Ryleigh’s Oyster: Baltimore, MD, USA
This has to be one of my favorite places in Baltimore. Hands down one of my favorite restaurants. I actually came here twice and so I am going to combine the two nights’ worth of food into one entry. Ryleigh’s is actually an ideal location for me and my friends because it wasn’t too far from our hood in Mt. Vernon. Things consumed were:
- oysters on a half-shell (half dozen)
- lobster-crab mac n’ cheese
- fried oysters
- brussel sprouts in a balsamic reduction
- lobster roll
- cheese grits (Southern girl in me had to try this)
Oysters on a Half-Shell: I ordered this dish on my first time here and split it with my friend from Japan, Mai. She likes them super salty and briny which is the closest to the Japanese Kumamoto oysters. I like them on the sweeter side like the SF Fish Company/Bay Area oysters.
- slightly sweet and great for me
- not as briny as Mai would prefer
- not the world’s biggest oysters compared to the oyster festival I attended.
lobster-crab mac n’ cheese: I actually ordered this twice because I raved about it so much the first time to another group of friends, we had to get it. We also agreed it was by far one of the best lobster-crab macs that we’ve had in the city.
- While not the same as the lobster mac and cheese up in Seattle, this was probably the best that I’ve found in Baltimore
- good chunks of lobster and nice smaller chunks of snow crab
- not too cheesy so you can taste the seafood
- great amount of panko on top
- relatively small but totally still shareable.
- good for what the Japanese would say “kaki fry”
- oysters were really big compared to the ones from the raw bar
- slightly too much panko / breading
- only 4 oysters! Shareable? Yes. Enough to satisfy if you have a fried oyster craving? No.
- If you like the battered version of fried oysters, this ain’t it.
Brussel sprouts in balsamic reduction: The girls and I really liked this the second time around. I have to admit, brussel sprouts are not my favorite vegetable. They have to be done really well. However, I really enjoyed this dish because I loved the balsamic vinegar reduction sauce.
- good flavors: the bitterness of the brussel sprouts went well with the sweetness of the balsamic reduction
- there’s bacon. 🙂
- Some of the sprouts were overcooked to burnt so it was really bitter.
lobster roll: My goal is to find a ridiculously good, if not the best lobster roll in Baltimore. I should actually probably try to find a lobster roll in NYC as I’ll be going there often and more so since I can’t make it to Boston.
- pretty decent tasting
- slightly colder than I am used to. To my knowledge, lobster rolls are supposed to be served warm I believe.
- good hearty chunks of lobster in regards to the lobster-bread ratio.
- bread was not the best. I’m still comparing this to the Whiskey Tennessee bread by the Lobster Lord in Atlanta.
- portion was much smaller than the one in Atlanta
- I’ve supposedly heard G&G oyster serves about 2lbs of lobster in their lobster roll in Chicago and maybe for $8 more than this one here. But I’ve yet to try it.
- not enough salt/seasoning
Cheese grits: I had to try this. There are a bunch of southern places that do grits here in Baltimore, and I have yet to find a place that does cheese grits as good as Egg Harbor back in my hometown.
- very good portions
- good cheese amount, not skimpy with the dairy which is always key
- dry. this makes this almost a fail. It’s really hard to make grits, but when you do, they need to be nice and creamy.
All in all a summary:
- oysters on a half-shell: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- lobster mac n’ cheese: **** (4 stars)
- fried oysters: ***.75 (3.75 stars – for quantity)
- brussel sprouts: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- lobster roll: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- cheese grits: *** (3 stars)
You can find Ryleigh’s here!
36 E. Cross Street, Baltimore, Md 21230 – 410.539.2093
Thank you for being such faithful readers while I catch up on all these 2014 entries. Hope to see you again!