Fed Hill Favorite.
When I am in Federal Hill for work once a month, I make it a point to head to Sobo Cafe for lunch. I can always rely on quick, friendly service and the food is always fresh. The sandwiches are prepared at the bar and are packed with meat for a great price. My favorite has to be the hot italian. The sides (potato salad, pasta salad) are homemade. A great place to eat that is slightly off the beaten path.
I've had the mac and cheese here and was pleased, but after eating here the other night I wish I'd stayed home. At 6pm my brother and I approached the restaurant, the Open sign was out, the lights were on, the door was unlocked. We walked in only to be shooed away by 2 flustered, irritated waitresses who said they needed 20 more minutes. We came back exactly 20 minutes later (we were hungry) and ordered. Our waitress was still in panicky, overworked mode, and couldn't even fake a smile. We both ordered the mobtown strip steak, and they were a burnt, gristly, chewy mess. The horseradish-sour cream sauce was a huge let down. It basically tasted like extra-sour sour cream, and not in a good way. This was probably the worst steak I've ever had. I won't be eating at Sobo again...
enjoyable atmosphere, even better food.
Based on a friend's recommendation, I took my boyfriend to Sobo cafe for a low key dinner. Neither of us had dined there previously and we both left impressed and eager to eat there again. The atmosphere is funky and upbeat (plenty of room around the tables, vibrant yellow walls, and displays of original, local art), the service adequate, and the food very good. We had the house and ceasar salads, the Baltimore strip steak (seasoned just right and topped with a dallop of blue cheese), and meat muffins (their version of meatloaf, quite herb-y and light, baked in muffin tins). The food was quite good and just what I was in the mood for. We'll definitely be back; I hear the mac-n-cheese is to die for.
My favorite place in Federal Hill.
Ok, so the art on the walls isn't exactly Met quality but the food makes up for the decor and the service. The waitresses are nice but they're not in any hurry to attend to you. This is also not a place to go if you're looking for a quick bite, prepare to wait for your food. But that's ok, the food is the best around.
The menu changes contantly but the mac and cheese is always there, as is the chicken pot pie. They give you a lot of food for a little $!
"Meat muffins" on the menu....
The food is always great...have never had a bad meal, but the staff is WAY hipper than you ever will be, and can't really be bothered with making you happy. The climate control leaves something to be desired...very hot in summer, sometimes cool in winter, but the best mac and cheese in Baltimore is worth a bit of discomfort, right? Regardless, have always walked away full and happy, and feeling like we just got a great bargain! Very good food, very good value.