Web of Lies

June 13, 2009

via the Baltimore City Paper

900-C CATHEDRAL ST., (410)539-2009

TO QUOTE MY GIRLFRIEND, the old Howard's Delly was "a place for squares and bozos, and the very old." It felt like a diner in the truest sense, and that's why we liked it. The Delly closed down some time ago, future uncertain, only to reopen this spring sans the "delly" with new ownership and a fresh Central Perk-ish sign out front. Those regulars aren't going to feel necessarily uncomfortable in the new Howard's, but it is spiffed up in a bit with a redone interior, a classier menu, and dinner hours. Breakfast is still offered, but we made it for lunch: a tasty cheesesteak served on a baguette (rather than a sub roll, for better or worse), with big well-seasoned chunks of beef, the usual onions and green peppers, and provolone (we got a cheese option, strangely). For $6, it seemed a reasonable deal. We got a mac 'n' cheese side for $2, and, goddamn, were served a whole pint of the stuff--a decent enough variety somewhere in between New York Fried Chicken and M & J's Soul Food in texture and falvor. It didn't feel artery-splitting, but mac is relative. Also, we're fudging a little even saying "mac": this was done with penne pasta instead. PUshing Howard's from good to really good was he birch beer tap, something that should e required at every lunch spot in the city. (Michael Byrne)"

They didn't mention that the "classier menu" meant a menu less than 10% of it's original menu. "A place for squares and bozos, and the very old". The squares, bozos, and old need a place to go. Where are we going to go? To City Cafe (where they are also doing some horrible construction, getting rid of it's original flooring from when it was a car dealership back in the day, which, in my opinion, was it's most alluring charm)? There's an old folks home a block from Howards, so I'm sure those residents loved being able to go somewhere, where the service didn't bother them with, "How is everything?" every ten minutes, or young, hip kids coming in with their loud voices and too-good-for-you 'tudes. The restaurant has lost its charm in every way possible. "A diner in the truest sense" is exactly why we loved Howards. Again, RIP.