Latino restaurants are clearly the Next Big Thing, but authentic places haven't exactly proliferated in this area except for the small businesses in East Baltimore. That may be changing. We saw the excitement generated by the Mari Luna Latin Grille in Pikesville. Now the South American Grill (574 Cranbrook Road, 410-628-0188) has opened in the Cranbrook Shopping Center in Cockeysville. (This is where the Ugly Muffin used to be.) Owner/chef Arlin Bleclic's wife, Anna Paula, is a native of Brazil, so the menu, he says, "leans toward Brazilian dishes."
The place is casual, with prices running from $7 to $16. The house specialties are a signature steak, picanha (a rump cut); Brazilian fried snacks; and yuca fries.
An offbeat feature of the grill is a sort of do-it-yourself "style meal." You pick the meal - a platter, wrap, sandwich or bun. Then you pick the filling or meat. Finally, you pick what style you want (in other words, what South American country's way of preparing it).
The South American Grill, which is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, is BYOB.
Cuadrado on North Avenue Sometime this fall, which will be here quicker than you think, Joe Edwardsen of Joe Squared Pizza will be opening another Latino restaurant, Cuadrado, at 128 W. North Ave., across the street from his pizza place. Cuadrado, which means "square" in Spanish, will be a barbacoa, serving smoked meats wrapped in banana and agave leaves, seasonal ceviche and other South American dishes, with the emphasis on Mexican. Live music and a tequila bar will be part of the mix.
The space needs major renovation - that's why it's taking so long - but when it's finished, there will be seating for some 120 people.
I asked Edwardsen about parking; he's leased a lot behind the building, Joe Squared customers will be glad to hear.
At Dogwood Last November, I reported that Christian deLutis, the chef best known for his artistry at Locust Point's Wine Market, had returned to the U.S. after spending some time in Ireland. He ended up in the kitchen of Brasserie Tatin in Homewood, where he planned to work until he could open his own place. I'm sure he didn't expect Tatin to close at the end of the year.
I didn't hear anything more about deLutis until recently, when I found out he's now at the well-regarded Dogwood in Hampden. I guess that's not so surprising, considering that both he and Dogwood owner/chef Galen Sampson worked at Hampton's in Harbor Court when it was the most prestigious dining room in town.
Adios, Angelina's Although Angelina's on Harford Road hadn't been the restaurant it once was for several years, it was still sad to hear that this Baltimore fixture had closed and was being auctioned off next Wednesday, along with its famous crab-cake recipe.
Interestingly, the crab cakes from the original recipe will still be sold over the Internet by Angelina's of Maryland at crabcake.com - why didn't I buy up that domain name a long time ago? Apparently, the Web business split from the restaurant a while back.
D.J. Ruggles, one of the managing partners, told me that the original owner's family was still ordering its crab cakes from his site.
Pazo's people in N.Y. Pazo's executive chef Michael Costa and Tony Foreman, owner and wine director of the Fells Point Mediterranean restaurant, were scheduled to hold a six-course tasting menu at New York City's James Beard House last night. The menu showcased modern and traditional Catalan cooking.
deal of the week
Where: Sushi Sono, 10215 Wincopin Circle, Columbia
The deal: A third off select menu items for the month of March: for instance, spicy tuna roll for $3.66, salmon sashimi for $3, and an Alaska roll for $3.33. Specials will vary, depending on the availability of fresh fish.
Sushi Sono regularly gets one of the top food ratings in "Zagat Surveys."