DeSantis' Pizza Grill and Bar offers more than your typical strip mall sub shop and pizza joint. Inside, the place is divided in two with a family-friendly sit-down restaurant on one side and a bustling bar on the other side. The restaurant's pizzas (or tomato pies as they are referred to on the menu) come from Matthew's Pizza in Highlandtown and are a popular draw for suburbanites who don't want to venture downtown. The menu also features Italian dishes, steaks and seafood.
My girlfriend and I go here on a pretty regular basis, maybe once ever other month. We used to live downtown and we love Matthew's Pizza. Now we live up in Cockeysville and this restaurant is a closer alternative. We always get the same thing. She gets a 3 cheese pizza and I get an everything pizza with no anchovies. We've never had a problem. But this last time we went we decided to get an appetizer and agreed on getting crab dip. This is Baltimore, right? Every restaurant in town should know how to do this, right? Wrong. The waitress brought us out what seemed to be hot, Oldbay flavored cream cheese stacked on top of this little bowl. It came with these little cut up pieces of bread, which they weren't anything to write home about, but they weren't terrible. We dipped them in this slop and played a game of "where the hell is the crab meat". It didn't taste way too bad, well, because cream cheese and Oldbay taste good no matter what.
The waitress came back over to ask if everything was alright, and I am always extremely hesitant to complain about anything. I guess I'm paranoid that someone in the back is going to hock in my food. But my girlfriend and I looked at each other and couldn't help holding back that there was no meat in the meat dip. We were going to ask if we could just send it back and have it taken off our bill, but before that could happen the waitress insisted that she could take it in the back and have more crab put in it. That's about the weirdest thing I've ever heard someone do to any food. You just happen to have extra crab meat on hand back there? In awe of the situation we said 'ok' just to have her get away from us.
She brought it back and I must admit it looked more chunky. So we started that game back up again with our wonder bread and I noticed that these new surprise chunks had those little red marks on the sides of them. It was artificial crab meat! If you know anything about crabs, the meat isn't red on one side unless it's possibly claw meat. Not the ingredient of any Maryland crab dip I've ever heard of. So don't get the artificially flavored, dyed red on one side, mystery fish dip.
Welcome to Baltimore.