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Restaurants & Bars 5

Rocket To Venus Review (B-more)

ko1 | May 16, 200809:16 AM

I emailed the menu to my wife yesterday and as soon as she saw the magical words "fried pickles" reservations were being made for last night.
There was lots of outdoor seatong and inside it was decorated in teal and black with very cool looking banquettes and generously spaced tables. The windows were porthole shaped ala Flash Gordon.
Seated at our table, the wife quickly ordered her beloved pickles as we perused the menu. My heart started racing when I saw 2 words I have never seen before on a Baltimore menu: banh mi, that king of sandwiches. Jane ordered the brussel sprouts and "shrimpies", little sliders of a sort of shrimp salad (the ground beef version are called wimpies). I got the pork dumplings and the banh mi. The fried pickles were 3 healthy dill spears in a crunchy batter with a chipotle ranch dressing. Not my thing, but the missus loved them. The brussel sprouts were plentiful, tasty, and crunchy, their bitterness tempered by balsamic vinegar. The pork dumplings were 4 fried potstickers, nothing special, but the bacon in them added a nice touch. Jane liked her 4 sliders and could only finish 2. The banh mi came on a rather chewy but good baguette. The sole meat was a thick slab of country pate garnished with lots of lightly pickled daikon, shredded carrot, mint and lettuce. Thai bird peppers were replaced by sliced jalapenos. No Kewpie mayonnaise, instead a spicy hot salsa on the side. It was sort of like banh mi on steroids. It won't make me forget the ones in Chinatown in Manhattan, but it was enjoyable and huge. Both sandwiches were accompanied by a mound of excellent dark brown fries which appeared to have been double fried to good effect.
For dessert, they offer Dangerously Delicious pies but we were too stuffed to try them. A nice selection of inexpensive wines with many offered by the glass. More food than we could eat for $43 plus tip including a glass of Merlot and a tonic water. Not earth-shattering, but solid and we'll be back. Service was very good, even with a full house.

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