The service problem reared its ugly head again during dessert. A dish of rice pudding ($3.75) arrived lukewarm, late, and with only one spoon, though we'd made clear that two of us were planning to share. Getting a second spoon took more than five minutes — and the help of a neighboring table's waitress.
Still, the staff's friendly attitudes outshined the spotty service problems. And with a menu filled with well-executed traditional seafood dishes, Costas, like Maryland, is for more than just crabs.
Back story: Opened by Costas Triantafilos in 1971, Costas Inn has been a Baltimore landmark for more than four decades. Though Costas is mostly known for its steamed crabs and crab cakes — which are shipped all over the country — the restaurant's other entrees also deserve attention.
Parking: Lot in front
Signature dish: Given Costas' status as an institution among Baltimore crab houses, it's no surprise that dishes involving crab are good ones. Try the chicken imperial: creamy crab imperial sauce elevates a simple (but nicely cooked) chicken breast to special-occasion food.
Where: 4100 Northpoint Boulevard
Contact: 410-477-1975; costasinn.com
Open: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday
Credit Cards: All major