Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Legally Closed

"The Berlin" and the three types of calamari: Regular, Rhode Island and Thai styles.

Baltimore's Legal Sea Foods will be closing.

That's the word from Nikki about the famous Boston restaurant's Baltimore outpost. They lost their lease and they're going to be out. Soon.

Perhaps it's a good thing then that we ventured to this national chain restaurant (or perhaps not). Legal Sea Foods has an interesting foot note in my life history. Back in 2003, while visiting Boston, I asked a bunch of locals where to go for great "New England Clam Chowder." I wanted the definitive experience. Everyone kept saying "go to Legal." Hmmm.

Here's my problem: I have a hard time going to a chain restaurant at home. Much more when visiting a different city. If I wanted to go to Legal Seafood, I would go to the one at home. It would be like going to Bangkok and only eating at the Cheesecake Factory there. Lame. I don't care that Legal started in Boston. There's got to be some small joint making fabulous chowder and I intended to find it. Which led us to a whole different adventure that I won't go into here.

On Nikki's recommendation: my sample platter of wild salmon, mahi mahi and tuna, topped with scallops.

"The Berlin" was in town on business and after a few terse moments considering Phillips at Harborplace (I am not a fan) and not wanting to leave the downtown area, I suggested Legal or McCormick & Schmick's as options and off to Legal we went.

It's been years since I had been to Legal Sea Foods and it wasn't bad. Not too inspired, but not bad. The three tastes of calamari were pretty tasty, the chowder was just okay and my sampling platter of mahi mahi, tuna and wild salmon was very tasty. Not to the point that I'm dreaming of returning, just good food nicely done.

It was a nice time with an old friend, some good food, interesting chatter, and Nikki even gave me her phone number.

When it rains, it pours...

"The Berlin's" Signature Crab Cake dinner.

Legal Sea Foods - Baltimore (CLOSED)
100 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202