Ze Mean Bean Café offers delightful European charm in Maryland. The small café opened in 1995 and has been serving customers specialty coffees, delicious desserts and small plates of Eastern European cuisine ever since. Today, Ze Mean Bean has transformed into a wine and dining destination, offering some of the best food, as well as one of the largest wine selections in the area.
The menu at Ze Mean Bean Café changes seasonally, so you never know what to expect when you visit, but you can count on it being fresh and tasty. There are a few staple favorites that can always be found on the menu that includes pierogis, smoky goulash and the award-winning borscht. Café traditions are in full swing in the restaurant with music being played regularly.
If you're someone who enjoys quaint and classy places with interesting food and live music, then this is the place for you! The atmosphere is wonderfully cozy and classy with wooden tables, soft lighting, interesting paintings, and great live jazz music playing in the background. Regarding the food, the Eastern European dishes were really great. My crab cake dish was way too salty, so I wouldn't order that again, but the dishes my friends ordered that were Ukrainian were very good. I will say that the mashed potatoes and asparagus that were served with my crab cakes were very good, but the crab cakes were really almost inedible. I powered through them because I hate wasting food, but it really was incredibly salty.
Overall however, I would go back to this place again, because for the most part their food and drinks were good, and the atmosphere is really wonderful!
Overall, I would definitely go back as I liked the atmosphere and the food is very good; however, it is a little pricey for the portion size you are served. I had plenty of food for myself. I usually take food home from restaurants and have leftovers for one or two meals. I was only served enough to satisfy my palate at the restaurant--no leftovers. My husband was a little disappointed as he left a little hungry and said he could have eaten a little more then he was served.
My husband and I had to been here three times and each time was great and better than the previous time! It''s cozy, and the food was delicious. We normally do not go out on nights like Valentine's Day, but decided to treat ourselves. It was a set menu with several choices in each course. I had the mushroom sou,p my husband had the salad. Both were top-of-the-line ingredients and the soup was deliciously distinctive and homemade. Second course was a selection of a shrimp dish or beef on a skewer. Beef was marinated and grilled perfectly. That was sufficient amount of food, so the portions were more than adequate! Both of us had the same pork tenderloin entrée with cherry sauce, mashed potatoes, asparagus. Wow!---beautiful combination, in the pork tender brain was groomed, very tender, very tasty! Wonderful wonderful. Dessert was a chocolate mousse with Caramel sauce that also was a perfect dish to complete a perfect meal. Service was prompt, and cannot wait to return! The food is always interesting, and top quality.
The food was pretty good and the spacing of the courses was very nice. However, when looking for a Valentine's Day destination I reviewed each restaurant's website carefully to make sure the menu was something me and my partner would both like.
Ultimately, we chose Ze Mean Bean for their fair prices and traditional Eastern European food. We made reservations and we're excited to try the Halupki.
When we got to the restaurant, there was no sort of waiting area, so we stood there awkwardly for a few minutes as people were eating their meals.
We were taken to a nice table upstairs that had a nice view of the falling snow outside. We were disappointed to see a prefixe menu awaiting us that did not have the traditional food we were excited for. Furthermore, no prices were listed on the menu.
We chose our courses and had to repeat them back to the waitress more than once since she wasn't writing anything down. I Don't blame the waitress for all the hiccups that evening, as it seemed like she was the only one serving while we were there.
The food was good and was something I would eat again. However, it was definitely not worth the price. At $55 per person, we could have ate at a much higher end restaurant and received a higher quality meal.
If you are going to have a prefixe menu for any event, advertise it on OpenTable! If a bill of $155 at the end of a meal is such a huge surprise, then the food and service definitely wasn't worth it.
I will be back though, I need to try the Halupki.
Ze Mean Bean is a traditional polish restaurant. We had the sampler platter, golden beet salad, the yvonne sandwich, a nice merlot, and chocolate caramel mousse pie. The chocolate caramel mousse pie was wonderful. The food was very good but the service was a bit slow becase of we ordered off the lunch menu on Valentines day.
One waitress for whole place, Took 30 minutes just to order. Soda was flat
Nice spot that's out of the way of the Thames Street strip. Been here a long time for good reason! Good food with interesting twists..the Slavic sampler appetizer was delightful. But the highlight that evening were the jazz guitarists that played as lovely background music.
Service was pokey. A four piece jazz combo was jammed into a small corner of a small room, which seemed overkill. And the food slipped a notch, especially waiting so long for it
Ze Mean Bean is a staple in Fells Point, providing excellent Eastern European food. With the musical group playing, it can be a bit loud on the first floor, making conversation a challenge. But the food is well worth the trip and the cocktails are excellent.
This is a great little place to enjoy some traditional Eastern European food without packing a suitcase. I've eaten in restaurants throughout Eastern Europe and the food here is quite authentic as well as reasonably priced.
The moment you walk in it feels like home and you expect mom to come out of the kitchen and greet you.
If you go for brunch, try to make it a Sunday so you can enjoy the jazz band while you savor brunch.
The short ribs on the dinner menu are amazing but not always available so ask right away and they can save them for you before they are gone for the night. The Goulash has all of the right seasoning and the paprika is a bit spicy, which is great. The stuffed cabbage is exactly what I grew up eating and the best I have had in years.
Overall you can't go wrong with anything on the menu so explore it all and enjoy.
I love this restaurant but they were having an off day. They were so focused on taking care of a big group upstairs that are food sat for too long in the kitchen and then was cold when it arrived. The waitress didn't smile at all. I will be back, but not on Sundays. They are good if they have 1 or 2 tables, but once it gets busy they are lost.
We chose this place for the Eastern European fare. Thought it would be perfect following a performance of the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker at the Hippodrome. It was definitely not worth the travel to Fells Point. There was only one other couple in the place, which was attractively decorated for the holiday season. A highlight was a small trio, standing bass, guitar and trumpet, performing in the corner. It is a small dining area, so not sure why our server had trouble making it over to our table so infrequently. The pricing seemed reasonable until we were served such meager portions. The pour for the house wine, a decent Merlot, was skimpy and at $8, not worth it. The golden beet salad was very good but at $12 the plate was small. My husband ordered the goulash and homemade spaetzle, which he said was very good, but for the $19 price, it was served in a cereal bowl with a dry piece of rye bread on the side. I ordered the perogie plate, a specialty of the house, I thought, however the 7 on the plate were woefully understuffed, one was empty, and flavorless except for the scant onions tossed atop, and dry, dry, dry and chewy. A few blanched green beans and a serving of red cabbage, adequate at best (they may have opened a jar) rounded out the plate. This was $16. Our server never stepped from behind the bar to ask if we were happy with our dinners. I feel they thought we were customers to be taken advantage of, with such service and poor quality food. But the worst of the evening came when the server presented our bill and "miscalculated" the total an extra $20 to her advantage. We were not happy. We were in fact quite dissatisfied with the dining experience and could not recommend it. Very poor service, mediocre to bad food, and quite overpriced. The kitchen seemed to be as listless and disinterested as the wait staff. Too bad, because we had high hopes from reading the menu. If this is Old World charm, it leaves quite a bit lacking.
This is exactly how I felt when having brunch this weekend. It was as if I was back in Poland and stopping in for a hearty and delicious lunch in Krakow.
The food is authentic with the right amount of seasoning to make it worth a trip back for dinner.
The Red Scare and Molushki are dishes you won't typically find on any other menu and worth checking out. The Kielbasa can't be any fresher when it comes from next door and they make it fresh every day.
Service was great, attentive but not overbearing and the atmosphere is Old World.
I've been to this restaurant before, and I really liked it, but this time when we tried to make a reservation through Open Table. (I tried to leave the ratings blank above, but it wouldn't let me, so the ratings there can be ignored. They were mostly aimed at Open Table for allowing us to make a reservation, but then we when we got there, we found out that the restaurant wasn't open that day (until 4pm, and we had 12:30 reservations.) So, Open Table and this restaurant need to work on their communication skills. It was very disappointing to be looking forward to this dining experience, only to be turned away by a sign at the door.
The service was great and the food was wonderful! We had the solovic special.
What a little gem! Authentic, eastern Europen fare served like momma would. The food was delicious and adventurous. All items were freshly prepared by hand. The desserts were simply amazing and homemade, so be sure to save room. The staff was attentive and gracious. We had a wonderful birthday celebration and will be back.
Interesting place. No wine list and the recommended bottle was Bulgarian....we went with a California Zin.
Great authentic food. So-so service.
Food was good enough that we would definitely go back.
To eat authentic polish/slavic food. Does not have the qualities of a restaurant that gives a complete dining experience. That is acceptable for tasting the exotic food and drinks. It reflects the laid back attitude in those parts of the world.
We love this place because there are always multiple, interesting vegetarian and fin fish options. The manager is attentive and pleasant. And there's always live music on Saturday evening.
My husband and I went for dinner on a Sunday night. The ambiance was so cute and I immediately liked the place. Unfortunately, the food was not so good. The periogies didn't have much flavor, potato pancakes were flat and not crispy. The service was disappointing: We ordered a large selection of appetizers and they brought them all at once, even after we asked them to spread them out so we could slowly enjoy our meal. The live guitar music was nice, but it was weird that there was no one else at the restaurant and only one person at the bar. I wanted to like this place as I love Eastern European food and liked the atmosphere, but I wouldn't go back or recommend it.
Went to Ze Mean bean Café with my sisters for our monthly outing. We all travel at least an hour so we don't want to be disappointed. Food was excellent, even liked the stuffed cabbage, and we all make our own so we are partial to the way we do it. The pierogies were very tasty. Some great unusual cocktails on the menu. We were there on a Tuesday night so it was quiet, we were never rushed and our waitress was excellent. The desserts are homemade and delicious.
The food really isn't anything special--borderline not good. We went for the music. They have a jazz brunch on Sundays which is pretty nice.
We enjoyed the restaurant and were glad we were given the booth in the corner, because the noise level increased with more people coming in who seemed to know each other. We visited from Virginia and Maryland,
As the only previous diner between the two of us at this establishment, I knew what I was getting my husband and I into when I took him there for his first time. He's half Polish so I knew he'd appreciate the variety of Slavic food offered on the menu. The food was just as I remembered - The Golubki's (butchered that spelling LOL - the meat-filled cabbage rolls with tomato sauce topping) were amazing! My husband ordered the Goulash, which was also phenomenal! It was so tasty and authentic, and cooked to perfection including the noodles! And of course, the Perogies are in a league of thir own-AWESOME! Overall, Ze Mean Bean Cafe is fantastic! The manager Todd really made our night special! He was friendly, charismatic, and was fun to talk to!
The food is excellent and the service attentive. It is like a quiet little bistro with friendly servers. The Sunday brunch is great with live music to enhance the experience.
I went with friends from Washington, D.C. to the Baltimore Summer Antique Show and afterwards we had dinner at Ze Mean Bean. The food, autherntic Slavic fare, was excellent as was the service provided by our attentive waitress. We selected the Prix-Fixe dinner that included three courses, borscht or pierogi, halupki, and Hungarian goulash with homemade spaetzle. The manager also generously included a glass of a Bulgarian pinot noir with our meals. We finished our meal with coffee and homemade dessert from the seven dessert choices of the day. Portions were generous and the food was delicious. Menu prices are very reasonable. My friends and I all agreed Ze Mean Bean merits future visits any time we find ourselves in Baltimore in the future.
We went for brunch at 12:30 and were the only ones there. On the menu I expected to see more eastern European items because of the restaurant theme, but there wasn't very much of that to choose from. The only ones I could find were borscht and pierogis as appetizers. Most everything else was standard brunch fare. We all enjoyed the food, but the waiter missed the fact that 2 of us ordered appetizers while the other 2 did not. We flagged him down, but he basically just said that's life. So there was an awkward 15 minutes where those of us with food waited for the other dishes to come out to start eating out of respect for our friends. A little pricey for what it was, and call themselves a cafe but don't even have espresso.
My wife and I hadn't been there in about 10 years, as we don't live in the area any more. It did not disappoint; it is still a wonderfully eclectic place. Love the Eastern European theme of the menu. I had borscht and Hungarian goulash, both very good. Great service. A jazz band was playing, and they were good, but a little loud for our taste. Fortunately, we moved to an outside table as a result. It was a beautiful night and, along with the meal, we got to enjoy watching the many characters often seen wandering the streets of Fells Point.
My family and I had the best time at ZMB. Great food, expansive wine and beer and meticulous caring staff. You can tell love and hard work goes into every aspect if this restaurant. Pierogi's like Grammy used to make!
Our dinner was excellent. It was my hubby's birthday and he had a great time. He had the short ribs and I had the char. The Russian beer was a treat also. Service was perfect as usual. Can't wait to go back.
Cozy, good food, superb jazz band, warm ambience, beautiful Saturday evening ... We are glad we discovered this little place.
We didn't get checked in on Opentable, because the waitress couldn't hear over the band. After waiting for 10 min for the drink orders, we had a wine flight which could not balance on a wobbly table and Czech bitters instead of Polish buffalo grass brandy. (If you pride yourself in unique Eastern/Central European cocktails, then your staff should know them inside and out).
The cheese plate had more fruit than cheese and neither the cheese nor the fruit had any originality.
The food was delicious, but, once again, not what we ordered.
Some people might like the band on top of the less than eight tables, but more people like getting what they ordered on a table and chairs that don't resemble a yard sale thirty years ago.
We had a lovely time. Not my favorite table in the house but still had a lovely time
Food was wonderful, but service was slow and somewhat unresponsive. We had to ask other servers to find our server to get drink refills, more water, more bread. No one ever came over and asked if everything was just ok. We had a reservation, but when we came in and said so, we were met with a wave in the air and the comment "oh just sit anywhere." Not sure having a reservation meant anything.
We were there on a late, cold Sunday afternoon looking for a warm, cozy place after the theater. It is a favorite of ours--love the Eastern European food--so good on a cold day and the friendly professional service. There are a number of choices that are not Eastern European, but this Sunday we were looking for borscht, stew, sausages, potato pancakes, and the like. We also can't pass up dessert. The owner's mother makes them and they are great. They also have a Sunday brunch menu and live jazz at various times as well as specials. There is an interesting wine list and they are capable of making a decent mixed drink and cup of coffee. This is a treat for our daughter and her husband who live in LA and have lots of choices there.
Pierogis are to die for here!!!! Also love the live music!
We had 1:00 pm reservations for brunch. The place was 2/3 rds empty, yet our watiress was missing most of the time when we needed her. She was polite and perky, but attentive would have been better. Our food was mediocre: My hash browns tasted as if they had been cooked the night before and left out on the counter, dry and cold. same for my un-distinct slices of bread. The saving grace was the music. Fine musicianship, even though 3 pieces in that small room makes for lots of shouting and mis-communications between waitress and guests. We found if we talked during the band's breaks we could eat while they played.
Went looking for a jazzy dinner spot with a wide selection on their menu. The menu was awesome and the food was very good. The Eastern European Jazzy music wasn't exactly my taste, but it was good and create a wonderful setting.
The food was tasty but would not recommend for children. The service wasn't great could of been better. A better spot for a few adults or a romantic couple.
I must say that my wife and I had an awesome time. The food was great, the waitress was outstanding, and the guitar player made the night complete. We will definitely be coming back. Thanks again, Mr and Mrs Glowack