ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Baltimore's best-kept secret restaurant? Mussel Bar and Grille by Robert Wiedmaier

Updated on July 18, 2016

There are some great restaurants in Baltimore's Harbor East neighborhood, but many are chain-owned. That means "cookie-cutter"! Robert Wiedmaier is an acclaimed Belgian chef who has opened several beloved eateries in the D.C. area. Now, Baltimore's feeling the love! Mussel Bar and Grille strikes that perfect Baltimore note of flavorful recipes in a relaxed setting. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

A block away from the touristy cluster of Harbor East, a casual world of polished wood meets industrial grit. There are several distinct sections, including a see and be seen bar area, quiet dating nooks and a television to watch the game.

Belgium has been known for its unique, hand-crafted beers since the time of the Crusades. Local drafts can be fun to sample -- and they do carry interesting regional beers -- but really, why not sip on suds that have been beloved all over the world? If you're not sure about what style you prefer, Mussel Bar and Grille offers flights that you can pick yourself or ask for some knowledgeable advice. Wiedmaier is a Belgian Beer Knight -- a great honor in that country.

Mussel Bar and Grille is said to be modeled after Belgian dive bars that Robert Wiedmaier used to frequent . . . but it's quite civilized!

Having been all over Belgium on three occasions myself, I have a good idea on what they eat. Some areas have more French influences and others have that simpler, heartier fare favored by the rural Dutch. At this restaurant, there's a good deal of tasty American and global fusion into the traditional fare, without being gimmicky.

In the category of good-better-BEST come deviled eggs. The ones you (and I) make at home can be tasty and are fun additions to parties. Some restaurants have topped the things with a bit of red pepper or crumbled bacon. Fine and better. But those creations might not inspire you to try yet another kind of the picnic fare . . . but you'd really be losing out! Their Deviled Hen Eggs have thick, rough-cut hunks of shaved prosciutto, thin slices of pepperoncini, red onion, goat milk feta and chili flakes. There's just enough interesting -- unusual forms of - heat, along with meatiness and cheesiness that elevates the eggs to an addictive level!

A dish that's kind of a cross between American picnic baked beans and French cassoulet is the Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly with hot pepper jelly glaze, apple salad, mustard and maple baked beans. This dish has a lot more heat! But the richness of the pork belly and sweetness of the apple salad provides balance and contrast.

Mussels are huge in Belgium. They offer a handful of different styles, including classic and funky takes on the dish. If you're not from Baltimore, you may not realize that Kennett Square, PA is local to us and also, considered the Mushroom Capital of the World. These are great fungi with subtle, earthy flavors that complement -- not overwhelm -- the seafood. The dish also includes chunks of rich, smoked bacon, as well as a thinner cream-fresh chives and thyme sauce. The fragrance is enticing and you're sure to want some bread to soak up the sauce!

Steak Frites is a "thing" in that part of the world . . . even if that steak is a Berkshire Pork Chop! That is a specially raised, extra rich meat. Feel free -- and be encouraged -- to order it medium . . . it's delectable that way. Be extra decadent and substitute their truffle frites topped with Parmesan cheese for extra flavor with the crispy potatoes.

Here's another secret that you may not have ordinarily ordered, but you simply must: their incredible butter cake. It's like caramel and brown sugar and cake all married to each other.

Right this week, through July 21, 2016, the restaurant is celebrating Belgian National Day (their 185th), with all kinds of specials, complimentary foods and lots of treats.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)