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Ze Mean Bean Cafe
Come dine at the most unique restaurant in Baltimore. Ze Mean Bean Café is an eclectic Eastern European restaurant and wine bar. We serve everything from pierogis and holupkis to upscale fare with a Slavic twist. Everything is made from scratch and our extensive wine list has something for everyone.
As our name suggests, we opened our doors in July of 1995 as a unique Eastern European Coffeehouse and Café. Ahh… yes, that’s where the “Bean” in Ze Mean Bean comes from! And the “Ze”? That denotes our “European” roots. The original concept was simple: owner Yvonne Dornic is of Eastern European decent. Her father is from Czechoslovakia, and her mother’s background is Polish and Ukrainian. Yvonne wanted to create an environment much like the coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, which served as social gathering places and outlets for local musicians and artists. Ze Mean Bean Café definitely exudes old world charm!
"If you're someone who enjoys quaint and classy places with interesting food and live music, then this is the place for you! The atmosphere is wonderfully cozy and classy with wooden tables, soft lighting, interesting paintings, and great live jazz music playing in the background. Regarding the food, the Eastern European dishes were really great. My crab cake dish was way too salty, so I wouldn't order that again, but the dishes my friends ordered that were Ukrainian were very good. I will say that the mashed potatoes and asparagus that were served with my crab cakes were very good, but the crab cakes were really almost inedible. I powered through them because I hate wasting food, but it really was incredibly salty.
Overall however, I would go back to this place again, because for the most part their food and drinks were good, and the atmosphere is really wonderful!"
Dined on 11/21/2015
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion, fit for foodies, late-night find
"Overall, I would definitely go back as I liked the atmosphere and the food is very good; however, it is a little pricey for the portion size you are served. I had plenty of food for myself. I usually take food home from restaurants and have leftovers for one or two meals. I was only served enough to satisfy my palate at the restaurant--no leftovers. My husband was a little disappointed as he left a little hungry and said he could have eaten a little more then he was served."
Dined on 11/11/2015
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies, late-night find
"Ze Mean Bean is a traditional polish restaurant. We had the sampler platter, golden beet salad, the yvonne sandwich, a nice merlot, and chocolate caramel mousse pie. The chocolate caramel mousse pie was wonderful. The food was very good but the service was a bit slow becase of we ordered off the lunch menu on Valentines day."
Dined on 2/14/2015
Special Features: romantic, good for groups, great for lunch, fit for foodies
"The food was pretty good and the spacing of the courses was very nice. However, when looking for a Valentine's Day destination I reviewed each restaurant's website carefully to make sure the menu was something me and my partner would both like.
Ultimately, we chose Ze Mean Bean for their fair prices and traditional Eastern European food. We made reservations and we're excited to try the Halupki.
When we got to the restaurant, there was no sort of waiting area, so we stood there awkwardly for a few minutes as people were eating their meals.
We were taken to a nice table upstairs that had a nice view of the falling snow outside. We were disappointed to see a prefixe menu awaiting us that did not have the traditional food we were excited for. Furthermore, no prices were listed on the menu.
We chose our courses and had to repeat them back to the waitress more than once since she wasn't writing anything down. I Don't blame the waitress for all the hiccups that evening, as it seemed like she was the only one serving while we were there.
The food was good and was something I would eat again. However, it was definitely not worth the price. At $55 per person, we could have ate at a much higher end restaurant and received a higher quality meal.
If you are going to have a prefixe menu for any event, advertise it on OpenTable! If a bill of $155 at the end of a meal is such a huge surprise, then the food and service definitely wasn't worth it.
I will be back though, I need to try the Halupki."
"My husband and I had to been here three times and each time was great and better than the previous time! It''s cozy, and the food was delicious. We normally do not go out on nights like Valentine's Day, but decided to treat ourselves. It was a set menu with several choices in each course. I had the mushroom sou,p my husband had the salad. Both were top-of-the-line ingredients and the soup was deliciously distinctive and homemade. Second course was a selection of a shrimp dish or beef on a skewer. Beef was marinated and grilled perfectly. That was sufficient amount of food, so the portions were more than adequate! Both of us had the same pork tenderloin entrée with cherry sauce, mashed potatoes, asparagus. Wow!---beautiful combination, in the pork tender brain was groomed, very tender, very tasty! Wonderful wonderful. Dessert was a chocolate mousse with Caramel sauce that also was a perfect dish to complete a perfect meal. Service was prompt, and cannot wait to return! The food is always interesting, and top quality."
Dined on 2/14/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies, late-night find
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Review 13 for Ze Mean Bean Cafe
Long term relationship with Fells Point
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/13/2015
Dined on 2/13/2015
"Nice spot that's out of the way of the Thames Street strip. Been here a long time for good reason! Good food with interesting twists..the Slavic sampler appetizer was delightful. But the highlight that evening were the jazz guitarists that played as lovely background music."
"Ze Mean Bean is a staple in Fells Point, providing excellent Eastern European food. With the musical group playing, it can be a bit loud on the first floor, making conversation a challenge. But the food is well worth the trip and the cocktails are excellent."
Dined on 2/07/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
"This is a great little place to enjoy some traditional Eastern European food without packing a suitcase. I've eaten in restaurants throughout Eastern Europe and the food here is quite authentic as well as reasonably priced. The moment you walk in it feels like home and you expect mom to come out of the kitchen and greet you. If you go for brunch, try to make it a Sunday so you can enjoy the jazz band while you savor brunch. The short ribs on the dinner menu are amazing but not always available so ask right away and they can save them for you before they are gone for the night. The Goulash has all of the right seasoning and the paprika is a bit spicy, which is great. The stuffed cabbage is exactly what I grew up eating and the best I have had in years. Overall you can't go wrong with anything on the menu so explore it all and enjoy."
Dined on 1/03/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for lunch, fit for foodies
"I love this restaurant but they were having an off day. They were so focused on taking care of a big group upstairs that are food sat for too long in the kitchen and then was cold when it arrived. The waitress didn't smile at all. I will be back, but not on Sundays. They are good if they have 1 or 2 tables, but once it gets busy they are lost."
"We chose this place for the Eastern European fare. Thought it would be perfect following a performance of the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker at the Hippodrome. It was definitely not worth the travel to Fells Point. There was only one other couple in the place, which was attractively decorated for the holiday season. A highlight was a small trio, standing bass, guitar and trumpet, performing in the corner. It is a small dining area, so not sure why our server had trouble making it over to our table so infrequently. The pricing seemed reasonable until we were served such meager portions. The pour for the house wine, a decent Merlot, was skimpy and at $8, not worth it. The golden beet salad was very good but at $12 the plate was small. My husband ordered the goulash and homemade spaetzle, which he said was very good, but for the $19 price, it was served in a cereal bowl with a dry piece of rye bread on the side. I ordered the perogie plate, a specialty of the house, I thought, however the 7 on the plate were woefully understuffed, one was empty, and flavorless except for the scant onions tossed atop, and dry, dry, dry and chewy. A few blanched green beans and a serving of red cabbage, adequate at best (they may have opened a jar) rounded out the plate. This was $16. Our server never stepped from behind the bar to ask if we were happy with our dinners. I feel they thought we were customers to be taken advantage of, with such service and poor quality food. But the worst of the evening came when the server presented our bill and "miscalculated" the total an extra $20 to her advantage. We were not happy. We were in fact quite dissatisfied with the dining experience and could not recommend it. Very poor service, mediocre to bad food, and quite overpriced. The kitchen seemed to be as listless and disinterested as the wait staff. Too bad, because we had high hopes from reading the menu. If this is Old World charm, it leaves quite a bit lacking."
"This is exactly how I felt when having brunch this weekend. It was as if I was back in Poland and stopping in for a hearty and delicious lunch in Krakow. The food is authentic with the right amount of seasoning to make it worth a trip back for dinner. The Red Scare and Molushki are dishes you won't typically find on any other menu and worth checking out. The Kielbasa can't be any fresher when it comes from next door and they make it fresh every day. Service was great, attentive but not overbearing and the atmosphere is Old World."
Dined on 12/06/2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, fit for foodies