Monday, September 17, 2012

Restaurant Review-"Woodberry Kitchen"

My favorite restaurant in Baltimore is hands down Woodberry Kitchen.  The food is consistently fresh and delicious, and I really enjoy the atmosphere.  Though I've dined at Woodberry several times, their famous brunch had long eluded me.  Luckily, with a free afternoon, Ms. CCT and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Located in the renovated Clipper Mill complex, Woodberry has a very spacious room with loft-style seating at the top.  We have always been seated in the loft and specially requested it again this visit.  The second level offers unique people watching opportunities, and the tables near the railing offer quite a bit more elbow room than the downstairs dining room.

Great View From the Second Level
The brunch menu had quite a few good options, but we both quickly settled on our entrees and appetizers.  We had sampled the beignets at Spoons Cafe, our favorite breakfast spot in Federal Hill, so we were eager to try Woodberry's version.  These mini bites were exceptional and coated in large sugar granuals.  The accompanying fresh strawberry jam also made great dipping.

Beignets w/ Fresh Strawberry Jam
After dismantling the appetizer, we moved onto main courses.  Both of us agonized over what to choose, but in the end, my Southern roots took over.  I went with a basil mint coffee and a plate of their signature chicken and waffles.  Ms. CCT opted for the breakfast burger.

Basil Mint Coffee
Southern Chicken & Waffles
Gourmet Breakfast Burger
The basil mint iced coffee was delicious and consumed quickly.  I rarely drink the stuff, so this should prove how great a cup it was!  

My chicken was surprisingly not fried, and the skin texture was a bit odd for my tastes.  The dish was accompanied by a lot of fresh vegetables (leeks, carrots, corn) which made it much more conducive to a late lunch or dinner dish.  I enjoyed it, but this version of chicken and waffles is probably suited for another time of day.

Ms. CCT's breakfast burger was a bit unwieldy, but the fresh English muffin and ground beef were incredible.  In retrospect, I should have probably ordered it.

Though the coffee came right out, we waited....and waited...and waited for our entrees without notification from the staff.  When we pulled our waitress aside, she said that the dishes were "being plated as we speak."  After fifteen minutes or so, we grabbed her again, and she said they would be out promptly.  We still had to wait a few minutes before they were ultimately delivered to our table.

This is not the first customer service "hiccup" we have had at Woodberry Kitchen.  A while back for my birthday, we booked a 7:30 p.m. dinner reservation but were seated almost a half hour later.  The staff was very apologetic and even offered us complimentary flutes of champagne, a nice touch indeed.

Today, the staff was equally as accommodating and gave us two glasses of fresh orange juice along with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.  We even had a manager personally apologize to us at the table.  We weren't that bothered by the whole situation, just incredibly famished!  Luckily Woodberry knows how to put out these small little fires quickly and engender good feelings moving forward.

Fresh Orange Juice
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
After our meal, we decided to take a peek at the outdoor patio area.  The weather was perfect, so it was understandably crowded.  Next time we visit for brunch, we will most likely migrate from our preferred spot on the second floor to the outdoor garden.

Nice Outdoor Seating Area
Overall, Woodberry's consistency is what sets it apart from other spots in Baltimore.  They are constantly tweaking and tinkering with their menu, and the changes are always inventive and delicious.  When service issues arise, they are dealt with quite effectively.  There really isn't more you can ask for in a restaurant.  I hope to review the other two restaurants on my Top 3 list in the coming months, but hopefully this post gets your taste buds in high gear.

Until tomorrow, everyone!

-Charm City Traveler