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altar-ego

Baltimore – Where to eat

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Oh, and if you think that there's anything down there aside from what you call "cliches" that an out-of-towner can't miss, please enumerate. Wasn't it you who broght up the coddies? Hmm, I believe it was. Point is, when someone from out of town says "I want to see Baltimore", I sure as Hell wouldn't send them to a pizza place, a tex-mex place or an Asian place. No, I'd send them to a Baltimore, MD place, a place where they can get something that they can't duplicate elsewhere. Ever had a crabcake in NYC? If that's all you've had, Baltimore is a revelation. So sorry if it's a cliche in your More Baltimore Than Thou book.

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And sometimes, on an early Spring evening, a cool Natty Boh hits the spot. Diss it all you want, but just like its G. Heilman brethren (Pabst and Lone Star) it at least tastes like beer, which is more than I can say for the "premium" brands like Bud and Miller. If there's no Anchor and no Sierra Nevada in the house (or a competent local draught), I'll take the Boh.

I wasn't dissing it. It's part of Baltimore for me - cold Natty Boh, Orioles at Memorial Stadium, Esskay hotdog with mustard. I wish I was there right now, in fact.

Wasn't this a thread about Baltimore? Isn't Eden Center in Northern Virginia? :hmmm:


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Ever had a crabcake in NYC? If that's all you've had, Baltimore is a revelation.

Right on. And it's More Baltimore Than Thou, Hon. :laugh:

Heather (has spent lots of quality time in Baltimore since 1985, and would move there if she could. :smile: )


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Speaking of cliches, if it's open, I'd get a car and drive down to Cantler's. They have a gift shop now so the end might be near.

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Okay, deep breath. The problem with visiting Baltimore is that it has become way too easy to get sucked into the vortex of chains or pseudo-chains. You could spend days there without seeing places and things that make the city unique (some would, proudly, say bizarre). Christmas in Hamden, the 4th of July parade in Dundalk, what's left of The Block, those last Little Taverns, Lexington Market, Marconi's (no more Hausner's), Swallow at The Hollow, Bar, the original Wharf Rat (I'm elated that it still exists), at least a walk by Memorial Stadium and so on. These are the places that I think of when I think of Baltimore, not some Rouse Company sleepwalk, some Six Flags Over Camden Yards (I think that they don't even serve Esskay franks anymore; I hear that it's Perdue chicken franks...yikes!), a freakin' Legal Seafoods on Pratt Street across from The Place That Shall Not Be Mentioned...you can do that crap anywhere.

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Hey! We agree on something! You are right, the Inner Horrible is all most visitors to Baltimore ever see. Then, we have listen to how much it sucks which is like judging NYC based on a visit to Times Square. And, while this is veering into another subject entirely, I give Camden Yards a pass despite the fact that no one misses Memorial Stadium more than I do. There were legit reasons it had to be done and I am still somewhat surprised that Baltimore did something so well that the rest of the country is now copying it, for better or worse. Although tacos from a neighborhood place are my game chow of choice, I happen to know that Esskay hot dogs are served.

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You bet we agree. And I had to work across the street from It for almost four years. At least the old Bun Penny had cheap beer on tap and you could walk to a real hot dog or pastrami place back then.

I'd go further vis The Inner Horror Experience. If you're in New York, you can go to The South Street Seaport, which is another Rouse development. You don't even have to close your eyes to imagine that you're on Pratt Street. As a public service, here's a link to the "travel and marketing page" of this forward-thinking, soul-sapping developer. Here you can see those places that must be avoided at all costs. It's a real rogue's gallery of places utterly devoid of local color, personality and/or character

"Cheescake Factory, Hard Rock Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen..." Yeah!

Places Not to Go That Were Developed By The Rouse Company


Edited by jbraynolds (log)

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Miss Indie,

I was only dissing Natty Boh, not indicting an entire city.

Once I walked into a Royal Farms 24-hour Mini-Mart at 4 AM, and ordered a 3-piece assortment of fried chicken and asked the cashier for 6 Nasty Blows.

He, "We have light version now too."

"What's it called?"

"Mousy Dung."

Reaping what I sowed for going off topic...

Cheers,

Rocks.

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One dinner in Baltimore (business, but I don't mind my dining companions) and somebody else is paying. Where should we go?


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Just short of 24 hours on the ground in Baltimore, and all sorts of dining thrills to recount.

Stayed at the new-ish Marriott on the waterfront: fancy lobby, rooms not as well-tended by housekeeping as they should be, hellishly loud noise accompanies use of showers (in both of two rooms surveyed), hot water for tea with my room service breakfast served in a coffee-flavored carafe.

Ate lunch in a small restaurant that made quite nice crab cakes but served iced tea made with syrup (which means it tastes like potassium benzoate). So in case anybody asks, Baltimore is officially not the south.

Dinner was at Charleston. Fancy sort of dining room with fancy prices to match. The a la carte menu offers three savoury courses, with mains all in excess of $30. I got the tasting menu with wine pairings, relatively good value at $115. Without wine the tasting menu is $79.

Bread arrives early in the meal, before food. Three sorts, one a cornbread stick/dodger/whatever that's sweet. Cake, in other words. The words to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" play in my head.

The tasting menu starts with two amuses, served separately. Crispy Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Lemon-Cayenne Mayonnaise very good. Sullivan Harbor Smoked Salmon was accompanied by somewhat undercooked diced Yukon Gold Potatoes.

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Chevre was very good---nice smokiness.

Pan-Roasted Wild Rockfish with Shrimp, Saffron, and Lemon Risotto was excellent---both the fish and the risotto nicely done.

Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Mango-Rhubarb Compote excellent. The foie gras salty enough to stand up to the compote, which was in turn acidic enough to balance the foie and turn up the saltiness. Very nice.

Grilled Lamb Tenderloin with Tomato Risotto. Why am I eating risotto for the second time in the space of an evening? Not as successful as the evening's first version, so I didn't actually eat much of it in any case: nice flavor but texture not quite there. Lamb very good.

Cheese course: no, I didn't really get any cheese (because I would have had to admit myself to the hospital that night with a chief complaint "pretty sure she's going to pop"), but it looked great. Nice cart, wonderful cheeses.

Chocolate Cake Layered with Pecan Meringue and Chocolate Mousse sounded more "layered" than it turned out to be. Pecan Meringue and Chocolate Mousse may well have figured in the prep, but I couldn't really distinguish them from the general chocolate ingot quality of the item. Huge serving. Had mignardises been offered I'd have skipped the dessert entirely.

Service excellent: efficient, relaxed, very well-informed re menu items, etc.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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I might be up in Bawlmore Friday night. I know Federal Hill and Fells Point, but my Little Italy knowledge is rusty. Is there anywhere worth going? I'm not looking for fine dining-- if it's a spaghetti and meatballs kinda place with a good atmosphere and decent service, I'd be happy.

Alternatively, is there anywhere worthwhile to go to in Greektown?


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I might be up in Bawlmore Friday night. I know Federal Hill and Fells Point, but my Little Italy knowledge is rusty. Is there anywhere worth going? I'm not looking for fine dining-- if it's a spaghetti and meatballs kinda place with a good atmosphere and decent service, I'd be happy.

Alternatively, is there anywhere worthwhile to go to in Greektown?

Personally, I would avoid Little Italy on a Friday night, as it tends to be a zoo. The non-fine dining places there aren't much good anyway. Maybe go there after dinner for dessert at Vacarro's (get ready to wait, though) or the small gelateria whose location and name I can't remember.

Go to Samos if you're heading to Greektown. Ever been to Attman's for corned beef? Fantastic-- it's near Little Italy (on the strip known as 'corned beef row', though there aren't many other corned beef places left). Not sure what time they close, though. Don't know how much you've checked out in Federal Hill, but what about Sobo (down Cross street) or just hitting the Cross Street Market (for a fat fried fish sandwich and a big beer).


Chris Sadler

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Samos is a good suggestion and it is BYOB. If you are in the mood for casual Italian, though, consider Vespa in Federal Hill. Nice atmosphere and good wine service.

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Just back last night from Baltimore (longer time at the same event AB was speaking at). Yesterday JAZ and I had lunch at the branch of Wharf Rat across from the Convention Center -- also right by our hotel; convenience was the reason. Well, convenience, and the beer. Wow, GREAT beer: we both had the two cask-conditioned beers, which were really, really good. As was the "shrimp salad" sandwich. Yeah, the place could have been Anywhere, USA, but the beer is worth it.

And I will admit to having had lunch at the Rusty Scupper -- not by choice, but as part of a conference event. :hangs head in shame: Well, at least after lunch, we went out on a skipjack in the harbor and learned a lot about oysters. THAT almost made up for lunch.

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MODERN/FUSION: Soigne/Ixia/Red Maple/Joy America

Red Maple is good, but be prepared to spend $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ if you have an appetite and weigh more than 90 pounds. The decor is so gorgeous that you will want to lick the walls for dessert :wub:


Love,

Mr. Roger Troutman, who enjoys food and beverages.

CHAIR, INTERNATIONAL DINING RESEARCH INSTITUTE

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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Also check out this thread, started with a request by none other than Tony Bourdain -- and you know nobody wants to steer HIM wrong!

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I'll try to help out by telling you about some of my fav places.

Golden West Cafe on W.36th Street in Hampden. Belly busting New Mexican fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes on Friday nights, Thomas makes specials. A cool place, just don't try to talk on a cellphone or ask for substitutions.

Nam Kang at Maryland and 21st for Korean.

Happy hour at the Brewer's Art on N. Charles Street. It is a true happy hour--drafts are $2. God bless them. Give me an ozzy and some rosemary garlic frites and I am a very happy girl.

Slightly north and across the street from Brewer's Art is Thai Landing. Super friendly staff--ask Charlie how hot the chiles are and Sam about the latest film he's seen. And, the food is good, too.

I like Tapas Teatro on Charles next door to the Charles Theatre but not everyone does. Screw 'em.

That brings me to your request for best bars...hmm, this is VERY subjective. But, Tapas Teatro just happens to be across the street from the Club Charles one of my all time favorite bars. A late night, drink way too much, eyes burning from thick smoke kind of bar.

As I mentioned, the Brewer's Art is a great bar. Beautiful room upstairs in front. Cool, dungeon like space in the basement that seems to be enormously popular with bicycle messengers.

Go to Eastern Avenue and Broadway in Fells Point for Mexican. If the taco truck is there, don't skip it. If you'd like to sit down, I like El Tacquito, a block up on Eastern. It is BYOB, always a bonus in my world. There is also a tortilleria on Eastern.

If you are out that way, go further down Eastern and stop at Dangerously Delicious Pies. Somtimes he turns the pie place into a bit of a bar and has bands and belly dancing. Pie, music and belly dancing. An excellent combo.

Peter's Inn is also a good bar that serves food. Eastern and Aliceanna.

Chinatown Cafe on Park Avenue for Chinese. Good dim sum but no carts.

Baltimore can never seem to support more than one or two Ethiopian places at a time--why, I don't know. Right now there is a place in Federal Hill, the name escapes me. It is on Cross Street and I'm pretty sure it is BYOB. And, there was a place on Charles, again, the name escapes me, that I believe has moved to Guilford Avenue. Check the City Paper. My favorite, Ghion, is being remodeled.

And, Baltimore is not real vegetarian friendly. There is a place in Charles Village called the Yabba Pot, I haven't eaten there but it is cheap and vegetarian. And, One World Cafe on University Parkway caters to vegetarians.

I could keep going but I'm going to stop now. Let us know how you are handling eating here in Mobtown.

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I don't know Bawlmor at all. I'm hitting the O's game on Wednesday night, though, and wondered if any of these places are near the stadium. I'd most like to go to Faidley's, but we were planning to eat around 5:30ish and they'll be closed by then. Advice?

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Rochelle, do go to the Helmand. It's not really close to Camden Yards, but it's worth it, different from most other places, and inexpensive.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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You know, there really isn't a whole lot of discussion in this forum on Baltimore. Are there just not many of us who actually live there? Am I the only one who actually lives in the city?

Anyway, just wanted to recommend one of my favorite places. It's not exactly right next to the stadium, but not all that far, either. If you're ever down by "the Point" (meaning Locust Point, which is right near Fort McHenry), you should seriously consider checking out J. Patrick's. It's a little Irish bar that is just a trip. It never looks like it's open, and right now there's construction going on, so you have to walk under scaffolding to get inside, but trust me, it's worth it! You can get a Coney Island Burger and chips for like $2.50 or something ridiculous like that. Plus, they have one of the best selections of beers in town. I actually think they were one of the first places in the United States to have Smithwicks (I'm not sure if that's the right spelling, but it's pronounced smitticks). At least that's what Joe (owner) says. It's made by the Guinness people, and was only available in Ireland for the longest time. It's awesome. Plus, they have live Irish music every night. Wednesday night you can learn how to do Irish dancing. And Tuesday night, there's a group of people from my church playing pinochole. It's kind of a random crowd, but my roommate and I love that place. Of course, we live less than a block away, so that helps, but the food is good and cheap, and the beer is excellent, so we keep on going back. And Joe is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I think he's like 80 or something, but he's there almost every night.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to what this menu item is?

"Boneless Young Chicken - $0.29"

It took us a good 6 months to build up the nerve to ask what it was.

Sorry that was so long, but if anyone needs any advice on where to eat on "The Point", let me know! There are other great places, like Pazza Luna and Hull Street Blues, if you're looking for something a little more upscale.


"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

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Anyone want to venture a guess as to what this menu item is?

"Boneless Young Chicken - $0.29"

It took us a good 6 months to build up the nerve to ask what it was.

An egg, of course.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I don't know Bawlmor at all. I'm hitting the O's game on Wednesday night, though, and wondered if any of these places are near the stadium. I'd most like to go to Faidley's, but we were planning to eat around 5:30ish and they'll be closed by then. Advice?

Hey, I'm going Wednesday night too!

I'm hoping to get outta work early enough to just make it under the wire to Faidley's for a crabcake. Otherwise, it'll be badly cooked sausage and peanuts bought in the parking lot just before the game :sad:

I wish there was something decent at the Inner Harbor-- freakin Hooters and Cap City... ugh :angry:


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Al, Rochelle,

You might want to try Caroline's Cafe. It's Jamaican (curries, jerks) and can be quite good. The Rastafarian owners (Caroline and her husband) are really nice-- you'll feel like you're eating at their house. It's totally hidden at 413 Penn St in the Ridgley's Delight neighborhood right next to the stadium (less than a 10 minute walk).


Chris Sadler

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One of my Baltimore favorites hasn't been mentioned yet.....the Blue Moon Cafe in Fells Point for breakfast. Had some amazing biscuits, hash browns, and eggs benedict w/ crab there a month ago. YUMMM! :wub:


"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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