Kirbies Dream Land

Ryan Rom

Nestled among the University of Maryland Baltimore, the Hippodrome Theatre and 1st Mariner arena is Kirbies Grill and Café.  On a tip from a friend I stopped in for lunch this past Friday while I was in the city; and I was glad I did.  The place itself doesn’t look like much inside or out, but don’t let the appearance of Kirbies turn you away.

Before I even stepped foot inside I did a little research around the internet and read a lot of good things about the small café.  I hoped that my lunch would live up to the hype around the web.  I arrived around 1 PM to a small crowd that I could feel was larger just moments before I arrived.  Kirbies definitely seemed to be a hot spot for a quick and delicious lunch in the downtown area. 

I stepped in the unassuming façade and was greeted by a cafeteria style counter and a vast menu board filled with different options.  They had everything that you could want for lunch; from wings and fries to chicken caesar salads, sandwiches and wraps.   I have a hard time making decisions with large menus, so admittedly I was a bit intimidated.  As I was waiting in line I spotted the feature board with all of Friday’s specials.  I knew that this was my best hope for me to make a decision as the line was moving extremely quickly.

Amid the featured specials I spotted the boringly named Grilled Chicken Deluxe for $6.95.  Though it sounds like something that you would order off a glowing menu board at a drive though, I can assure, it was not.  Now that I was armed with my choice, I was ready to order when my turn came.  While I was spouting off my sandwich order to the cashier I tried to overcome the desire to add a piece of baklava that was sitting next to the register.  The craving proved too strong and I tacked the dessert on to my tab.

Waiting for my order I watched the cooks grilling and cutting the chicken.  I was starving so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my chicken deluxe.  I didn’t have to wait long, though.  My order was out hot in less than 3 minutes.  I grabbed my tray and sat down at one of Kirbies few tables.  It was a little muggy out so I decided against sitting at the tables that were set up outside. 


I opened my small bag of UTZ originals and dug into my sandwich.  It was just what I needed.  Expertly grilled chicken on a Kaiser roll topped with honey mustard, provolone and bacon.  I could eat bacon on everything and it topped off what turned out to be the perfect midday meal for me.  After I finished, I opened my baklava up and took a bite.  It too was very good.  I love baklava but sometimes I find that it is too sweet.  This was not the case here at Kirbies.  I was so full that I only got through 2 bites of my dessert.

All in all, Kirbies is an amazing place to grab lunch in the city.  The people in the café ranged from young students, to professionals, to a doctor  from the UMD med campus who was in line for his lunch as I walked out.  Anyone in the area looking for a great meal would be crazy not to consider Kirbies.  For its quick service, great selection and first-rate food that I inhaled a la Nintendo's pink cloud Kirby; I give Kirbies 5 forks!


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