Baltimore late-night food [Pictures]
It's late -- or early, depending on your perspective -- on a Friday or Saturday and, for whatever reason, you're still awake. And hungry. Whether you've been studying, working or -- gasp -- out at the bars, it's time to get your grub on in the worst way possible. Problem is, it's 2 a.m. or later, and almost every restaurant and carryout is closed. Fortunately, Baltimore does have some options for late-night diners. Sure, there's plenty of pizza and breakfast food -- but Baltimore's late-night culinary tapestry covers a wide range of bases, from Korean barbecue to Mexican fusion crepes.
Here are some solid options to explore in the Baltimore area, some time-tested and some brand new. Go forth and feast, night owls. In the end, your eyes may be bleary, but your stomach will be full.--Evan Siple
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Jong Kak( Evan Siple, Baltimore Sun / March 26, 2012 )
18 W. 20th St., Baltimore
Open till 4 a.m. daily
You might giggle trying to pronounce the name (try "TJoong-ga," it means "Bell Tower"), but Jong Kak's authentic Korean cuisine is sure to put a smile on your face.
Despite a language barrier, the proprietors at Jong Kak are masters of late-night food. Even at 3 a.m., Jong Kak is filled with smoke from the tabletop barbecues, the smells of sizzling bulgogi filling the air. The seats are full of lively patrons, but the crowd is significantly more relaxed than your typical pizza place at that hour, which is a nice change of pace.
The spices and flavors will give your taste buds and eyelids a jolt: a hot, spicy bowl of Yukgejang (shredded beef soup, $9.95) or seafood pancakes ($15.95), full of big chunks of fish and green onion. There's a lot to try on the menu if you're new to Korean cuisine. You and a few friends can pass around small plates of pickled broccoli, kimchi and a variety of other sides. Jong Kak is great for sharing and trying something new. For the less adventurous eater, the spring rolls are fine, too.
If you're feeling ambitious, pull the trigger on the full barbecue experience (which is pricey, starting at $55). It comes with a variety of marinated meats, cooked on an open flame, and numerous sides. It's enough food for at least four people. Careful though: Sometimes they slip tripe into the mix. Keep your eyes peeled if you don't like eating barbecued stomach.