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Jan 15, 2008 08:06 AM

Best of Baltimore Markets

The thread on Faidley's got me wondering. What other great chow finds are lurking in Baltimore's public markets?

I'm definitely a fan of Chuckie's fried chicken in Hollins Market, which I think beats Park's hands down (sorry, Mr. Baltoellen).

Also a fan of Bruce Lee's Wings in Cross Street Market, which are completely different than any other wings I've had. Steve's Lunch also puts together a credible sandwich. Nicks is a major go-to place for oysters.

What other great stuff is out there?

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  1. Sophies in the Broadway Market for an array of Polish sausages, meats, cheeses, pierogies and other goodies!

    1. ha! ha! We will engage in the fried chicken wars whenever we have our fried chicken fiesta and blind taste testing/picnic chow outing when the weather's nice. (And, I agree with you on Chuckie's being far superior.)

      We are bigs fans of Sophia's also. In fact, Mr Baltoellen should actually be called Mr. Baltoelleniski, given his ethnic background. We have consistently found their pierogis pretty amazing (especially the saurkraut and mushroom), the kielbasa and polish sausages wonderful too. Lately we're on a kick with their deli meats, and have an intense fondness for the smoked pork loin. Also at B'dwy Mk, Theresa's is good for a quick, at the counter meal. And, who doesn't love a lunch counter?

      In Cross Street, I like Steve's Lunch, too, and think they have wonderful crab soup. While I prefer the ambiance at Faidley's, I think I've had better oysters at Nick's.

      And, what's not to like about Lexington. All yer major Balmer food groups are there, crabcakes, Utz, and Berger cookies. In addition to Faidley's, I like Mary Mervis for their shrimp salad.

      9 Replies
      1. re: baltoellen

        Well since two people on my trusted chowhound list recommended Sophie's, I ran over there and picked up a fresh kielbasa and some hot polish mustard. I'll report back and let you know what I think. The contents of that deli case are to die for.

        1. re: JonParker

          Sophie's is indeed great! Broadway Market has declined quite a bit in the sixteen years I've been in the neighborhood, but Sophies, the fish stand, and Theresa's still get me to the market.

          1. re: JonParker

            You have to try the smoked kabanosy sausage as well as the hunters sausage and the beer sausage, yummy!

            1. re: hon

              I was eyeing the hunter's sausage and the beer sausage. Actually, I was pretty much eyeing everything. The problem is that I recently quit smoking, and if I bring food home I WILL eat it, so I'm trying to only get what I need for a day or so in order to avoid blowing up like a balloon.

              I agree with Hal that Broadway Market is looking pretty sad these days, especially compared to other smaller markets like Hollins and Cross Street, which are still very vital. I can't really understand why -- you'd think Fells Point would be a great spot.

              1. re: JonParker

                I think the decline in numbers of people who actually cook has hurt Broadway Market.

                1. re: Hal Laurent

                  I never knew what it was. Surely, there are plenty of people who also don't cook near Cross Street Mkt too. I miss Fells Point Chicken.

                  1. re: baltoellen

                    That wouldn't explain the lack of cooked food stands in the south building, that always seems to be half vacant to me.

                    1. re: baltoellen

                      I miss the meat market, several owners back. It started its decline into oblivion when Eric sold it.

                      And I miss the cheese shop, which started its decline into oblivion when Deborah sold it.

            2. re: baltoellen

              So I sauteed/braised the kielbasa last night and ate it straight off the plate, dipping it in some of the Polish mustard. Delicious -- not the best kielbasa I ever had (that honor goes to one I got at Fenwick's in Cross Street Market, although they don't have them consistently). But darned good, and the mustard was excellent. I'd tell you the brand but it was in Polish.

              I'm going to run up there again on Saturday and try some different stuff.

            3. I'll add the Korean place almost hidden along the north wall in the newer southern building at Levington Market. Great, cheap spicy chicken and rice.

              1. I love the crab soup at Nick's in Cross Street Market and also (no apologies) the pretzel hot dog at the next stand down.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sweetpotater

                  In Lexington Market:
                  Rheb's hand-dipped chocolates give Bergers a run for my money. They are local and have been around for about 90 years.

                  Krause's fresh turkey sandwiches. Carved warm off the bone and piled high right onto your bread. Light rye, with hots.

                  another thread:

                  1. re: sweetpotater

                    Love the pretzel dogs... that's probably the one thing I always get when I'm at Cross St. So cheap and tasty and hard to pass up.

                  2. Poor poor Northeast market, always the joke of the baltimore markets. You can find some pretty good (not really great though) food there, and at least it's miles better than the Hopkins Hospital food.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Wangus

                      I've heard Richardson's at the Northeast market is one of the largest greens purveyors on the east coast. Most if not all of it is grown on their farm near Glen Arm. I haven't visited Northeast enough to know the best eating spots but Richardson's is to Northeast as Faidley's is to Lexington.

                      I like Theresa's at the Fells point market-- shrimp salad, my favorite green pepper cheese steak, decent soups, and friendly staff.

                      1. re: baltimorejim

                        I am always on the hunt for good Shrimp Salad, I will have to check it out!