Fresh and Clean Cuisine
110 W. 25th St., (410) 261-5052
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It was a dark gray day—with precipitation alternating between a spritz and a downpour—when we parked the car and dashed through the rain. Fresh and Clean Cuisine, it turns out, offers a not particularly cozy but tidy and pleasant shelter from the storm. You could eat there if you’d like, but it’s certainly more geared toward the carryout crowd—the smattering of tables and blaring TV aren’t so conducive to group dining or quiet conversation. Of course, food like this is best enjoyed in the peace of your own home; it’s the heavy, comforting sort of cooking you wish your mom could make. Yeah, they’ve got a ton of slightly pricier, Cheap Eats-disqualifying dishes, but the jerk chicken ($4.50 for six enormous pieces) is a meal in and of itself. While it’s labeled as “Buffalo wings” on the menu (be sure to ask for them with jerk spice), these are not the dinky little pub wings you get while watching the game. These are tender, perfectly marinated full wings. There’s just a touch of heat to them, but the subtle sweetness balances things out nicely. The pineapple ginger juice ($4) pairs well with the wings, and though four bucks might be more than one would typically pay for a beverage, it’s fresh, made in-house, and served in a rather tall cup. The fried plantains ($3) were good—heavy for sure but just the right texture (i.e., not soggy). Food like this enjoys the duplicity of being well suited for either a windy, rainy day or for sitting out back in the summer swelter with a cold beer.