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Maryland / Baltimore- what are your favorite differences?

Everyone wants to know where to go for softcrabs/ steamed crabs. (The best crabcake recipe? - yours) Oh yeah we serve sauerkraut with turkey. Other than Chameleon and Gertrude's and I guess Peppermill few restaurants make an effort to acknowledge our culinary traditions. What are your favorite differences that make you know you are here and not in a strip mall just off an interstate exit. (No offense to the little restaurant on Rt 543 in Harford County off I 95 that I've heard has great crabcakes.) One of mine is pan fried white perch or yellow perch in the spring. Menu items, restaurants, or personalities that make restaurants especially evocative of our area are welcome.

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  1. Lake trout that's not trout but I don't care cause it's yummy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bmorecupcake

      and it's not from a lake! Linda Richman should have used lake trout as a discussion topic.

    2. Hot dogs wrapped in grilled baloney served at Attman's. Coddies served at Theresa's. Snoballs everywhere. (While I grew up in Baltimore, my parent's weren't from here, so no sauerkraut at Thanksgiving, except at public school lunches, and they thought the idea of baloney with hot dogs was, well, baloney.....and, also figured that the first person ever to pick a crab had to be very hungry!)

      7 Replies
        1. re: baltoellen

          Barbecue expert Steven Raichlen has immortalized pit beef as an authentic type of barbecue in one of his cookbooks along with the more legendary varieties from elsewhere in the US.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              No wonder he is so familiar with the Pulaski Highway pit beef stands.

              1. re: Bob W

                we have
                "pit bbq" in florida, and other southern states in addition to maryland. is maryland's different?

                1. re: alkapal

                  Yes. Pit beef is usually at least a quarter round of beef roasted over a charcoal grill. It's not smoked or barbecued in the way of hog or brisket. You get that crusty grilled outside with succulent medium-rare roast beef. Outstanding with horseradish, onions and red sauce. It seems to be best coming from a busy stand or one at those public events with a lot of foot traffic. On a slow day, the beef tends to get overdone and dried out at some of the places I've been. The best places I've stumbled on by accident and I haven't seen it anywhere except in Maryland well out of the DC area. Keep your nose in the air.

      1. Fried Hard Crabs, "padded" oysters, Ostrowski's Sausage, Berger Cookies and Eastern Shore Kiwanis BBQ Chicken!

        21 Replies
        1. re: hon

          I forgot Peach Cake, you guys in the know, know what I am talking about!

            1. re: hon

              Muhly's bakery had the best peach cake. Too bad it's gone. Anyone know anything close to it?

              1. re: nosey

                Thats it, Muhly's, not Muellers! Awesome peach cake.

                1. re: nosey

                  Woodlea's on Belair Rd and Fenwick's on Harford both have peach cake better than Muhly's ever did. Woodlea's is the best, particularly this time of year when they use fresh peaches. Try the schmearkase, too (German-style cheesecake).

                  1. re: ko1

                    That's a bummer about the Muhly's at Lexington Market not being the original. After I heard about Muhly's (probably on here), and then saw it at the Market I assumed they were the same. Sad.

                    But! I will heartily agree with ko1 that Woodlea Bakery's peach cake is the best. Light, not too sweet, and tasting of nothing but delicious peaches!

                    Hee. But I'm not sure Woodlea's needs any help from Chound. I called around 9:45 am on Father's Day to see if I could pick up some for my dad and the girl on the phone actually laughed at the idea that there might still be any left. I learned my lesson -- for the 4th of July I ordered it 3 days ahead of time!

                  2. re: nosey

                    Isn't there still a Muhly's at Lexington Market???

                    1. re: charmedgirl

                      Yes, but it is not the same bakery. They bought the name for the stall when the Muhly family closed the bakery. Somebody has to have a close recipe!

                      1. re: nosey

                        I really want to try this famous Peach Cake! Is it anything like the one in this thread that the Moderators split off? http://www.chowhound.com/topics/422425
                        What kind of topping on the peaches does the one at Lex Market have? Same as Woodlea's? Cinnamon and sugar?

                        1. re: MakingSense

                          I was the author of the family peachcake recipe which is not a raised dough recipe. My cousin mentioned a jelly roll pan. If Woodlea's has a cinamon and sugar topping maybe its similar. I confess I've never eaten Woodlea's peachcake. Let me know. Since I don't bake maybe I need to go to Woodlea's.

                          1. re: baltimorejim

                            I am most happy to give you a excuse to eat Peach Cake!
                            I'm going to try your family recipe for it. Just asking since there was no butter or anything in it. There are a few other fruit-type cake recipes floating around on CH, but they all include butter and/or baking soda. I liked that yours was so simple. Almost like a pancake batter.
                            I'm looking for a real Traditional Maryland Peach Cake!

                            1. re: MakingSense

                              I'll have to get back to you on the butter. I can't find my recipe notes and haven't had a chance to call my cousin.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                I looked at my recipe notes and there is no mention of butter except "dotting with butter or margarine" after placing the mixture in the pan. I think I heard my mom refer to it as similar to a pancake batter. I like that it is not glazed and sweet as so many peach cakes are and the fresh sliced peaches still taste a little fresh- not canned.

                                1. re: MakingSense

                                  My wife went to Woodlea's yesterday. She said the counters and cases were filled with peach cakes. She bought one to take to a croquet tournament with friends. It is similar to our family recipe per her taste. (I still haven't tasted it. They ate it all.) My cousin Gus who still operates Moore's Orchards on Joppa Road gives away the recipe with peaches he grows and sells. Gus uses the analogy of corn bread versus cake doughnuts to explain the difference in texture of the family recipe (Woodlea like) versus standard bakery peach cake.

                                  1. re: baltimorejim

                                    Love the recipe, BaltJim! Mighty fine! Tastes of pure peaches and not too sweet.
                                    Unfortunately my milk had turned and I had to substitute heavy cream but the cake was pretty as something in a food magazine and it's all I can do not to finish it off by myself. Fruit is good for me, right?
                                    This recipe is a keeper!!! http://www.chowhound.com/topics/422425

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      Glad you liked it. I haven't had it in a few years and I miss it.

                    2. re: hon

                      Since you mentioned Ostrowski's -- a big favorite at events like the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair -- how about Polock Johnny's!

                      1. re: hon

                        Wow! I was just describing Eastern Shore Kiwanis BBQ Chicken to my wife who is from Alabama. One of my favorite childhood memories/tastes. We are headed to Bethany Beach for a week in August. Hope to get some. Anyone know the recipe for their baste?

                        1. re: tomself

                          They'll give it to you! Well, we always stop at the one in Georgetown, DE, and they have slips printed up with the recipe. If you need it soon, let me know, and I'll post.

                      2. Jelly on egg sandwiches.

                        Hot dogs and coffee for breakfast in the Lexington Market.

                        The cranky old oyster shucker at Cross Street Market. Here's a favorite story of mine. I was at the market enjoying some oysters and beer when a woman, obviously from the DC area, steps up behind me and orders a half dozen and two beers. The bill was $8. She looked stunned and came to the only conclusion that seemed reasonable "is it Happy Hour?". Deadpan and without missing a beat, the shucker snarls, "Happy Hour was two hours ago. Now I'm pissed off."

                        I love this town.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: KAZ

                          You mean Mr. John! He was a Baltimore classic!

                          1. re: tubman

                            They put gravy on fries in Canada.