Restaurante Tio Pepe
10 E Franklin St, Baltimore, MD 21202
MobilePhone: (443) 929-9297
Wheelchair Accessible: No
Cuisines: Spanish, European, Continental
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Good For Groups: Yes
11/22/2011Provided by Citysearch -
Great restaurant! I have been to this restaurant twice, and it has been fantastic both times. The wait staff is very knowledgeable about the dishes and the wine, we've been seated promptly, and the food has been excellent (I've had both steak and lobster). I especially appreciate their ability to actually cook a steak at medium rare. I highly recommend this place!
For the price, I was expecting much better. The only flavoring they seemed to use was alcohol. Even the alcohol (sangria) had extra alcohol. Get your customers buzzed enough, and they will think anything tastes good.
What's worse, everything seemed from frozen or out of a can. Nothing seemed from fresh ingredients. Even the dessert (famed pine nut role) seemed mass produced - not made on premises or at a local bakery. It had that preservative after-taste.
In addition, it was crowded and noisy; which is not unexpected for a NYE. Service was OK, but everything was very tight. Waiters whizzing by made me dizzy. And the acoustics were horrible. They even prepared dishes on a cart, blocking the front entrance of the dining room. The atmosphere would have been great, if it was half-full.
It was not at all worth the $104 for two. Do yourself a favor, go to Tapas Teatro, a few blocks north for a far better dining experience from Spain. Another great choice is The Helmand, only a short walk away, or down to Ban Thai. All 3 have great food, atmosphere, and moderate prices.
09/01/2010Provided by Citysearch -
took my wife and 2 sons to diner last night. I could not understand waiter as his english was very broken plus he was mean. appetizer was excellent, oyster with crabmeat. Everything after was down hill. My wife and I had the lobster and chicken with a seafood sauce. Chicken was grizzley and lobster was tough. sauce bland and rice boring. Worse$35 I ever spent. Sad cause I was looking forwards to a great meal and we were all very disappointed. Our waiter was miserable and so was his tip
03/22/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I hadn't been to Tio's in more than a decade, so I was a little nervous -- wondering if it would still be as good as I remembered. Lucky me (and my guests). The food, sangria and desserts were every bit as good as I remembered. Shrimp in garlic sauce is still a ""must"", as are any of the fish entrees. The chicken and lobster dish is still incredible, as are all their desserts (my favorite is the pignoli nut / custard roll). Not the least expensive place, but worth every dime. Don't hesitate to go.
01/11/2010Provided by Citysearch -
We went to Tio Pepe's -Spanish Mediterranean- this weekend to celebrate my boyfriend's 33rd birthday and it was great. Start with the red Sangria, as it's the best I've ever had. We had the garlic shrimp for an app and it was wonderful, tons of garlic and had a great sauce to dip your bread into. My bf had orange veal tenderloin and I had their special, which was beef tenderloin with mushrooms and green beans. We both loved our meals fully and my meal had 3 pieces of tenderloin and I was very impressed with it.
The restaurant is in a basement, so the reviews are correct. It is decorated old world style and it has not been updated in a very long time.
Make reservations early, as ours was at 7pm and they were still busy as we were leaving at 9pm. Jackets are preferred, but not necessary. It is a very nice restaurant and most people were dressed up, but I did see a few people who had jeans on with nice sweaters or shirts and it was fine.
Entrees were anywhere from $20 (chicken) to $80. They had specials which were mostly fish, but still great deals. The menu is quite large with lots of options. Sangria isn't cheap, but it's worth it. Def order a small if there's only 2 of you.
We are easy to please and enjoyed the atmosphere, food and people. Go and enjoy yourself!
08/05/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Tio Pepe Restaurante
This restaurant is Spanish Mediterranean, NOT MEXICAN, serving European cuisine in a civilized manner! You will descend into a dimly lit world of stucco-sculptured walls and wrought iron appointments. It’s as if you were entering the ‘Caves of Drach’ on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Attentive waiters address your every need. Interested in ‘before dinner’ drinks? A pitcher of White, Red, or Champaign Sangria is a must. Order dry or sweet, custom blended to suit your taste.
For me, a great beginning is the shrimp in garlic sauce, Sopa de Pescado y Mariscos (Mediterranean seafood soup) or the Champaign Oysters, the flavor of which explodes on your palette like nothing before. Mention ‘puff potatoes’ (not on menu) and you will be treated to the complementary creation of head chief Emiliano Sanz. Prepare for “Emilio” to visit your table sometime during the evening, as is his custom.
Entrees are too numerous to mention. If you desire meat, the ‘Three Amigo’s’ will satisfy the most robust appetite. Order medium rare for this generous portion of lamb chop, petite filet mignon, and veal chop. The sauté veggies and sauce are rich and complementary. Each day one suckling pig (and only one) is roasted. Order this when you make your reservation or you may be left out. For the seafarer, three succulent soft crabs are “to die for”! I prefer hot lemon butter to the almond sauce. The sole with banana is both rich and rewarding. Like many of the entrees, this one is a never to be forgotten experience.
Linger over Tio’s generous deserts. Fresh raspberries in Sabayon Sauce, are delightful. However, a single order of half pine nut, half walnut cake is perfect. Share with your companion and neither of you will be disappointed.
APETITO BUENO !
PS: Overheard at BWI:
“TIO PEPE?…. NO ONE GOES THERE ANYMORE……IT’S TOO CROWDED!”
04/01/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Great place for a romantic dinner of paella and sangria. As a former resident of Spain and a lover of paella, I can say this is among the best paella in the USA and similar to the finest paellas of Spain. The delicious sangria is at the best price that I have ever seen for a massive pitcher.
03/30/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I am going to try and be nice about this. I am from Spain and I was good friends with the man who started Tio Pepe's. He was one of the greatest Chefs in all of Europe (even cooked for Spanish royalty), and his two brothers that helped him start the Restaurant were just as good. The three of them together were nothing short of Gods of the kitchen. A family of true Master Chefs...(The Sanz Brothers) Its a shame that Tio Pepe's has turned into nothing more than a cash cow for the owners that truly should not even be the owners (Miguel Angel and you know who). They have been riding the Sanz brothers wave for a long time and I think its about time it hits the rocks. There is only one man that should be the owner at this time and his name is Chef. Angel Sanz, the last of the Sanz brothers, and the man who helped make Tio Pepe's restaurant world famous. Oh, and by the way that famous Garlic Shrimp that everyone loves so much, that recipe was created by Chef. Angel Sanz and no one else. Being Spanish and Spanish food have allot in common. The food should explode with all the great flavors of Spain. The food should visually be beautiful and draw you in, and most importantly you should not have to sell your house to pay for your tapas and a glass of sangria. Its a real shame that Tio Pepe's has faded into a mist that was once one of the greatest Chefs in all of Europe's dream. The owners of Tio Pepe's should release ownership of the restaurant and return ownership to its last surviving true founder, Chef. Angel Sanz who still resides in Baltimore, MD. As a Spaniard I feel that Tio Pepe's does not represent Spain in its true glory. I just though that everyone should know the truth about the restaurant. First, the people working there are not Spanish, which means they are not from Spain. That is for those of you who do not know the difference between Spanish and Hispanics, they are rude and not so friendly, in Spain that would not be allowed. The Food is ok at best. The Paella, the true main Spanish dish is a 3 on a scale of 1-10. Garlic Shrimp is great, thanks to Chef Angel Sanz. Drinks are crazy high in price, Sangria is $45 a pitcher and they use cheap wine. If you want real Sangria please feel free to come by my house. The Pine Nut Cake and the Flan, well you should try Chef Angel Sanz, that is all I have to say on that. And if you just so happen to know the current owners, do not expect them to give you any kind of deal or special treatment while you are there, they will just treat you as badly as they do everyone else. Now that is what I call not being Spanish at all. Very soon a new truly authentic Spanish restaurant will be opening, and none other than Chef Angel Sanz will be at the helm. Are main focus, well I guess you know who.. Tio Pepe's, get ready......
03/21/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Here are my tips for having a great time at this restaurant:
Go early - 5:00P.M. when it first opens because you won't wait.
Reserve a few weeks in advance
Don't park in garage across the street from the restaurant- too expensive. Park on the street near the area or up the street in Mount Vernon.
Order the Seafood Bisque soup or shrimp and garlic. Both are good.
Steak with Bearnaise sauce and stuffed rockfish are very good, but the entree to get is below:
If you want to have a great entree, you need to get this one. It's called Mariscos al Cava and usually is not listed on the menu. It is usually listed during the New Years Holiday, but if you ask the waiter, the chef will prepare it. The dish is also called the Trio and is shrimp, lobster, and crabmeat in champagne sauce. This is the best dish I have ever had in my life, the only problem is that it costs about $50 +/- , but it is worth every penny. I have been to many high end restaurants around Baltimore/DC metro and this is by far my favorite dish.
Please Please Please get the trio/ Mariscos al Cava - even if it is not listed, they can make it. Then, you feel special because you will be the only one in the restaurant to have that plate and you know that it is fresh.
Also, the desserts that are really good are the Walnut Cake, Chocolate Mousse (my favorite ever), and Chocolate roll.
02/06/2009Provided by Citysearch -
02/03/2009Provided by Citysearch -
We were seated as a large group and waited a very long time for the waiter to take our order. the room was intensely hot, we were all sweating terribly. after nearly 40 mins our food came. the appetizers were average we had lobster bisque and mushroom toast, nothing fancy, presentation was bare minimum. then a while later we got our entrees and the moment i saw worn white plates with aluminum covers that were stacked, i thought airline food or room service...but i've had better room service. I ordered their famous paella...which i thought you can't mess up and its their signature dish, right? It was the WORST paella I've ever eaten. Granted, I've been to Spain and France where they know how to make it. But when the rice is mush and looks more like mashed potatoes and you have to pull the paella apart to get sections or chunks of lukewarm rice mush, it is just aweful. the chicken was dry and room temp, shrimp was mushy and sausage dry, leathery and rubbery. i sent it back and the waiter told me the beef was the best of the night...it was airplane food with a brown gravy over green beans and sirloin tips. at least the rice was actually rice...separate grains. most of the group ordered fish, which general concensus was average, but the presentation was so mediocre with a browned cream sauce topping reminiscent of cafeteria style entrees. The desserts were just as sketchy, nothing truly 'authetically' spanish, they are ho-hos with whipped cream or pudding fillings, a true disappointment. the service was fine, the treat was when i ordered a specialty coffee, they put on a fire show that burns off much of the alcohol, but you still pay $11.00 for the drink. at least the whipped cream topping was fresh. will not return and will dissuade friends too.
Tio Pepe is a classic. It is absolutely perfect for what it is -- old school, rich sauces, a little pretentious -- its kinda like your Aunt Evelyn -- she shouldn't be as pretentious as she is because she's 30 years behind the times...but she is...and you have to love her for it.
This experience is not cool and hip. It's not a Cindy Wolf / Tony Foreman restaurant. It's not delicate cuisine. It's heavy and filling -- the way food was in the old days. It's decadent. And, I think, a hell of a lot of fun.
Again...go into the experience with an open mind and an empty stomach and you'll love it. All of these negative comments on here seem odd. I've never had bad service. Sure, you have to wait for your reservation now and again...but that's any busy restaurant.
In town on business from NYC, I stumbled upon Tio Pepe and thought I would have lunch. The gentleman at the door looked me up and down when I asked to look at a menu (I was dressed in business attire) and turned his back to me. When I decided to dine there, he apathetically walked me to a table, half attempted to pull out my chair and walked away before I could even move into the table to sit. The only reason I was truly mortified FOR HIM was that I have spent several years running some of the more upscale establishments in New York and would NEVER treat a guest that way. Especially if I were wearing a tuxedo and handing guests filthy menus. Food was wonderful, but what a shame it was tainted by a poor attitude and atmosphere of superiority.
11/02/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I'm not quite sure what all the hype is about, it is okay. The food it very good, can't complain about anything I've had so far. We go several times a year, mostly for special occasions, but at least once for the heck of it, a craving for the Shrimp Scampi I suppose! I do believe it is quite expensive for what you get. I would also think by now they would have updated in some sort of way without loosing the ambiance. I do so enjoy when the chef makes his appearance! The food is quite good but in my opinion doesn't live up to all the hype! If you don't mind spending money on good food then you should go. If you're looking for a 5 star dining experience, save your money.
10/21/2007Provided by Citysearch -
We have enjoyed this restaurant for over 30 years! The food is excellent - you can order anything and stay in your price range - if you are not up to ordering an entire meal - try two or three appetizers, they are outstanding and will do the trick. We have eaten all over the U.S. and would rate Tio Pepes as consistently the best in food quality. Lunch is great as well as evening dinners - the only downside is late Fridays and Saturdays if they are busy, you won't get the best service but that would happen in any busy restaurant.
03/10/2007Provided by Citysearch -
My wife treated me to a dinner for my birthday. Tio Pepe is just a lot of hype and was a great disappointment, long wait, and noisy. Feel rushed to finish your lousy meal, pay up and get out. Baltimore can do a lot better. Don't go here just to say you've been there like it's some kind a Baltimore monument one HAS to visit.
08/12/2005Provided by Citysearch -
I heard so much about this fancy restaurant that they served good food and all, but after I tried it I would never want to go back there. At first I thought their foods should be delicate and delicious, but that was the major disappointment. I ordered some shrimp dishes, most of the shrimps contained sands, each bite I can feel the sands between my teeth. Then the entree finally came, paella, it was watery, all the seafood was too well done. I personally had spanish food in Boston before, and it was great, their price is not as expensive as Tio pepe, and they have great paella. That is the reason I wanted to try the paella again. Unfortunatly, it was horrible experience. Price does not equall to the quality, that's all I can say. So I am not recommend this restaurant to any of my friends.