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Jul 24, 2001 12:35 PM

"City" Food

  • f

Attn. B'More ChowhoundsI've had the extreme plesure of experiencing a : hot dog @ "Fat Johnnies" in Chicago; a shrimp po boy @ "Johnnies in New Orleans; a cheesesteak @ both "Gino's" and "Pat's" in Philly; a cuban sandwich on "Calle Ocho" in Miami; a pastrami sandwich at the "Carnegie" in New York; a muffaletta at the "Central Grocery" in New Orlens; a hot dog at "The O" in Pittsburg; and best of all, a sausage sandwich w/hots & sweets at "Als" in Chicago.Is there anything SPECIAL in your fair city that I could safely add to my list? I'll be in Baltimore for the first time near the end of August. Any and all replies will be SINCERELY appreciated. Incidently, the above list wiil most likely be engraved on my headstone as an epitaph!!!!!!

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  1. m
    Melissa Garland

    The most obvious choice when visiting Baltimore is, of course, crabs or crabcakes.

    I'm also trying to think of a restaurant that serves Ostrowski's (sp?) polish sausages... Do any other B'more hounds know of a place? I usually just buy them at the market.

    Check out Chowhound's Baltimore tip sheet (suitable for printing) for some good recommendations on crabhouses etc. (see link below)


    3 Replies
    1. re: Melissa Garland

      I had checked out the Baltimore Tip Sheet before posting my message ----- nothing in the way of what I'am looking for; but thanks for your reply.

      1. re: FrankT
        Melissa Garland

        Well, Ostrowski's is definitely worth checking out. The neighborhood where it's located was a major center for Polish immigrants in the 1800's (indeed I've read that Baltimore -Fells Point- was second only to Ellis Island for immigrants entering the US during this time) and was a mostly Polish neighborhood right up until the 1950's or so when the mass exodus of the middle class from Baltimore began. Even now many people who live in the area are of Polish descent. So, if you can find a restaurant in the area that serves Ostrowski's you'll be in for a treat. You know, you could even call them and find out. Here's their info:

        Ostrowski Food Market & Sausage Inc
        1801 Bank Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
        (410) 732-1118

        1. re: Melissa Garland

          Melissa ---- thanks for the info on Ostrowski's ------ also the brief history lesson ----- I'am always interested in the history of city neighborhoods -----

    2. Three things that come to mind are:

      1. "Pit Beef," which is slow cooked roast beef, piled high on a roll with horseradish and onions. Easiest to find along Route 40 East. The charred ends are a real treat if you don't mind chewing. It's Baltimore's indigenous and little known variation of barbecue.

      2. Polock Johnny's sausages. I have heard disturbing reports that Polock Johnny is no more, but if not it's definitely an "Only in B'more" experience, hon.

      3. "Lake trout." Linda Richman would love this. It's neither from a lake, nor a trout. It's deep-fried whiting. Very easy to find, but you'll have to get way off the tourist track. Drive up Reisterstown Rd. or Liberty Heights Ave. Deep-fried chicken livers seem to be a popular accompaniment, but you should get an order of "Western Fries" too. Don't worry, these are made from potatoes, not some disgusting part of a cow or sheep.

      You want real Baltimore food? There you go.

      When you get to Providence, let me know. ;>)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob W.

        Thanks for the good tips Bob ------ once every couple of weeks I drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Boyton Beach (30 miles) just to get a burger at Steak & Shake; so driving up Reistertown Road away from the tourist crowd is no big deal! All three of your recs are exactly what I'am looking for ----- now all I have to do is try to dig up some info on Polack Johnnies. Any help out there??????

        1. re: FrankT

          Frank, it's my pleasure. In return, I'm going to count on you for recs for the Ft. Lauderdale-Boynton Area since my father lives right between those two burgs in Boca.

          Also, someone mentioned Berger Cookies. You have got to get some! They are little round cookies with a BIG glob of chocolate frosting on top. More frosting than cookie! Note the interesting name, Berger Cookies. Not Berger's Cookies. Never Berger's Cookies. Just Berger Cookies. You can get some at most markets, but I think you should get yours at Lexington Market, a definite must for any Chowhound visiting Baltimore. I defy anyone to find another place where you can get a Lebanon bologna or olive loaf sandwich for any price, never mind the 65 or 70 cents they will charge you in here. You can also get an excellent crabcake at Faidley's in the Market.

      2. Hit Cross Street Market in a neighborhood called Federal Hill with the following scavenger hunt list;
        *Berger cookie
        *lake trout
        *some crab soup from the place up front with the lobster tank - forget what it's called, probably because it's across from the wine bar ;-)

        This should give you a decent taste of Baltimore and afford you some world-class people watching at the same time. If you go to a ball game at Camden Yards (plenty of ticket availability this year *lol*) try Boog's BBQ and get yerself a sno-cone.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Shmingrid

          Ooops - in a "blonde" moment, I forgot a couple local treats. Since you seem to have no problem with salty processed meats (good man!) you should try either a Taylor Pork Roll or Scrapple sandwich. B'more's breakfast of champions. Also, there are coddies. Locals can argue for hours where to get the best coddies, but there doesn't seem to be any concensus. The arguing is seemingly just for sport, as they'll argue all day about where to get the best sno-cone - and how there can be any difference when you're dealing with shaved ice and syrup is well beyond me. BTW, you have to get your sno-cone with both "custard" and "marshmellow" on top of whatever your flavor of choice is.

          1. re: Shmingrid

            The Taylor Pork Roll sounds like my cup of tea ----where do I find it?BHW, I love those endless arguments about simple foods --- much more fun than arguing politics or religion.

            1. re: FrankT

              Trust me - you gotta go to Cross Street Market - and I'm sure there's a stall there where you can get a fried pork roll and ketchup sandwich. This place is dirty, smelly, really busy and endlessly fascinating. I've spent many a Saturday afternoon with a plate of oysters and a pint of brew eavesdropping on all those crazy locals arguing. Sit next to the crustiest looking codger you can find at the oyster bar and ask him something like "Where can I get some good fried chicken around here" and before you know it, you'll be surrounded by total strangers telling you what and where to eat. It's a scream.

              Just be sure not to go on a Friday or Saturday night (after 5:00) because it turns into a different kind of market entirely - a "meet" market. I have simply have GOT to find out how this tradition started, but on weekend nights all of the young lawyers, traders, wannabes, and the women who want to date them all congregate in this most unlikely of places to drink gallons of Coors Light and hook up. It's a very quick way to become a confirmed misanthrope if you aren't one already. If you ARE one already, it will simply push you over the edge.

              As far as scoring some Boog's, you have to get into Camden Yards while there's a game on. I think at the gate they sell grounds passes, which entitles you no seat, but easy acess to Boog's, beer, and standing room over the scoreboard. Not a bad way to pass part of an evening.

          2. re: Shmingrid

            Thanks ----- the sno cone I can do without, BUT the pit q at Boog's sounds great!