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Dec 27, 2006 02:50 AM

HELP --visit to Baltimore

Visiting the Baltimore suburbs, staying in a town called Sparks about 20 mi north of the city. We are two families with kids ages 12-20, and are looking for fun eats and things to do over the next few days, including New Years Eve. We are in the suburbs, but don't mind driving into the city or to other surrounding suburbs. Ideas for crabs? dim sum? other novel experiences that can include food and interesting places to walk around?

Appreciate any and all suggestions, to get the crew out of the house and experience the best that Baltimore has to offer. thank you much.

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  1. Baltimore has at least two excellent Greek restaurants, Acropolis and Ikaros on Eastern avenue on the southeastern edge of Baltimore city. Lamb, calamari, stuffed grape leaves, and other Greek dishes are done with expertise at both places.

    1. The obvious suggestion is to spend a day in the Inner Harbor. There is lots to do any day of the week, and they will have a huge celebration there on New Year's Eve. There are many restaurants in the Inner Harbor, all chain restaurants. Unfortunately, good food and touristy things to see seldom come together in the same place.

      If I were your tour guide, I would arrange to arrive downtown at lunch time and stop first at Lexington Market - there is a pay parking lot adjacent. Go into the market and find Faidley's and get a jumbo lump crabcake. There are all kinds of food stalls in the market for those in the group who don't like fish. But be warned, this is a busy, bustling working food market in a lower class neighborhood. It is not a genteel market like you would find at Disneyland.

      This may be too far a trip from Sparks, but you might consider First Night Annapolis for New Year's Eve. It is very family oriented.

      1. I like the Lexington Market suggestion. It would be a great lunch spot. There is a stall in there called Pollack Johnnies that has great polish sausage.

        Crab season is in the summer, so I wouldn't recommend a traditional steamed crab feast this time of year.

        After the lunch at Lexington Market, I would recommend taking a walk around Fells Point. Its a waterfront neighborhood that formerly housed the TV show Homicide. There are plenty of good food options including upscale (Black Olive), funky (Peter's Inn) and plenty of bar food (Duda's, John Steven's for steamed shrimp). North Fells point is a latino neighborhood. There is a good Ecuadoran place (La Cazuela) and a great mexican hole in the wall (el Taquito).

        Enjoy Baltimore!! and be sure to post back with you discoveries.

        1. Thursday and Friday are forecast as sunny and relatively mild, so I second the Inner Harbor suggestion. Getting downtown from Sparks is a breeze via I-83, which has fairly light traffic due to less commuters.

          I'd also suggest Fells Point for a waterfront experience.

          1. Since you identified yourselves as "families" I'll second the recommendation for the Inner Harbor...lots of food choices, lots of shops, nearby attractions (science museum. aquarium, etc.) For adults, Fells Point has quaint shops and a variety of restaurants with varying price ranges.