Martick’s Restaurant Francais in Baltimore

January 4, 2008

Martick’s Restaurant Francais

Martick’s Restaurant Francais is a unique restaurant, which many people come to thinking one way, but leave thinking the complete opposite. It is located on Mulberry Street between North Howard and Park Avenue, which is a one-way street going westward, so you may need to round the block before getting onto the right block. It is located in a neighborhood which is fine during the day but can get a little rough at night. The building which looks old and dilapidated, many people pass and do not think of as a restaurant and assume it is a bad restaurant because of its trappings. Due to the surrounding neighborhood, there is a doorbell which you have to ring to get inside. As soon as you ring it, the mailslot to the left of the door opens and the door opens. The interior can be called kitsch, eclectic or weird, but it is authentic. The building which was owned by Morris Martick (the owners) parent’s was originally a speakeasy that fronted as a grocery store during prohibition, and retains the original lamps, tile floor and bar. The walls are covered in a snakeskin-pattern wallpaper while the roof is black-painted tin. Morris Martick lives inside the house, does all the cooking by himself upstairs and is helped by waiters as well as his sister, Rose who calls him “Marty.” Besides doing all the cooking, the octogenarian Morris picks up all the ingredients daily in his pickup truck and will not cook a meal if the ingredients are not fresh or available. Various antique wooden French statues line the walls, and a large Espresso machine from the 1890’s, which can still operate occupy space inside the restaurant. Morris Martick was born inside this house, and ran it as a bar populated with the beat-crowd during the 50’s and 60’s, until he became fed up by behavior brought on by alcohol and he went to France returning in 1970, to open the first French restaurant in Baltimore. Various internet sites say that the dress code is jacket and tie, but when we called he said that casual was fine, so before you go, ask Mr. Martick what the dress code should be. Due to the surrounding area, most diners come at 6 or 7pm. The specialties are the pate, the sweet potato soup, rack of lamb, bouillabaise and the profiteroles. You must visit this restaurant before it closes as it is one of Baltimore’s only remaining institutions as the Chesapeake, Marconi’s, Haussner’s all have closed. Mr. Martick’s complains about cooking to his sister, Rose, the waitress, but she insists he will do nothing else. However, he is 85 and life tends to shorten at that age, but his cooking continues to be the best French cook, if not best cook in the city.

Facing the back of the restaurant

Another view of the restaurant

The rear of the restaurant

The Bread Lady Statue

Sweet Potato Soup-7

Lamb Chops with Horseradish Sauce and Potatoes

Beef Burgundy

The best Profiteroles that I have ever had!

Other food on the menu that I could remember:

Garlic Bread
New Zealand Green Lip Mussels
Shrimp Cocktail
Seafood Salad
Cheval Salad
House Salad
Portobello Salad
Roast Duck
Rack of Lamb
Beef Burgundy
Large Sea Scallops
Persian Chicken
Salmon Florentine
Peach Bread Pudding
Raspberry Torte

Martick’s Restaurant Francais
214 W. Mulberry St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Tues-Sun: 5pm-11pm


Brasserie Tatin in Baltimore

December 30, 2007

Brasserie Tatin

Brasserie Tatin reminds you more of a contemporary French restaurant located in Manhattan, than a old bistro located in Paris. However, the food is spot on French. Unlike Petit Louis, located less than a mile away, Brasserie Tatin is authentically French but with a dash of creativity. It is located in the Broadview apartment building near Johns Hopkins and pulls a clientele of JHU teachers and staff as well as Roland Park/Guilford/Canterbury residents, both groups of which love (and can) spend. However, you do not have to spend, as the menu can support a $30 meal, but can be stretched into a soup-salad-entree-dessert four course meal. The orange-blue decor seperates it from most French restaurants who try to be French but lose an individual spirit, which is the hallmark of a Parisian restaurant.

Salade Caesar Tatin ($6.50) was a classic Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce, grated Parmesan, croutons with a delicious dressing, which is uncommon for me, as I do not usually like salad dressings.

Steak Frites ($22) is a Hanger Steak (authentic French!!) with delicious handcut French Fries

Tarte Tatin ($7.50) is the signature dessert of the restaurant, as well as what it is named after. The Tarte Tatin is a caramelized apple tart served with one scoop of cream and another scoop of vanilla ice cream (behind apple shaped cracker).

Brasserie Tatin
105 W. 39th Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
Dinner: Sunday – Monday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am – 2:30pm

Hotel Raphael in Paris

December 26, 2007

All these pictures are available at:

The Hotel Raphael, unlike other expensive hotels in Paris was not built as a palace and then converted to a hotel, but was built as a hotel in 1925. The guest rooms, all of which are shaped different and furnished with antiques each have character which seems to have disappeared with the emergence of the chain hotel. The hotel is located in the posh yet quiet 16th arrondissement district which is the home to the mansions of the Parisian riche and many financial firms (not a coincidence). It is located the Avenue Kleber, which radiates from the Arc de Triomphe and is located a few blocks away from the Champs-Elysees. Its not the Crillon or the Ritz, but this hotel is reasonable yet having the class and luxury of hotels, twice its price.

View of the Hotel Raphael from the south

Lobby of the Hotel Raphael

Street entrance of the Hotel Raphael

Portrait of the original owner of the Hotel Raphael

One of the many tapestries placed throughout the hotel

Staircase of the Hotel Raphael

Stained glass located on each of the stairways

Double room at the Hotel Raphael

Double room at the Hotel Raphael

The rooftop bar/restaurant that gives great views of Paris, night and day

Hotel Raphael matchbook, availabel in all rooms, bars and restaurants in the hotel.

Hotel Raphael
17 Avenue de Kleber, 16th
Paris, France
Matchbooks: yes

Paris Restaurants: Angelina, Brasserie Lipp, Laduree

December 25, 2007


Going to Paris and not going to Angelina would be like going to New York City and not getting a slice of pizza. Located in the arcades of the Rue de Rivoli opposite the Louvre, it has been serving hot chocolate and pastries for almost 100 years. Angelina with gilt, marble covered tables and the copious amounts of mirrors creates an atmosphere that is not stuffy at all. Even with the opulent interior, casual attire is fine but business casual often receives you better service. Angelina serves breakfast, lunch and light dinner and is a great respite from the crowds and pushing of the nearby Louvre. It is difficult to get a table from about 12pm on, but if you arrive early, a table is often available for the taking. The L’chocolat Africains (6.80 eur), a thick hot chocolate is the special here as well as an accompanying Mont Blanc (8.60 eur).

Pommes Frites (5 eur) (french fries) at Angelina

Pommes Frites (5 eur) and Tarte aux Pommes (5.10 eur)

L’Chocolat Africains (hot chocolate) with whipped cream (6.10 eur)

226 Rue de Rivoli, 1st
Daily: 10:30am-5:30pm
Credit cards accepted

Brasserie Lipp

This brasserie, called by some the best in Paris, has had a big reputation. Ernest Hemingway was the first man to drink here, after its liberation in 1944, and the owner, before it was purchased, used to choose who would get a table and who wouldn’t. The restaurant has character, as the sign on the door says “no shorts” in English, which is definitely designated towards Americans. The specialty is the choucroute garnie, which is a mixture of ham, bacon and sausages over sauerkraut and potatoes.

Brasserie Lipp
151 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th
Daily: 12:15pm-12:45am
Credit Accepted


Laduree, the Parisian café has three locations throughout Paris, two are antique and one is modern. I went to the modern one, which is located on the Champs-Elysees. It is located on the ground floor of a building that had scaffolding and hid most of the beautiful exterior. The restaurant’s color was mint-green and used dark wood and gilt, where green would not be appropriate. The specialties of the café were the pastries and without a doubt, were the best that I had in Paris. This café seems to be the most popular for tourists, especially those from Asian countries who have seemed to have built a following for Laduree.

French Toast in upper left background, Croissant and Tarte aux Pommes (apple turnover), iced tea (very bitter tasting), and omelette in upper right background.

75 Avenue des Champs-Elysses, 8th
Daily: 7:30am-12:30am
Credit accepted





Paris Architecture

December 24, 2007

All these pictures can be found at:

Arc d’Triomphe

Notre Dame

Berthillon (best ice cream in the world!)

Mansion on the Champs-Elysee

Musee d’Orsay

Clock inside Musee d’Orsay

Houses facing the Hotel Raphael

La Conciergie on the Ile de la Cite

Looking east down the Rue de Rivoli

Hotel de Crillon

Le Louvre des Antiquaires

Place Vendome

Branch of La Samaritaine, the Parisian department store

Legion of Honor Museum

Looking west down the Rue de Rivoli

Palais Royal