, tender inside. The guanciale adds the right amount of smoky salt flavor, while grapes are a genius addition, keeping the veggies sweet and moist.
Charcuterie plate at Maggie’s Farm
The charcuterie plate — which varies daily — must be the best kept secret in Baltimore! $15 gets you 3 meats, though you can add another on for $5 more. Their house-made scrapple is mild, not livery, crispy outside and moist inside the thin slices.
Duck liver on toast is enhanced by a slightly sweet bourbon bacon jam, with good meaty flavor.
Their head cheese is outstanding — I have recently had head cheese out of the area which was gelatinous. This head cheese is creamy and meaty, yet not gamy. It’s not “weird” at all, not an easy feat with head cheese.
House-made poblano sausage has a bit of heat, crisp natural casing, juicy meat inside.
One could make a dinner just of this small plate, easily!
Braised pork belly at Maggie’s Farm
The dish is served with rhubarb-b-q, buttermilk biscuits and fennel slaw. The pork was tender, sweet and fatty. The crisp fennel slaw was cut more like a cucumber salad, adding good contrast. Their biscuits were tender and buttery, with fresh herbs baked in.