Monday, July 09, 2007

Ale Mary's





On Saturday night we met up with Simone and her boyfriend at Ale Mary's for dinner. We've been wanting to go there, mostly because of the name, and because we heard the food was good. The kistch factor was in full effect with lots of Catholic school pictures and confessionals.


They offered a variety of beer (both local and national brands) and some different wines but think twice about asking if they have any cocktail specials featuring hard liquor, it really seemed to confuse the waitress. They do have a full bar, but don't expect any "house special" cocktails.
They have several appetizers, including the odd sounding Reuben dip. We all had it and it was surprisingly good: swiss cheese with bits of corned beef and sauerkraut, served with crackers and wedges of bread.
For our main courses the men had burgers (I had a bite-yummy and juicy) and Simone and I each had a crabcake sandwich. There was a bit of a bun to crabcake ratio problem but if you smushed it together a bit the crabcake spread out. The crabcake was tasty, but not quite Baltimore style and they didn't use lump crab meat like it was stated on the menu. The finer meat is fine taste-wise but it did have a fair amount of membrane in it (they should have picked it through better, and jumbo lump has less than backfin) and of course you don't have the little pockets of succulent crab that jumbo lump offers. Still, there wasn't too much filler and they kept it simple, which is a good thing. I just wouldn't take an out of towner there to experience a Maryland crabcake for the first time and I probably wouldn't order it again. If this is a permanent change, they should change their menu to reflect that or at least mention it when you go to order it. Baltimoreans take their crabcakes very seriously!


One fun thing was that instead of french fries, they serve tater tots, which I don't think I've had since grade school.


So, would I go back? I would, but I think I'd try a different sandwich. It is a good place to relax and talk with friends and the waitress wasn't too obvious in her attempts to get us to move on when we were done eating. It also wasn't too crowded, there was at least one large table free the whole time we were there, which meant it wasn't too noisy.