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Eating one's way through Little Italy

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A lot of us on this board kind of overlook Baltimore's Little Italy. Yeah, we know it's there, and we discuss it once in a while, but we seldom really delve into it. This got me thinking about the possibility of eating my way through Little Italy, essentially going to every place once - at least the nominally Italian places.

Of course, such a task would take a good bit of time, and one wants to maximize the chance of pleasure along the way. Here's where you come in, fellow Hounds. I'm looking for the "gotta try" or "best dish in the house" for each restaurant in Little Italy. After all, if one wishes to try every place at least once, why not hit the high points at each?

I'm NOT looking for "Don't bother going to <wherever>, it's yucky and I hate it". Assume that going to <fill in the blank> is a given based on the rules. The object here is to steer anybody reading this thread toward the best thing to order at each place in Little Italy. Yeah, some will be better than others, but we're looking for the best at each place, no matter how far down on the totem pole they may be in comparison to other places.

And yes, I've already thought that one could do similar things in Greek Town or perhaps with the various Korean places in the area, or the Baltimore "Bars that serve food" genre, but one has to start somewhere. Maybe we could organize this into a sort of "Chow Tour" on a semi-periodic basis - pick a night of the week and do Italian the first week of each month, Korean the second, and so on.

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  1. Hi Warthog. I completed exactly what you are proposing a couple of years ago. I remember posting quite a long report on the old chowhound board. I'll try to dig it up. Given all the change in Baltimore, its remarkable how little Little Italy has changed in recent years. Cafe Roma closed, Cafe Gia opened and Vellegia's changed ownership. That's about it. Regardless, it was a fun adventure, one I highly recommend. Also cool to be able to answer the question "Hey, have you been to that place in Little Italy called.." before the asker can finish.

    One recommendation: include Magavero's on your list. Try the meatball sub. Ask for hot peppers on the side.

    As for full service restaurants, when you go to La Tavola try their fresh pasta. Any will do, that is their specialty.

    1. I had the house specialty last night at Aldo's, the Tournedos Rossini - filet mignon topped with foie gras and a truffle/porcini sauce. It was pretty good and very expensive (I think $46); the accompanying risotto tasted good but was a bit mushy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sweetpotater

        Chiapparellis......THE SALAD !
        Sabatinos..........Bookmakers Salad
        Vaccaros.......Rum Cake

        all Baltimore classics

        1. re: MDicecreamguy

          Vaccaro's also has an interesting twist on "chip and dip": busted-up cannoli shells and cannoli cream.

          Dear god, that is sheer genius.

          Vaccaro's eclair/creampuff cream is also well-nigh perfect.

      2. Ciao Bella- start with crab toast appetizer, then main dish of penne with vodka sauce. YUM!

        1. Rigatoni Bolognese at Amicci's
          http://www.amiccis.com/