900 Cathedral St., (410) 539-2009
Howard's outdoor courtyard is one of the best-kept secrets in Mt. Vernon. With excellent happy-hour specials, we've whiled away way too many hours in the relatively temperate weather this summer sucking down buckets of Bohs and chain-smoking cigarettes. There are plenty of tables; it's separated from the street and the angry scowls of mothers who tell their children, "That is a bad person!" as they pass you on the sidewalk while you sit at the outdoor tables at other venues. The great thing is, it doesn't feel like you're being sequestered into one of those enclosed, airport-like leper colonies that smoking areas can resemble. Instead it feels like sitting on a private patio in some more enlightened, less judgmental country. (If they exist anymore. Even France has gone nonsmoking! What the fuck?) And if you forget your lighter, Ron, one of the waiters, might just lend you his for the duration of your visit (probably finding it easier than giving it to you all 20 times you light up).