Wish Upon A Dish: John Stevens, Ltd. (Updated)

May 17, 2013

John Stevens, Ltd. (Updated)

Note from me: I booted my computer and found out that half the pictures I downloaded into Blogger from my iPad, never showed up here. I don't know why that happens but there are a few blogs I follow that pics are always missing and I assume they must blog using an Apple of some sort and don't realize there pics are non-existent. Because I don't want anyone to think I forgot to include pics that match the text, I am updating all my vacation blogs to include all the content that should be there.

Did I ever mention I married a leprechaun? Well, I did. I think that it's his aura that rubs off on me when something astonishing happens. Oh, and Gourmet magazine always seems to play a part.

About 15 years ago, I got the chance to travel to Baltimore on a business trip The Nudge attended that would extend right into the weekend. Back then Gourmet magazine was my travel guide and I religiously saved any article about recommended restaurants in cities we pegged as 'doable before we die', so with one of their food in Baltimore articles in hand, I had a mission to plan places to eat in the Inner Harbor and one for dinner on our next day together.

I scoped out a Mexican restaurant (no longer in business) a sidewalk away from the water were we could drink a pitcher of sangria, watch the foot traffic and munch on great salsa and chips. For dinner, a water taxi stop to Fells Point where a place resided, highly recommended in that food article.

Perfect day, with a night that started out on schedule. Problem was that nothing we do is ever that smooth. As we went shopping to kill time till we got hungry, we did not realize it was getting dark. Restaurant reviews back then tended to focus, not about the architecture or decor of a restaurant, but on the food and I could not find John Stevens Ltd if my life depended on it. We walked till we were close to 'not enough time to eat and still catch the last ferry of the night', and headed back to the wharf, in total defeat.
Standing on the wharf, I jumped up on a wall for a final look around and there on a small window I spotted this small, simple neon sign that spelled out, what I refused to accept, was the actual place we spent over 30 minutes trying to locate.......OMG, it was a dump!!! A seedy bar on the corner of a street I would be afraid to walk down at night, I grabbed The Nudge's hand and ran as fast as I could. If it was good enough for Gourmet, it was certainly good enough for us.

Back to present day, and a little history. Fells point is one of the oldest cities in Baltimore, a gem and even though the houses and new condos start at a cool million, they agreed to leave the "seedier section" the way it was and embrace it's history. THE place the Navy let their boys burn off steam when in port, prompted a boom for bar after bar to pop up.
This was one thing I was sure had changed over all those years.
Thank the powers that be (or rub a leprechaun's back) that I was dead wrong.

I was a little worried we would have to wait for a table even though we made a reservation weeks ago, this was Mother's Day and all the restaurants were running special dinners.
I have to say I timed this perfectly. The place was empty this time of day between rushes, but I knew that in a few hours those tables would be filled. In the meantime, we had our waitress all to ourselves.

They tried to seat us inside a small dining room until I spotted the only table for two back in the courtyard we ate in last time, so you know I had to ask.
It is true what they say about that squeaky wheel.
Bestest Anniversary dinner EVER!!

I could not believe they had the same menu. I'm not kidding.

Same exact dishes, the same exact plastic coated menu. Now that takes guts. Anything updated went on that blackboard out front and with plenty of new places opening all around them, these really good ones, just keep trucking along.
I was one happy puppy.

While the crab cakes were exceptional back then, I remembered the mussels more. They were so good we ordered seconds. Since The Nudge's circle of food favs has grown, his once favorite mussels now take a back seat to oysters. Hell, I even take a back seat to those bivalves!
It was no surprise to him when I refused to give him a taste, did he offer me?

I don't think so.

We both picked crab for our entrees. Me, the sautéed soft shells and The Nudge decided on the cakes.
I say we both choose well, but I had a much better plan.

One thing you are always wary of when returning to a memorable dinner spot, the one thing you praised as "the best ever" is not anymore. These crab cakes were proclaimed "exceeded all expectations"! I proposed a share of our bounty. I think I got the better deal when The Nudge agreed to give one of his cakes for one of my soft shelled crabs.

On the way out, I snapped a pic of the bar and while I was taking out my iPad, someone spotted the TV.

The Nudge wanted to see the end of the golf tournament, so we plopped on a stool and had a drink. I just love that in ten years, this place never changed an inch.

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Larry Walck said...

The nudge looks 10 years younger and so relaxed. Well deserved for as hard as he works. Your diet, recipes and adventures are so fun for me to read and share. Thank you!

Susan..... said...

Hi Larry,
If you think he looks 10 years younger, I must be 40 again!
Thank You for all your nice comments.