Last weekend, Ida B’s Table officially opened its doors to Baltimore City. If you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out on some of the most scrumptious, mouth-watering modern soul food you’ll ever have in your life… according to me. You have plenty of chances to go: lunch, brunch, breakfast, dinner, and happy hour. You have no excuse of not going haha.
If you’re familiar where the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar takes place (which is under the Jones Fall Bridge), Ida B’s is situated right next to it. The restaurant shares the same building as the Real News Network, which owns Ida B’s Table. Parking is pretty straightforward. You can either do street or park in a garage. If you go on a weekday, parking on the street is free after 6pm. If you go on a Sunday, parking is free all day.
Whoever planned the interior design of the place did a phenomenal job. Instead of covering up the original inside layout and walls, they kept the building’s industrial feel. Exposed brick is everywhere. You can see the pipes and air ducts making their way across the ceiling. They even kept the original wood floors.
To enhance the restaurant’s industrial vibe, Ida B’s Table decked the place out with brick mirrors on the wall of the bar (and in the bathroom too!), large windows to let natural light in, string lights and large lamp shades hanging above the tables, metal bar stools and railings, and wooden tables.
When you enter Ida B’s Table, there are two entrances. If you want the full dining experience, you can enter through the right door where a host will seat you. If you go straight ahead, you can seat yourself at the bar. When I went during their soft opening phase, I had dinner over in their dining area. When I went for brunch two days later, I sat at the bar. So honestly, you can eat and drink wherever. It just depends on you or who you are with.
I’m pretty sure everyone who has been in contact with me ever since this place has opened has heard me rave on and on about how great the food is. I’m not trying to be annoying or anything… but, it is hahahaa. I had such a great experience for dinner and brunch.
For dinner, I ventured the menu with Baltimore food bloggers pandheats, foodnomad, and celines_eats (I highly advise checking them out for more pictures from Ida B’s Table). We had such a blast trying about 75% of the dinner menu hahaha.
As we perused the menu, we were handed some biscuits and cornbread, which were paired off with a sweet butter they make in house.
Below are some of the appetizers we feasted on:
Above are some frog legs. Tasted like fried chicken, but a lot more chewy.
The Octopus Po’Boy Sliders above were cooked very well. The octopus was not burnt at all and had tons of flavor. It was very easy to bite into and not ridiculously chewy.
We also ordered two boards. The board below contained local pickled vegetables, brulee figs, roasted pecans, bean hummus trio, fry bread chips. I only took a picture of the bean hummus trio and a bit of the pickled veggies though:
The next two pictures were from the other board. This one had house-smoked & cured meats, crispy chicken skin & livers, pickled watermelon rind, sorghum & onion jam, pimento cheese, local cheese, fry bread chips. The first picture displays the picked watermelon rind. The following picture shows the chicken skin and livers.
For the main course, we ordered the Carolina Pork Chop (first picture) and the Short Ribs in Bourbon Gravy (second picture). Both entrees were phenomenal. I didn’t order the Short Ribs, but from what I heard from pandheats and food nomad, the Short Ribs were great. Both entrees had tons of flavor, and the meats were easy to cut. Nothing was dry. Each bite made you want to eat more. Even when I was full, I couldn’t stop eating because the Carolina Pork Chop (which I ordered) tasted so good. Even with the Carolina Gold Rice being risotto-ish like, it didn’t muddle the flavors coming from the pork chop. Both the meat and the rice flavors complimented each other extremely well.
And for dessert, well… I think we pretty much tried all the desserts hahaha. We had some Beignets, Mississippi Mud Pot de Creme, and I want to say the last one was a muffin, but I can’t remember. If you happen to know, let me know and I’ll correct myself!
Unfortunately, I failed getting picture of the cocktails that were made for us. However, my suggestion is to order the Black Jack. If you like coffee, scotch, honey, nutmeg, black walnut, and amaro, you’re going to enjoy this sexy drink 😉 And you might order more than one… just sayin’.
Two days later, my crazy ass self went back for brunch. I am so happy I went. I went straight into the brunch’s main menu and got myself some fried chicken and waffles. You have the choice of getting the fried chicken spicy, which I totally did.
The fried chicken wasn’t too spicy. It was more of a gentle heat that stayed present through the whole meal. It tied well with the flavors coated on the skin of the fried chicken. The softness of the sweet potato waffles combined with the crunchiness of the fried chicken paired off so well. Also, there was a great balance between the sweetness of the syrup and the hotness of the chicken. I thought the waffle to chicken ratio was on point… although, you can never have enough fried chicken haha.
You can also order a mimosa too if you want to have a boozy brunch:
I finished off my meal with a Flat White. That was my first time having Flat White ever, and I have to say I’m pleased that I tried it first at Ida B’s. Kaya, the barista who made the Flat White, did a great job with both presentation and taste.
The cool thing about Ida B’s is that their menu is always changing. So if anything, it will probably give you more of an incentive to come back and try more of their delicious appetizers and entrees. I’m sure some of their popular dishes will stay on their menu though.
I think the main thing that makes Ida B’s such a great restaurant is the staff. They hired an amazing staff that takes care of not only making sure you’re having a great experience service wise, but also food wise. The baristas, bartenders/mixologists, those preparing the food, the chef, just everyone clearly cares about how the food is presented and how it tastes. Every dish you receive is an wonderful adventure of flavors, textures, and consistencies combined. And everyone is just so freakin’ nice and friendly!!! They make you feel welcomed, and they make you want to come back. This place is simply an experience you need to try.
It’s also great that Ida B’s tries to get involved with the community. First off, they team up with local farms and other local businesses/partners to supply the ingredients to make their food and drinks. I love how Ida B’s Table included businesses such as Cuples Tea House, a family business that you can catch at the Fells Point Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, and Thread Coffee, a Baltimore based roaster of transparently traded coffee that you can visit at in the Open Works building on Greenmount Ave. Side note: I have both Cuples Tea and Thread Coffee sitting in my cube at work on stand-by haha. Their stuff is good!
Second off, Ida B’s Table hosts events! Other than their grand opening (which I heard was spectacular), they’ve already held an event featuring Michael Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. I heard also they plan on bringing in jazz bands and such to play on some nights on their stage (yes they have a stage in their dining room area). I would totally have a dinner date there and some drinks while jamming to live music in the background (Dave… *hint**hint*)! If you’re interested in more events at Ida B’s Table, check out this link here where they regularly update what’s going on in the restaurant.
If you want to host an event, Ida B’s also has a private dining area for parties and such. I managed to snap a couple of pics if you’re interested. If you can’t tell, I went to every side of the room and took pictures. I was that dedicated to get every angle of that room haha.
So that’s Ida B’s Table for ya. This is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I’ve been trying to get my friends and family to come out to this place, so if you fit into one of those categories, be ready to be asked. If I already asked you, don’t be surprise if I keep asking you until you say yes.
Ida B’s Table
235 Holliday St. Baltimore, MD 21202
Tue.-Thu. 7:00a.m. – 9:00p.m (closed 3:00p.m. – 4:00p.m)
Fri. 7:00a.m. – 11:00p.m (closed 3:00p.m. – 5:00p.m)
Sat. 10:00a.m. – 11:00p.m (closed 3:00p.m. – 5:00p.m)
Sun. 10:30a.m – 3:00p.m.