GoodEats: Small cafe, big taste

By: Taylor Seidel, Columnist

Federal Hill is known for their neighborhood restaurants flooded up and down the streets. Any type of cuisine can be found here, from grilled cheese, seafood and pizza to practically everything else. With so many restaurants at your disposal the same question always pops up. How good can the food actually be? I know this may surprise you all but for the most part, the restaurants of Federal Hill are all genuinely delicious.

Courtesy of Taylor Seidel
Courtesy of Taylor Seidel

Enough about the area, the main reason for this edition of GoodEats is to highlight a wonderful café I had the pleasure of enjoying this past weekend. Sobo Café, located right in the heart of Federal Hill, is the next stop on the GoodEatsMD tour. So, I ask you all to sit back and enjoy because this place was a real treat.

Nestled right off of Cross Street, the café is a block away from the iconic Cross Street Market.  I was in search of a great lunch and Sobo Café was exactly that. The restaurant is small and lived up to that café feel, with a bar right as you walked in and a few tables spread around the rest of the café.

Being 2 p.m. on a Friday, the café was nearly empty. Don’t let that fool you, during dinner shifts and brunch the restaurant fills up quickly, so make sure to make a reservation by calling or through the OpenTable App.

The lunch menu, served weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., was simple. It was broken down into spreads, salad and soups, non-sandwich and sandwich.

My friend and I started off with three spreads served with crostini and vegetables ($15). Our choices were house-smoked salmon with goat cheese and fresh herbs, rosemary hummus with a preserved lemon oil and spicy feta with roasted garlic and jalapeno. The spreads were a perfect way to get the meal started. The platter included crostini (crunchy pieces of bread), sliced carrots, cucumbers and, my favorite of the plate, the pickled vegetables which were a nice addition. The spreads were also served by themselves or as a combination of all four.

For lunch I had to go with the SoBo Burger ($12). It caught my eye from the minute I sat down and I couldn’t be swayed. The burger started with Creekstone Farms angus beef topped with applewood smoked bacon, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar, a house mayo and all on a house made roll. Try and say that three times fast. The burger was amazing, juicy and tender.

My friend went with the French dip ($11). Tender roast beef, caramelized onions and provolone cheese stacked this sandwich high. Our waitress made the decision harder by recommending the bacon flatbread ($9) accompanied by dates, goat cheese, onions and sage garlic spread. The mac-n-cheese ($9) topped with cheddar cheese and tomatoes was also great.

The food was delicious, the ambiance was fun and relaxing and the service was fantastic. So next time you’re in the area, make sure to give Sobo Café a try.

Until next time. I wish you GoodEats!

– Edited by Jared Kurlander.

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