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Jul 21, 2009 07:05 AM

Lexington Mkt Bmore?

Thinking about taking the wife and young son on a mini road trip from Bethesda to Bmore Saturday. Kinda interested in visiting Lexington Mkt, as I remember visiting 40 yrs ago when I was a kid. I remember fresh raw oysters and fried to order potato chips.

Is is still worth a visit? What do Bmorians recommend for eat in or take out, either cooked or to be cooked at home?

Is there anything else nearby that we should see? If we wanted to stay in Bmore for a nice/decent sitdown lunch before heading home, can you recommend anything on the way back to I-95 South?


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  1. Take 295 home, and stop at Grace Garden in Odenton on way. Search this board for very long thread on it.

    You also might want to search this board for Lexington Market. I happen to adore it, but others feel differently. Here's what I'd recommend:

    Faidley's for crab cake and raw bar (also not without controversy--again, do a search.)
    Mary Mervis for shrimp salad. Grab a bag of chips at Utz stand right across the aisle.
    Chicken parts at Parks.
    Pollock Johnny's for a Polish dog
    Bergers cookies at Bergers cookie stand

    Saturdays are usually fun, since there's a band there. Great people watching, too!

    2 Replies
    1. re: baltoellen

      Baltoellen and I are in the same camp. I love Lexington Market and agree with all of her recommendations (I'll add Krauss' for roasted turkey)

      For a view of the descending crowd see

      Take with a large grain of salt.

      1. re: baltoellen

        Agree with Grace Garden suggestion!

      2. I'd search this board -- I remember a couple of extensive discussions of the pros and cons of Lexington Market within the last few months.

        1. I like to visit this type of market and with Lexington I was underwhelmed. Might be OK to stop by if you're in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

          You may want to give Belvedere Square Market at look. Much more panache than Lexington

          8 Replies
          1. re: wpstafford

            Strongly disagree.

            If you want to take a trip up from the DC area to find your typical overpriced, Dean & DeLuca-esque Yuppie Market, Belvedere Square is for you.

            Lexington Market is a uniquely Baltimore experience. And Faidley's is one of the world's - yes world's - great seafood vendors. The lump crabcakes there are to die for, as evidenced by the perpetually long line. The other vendors mentioned above by BaltoEllen are all worth checking out as well.

            So to recap, if you want a sparkling, safe, overwhelmingly caucasian, yuppie marketplace that you could find anywhere in Bethesda, Chevy Chase or thereabouts, Lexington Market is not for you. If you want a true Chow experience however with great food in a vibrant environment, then definitely make the trip...and order that Lump Crabcake at Faidley's.

            1. re: Jonny Pops

              Hey folks, can't all the hounds just get along?

              I love Lexington AND Belvedere Market, they just offer two totally different things. It's a bit unfair to say that Atwaters (best soups, best bread), Neopol (smoke anything -- pork, ducks, oysters, salt, napkins -- just kidding about the last one), and Ikan Seafood (good sushi -- even better fish and chips) are just "your typical overpriced, Dean & DeLuca-esque Yuppie Market."

              To the OP -- go to Lexington, you'll be glad you did. And if you have some time, visit Belvedere (which, btw is in North Baltimore, a 15-20 min drive from Lex) too.

              1. re: lawhound

                The only thing that makes Belvedere Market interesting to a typical Baltimore area resident is that the area has a notable lack of that kind of place. Other metro areas on the east coast, and particularly DC, do not however. They are everywhere. Which makes it truly not worth the trip up 95. Sorry if it's not nicey-nice, but bad advice is bad advice.

                1. re: Jonny Pops

                  Well, it's been a little while since I worked in DC, but I don't EVER remember a place like Neopol. And precious few of the quality of Atwaters. To be sure, there were (and are) plenty of wine bars a la Grand Cru.

                  My point was simply that Belvedere offers something completely different from Lex and, in fact, unique. The fact that it's more expensive, however, doesn't make it an "overpriced yuppie market."

                  1. re: lawhound

                    My point is it's not unique. Not in the least. It's simply atypical in the Baltimore area, but not out of the ordinary in every other big city in the Northeast. It's also unquestionably overpriced.

                    The yuppie factor is a matter of personal opinion.

                    1. re: Jonny Pops

                      Atwaters has excellent soups and sandwiches and is hardly overpriced. Its breads are among the best in Baltimore and makes a very pleasant lunch en-route someplace else. People from all walks enjoy Belvedere.

                      Is there anything in Baltimore that one can't find in other cities in the Northeast? Even crabs and crabcakes are to be found all over the east coast, especially these days when most of the crab we consume is from Louisiana.

                      1. re: Roland Parker

                        You can most likely get crabcakes throughout the country, thanks to the Phillips corporation, but that doesn't mean that they are either Maryland, or even Maryland-style crabcakes or that they're good. I remember having a conversation with a foodie from L.A. (the city, and not Louisiana) who said that he thought he knew what a crabcake was, and then came to Baltimore and had one at Faidley's.

                        But, I don't actually think the point is Faidley's crabcakes or Atwaters breads, but of mini-roadtrip worthiness. And, I would answer emphatically YES to Lex and not so much to Bel Square.

                        BTW, I have European houseguests over right now, and when putting together their itinerary for today, I told that that whatever they decided to do, we needed to figure out a way for me to meet them at Lexington Market for lunch. I think I'm as excited thinking about playing tour guide there, as they are in going.

                        1. re: baltoellen

                          The best species of the "traditional" Maryland food is found in certain restaurants in Dundalk and in the Maryland Club and the Greenspring Valley Hunt Club.

          2. Lex is absolutely worth a visit. In addition to what's noted below, it also has a huge assortment of meats that you might never see anywhere elase -- like an entire pig disassembled at various butchers, ie "short foot," "long foot", tails etc.

            A great place to buy sandwiches (but takeout only) is Trinacria, just 2-3 blocks north of the market at 406 North Paca Street. Great, great italian tuna, roast beef, prosciutto and mozz, etc. You could, for ex, buy sandwiches there/Lex and picnic on Federal Hill, a short drive away with an impressive view of the city.

            1. although there is a lot of debate regarding lex mkt, as a former baltimorean living in montco now I strongly agree that a visit on a saturday is a good thing. I love Faidley's for its crummy but good food. The jumbo backfin crabcake is great, oysters on the half-shell with a cold heineken is hard to beat. Sandwiches at Mary Mervis are great whether it is shrimp salad or corned beef. Berger cookies are a must. Just walk around and graze. Don't let the atmosphere intimidate you.

              I also agree with the rec regarding Grace Garden albeit I don't believe there will be room in your tummy once you leave Lex Mkt. Grace Garden is another crummy (understatement) but fantastic restaurant and is worth the drive to get to in Odenton. I remember when I did my chow search for places near Piney Orchard Ice Rink responses all said go to this chinese restaurant, Grace Garden. When I challenged the poster about going to a chinese restaurant in PG county, he gave me the link for Grace Garden and said "it speaks for itself". When I went to the link, there were 177 replies, each more superlative than the next. It is a great restaurant.

              3 Replies
              1. re: dining with doc

                Also at Faidley's, see that at least one member of your party gets the fried halibut sandwich. You'll balk at the price, but once you get it you'll realize that there's enough fish there for three sandwiches.

                And don't forget the coddies.

                1. re: JonParker

                  At Faidley's, the fish sandwich situation is rewardingly complex--there are four possible types: the default one when nothing is specified is usually Boston hake, colloquially known hereabouts as steakfish, but you can also specify halibut, flounder or catfish. This complexity could be a smackdown candidate. The only other great fish sandwich I know in Bmore is Captain Larry's. And Faidley's does still have that disappearing Baltimore coddie as of last week.

                  1. re: chowsearch

                    Coddies AND crabcakes are a given.
                    I'm also partial to the turkey ladies just outside of Faidley's.

                    Chowsearch--have you havd the fish sandwich at the caribbean joint at the JFX Farmer's Market?