FLAVOR BAR & RESTAURANT
Review by Katie Ewles
Following the closure of the historic and well-loved ‘Midtown BBQ & Brew’ in the summer of 2015, the public mourned. Recent reports of a “topless bar” replacing one of my favorite go-to spots caught my attention, so I decided to investigate further.
Okay, so it turns out my friend (male friend) had excitedly misheard his informant, and the “topless” bar was, in fact, a “tapas bar”. Bummer for my friend.
Located in downtown Baltimore on Centre St, ‘Flavor’ is a restaurant, bar and lounge specializing in small dishes. One of the first things I noticed upon arriving at the location was the building itself, newly painted with a black and grey color scheme. The interior of the restaurant reflects a similar aesthetic: sleek, modern, clean, minimalist- very pleasing to the eye, but with no hint at all of any unique style or “flavor”.
We arrived at around 7:30 pm, hoping to get a feel for the atmosphere at peak dinner-time, however, it quickly became clear that there was not much ‘buzz’ to absorb- we were the only people seated in the restaurant, aside from a few loners at the bar and the restaurant employees.
The menu items provided an adequate variety of ‘flavors’ from which to choose, including an array of vegetarian options- great for my friend. While we were reviewing the menu, our waiter, although very friendly and professional, was clearly under-engaged by the lack of guests, and stopped by our table at least four times during our selection process- to be fair though, I am a slow at ordering!
I finally decided on the ‘Stoney Point Beef Sliders’, while my guest ordered the ‘Spicy Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower’ and a beet salad. I also ordered a ‘Chocolate-Hazelnut Adult coffee” from an extensive, and very tempting list of specialty drinks. The food and drink arrived in a timely fashion and soon cleared upany doubt that this place was lacking in ‘flavor’. My sliders were cooked just-right, and offered a new approach to the classic all-American burger with the exchange of a traditional bun for a house-made potato bun, and the addition of roasted garlic aioli. I also had to snag a bite of my guest’s cauliflower before he completely devoured the whole plate. Everything I tasted was absolutely delicious, though, the presentation left something to be desired- it seemed as though my burger had just been thrown together without much thought, and it was difficult to keep it from falling apart.
I left the restaurant mostly satisfied- the food was unique and ‘Flavor-full’, although the small portions did not fill me up. I might have considered purchasing two dishes to remedy this, however, the prices assigned to such small dishes did not allow me to. The service was great, though the premises are far too large for such a small operation and audience- previously a three-level bar, sports entertainment systems and dance floors had occupied the space. Although ‘Flavor’ is certainly not the everyday go-to spot that ‘Midtown BBQ and Brew’ was, they most definitely have their own unique selling-points, and would make an excellent spot for a more low-key, quiet and personal date-night or get-together with friends. It is unfortunate that they have come under the shadow of Baltimore’s beloved Midtown, and such, have clearly suffered in business and re-gaining and audience.
For more information about ‘Flavor Bar and Restaurant’ please visit their website www.flavorbaltimore.com.
Katie Ewles is a Baltimore-based writer, composer, vocalist, pianist and visual artist. You can find more of her work at www.katiethecreator.com.