Lunchin’, brunchin’ and munchin’ with the bobbleheads

Written by on May 5, 2011 in Baltimore Bites - No comments

UNIQUE MASCOT-A gator and a steamed crab are among the ecletic decor at Canton Dockside. (There is also a rather impressive collection of bobbleheads lining the upper shelves). Hours of operation are Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11a.m. - 11 p.m. There is a happy hour at the bar from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. The website, which includes menu and other info, is http://cantondockside.com.

It was a little chilly to sit outside on the crab deck when we visited Canton Dockside, down by the water and the First Mariner Tower, so we sat inside. It’s a large dining room that is a cross between supper club and sports bar, with murals of Baltimore scenes like Fort McHenry and Johns Hopkins Hospital, an impressive display of bobblehead dolls and six television screens tuned to every possible permutation of ESPN and FoxSports.

The color scheme is earth, the lighting fixtures are Jetsons-esque, and just about everyone has a good view of the open kitchen at the south end of the room. It’s very pleasant and comfortable.

There is a long bar on the east end of the room, separated from the diners by a low wall. Judging from the bottles behind the bar you can name your cocktail and they can make it.

We could definitely see ourselves sitting at the bar with a cold beer and a couple of orders of wings or crab balls.
Alas, it was lunch and we had to go back to work, so we did not challenge the barkeep. Instead, we tried the seafood club sandwich ($12), and the steak salad ($11.95).

The seafood club was served on toasted white sandwich bread, and was a thin slice of grilled salmon topped with several Old-Bay laced plump large shrimp. A couple of slices of bacon, and lettuce and tomato on the side, completed the tasty sandwich.

The fries on the side were crisp but soft inside, and nicely seasoned. You can also order fruit or greens on the side.
The flat-iron steak was grilled rare, as requested, and sliced thin over mixed greens with grape tomatoes and sliced cucumbers. The blue-cheese dressing was good and sharp and generously served.

While Canton Dockside specializes in seafood, as its name suggests, it has the full Baltimore restaurant menu—bar snacks and starters like crab pretzels, crab balls and buffalo wings; cheesesteaks, melts and club sandwiches; burgers topped with everything from grilled onions, hot peppers, blue cheese or marinara sauce; and a full array of entrees, including steaks, finfish, Chicken Chesapeake, ribs and of course crabcakes.

There is a low-priced kids’ menu that will satisfy all but the most picky of kids—burger, chicken fingers, fish strips, noodles or grilled cheese, each $5.

We finished up with Canton Dockside’s version of a Smith Island cake ($5), which was not as multi-layered as the original, but very pleasant sponge cake topped with vanilla whipped cream, strawberry puree and butterscotch.

Prices are reasonable, and while the restaurant tacks an 18-percent tip on every meal, it’s up front about it, stamping each check in red ink, so you can’t possibly double-tip unless you are seriously not paying attention.

The deck, on the west side of the building on the water, is very tempting, even when the temperature is stuck in the 50s. We’ll be back to try the crabs which are, incidentally, available year-round. Canton Dockside also offers good old Baltimore steamed shrimp by the pound.

Lunch for two came to $41.73 including tip.

Canton Dockside is open Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Happy hour is 4-6 p.m. daily. http://www.cantondockside.com/

by Jacqueline Watts
editor@baltimoreguide.com

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