Friday, March 19, 2010

Fab and Fun at Mr. Rain's Fun House

by Xani

We recently dined at one of South Baltimore's newest and most unique restaurants: Mr. Rain's Funhouse. Mr. Rain's is located at the top of the American Visionary Art Museum (arguably one of the best museums in our fair city), where the much-missed Joy America Cafe used to be. But Mr. Rain's is so funky, cool, and delicious, it makes us almost able to forget the Joy that was tableside guacamole.

But let's not dwell on the past. Mr. Rain's is (pretty much) about the now, from it's Tim Burton-esque decor (which marries perfectly with the overall tenor of the museum) and it's outrageous cocktail menu, to the menu's focus on world cuisine and sustainable sourcing.

During our recent visit we settled into a spacious table, overlooking the harbor (er, the condos in front of the harbor) and got started with cocktails. Mr. Rain's boasts a very unique bar menu, featuring concoctions with such unusual ingredients as thai basil, artichoke bitters, and cayenne sea salt. We tried the The Orchard (Old Forrester Bourbon, Lillet Blanc, Apple Cider, Cinnamon Syrup) which was slightly sweet with a strong bourbon flavor, and The Art E. Choke Flip (Henderick’s Gin, Cynar Artichoke Bitters, Lemongrass Syrup, Egg White) which we deemed the tastiest cocktail we'd had in recent memory! Anyone out there who likes adventurous cocktails, especially those more savory than sweet, should try the Flip! Turns out Flips are a type of pre-Prohibition cocktail, and you know we love anything retro....

The Flip! Notice the foam on top, from the egg white

The Orchard

Then, onto the food. Mr. Rain's originality doesn't end at the drink menu. The dinner options included several several starters, salads, and soups, along with a drool-inducing list of entrees, both carnivorous and vegetarian. We shared a Roasted Garlic & Radish Soup (with shaved idiazabal cheese) to start-- it was creamy, sharp and delicious-- then moved on to main courses.

Oh, and who could forget the lovely pretzel bites they serve with spicy mustard, instead of the predictable bread and butter!

For mains, we went with meat: Duck 3 Ways (seared ~ sausage ~ confit), and a weekly market special, Hog Roast Platter (tasso cured ham, hunter sausage, head cheese, woodfire barbecue). That's 7 kinds of meat!! Each preparation was well-executed and tasty. Even the headcheese, which we were a bit nervous about, had a mild flavor and complex texture. Grilled beets, saurkraut, sauteed spinach, and other delicious little garnishes were nestled amongst the platters, each complimenting one of the seven preparations of protein nicely.

Ze duck! You can see the seared in the middle of the plate, and the confit on the right

Pig 4 ways! Plus it came with fries on top and an amazing BBQ sauce on the side

While we couldn't even finish the massive servings of meat, we just had to indulge in a bit of dessert. While a nearby table opted for a fantastical Baked Alaska (with cotton candy!), we chose the decadent peanut butter cheesecake, served along with a chocolate-marshmallow popcorn ball. Divine! The in-house prepared desserts are just as whimsical and well thought out as the cocktails and the savory dishes.

Overall, we were wowed by Mr. Rain's! The food, drinks, and service were outstanding, and we're so excited to have this funky new establishment in the neighborhood. We can't wait to see how the changing seasons (yay spring) influence the menus. Asparagus mojito, anyone?

Happy Tim Burton-esque dining,
X & EP


  1. frankly i've been somewhat reluctant to eat there if only because i can't tell what at least half the food is. ok, so i'm not a foodie, but man, it would be cool to know what all the main ingredients actually are, you know? still, i'm sure i'll manage it all somehow and before too long.

  2. Oh my God! Drooling all over keyboard. Can't wait to go.

  3. oh my! must try these cocktails and treats if I ever get to Baltimore!

  4. I have eaten at least 5 times in that resto and all I can say is that that's one of the best restaurants I have been in that area. I got hungry just by reading your blog. I highly recommend this restaurant. Their cocktails and coffee are really great too!


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