When Mo's disappeared from its location in Parkville, my wife and I were pretty disappointed. We'd enjoyed the Old-School Baltimore experience and would miss it. Then we heard that Mo's had re-appeared just a little ways down the road in Towson. The walk through the bar is gone, as is the relatively dim lighting, and in its place is a bright new restaurant that still manages to retain some of its personality.
When we first arrived (on a Friday night around 8 PM), we were a little taken aback that the parking lot was so full. The restaurant has several entrances, but all of them are up staircases. The handicapped ramp is at the front of the building, which means that you have to pass through the main dining room to get to the host's station. Although it was busy, they were still able to offer us different options for seating: in the bar area, in the lounge and in the main dining room. There are also a couple of outdoor areas for the warmer weather; they weren't active during this visit. One of these areas is also the top of the handicapped ramp, so I can only imagine that the navigation must be awkward when those tables are in use. My wife wanted something relatively quiet, and she chose the main dining area.
The main dining room isn't so much the "quiet" place as it is the "least noisy" one. The high ceilings and hard surfaces everywhere make the place rather loud and echo-ey, even as we got closer to the end of our meal and several of the tables were empty. There are multiple big-screen TVs mounted to the walls, all of them with the sound turned off and the captioning on. They were all tuned to the Orioles game while we were there.
OK, so those are the complaints, and I'm sure you'll agree that they were, in the long run, relatively minor. What does stand out here is the food. We started with an order of Clams Casino, This particular offering isn't as complicated as it usually is; they keep it simple by using only bacon, provolone cheese and garlic butter (i.e. no bread crumbs or peppers). For seven dollars you get a half-dozen clams, served on a bed of rock salt. (For those not in the know, the rock salt helps maintain the heat, and keeps the clams from sliding all over the plate. Also, it just looks cool, OK?) Despite the "missing ingredients", the clams were delicious.I rather liked it without the peppers.
My wife was unsure about what to order (she had it narrowed down to about three items) and asked the waitress for advice. She hedged a little bit but then said that she, personally, preferred the stuffed shrimp. So Wife went with that, and also ordered the Seafood Macaroni Salad as her side dish (you get a choice of side with most dishes). The stuffed shrimp was a little light on the shrimp, for her taste, but the Imperial crab topping made up for it. Personally I would have used just a little bit less of the pimiento, since that sort of thing can take over a dish.
The Seafood Macaroni salad used pasta shells, shrimp, and surimi, along with a couple of extra bits in there. The surimi was a bit of a surprise, but they weren't promising anything extra-special; it is a side dish, after all. And she really enjoyed it nonetheless.
I had the Fried Seafood Combination, which is listed as one of the house specialties, and they weren't kidding. For your $23, you get a fish fillet, scallops (about seven of them), shrimp, a crab cake(!) and lots of fried clams. My side was cole slaw, which was fresh and rode a nice line between sweet and vinegary.
Many of the entrées come with a choice of a "small" or a "large" order (the Fried Combo does not), but the small portions were more than enough. And the sides were served in bowls larger than you typically see on side dishes, so even in that respect there was plenty of food. I've got a good appetite and still managed to take home more than half of my food (although the Clams Casino may have had some influence on that).
Yes, they do tack a 17% gratuity on the checks, but they do tell you this on the menu. It's also not especially uncommon in the Baltimore area, so I'm not sure why people are still surprised by that. We never had bad service so I couldn't tell you what happens if you refuse to pay it; I imagine a chat with the manager would have some impact. As it was, we tacked on a couple of extra dollars because our waitress was friendly, helpful and understanding with a minor situation we encountered (it wasn't related to the restaurant itself so it need not be spelled out here).
They have daily specials on Mondays through Thursdays which are all pretty good deals, and an early bird menu that goes until 5PM. And during football season there are numerous "Football Specials" available, including purple shooters during Ravens games (never had one so I don't know what's in it).
Mo's does offer take-out and delivery but I can't comment on those because I've only ever eaten in, so apologies if you're looking for info in that realm.