From the Dining@Large blog:
Not everyone loves the Ravens. Not everyone loves televisions in bars, lounges, and restaurants. Even with the sound off, there is always some lunatic at the bar doing that rhythmic clapping thing on a gain of three on second down.
This category was inspired by a comment from a D@L contributor named Spoons, who had grown weary of my tailgating reports. Thanks for that, Spoons, and also for providing some of the suggestions below.
So, here are my top 10 football-free zones. I was looking for places that are open on Sunday, for brunch and beyond. The Ravens aren't playing any 4 p.m. games this season (has that ever happened before?), but that doesn't mean the televisions are shut off.
For the record, I like watching football at places where everyone's watching the same game.
Chesapeake Wine Company -- D@L contributor KB suggested this one: "a Raven-free zone that is open until 6 p.m. on Sundays, and not only can you hang out and eat delicious cheeses with your wine in-house, the CWC is the rarest of all liquor-themed Baltimore rarities: You can also buy your booze there on Sundays, when all the liquor stores are closed." Well said, KB.
Donna's of Cross Keys -- I didn't know until just a minute ago that this Donna's location had instituted a Sunday buffet brunch -- "a bountiful Mediterranean table of fruits, cheeses, breakfast pastries, salads, seafood and meats, featuring steamed shrimp, smoked salmon and prime rib." Sounds delish, and the lunch menu is available, too.
Dukem -- I love this suggestion from Spoons, who says there's the "added bonus of an authentic Ethiopian coffee ceremony at 3 p.m. A caveat: I have yet to get in sync with the service at this Mt. Vernon Ethiopian cafe.
Gertrude's at the BMA -- Sunday (and Saturday) brunch here features an expansive menu of John Shields' Chesapeake cooking -- the Tilghman Island eggs is a variation of the classic Benedict, with fried oysters.
Golden West Cafe -- Hampden is one of the city's most sports-indifferent neighborhoods. A recent post on the cafe's Facebook page was promoting brunch specials like Mexican baked eggs with homemade chorizo and roasted red peppers and fried chicken and cheddar waffles with maple gravy.
Marie Louise Bistro -- The Mt. Vernon French bistro has been showing some legs lately. I like what I've been seeing.
Milton Inn -- The Milton Inn has been standing for more than two-and-a-half centuries before the Ravens came to town. On Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the restaurant offers an a la carte brunch or a $34 fixed price three-course brunch. Then at 4 p.m., the dining room re-opens for Sunday dinner. Spoons says: "makes you feel like you are in a Jane Austen novel - and the best Eggs Rockefeller I've ever tasted."
The Oregon Grille -- Another Spoons suggestion, the Baltimore County landmark serves Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then starts serving dinner at 4 p.m. Here's what got my endorsement -- the brunch menu lists a Hangtown Fry!
Rocket to Venus -- Another good Hampden option, Rocket to Venus serves brunch from noon until 7 p.m. on Sunday.Ze Mean Bean -- Always being discovered and re-discovered, this European-style cafe in Fells Point opens its doors for Sunday brunch at 9 a.m. Those are the scheduled hours anyway : European-style means sometimes the doors might open at 9:07 or 9:09.