We first patronized Tio Pepe's in the 1980's. It was the "Toast of the Town;" you could not get a table without knowing somebody on the staff, it had consistently rave reviews, and once you were there you were treated to an evening of the finest Spanish culinary delights from the kitchen of Angel Sanz, a legend in his time. Thirty years later, we returned for what we hope was the grandeur of this establishment's illustrious history in Downtown Baltimore. We started with what he hoped would be a nostalgic experience with their famed shellfish appetizers. I regret to report, however, that they are sadly a thing of the past. The mussels in marinara sauce had an overly thick texture and were served cold; all of the chain restaurants today know how to serve a more delectable mussel dish. It's a shame that the Spaniards have dominated this expertise for so long, but now have been sadly left behind. The shrmp in garlic sauce is the same recipe of 30 years ago - good but hopelessly out-dated - besides, it never was a really authentic Spanish garlic-shrimp recipe, just something invented by the chef, and which should have passed away with him. The main courses were still very good, in particular the grouper; however, it should forget about doing anything with tilapia, since it's something akin to catfish, and does not really even belong on the menu of a Spanish restaurant.
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