This is my 2nd visit to The Avenue Kitchen and Bar in under about a month. Located in the heart of Hampden, this place may have become my favorite restaurant in the city. For starters, every day from 2pm-7pm is a happy hour. And the deals going on during this happy hour are insane. $1 Oysters, $2 off Draft Beers and $5 Crushes, just to name a few. Another reason is their philosophy of fresh ingredients. After speaking with one of the owners last Friday, they take all of the areas freshest and best ingredients to use for their dishes. Knowing that the steak you’re about to eat comes straight from a farm in Southern Maryland or fresh Chesapeake Bay Scallops and Crabs, it makes the meal way more enjoyable.
So my first time here I didn’t know what to truly expect. But the overall experience blew away all original expectations. The ambiance and atmosphere were great, not to quiet not to loud, the perfect amount of lighting, and a great soundtrack in the background. Wait staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and then last but not least, the food stole the show.
To begin, and just making it to happy hour at 645, I ordered a half dozen oysters. Fresh from Maryland, the Skinny Dippers are a great oyster, and if you can find them near you I highly recommend getting a dozen. The 2nd appetizer I got was their house made biscuits. Yes folks, biscuits. But not any kind of biscuits. These biscuits were the size of dinner plates, and come with a home made honey butter that make these already melt in your mouth, flaky, biscuits even more amazing.
After devouring a biscuit the size of a child’s head and half dozen oysters, it was time to move on to my entrée. Again, like I said earlier, not knowing what to find, or to expect I was pulled in the direction of their pork spare ribs. What sold me was the coffee infused BBQ sauce. Made with a local coffee company Zeke’s, it was a blend of sweet, spicy and smoky, and that was the coffee making the flavor, the sauce brought a tang to the pork ribs, and this combo of flavors made that sweet succulent pork taste like heaven.
Now for visit #2. I don’t think i will ever not get biscuits and oysters for appetizers at this place. But I do want to try a couple of the other items like duck taquitos, grilled octopus, or their mussels. So on to the entrée. This time was a little different. I haven’t had a steak in a while, and the duck fat potatoes paired with the steak sounded amazing so I went with the cast iron new york strip. I love a good new york strip steak, but sometimes the quality of meat is a little suspect, and the meat can be too tough and too fatty. Well, not here. This steak was one of the best steaks I have had in a long long time. After speaking with the owner, he said the steak is the same cut and same provider that “The Prime Rib” uses, which is basically Baltimore’s version of Del Frisco’s. So when he said that, it made a lot of sense of why that steak was so god damn good.
FYI: MONDAY NIGHTS ARE NOW GOING TO BE $15 STEAK NIGHTS. Yep that’s right, this beautiful looking piece of meat can be in and around your mouth 15 bucks! I haven’t had that cheap of piece of meat in my mouth in about 3 weeks, when I was…..any way got a little side tracked. Oh yeah, try them out!!! You wont be disappointed!!!!