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Mama's On The Half Shell

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(63 Reviews)

2901 Odonnell St, Baltimore, MD 21224

(410) 276-3160

Today: 9:00 am - 11:00 pm
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General Info
In 2003, we opened Mama's on the Half Shell. Our opening day was the realization of five years of dreaming, discussing and collecting. As native "Baltimoreans," we felt Baltimore lacked a real seafood restaurant. Because of our love for the restaurant business, our favorite pastime is to dine out, but we struggled to find the real taste of Baltimore seafood. We missed the classics, the ones that we could count on as kids, such as Connely's & Hausner's, the one we would visit with friends from out of town who say "take us to a real Baltimore seafood house." We missed that and wanted to bring it back. That's why we created Mama's on the Half Shell. Our menu is the most important part of our restaurant, but we also want our guests to come in and feel comfortable for any occasion: bringing in a client, Sunday football, a birthday, anniversary or just some time out. It's a great place to visit after a day on the water and it's also remembered by some as the place where they got engaged. Our restaurant is a place that you could "bring it or bring it down." There is really no average age at Mama's on the Half Shell which leads us to believe this truly is a Baltimore classic for food and celebration. For a good start to a classic Baltimore meal at Mama's, order a fried crab cake with mustard and our famous Orange Crush. Have a seat at the raw bar and just drift back into your best Baltimore memory, hon! It is our hope that when you are with us you feel you are welcomed into our home with open arms.

Regular Hours

Payment method
all major credit cards
Price Range
Southeastern Baltimore, Canton
Seafood Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, American Restaurants, Mexican Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Mexican, American, Latin American, Seafood

Alcohol: Yes, Full Bar

Good For Groups: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average


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Rhian Atta


Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad food and rude service

I have been to this place twice. Once with my friend and the second time with my family and a friend. The first time I went, I was not impressed with the food at all and was not planning to go back, as the food was dry and bland. The second time I went was because it was Easter Sunday and a lot of places were closed so we did not have many options - especially as we had an 8-month old baby with us. The place was half-empty. We decided to go to the second floor and there were one or two tables occupied. We sat at a table that accommodates 4 people and took out one of the chairs to fit the stroller (the stroller is very small) in. The hostess, Jenna, came and complained that the stroller was ""in the way"". We showed her that the stroller did not take more space than a large person sitting in the same spot, but she then said that it was ""blocking the way to the table behind it"". We told her that the table was empty, and that we would be happy to move if somebody came to sit there and that there were many other tables open. But she refused to accommodate us at all, and was not even in the least apologetic about it. That is something you would at least expect at a half-decent restaurant, which this one obviously is not. After they kicked us out with our baby, we asked to see the manager. We called Sarah, who is one of the waiters and she found all kind of excuses for not getting the manager. Another waiter came and asked if he could ""help"" us and we explained that we wanted to talk to the manager. He got upset and walked away - how professional!

If you have kids, please stay as far away as possible. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants in Canton that will happily accommodate you. That place is awful, bad food, and bad service. I will tell everyone I know exactly that.

Taylor Hicks


Provided by Citysearch - 

my husband and i wanted to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary ato we deceided to go to MOTHS, since we like their crab cakes, after ordering the crab cakes mine was so spicy i couldn't eat it, someone over spiced our batch, i asked the manager Rich if i could exchange it since it brought tears to my eyes and made my nose run, he comment ""NO we are not in a franchise resturant and we don't do refunds"", he laughted at us like we were idots, the man has NO customer service or he doesn't value customers, all he wants is get them in and get the out and pick up the $$$, EXTREMELY disappointed in the place, i will make it my mission in life to tell everyone i meet not to go to MOTHS in canton. its a lost cause. i hope the manager gets food poision... ^j^



Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad Management

went to this resturant for the first time today ,me and my family for my daughters 32nd birthday,i ordered stuffshrimp when i recieved my meal i tasted it and realize it was to salty for me to eat i have high blood pressure and also had heart surgery in 2008,i asked the young lady could she take it back and bring me grilled chicken,she came back and told me that the manager said could someone else at the table eat it because he wasn't taking it off the menu,i asked to speak withhim to explain why i couldn't eat this meal ,,he was so very nasty,told me it wasn't his problem that i ordered something that i could not eat and i shouldn't have ordered it being a cook myself i explained to him that it was to salty ,again he stated we do not use salt so you shouldn't have ordered it,but i let him know maybe no salt but lot's of obay which caused it to be salty,this person i won't even call him a gentlemen because he didn't act accordingly was very nasty and obnoxious spoiled my daughters whole birthday lunch because everyone lost their appetites because of his behavior and rudeness but the waitress we had was very sweet and apologetic ,i paid for my gingerale nothing else tip'd her very well and left never to return.I wonder if he would of prefered to pay for my ER visit?



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food but bad service

I had been to this restaurant around 2 years ago and had an enjoyable experience with great food. This time i came with a party of 6 on time for dinner on a tuesday night. Everything was fine but one of our group members came a half our late. We had already eaten our appetizers and ordered drinks and our entrees. It was nice to have everything come promptly and on time. But then right before our 6th member arrived the waiter said he could not order any entrees and could only eat the soup or salad because he came too late into the group. This place gets crowded so its like they are rushing you. The waiter didn't offer any desert or coffee later



Provided by Citysearch - 
Very Disappointed! Bad Service

We had reservations at 5:45 p.m. and were seated promptly. Too bad the server didn't serve us promptly. We waited 11 minutes for the server to get our drink order. After reviewing the menu and making a decision about the food, we were not able to get the server back to our table. She ignored our pleas for service. Once she finally arrived to take our order, we ordered appetizers and dinners at the same time. Another long wait; then someone showed up with crackers and cheese. We asked about the appetizers but didn't get an answer. Instead the original server showed up with our dinners. She immediately asked about the appetizers and whipped our dinners back to the kitchen to find out what had happened. Starved by then, we went after her to retrieve our food. We received an apology about the appetizers but didn't get a good explaination about what happened to them. The food was not as good as usual. You can count me as a former customer left with a bad taste in his mouth.



Provided by Citysearch - 
You've changed!

On 12/3/10 I took my mother to lunch (12:05 pm) at this establishment and thought I would be visiting a familiar place as we have dined for lunch numerous times over the past 3 years. I could never have been more wrong! To enjoy the meal I wanted to sit by the window upstairs overlooking the street (Linwood Ave.). It seems additional tables have been added with no thought to square footage expansion. I did not appreciate being told by some unprofessional ""kid"" host that I could not sit at a table for 4 during the lunch hour because those tables needed to be reserved for larger parties (when I saw parties of 2 seated at a table for 4 when we were exiting). This was ridiculous! I never had a problem sitting at a table of choice before. In an economy like the present restaurants should let a patron sit wherever they want to sit and be happy for the business. Before we could even get our coats off and situated at an undesireable table, crammed against the wall beside a group of loud and abnoxious guys, the host asked if he could get our drinks. Someone needs to train the staff in being a waiter, servicing dirty tables, and distrbuting ""clean"" utensils. Let us get our coats off first!!!! I have never had such an awful experience with service. The waitress never told us her name and had to shout when taking our order due to the loud bunch at the next table. This experience was just a mood breaker. Not to mention the food (Crab Dip, appetizer and Seafood Club, entree) tasted better a year ago. Just an unprofessional expereince all around and not worth the drive and $49.00 bill. If anyone is looking for a nice restaurant in this area, don't go to this one. They have changed and not for the better!!!!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Food and even more AMAZING service

Arrived right at lunch time,, lots of customers and filed tables. Greeted and seated quickly. Food portions were HUGE and delivered to the table with a smile. Everything we had, from soup to salads to sandwiches were delicious and fresh. Our drinks never got empty,,, Matthew the bartender/waiter, was on top of it all. He inquired if our food/apps were tasty. This establishment is well run and is a must if you are in the Baltimore area. Food is delicious but more importantly, you feel like you are at home with the friendly service. Scunny, the manager, was on top of it all. We only wish there was a Mama's in our town!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 

After reading these reviews. I can't believe the disparity! Usually whenaI restaurant gets some bad reviews, you can sometimes attribute it to: disgruntled employees or angry vendors; what have you. But in this case I have to think some of the positive reviews are from staff and ownership. THE FOOD IS INEDIBLE. ""Food"" isn't even a word I would use to describe it.

I have been there 3 times over the past 4 years. each time has been horrible.

I was there last month with my four year old. I ordered for him a plain cheese quesadilla, reasoning that would be closest to a grilled cheese. He took one bite and pushed it away. I tried it myself as a way of showing him it was ok. Yuk. It was like chewing on thin cardboard lined with a giant wad of goo. No matter how much I chewed, that goo refused to be broken just kept reforming into the original pile of goo. It had some kind of superpower of reshaping. Should send that crap to NASA or something.

I ordered, I think the soup was called ""roasted corn crab chowder""...something along those lines. hmmm..It looked as if someone heated up some chowder,dumped it in the bowl, reached into the fridge, grabbed a handful of crabmeat (could still see the fist mark were the clump of crabmeat was grabbed), and tossed that refrigerated clump on top of the soup. DE-SGUSTIN. I am not kidding when I say it was lukewarm at best. Also...what a huge freaking waste of crabmeat.

service was brief and unexceptional.

The menu is just a mess.

I don't know if they promote themselves as ""Mexican Cuisine"" I sure hope not...nothing to do with mexican cuisine.

Save yourself from choking...go to tacobell and pretend.

Jeff Landsman


Provided by Citysearch - 
Fun Food for Kids and Adults

I have been eating lunch and an occasional dinner at Mamas for the past 4 years or so and feel I need to write a review. The food: some of the best ""Baltimore"" stylings that you could have. A crab cake to die for, Mac and cheese that my 7 yer old calls the best Mac and chees around and salads and drinks that are just great and plentiful. The Tuna Tar tare is a family favorite reminiscent of the best sushi restaurants in the city. What makes this place so good beyond the food and value is the service and management. I started out as a customer and truly feel like I belong here. LIke the song says everybody knows your name. Scunni, the erstwhile ""Mayor"" of Canton is here to please. The staff equally so and they take pride in what they serve and all of their guests. Fish and Chips Mate??? Oh My Cod! (sorry for the pun) It as if they are serving Moby Dick with Fries. I mean come at night for the incredibley delicious Cheese and crackers or for lunch but do come and if you are an out of town guest, ask for the Orange Crush!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Place

It's a charming little spot. Full of live Atmosphere. The Food is outstanding. Being a cater I am no critical of food, I could not find one flaw in this place. The Food was beyond great. That macaroni and cheese is to die for. I have never tasted a cesar dressing with such a lasting flavor.



Provided by Citysearch - 
It's Fun, Hon!

Go for the booze and the decor. Have a little fun. Get the nachos in a hub cap and relax. It's fun! It's Baltimore, Hon!

Howard C


Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Secret In Baltimore

My wife and I recently paid our second visit to Mama's and there could not have been a more pleasant place to toast her happy last appointment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We chose a quiet corner in the late Fall afternoon by the fireplace with a view of Canton Square. Our server was quietly charming and accommodating. My wife shared my unbelievably heaping bowl of delcious Prince Edward Island Mussels in white wine, herb & garlic sauce, served with fresh baked bread. We sopped ALL of the sauce! She also sampled the best crab cake we have ever tasted. We live on the beach at the southern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, and know our crab. Her shrimp Caesar salad was perfect, with properly wilted Romaine lettuce, delicate Caesar dressing with shredded cheese, and crunchy croutons. The shrimp were perfectly grilled. We enjoyed our annual visits to Baltimore for 5 years, and Mama's gave us a wonderful last memory.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Awful food, OK as a bar

We ordered spinach and mushroom quesadillas on a Saturday afternoon – they were awful, huge clumps of frozen spinach, sour mushrooms, burnt tortillas. I would highly recommend staying away from the food, and just consider this a bar…



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great crab cakes, mac-cheese, and garden salad with homemade dressing.

I went two weeks ago with a group of of us. They start you off with cheese and crackers. sSeveral of us orderd the crab cake, garden salad with the dressing, and mac-n-cheese. It was great! I cleared my plate. The drink of Malibu Rum and pineapple juice..needs more rum..but in a nice size glass. I enjoyed the atmosphere..steep steps and small restaurant, but overall great atmosphere. I enjoyed myself last week, that I returned the following week with a friend. She ordered the fried shrimp..they were huge and delicious! I would highly recommend this restaurants..the prices are great and reasonable. I cannot wait for my family to visit to entertain them there for dinner. Great place...worth your own judge. Just be prepared to drive around to park..let a someone out to put you on the waiting list, then look for parking.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Needs New Chef!

This place has gone way downhill. I used to like the food here, but the last time I was there the food was awful. An enchilada should not have BBQ sauce in it and it should have some cheese.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Don't waste your time

I have never eaten at Nacho Mamas because I was treated horribly as soon as I walked through the door. The ""hostess"" would not seat us unless our entire party was there. There were 4 of us there and were waiting for 2 people. We were EXTREMELY rudely told if anyone came late they would not be served. One of my friends with me already did not want to go there due to his past negative experience with the staff. We will never try to deal with this establishment again and warn everyone to do the same.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best crabcakes in the US!

I was in Maryland a couple of years ago and I made it to Mama's twice. Each time I had the crab cakes and they were the best ever! I've had cakes from all over, and I can't wait to get back. Great atmosphere, especially when there's a Steelers and Ravens game on.



Provided by Citysearch - 
YUMMY - Margarita's, Nachos, Natty Boh

Its been my favorite place for YEARS.... Meghann's margariti hubcap puts a silly grin on my face. My husband couldn't survive without the Nawlins Shrimp - which I can't recreate at home. The kids love the cheese quesidilla but take off those tomato's. Journey at 10pm



Provided by Citysearch - 
Nightmare Mama's

I have no idea if the food is good, my girlfriend and I didn't have time to taste it since we got kicked out of the place before even ordering, the reason: foreigner ID aren't acceptable !!!
The waitress and the manager were rude and stupid, I am sure we didn't miss anything. Discrimination is served everyday...



Provided by Citysearch - 

To make a long story short: waitress was in a really bad mood and started being incredibly rude when we arrived, a party of 8 for the 30th birthday of a friend. We were too of a good mood to pay attention to her behavior until she asked for IDs that we presented to her: some of us had foreigner IDs or even passports, all being official and indicating we were over 21 (we were there for a 30th birthday for God?s sake!) She refused to serve us! We tried to talk to her, it didn?t work. It was clear she just didn?t want to serve us?A friend finally lost it with her and the manger showed up. Without trying to figure out what happened, she took the side of the rude waitress ?and kicked us out!
Conclusion: we drove across town for nothing. So, if you?re a foreigner, know foreigners, like foreigners, took French in High School, like Czech recipes: DO NOT GO THERE.

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