HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >


separate boards for Baltimore and Washington?

I am not sure this is the right place, and maybe someone has suggested this before, but I feel like the Baltimore traffic is enough to have its own board? I get frustrated that people don't write whether they are posting for DC or Baltimore in their titles. I get excited about a new restaurant, but then I read it is DC.

I guess another solution would be to ask people on that board to start their post with either DC - <your topic here> or Balto <your topic here>. If I post this suggestion on the DC/Baltimore board, would you keep it up (even though it is not about food necessarily)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. NO!!! Please don't go away!! The Baltimore area posters add so much to the area board. Especially about local fish, crabs and seafood and the places between our two cities. More and more people live between the two cities and our suburbs are merging. So many local Delmarva natives, who really know the area, post on the board and add some genuine knowledge of this region's food scene. I enjoy it a great deal.

    For many who live in downtown DC, we can get to Baltimore or Annapolis more quickly than we can get to some of the suburban restaurants mentioned and often have no idea about the locations posters are talking about. It's equally difficult for some of the CHs who live in the suburbs who hate coming into DC and never do. The city seems as foreign to them as it seems to you.
    It's a big geographic area but no larger than Los Angeles or the SF Bay area. They complain too but cope.
    I wish that more people - from Baltimore and the DC Metro area - would make use of the site BETA function, which would solve a lot of problems. I try hard to use it but I can't be the Beta police for everybody else.

    I'm not very worried about losing you folks in Charm City. If Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, and a lot of really major cities don't have their own boards, you probably don't have a prayer anyway.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      If no separate board, maybe we are back to trying to standardize the posting titles. There was a just a request for advice about happy hour food and it wasn't clear which city the person was asking about.

      Could we get a permanent message at the top like the one that is locked to try to get people to start identifying what they are asking about in the title of their post?

      1. re: a70wilson

        I think that's a great idea - not just for the DC Metro/Balt Board either. There are always complaints on other boards because people can't even identify the STATE that somebody is referring to. E.g. the South or the Midwest are big places and there are lots of towns with the same names.
        Doesn't help if somebody says that a place is on Rt. 50 which runs from Ocean City to the Blue Ridge mountains.

        Maybe a simple permanent message at the top "Please identify DC or MD in your post" so people didn't have to open it would help. Not sure how many people actually read the "Etiquette, etc." Moderators have to decide if they want to try that.

        1. re: MakingSense

          We're looking at improving the top of board sticky posts across the board in the near future.

          -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

    2. Yea I think posting titles being clearer is better than splitting the boards. In another thread on the same topic I and other writers noted it would be hard to draw a line because there are many areas that are suburbs of both cities like: Frederick, Laurel, Columbia, Annapolis, Severna Park, Bowie, etc. And the fact that the cities are growing together so fast and there are so many commuters back and forth now make having a dual board really nice. I having lived in several different areas around the DC/Balt area appreciate all the threads being together.

      But I agree on posting title thread lament. That is one of my major pet peeves, that and people not reading the topics or what other people have already written. But OCD me will get over that for the sake of all the good people who do.

      Thanks Jacquilynne.

      1. While I sort of zone out regarding the higher end restaurants often discussed on the DC-corner of our modest board, I love the stuff on the ethnic Asian (esp. Chinese and Vietnamese), and Ethiopian reviews/queries on the DC/Baltimore board. (Really, though, for the sake of alphabetization, can it please be Baltimore/DC? ;-)))

        As someone who used to commute between the two cities, I found the fact that the board included a big area incredibly helpful. I'm certainly not the only one who took that grueling commute on the MARC.

        Anyway, my 2 cents, but I do agree that people really need to put the location they are looking for in detail (MoCo, NOVA, Towson, Baltimore, etc.) in the subject line.

        1. Hear hear. I am sick of getting excited about something only to see that it is in Baltimore. I do not go to Baltimore.

          3 Replies
            1. re: SIviyo

              Don't make sense. Go to Bmore. Experience something new and exciting.

              1. re: viperlush

                Can you pick me up? :) I'm seriously not going to go to Baltimore to try something new. There are ample restaurants in DC and its burbs. And the folks I know in Baltimore (see tapas girl, below) don't regularly schlep to DC. And if any of us were going to venture out we could search that board. Don't get me wrong- I love Baltimore- but I don't live there.

            2. They should be separated. I mean if you're browsing about for a Saturday night excursion you're really not going to drive to Baltimore (or the other way around) for a dinner night out.

              If you want to go to learn about Baltimore restaurants than you would go to the separate boards for there, and likewise for DC. A Baltimore/Annapolis combo board makes more sense than DC & Balt. I'm from DC and we simply don't go to Balt for a night out!

              3 Replies
              1. re: lukeinva

                I live in DC and am much more likely to go to Baltimore/Annapolis than to Vienna VA. I've never even been to some places in the VA suburbs like Reston. It's an easy drive up to Charm City from downtown DC.

                1. re: lukeinva

                  and how about Columbia and Laurel?

                  1. re: jes

                    Indeed. As someone who lives near south of BWI and works in Annapolis and has a BF that works in Lanham and makes frequent plans with friends who live in Columbia, Arlington and Jessup...separating the boards would be seriously frustrating.

                2. I think the best solution is to rename the current board Baltimore, and then require DC postings to go on Mid-Atlantic with Delaware.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JonParker

                    ahem. sniff.

                    Wilmington may be the world capital for corporate tax laws, but you may have heard of some of the non-food things for which DC has become sort of well-known.

                    let's face it neither city really has the posting traffic or new topics beyond tourist recs to sustain 2 boards. Putting the locale in the header seems to be a good answer (see the Midwest board). But as MakingSense suspects, few read the operating manual.

                    I like hearing about what unknown (and unimagined) things I might be missing in Baltimore and elsewhere - it motivates me for a visit.

                  2. I agree 1 million percent... I have the exact same reaction.. I get excited and then realize it is about DC... I am just not one of those people that dine in DC (what a hassle!)... and would love for Baltimore to have it's own board....

                    1. And where or where would we put Volt? Many people consider it part of the DC metro area, in fact they might. I think Baltimore would consider it close enough to be on their board. With the amount of commuters up and down 270 everyday what is considered a metro area is greatly expanding.

                      Wouldn't it be nice if they put in the maglev they had always thought about and we could get to Baltimore from DC in 10-15 minutes... that would rock as I love DC, Balt, NOVA and all the surrounding areas and all their culinary greatness.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ktmoomau

                        It takes less time to get from NOVA to Baltimore than it does to get around LA - on a good day!

                      2. I completely agree with the OP and some others here. I think the two cities should be separated. If you look at the postings on the current board, there's more than enough traffic to justify two separate boards.

                        If, for any reason, that can't be done, and if Washington and Baltimore stay together as one board, I'd also support the idea of Chowhound's requiring or introducing a means of identifying which city/area is being referred to in threads and posts. Not everyone who participates on the current Washington/Baltimore board is familiar with both cities/areas, and at times, it's often confusing and frustrating to figure out which area a poster is talking about. Please and thank you.

                        1. My reason for wanting to separate the two cities is that if I'm doing a search, I have to add the word Baltimore and then I get everything with the word Baltimore. It would make life so much easier for us Baltimore people since there are so many more DC posts.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blk616

                            >> if I'm doing a search, I have to add the word Baltimore and then I get everything with the word Baltimore.

                            Just a helpful hint on doing the search. You will almost certainly get better search results if you re-sort your search results by Relevancy rather than letting the search use the default sort order of Newest First. When it sorts by Newest First, it will sort by the newest results in which any term used in the search appears - as you note, every topic that has the word Baltimore shows up at the top of your search results. If you instead search by Relevancy, here is the order in which the posts appear: (1) topics with all the search words in the title, (2) topics with any of the search words in the title, (3) topics with all the search words in the body of the topic but not the title, (4) topics with any of the search words in the body of the topic but not the title.

                            I'll give you an example. Let's say you're interested in the restaurant called Prime Rib in Baltimore, or maybe you're interested in restaurants serving the dish of the same name. If you search on "prime rib baltimore" and use the default sort of newest first, here are the first five results you get:

                            1. HELP!?! New to Silver Spring/Aspen Hill/Rockville/Wheaton with nothing to eat!
                            ave. (updated May 23, has the word "rib" in a post)
                            2. Los Angeles Food Lover visiting DC This Weekend. Need Help Fine Tuning My Hit List! (updated May 23, has the words "prime rib" in a post)
                            3. White Marsh restaurant (updated May 21, has the words "prime rib" in a post)
                            4. BBQ Ribs - Where to eat (updated May 19, has the words "ribs" and "Baltimore" in posts)
                            5. Coal-Fired Pizza in Ellicott City open (updated May 19, has the word "rib-eye" in a post)

                            The rest of that first page includes lots more topics that just mention any of the three words. It's a totally useless result.

                            Now try doing the same search, but then clicking on "Sort by Relevancy". Here are the first topics that appear:

                            1. prime rib baltimore vs dc (has all three words in the title)
                            2. Steak and/or prime rib in Baltimore County (has all three words in the title)
                            3. PRIME RIB (has two of the words in the title)
                            4. prime rib in d.c. (has two of the words in the title)
                            5. Where to purchase prime rib in DC-area? (has two of the words in the title)

                            The rest of that first page also shows some other topics that talk about prime rib in Baltimore, including mentions of that restaurant in the following topics with Baltimore in the title:

                            Graduation dinner in Baltimore
                            Special occasion dinner in Baltimore
                            baltimore restaurant week deals
                            Best of Baltimore needed

                            As you can see, you get a lot closer by resorting your search results by relevancy.

                            As for your request for separate boards for Baltimore and DC, let's hope the Chowhound Team will take another stab at doing minor changes to the board structure soon. There are some glaring changes that still need to be made after the last go-around.

                          2. Agreed - should be split - if I want to go to DC I could search the DC board... Baltimore and DC could not be more different cities despite their geographic proximity.