The restaurants at the Avenue at White Marsh don't seem to change very much, except for the one across from Red Brick Station. That space most recently housed The Tilted Kilt; before that, Bayou Blues Cafe. Now it's a Bar Louie. This nationwide chain specializes in the kind of food that seems to make Americans the happiest: burgers and other sandwiches; flatbreads; Mexican-inspired items like tacos and nachos; plus salads, pasta, and booze. It's one of those places that, if you're among a group of people who all want different things, can make everyone happy.
Before the restaurant opened to the general public, Mr Minx and I were invited in to taste the menu, on them. Having been to the Bar Louie in Hunt Valley a couple of times, we knew what the restaurant was all about. Normally a loud and boisterous venue, it was nice to be able to dine there while it was still uncrowded and somewhat quiet, though the "friends and family" guests were already starting to have a good time at the very early hour of 4pm. It was happy hour, after all.
We started off with cocktails, two of the restaurant's signature martinis. Mr Minx had the cucumber-forward Effen Good, made with Effen cucumber vodka, mint, lime juice, and agave nectar. I had the Tea Ketel, with Ketel One vodka, Earl Grey and honey syrup, lemon juice, Fee Brothers orange bitters, and La Marca Prosecco. Both were good, made with quality ingredients (and a steal at $5.50 during Happy Hour), though I preferred his drink to mine. I felt the fizz of the prosecco to be unnecessary and somewhat disconcerting in a martini.
We started off with a couple of apps, labeled "bar bites" on the menu. The flash-fried calamari with spicy pickled peppers and a charred lemon to squeeze over were served with a dip of aioli rather than the usual (and tired) marinara. There was a generous amount of tender tentacles, and we were happy with the dish overall.
As I mentioned earlier, we'd been to the Hunt Valley Bar Louie a couple of times. In fact, I had a blog post started quite a while ago, but never got around to finishing it. This seems like as good a time as any, as some of the things we ate are still on the Hunt Valley menu and will likely remain there until the future new menu rollout.
We also had a straightforward beer-battered cod and fries with tartar sauce...
The Avenue at White Marsh
8133-C Honego Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21236
Hunt Valley Towne Centre
118 Shawan Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Posted on Minxeats.com.