510 E Belvedere Ave Baltimore, MD 21212
Poutine–French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy–is quintessential Canadian diner food. I’ve always wanted to try it, but I haven’t made the trek to Canada yet.
Before going to Shoo-fly, a not so quintessential diner in Baltimore, I did my usual research. First I went to their website, which consists solely of their menu displayed against a backdrop of vintage black and white footage of farm scenes. I then read reviews, from newspapers, Yelp, and Urban Spoon. The reviews were decidedly mixed. I did come away knowing one thing—I had to try the Disco Fries. This dish consists of French fries topped with pepper gravy, cheese curds, and an egg fried sunny side up. Kind of like poutine’s flashy American cousin.
Shoo-fly Diner boasts an impressive bar menu, with thoughtfully curated beer and wine offerings and a bevy of craft cocktails. I had a craving for something iced-tea like so I ordered the ‘Porch Swing’ punch—a combination of black tea, minty vodka, and sweet rhubarb. This was a perfect cocktail to sip at one of Shoo-fly’s outdoor tables on a warm June evening. It was refreshing and not too sweet.
Then came the Disco Fries. They were served in a ginormous bowl. The cheese curds got all melty between the warm gravy and the piping hot French fries. The ‘dippy’ egg was just enough overkill. The Disco Fries were delicious and satisfying. But I had to leave room for the rest of my meal, so I took a portion home in a to-go box. They heated up nicely under the broiler the next day.
I ordered Shoo-fly burger for the main course. The juicy burger is served on a home-made bun with cheddar and caramelized onions. I asked them to put bacon on my burger as well–because everything is better with bacon. House made sweet and sour pickle slices garnished the plate. It was obvious that even the mayonnaise I asked for on the side was house made. The Shoo-fly burger comes with a choice of French fries or house-made potato chips. I chose the chips, which were crispy and so good that I couldn’t resist the–even after my Disco Fries appetizer.
Even though I was full, I ordered dessert–for research purposes of course. I chose the Grasshopper – a milkshake for grownups with chocolate soft serve ice cream (made in-house of course), minty vodka, and Tennessee bourbon cream. The Grasshopper came in a gorgeous vintage dessert coup. It was the perfect way to end my indulgent meal.
After dinner, I did a quick tour of the inside of the restaurant. This is not your typical Formica and stainless steel diner. The building was a Hess’ shoe store back in the day. Today the only trace left of the building’s former life is the old sliding board. Shoo-fly Diner has a ground-level floor, which features the bar, an upstairs dining room, and a children’s play area downstairs.
I had a great meal at Shoo-fly Diner. I will definitely be back soon.