Social media savvy soul food spot Great Granns

City Paper

Since opening last February, soul-food carry-out location Great Granns has grabbed the attention of West Baltimore locals and become one of the most popular new carry-out restaurants in the city and on social media. Great Granns has more than 10,000 followers on its Instagram account (@greatgranns); if you follow the hashtag #greatgranns, you can view more than a thousand pictures of mouthwatering dishes, posted by Great Granns and local customers. After scrolling through a few pictures, we decided to visit and see what all the hype was about. 

Manager Sherelle Black describes Great Granns’ menu as “food with soul.” The menu has simple and enticing items, including breakfast items, sandwiches, wraps, salad, and lunch and dinner platters with all sorts of meat and seafood options, with prices ranging from $2 to $35.

We ordered the salmon dinner ($12), grilled salmon topped with barbecue sauce and served with two sides of your choice. The salmon was delicious; the large filet was grilled perfectly, leaving the meat flaky and moist. It was topped with just the right amount of a sweet, tangy, warm barbecue sauce that left us licking our fingers for more. For sides we selected collard greens and mac and cheese. The greens, which were fresh and lightly seasoned and didn’t overpower the meal, paired effortlessly with the fish. The mac and cheese was made with penne-style noodles and had a rich blend of cheeses, but we found it to be baked a bit too crispy.

Next we had to try a house favorite, stuffed dinner, which is a choice of poultry or seafood (chicken, shrimp, salmon, tilapia, or lobster) stuffed with crab meat and served with two sides ($16.50-35, depending on selection). Based on Black’s recommendation, we went with the stuffed shrimp ($19). The display was beautiful: three large shrimp stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat and glazed with Great Granns’ special sauce. The fresh crab was very flavorful, soft, and well-seasoned, and was complemented well by the shrimp, which had crispy edges (we guessed it was broiled) that enhanced the taste. The sauce was amazing, almost like a hollandaise but lighter in color and texture. For sides we choose string beans and yellow rice. The string beans were steamed, and were tender, not soggy, with a light buttery taste.

For dessert we opted for banana pudding provided by Sweet Treats by Shanna ($5). The sweet, whipped pudding was layered between bananas and topped with caramel and crumbles of a cookie or vanilla wafer. We loved the fluffiness of the whipped pudding and the cool caramel on top.

We easily see how Great Granns home-style cooking and warm, familial service have set them apart from other carry-outs in the city. Its menu tastes just as good as it looks. 

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