Burger Bros. Restaurant Review

April 25, 2008

I first heard about Burger Bros. in the Baltimore Sun “Live” section and I had to go. In the America of national fast food chains (McDonalds) and regional semi-chains (Five Guys), I enjoy going to a one-location restaurant more than the previously listed. As the name tells, it is run by two brothers, Michael and Timothy Murphy and is located on Allegheny Avenue in Towson.

As the name and the staff will surely tell you, the burger is what to get here. In the colorful shop, the menu lists chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, Portobello mushroom burgers, hot dogs and salads, but as with a restaurant with the word ‘Burger’ in the title, you may know what to get.

The burgers at Burger Bros. unlike Five Guys and other chains, are cooked on a charcoal grill, along with the other entrees. The burgers are sandwiched between Brioche buns, which are a good departure from the standard, white-bread bun. Although, the burgers usually are cooked too much for my liking, they still retain a juicy interior and are not that tough. The fountain drinks, come in two sizes, which doesn’t make much since, as it comes with free refills, which is handy, as you can refill your drink before you leave.

Hamburger ($4.99) and Medium French Fries ($2.79)

Hamburger ($4.99)

As you can see, the burger sits nestled between a Brioche Bun, but the burger was cooked ‘well done’, however, next time I will ask for it to be cooked medium/medium well.

Medium French Fries ($2.79) taste exactly the same as Five Guys fries

I hope Burger Bros. thrives in Towson and expands to other areas of Maryland, as its family-run atmosphere, gives a non-corporate character that is lacking in many modern restaurants.

And did I mention the Brioche Buns!

Burger Bros.
14 Allegheny Ave
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 321-1880


Midtown Baltimore Photography

March 17, 2008

The area that I photographed is the cultural center of Baltimore, with many of its stately townhouses, along with the Baltimore School of Art, Contemporary Museum, Maryland Historical Society and Walters Art Gallery. It is sandwiched on the north by Midtown and its townhouses and on the south by the Central Business District.

The Contemporary Museum

From the left to right: St. James Place, New Howard Hotel, Congress Hotel and Mayfair Theatre

A townhouse on W. Monument Street

The Enoch Pratt House

The Contemporary Museum from the Maryland Historical Society

A townhouse across from the Maryland Historical Society

The Winona Apartment Building

Another view of the Winona Apartment Building

The First Presbyterian Church (thanks for correction!)

Another view of the Grace and St. Peter’s Church

The entrance to the Grace and St. Peter’s school

Looking east down W. Monument Street

The Maryland Historical Society

Another view of the Maryland Historical Society

Station North/Penn Station/Charles North Area

March 16, 2008

The Station North/Penn Station/Charles North area that I photographed is located on the northern side of the Jones Falls Expressway, and is the target for gentrification and redevelopment. It is seen as a gateway from Midtown Baltimore, with its stately townhouses and Charles Village/Johns Hopkins area, with its intellectual students and faculty. The area, which had been depressed by white flight and suburbanization, still has many high quality townhouses and is being designated as a art zone by the City of Baltimore. Even though, a formerly vacant block stretching from E. Lanvale street and E. Lafayette street on Calvert Street was rebuilt with modern townhouses, much work remains to be done. The area seems to be held down by the Charles Theatre, where much of the redevelopment is based around.

The Railway Express Building

The Railway Express Building is a historically-designated building that sits across from the Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore, and was used to sort mail that was shipped in by train to Baltimore. No longer used for that purpose, it has been converted into loft condominiums.

The southeast view of the Railway Express Building

A closeup of the Railway Express Building’s decoration

Mount Royal Hotel and Apartments

The Mount Royal Hotel and Apartments; which are now all condominiums, face Penn Station on Mount Royal Avenue. The taller building on the left was used as a hotel and the shorter building on the right was used as apartments until they both were converted into condominiums.

A northwest view of the Mount Royal Hotel and Apartments

Entrance to the Mount Royal Hotel building

Mount Royal Apartment Building

Another view of the Mount Royal Apartment Building

The Chesapeake Restaurant

The Chesapeake Restaurant, located in a converted block of 4 (or 5) rowhouses was considered one of the best restaurants to dine in Baltimore. The restaurant was established in 1935 and was considered along with Haussner’s, Miller Brothers, Marconi’s and Tio Pepes as one of Baltimore’s best restaurants. . It closed in 1983, and was briefly reopened in 1986, but closed quickly after that.

The Chesapeake Restaurant Sign (“The Chesapeake: Fine American Cuisine”)

The Chesapeake Sign

This beautiful stained glass doorway was located on a rowhouse on E. Lanvale Street between St. Paul street and Hargrove Alley.

These townhouses are located on St. Paul’s street and Lanvale Street

Station North townhouses

The 32 Station North townhouses that are located on Calvert Street between Lanvale street and E. Lafayette street, are a bet on the revival of the Charles North/Station North neighborhood, they ranged from $378,000 to $502,000; however few sold. Prices were reduced to around $290,000 to attract more homebuyers.

The Garage

The Garage in Baltimore is a building that is currently being used by the University of Baltimore, but existed previously as a car dealership as this area used to be occupied by many. The building style looks fairly new, but it dates from the 1920/30’s.

The Tower Building

Looking west down Mount Royal Avenue

Looking down Charles Street
The Charles Theatre

The Charles Theatre is a movie theatre that shows mostly independent and art movies, but also shows movies that are considered high-quality and does research before selecting a movie to show.

The Charles Theatre

This block across from the Charles Theatre houses the Club Charles, Zodiac and a vintage diner.

The Walbert Building

The University of Baltimore

The Pennsylvania Station

The 51-foot aluminum statue by Jonathan Borofsky that stands outside Penn Station has been criticized as ruining the beauty of the Beaux-Arts station that sits behind it.

The lobby of the Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore

A bench in the Pennsylvania Station lobby

Pennsylvania Station stained glass ceiling

A letter box in the Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore

The waiting area in the Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore

One of the doors that lead down to the train terminals

A relief in Penn Station (Baltimore) that shows two babies/infants with fishing nets who just captured a large fish.

The outdoor waiting area at Pennsylvania Station

The back of Pennsylvania station from E. Lanvale Street

Werner’s Restaurant in Baltimore

February 17, 2008

Decades old diners often pride themselves as where your fathers ate, Werner’s can pride itself as where your grandfather ate. Werner’s Restaurant, located on E. Redwood street between Calvert and South streets has been a staple of the Financial District in Baltimore, where Redwood street was referred to as “The Wall Street of the South.” Operating since 1950, it was originally opened by the Kloetzi family who immigrated here from Switzerland. The Vickers Building where Werner’s is located was built in 1904, and sits across from the Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Building which itself was built in 1886. Werner’s is open for breakfast and lunch on Mondays through Friday from 7am to 2pm.

Rib Eye steak sandwich $9 (comes with 2 vegetables)

The Rib Eye steak sandwich with the bun facing upwards. (The bun was excellent)

Even though the average meal with entrée, sides and drink usually only comes out to about $10, it still remains a popular lunch spot among lawyers, financial-types, politicians, construction workers and tourists. You may have noticed it before in The Wire, where Mayor Carcetti and many other politicians and police officers meet. Even though the glitzy Inner Harbor and even glitzier Harbor East, attracts office workers for lunch, Werner’s still stays strong and I hope it operates for another fifty years.

Werner’s Menu (side 1)

Werner’s Menu (side 2)

Werner’s Restaurant
231 E. Redwood Street (located between Calvert and South streets)
Baltimore, MD 21202
Monday-Friday: 7am-2pm
Credit accepted: American Express, Mastercard, Discover Card, debit cards

Baltimore Westside Photography- Part One (Howard Street)

February 10, 2008

For a long time up until the 1960’s/1970’s, Howard and Eutaw streets were the main retail and entertainment districts of Baltimore. Filled to the brim with 3 department stores (Hutzlers, Stewart’s, and Brager-Gutman’s), 3 major theatres (the Mayfair, the Maryland (connected to Congress/Kernan Hotel) and the Hippodrome), it attracted travellers from around the country to its glories. Suburbanization and white/wealth flight pulled away its most valuable customers and the stores followed suit into the suburbs. For about 30/40 years, the stores have either layed empty or with low-end stores catering to a lower-income clientele. However, the City of Baltimore as well as the Baltimore Development Corporation and a gaggle of investors are re-investing in the area to create a revitalization similar to that of the Inner Harbor and HarborEast. They hope that pushing out the lower-end stores and rehabbing the storefronts as well as adding new buildings (condominiums, apartments, etc.) will breath new air into the area and revitalize it. However, only time will tell.

Part Two

The following pictures were taken on Howard Street:

St. James Place on the corner of Howard and Franklin streets

Another shot of St. James Place

St. James Place

St. James Place

Last shot of St. James Place with the Congress Hotel peaking out from the right

The Congress Hotel

The Mayfair Theatre

Western High School, now Chesapeake Commons apartments

Another shot of the Chesapeake Commons apartments

Chesapeake Commons Apartments
The Howard Street view of the Chesapeake Common Apartments

Looking east down Centre Street from Howard Street

Martick’s Restaurant Francais on Mulberry Street, 1 block from Howard

A close up of the tile front of Martick’s Restaurant Francais

Another shot of Martick’s Restaurant Francais

Looking west down Saratoga street

The United Optical Center building on the corner of Park avenue and Saratoga street

220-222 Saratoga Street

218 Saratoga Street

Maison Marconi on Saratoga Street, near Cathedral

A closeup of Maison Marconi on Saratoga Street

Looking down W. Saratoga street with the Providence Savings Bank on the left

Providence Savings Bank on Howard Street

Looking south on Howard Street with the Hutzler Brothers department store on the right

The newer addition to the now closed Hutzler Brothers department store

A closeup of the Hutzler Brothers department store entrance

Two buildings that were added to the Hutzler Brothers Complex

A closeup of the Hutzler Brothers department store entrance

The Hutzler Brothers building, which was built before the brick one on the right

Stewart’s department store, now converted into the world headquarters for Catholic Relief Services

Centerpoint Apartments on Howard and Baltimore Streets

An old bank that has been converted into a Kentucky Fried Chicken

Avalon Centerpoint Apartments on Howard and Fairmount Streets

The Baltimore National Trust building from Howard and Lombard streets

Apartments on 8 South Howard Street

Part Two of the Baltimore Westside Photography Set

Baltimore History Book Scans Part Three

February 9, 2008

Part one, Part two

The third part of the Baltimore History Books that I scanned:

The following images were scanned from Baltimore: Charm City by Dan Rodricks and Roger Miller

The White Tower Diner

The interior of the Alex Brown and Sons building

Haussner’s Restaurant

The following pages are scanned from Bygone Baltimore by Jacques Kelly

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company building

The interior of a 1880’s Baltimore mansion

The Rennert Hotel

The Rennert Hotel Dining Room (top) and the Congress Hotel (bottom)

The cornerstone laying ceremony for the Southern Hotel (top left page), the Lobby of the Southern Hotel (bottom left page) and the Emerson Hotel (right page)

The Maryland Theatres with the attached Congress/Kernan Hotel

The left page and right page that shows the Crystal Room in the Emerson Hotel

The following scans are from Baltimore: A Picture History by Francis Beirne and Carleton Jones

The Merchants Exchange and the Shot Tower

The Rennert Hotel

A group of female bicyclists and the interior of an Auchentoroly Terrace home in the 1880’s

Part one and Part two of the Baltimore History Books that I scanned

Baltimore History Book Scans Part Two

February 9, 2008

Part one, Part Three

The second page of the Baltimore History Books that I scanned:

These scans are from Lost Baltimore: A Portfolio of Vanished Buildings by Carleton Jones

The Baltimore Exchange and Custom House

The St. James Hotel

The Baltimore-American Building

The Fava Fruit Building

The Farmers and Merchants National Bank

The Rennert Hotel

The Altamont Hotel

The Marburg Tobacco Building

The Baltimore & Ohio Headquarters Building

The Emerson Hotel

The Metropolitan Savings Bank

The Old Sun Building

The Tower Building (Maryland Casualty Insurance)

The Colonial Trust Company

The McCormick & Company Building

This page is scanned from Greetings from Baltimore: Postcard Views of the City by Bert Smith

The McCormick Building and the Recreation Pier

This page is scanned from Baltimore Transitions by Mark Miller

Liberty Street looking north from Lexington Street (1918), notice the Rennert Hotel in the upper right hand corner

These pages are scanned from Baltimore: When She Was What She Used to Be by Marion and Mame Warring

Demolition of the Merchant’s Exchange

The Alex Brown and Sons Building on Baltimore and Calvert Streets

The Altamont Hotel

The Maryland Theatre attached to the Congress Hotel

The Rennert Hotel

Part one and Part Three of the Baltimore History Book scans