five days in Baltimore
We came down from NJ to exhibit at the big antique show at the Convention Center, spent most of the week leading up to Labor Day in Baltimore, got to try a lot of places:
Wednesday--Mama's on the Half Shell--a great place, not easily found by visitors--it was highly recommended by a friend who lives locally, and we totally loved it. Excellent crab cakes, ordered from the regular menu; specials of poached salmon on a bed of very buttery grits and country ham, and sauteed softshell crabs that were probably ordered too close to the end of the season--they were tasty but a bit leathery. Dessert was gelato from Vaccaro's bakery, just down the block.
Thurdsay--Prime Rib--still, in our opinion, the best crab cake we've had in Baltimore--some of the best steaks to be found anywhere.
Friday--Salt--we were OK with Salt, but left feeling slightly underwhelmed. Tuna Tartar starter was excellent, as was my pork shank, Cuban-style. However, two of our party got mussels as a main course, and we have had better preparations with bigger mussels elsewhere. I think there are better restaurants to be found in Baltimore.
Saturday--The Wine Market--haven't been to the WM in two years, and it still ranks as our favorite. Their fried oyster satay starter is unbeatable. I had lamb shank special, prepared with a subtle blend of masala spices--not hot/spicy, but very subtle and complex. My wife had a two-lamb (rack and loin) plate--unsurpassable. The wine, which came from their shop (their policy is to charge the list price of the wine plus $9 to open it) was an Austrian red--a Hellenger Zweigelt, somewhat resembled a pinot noir, took some time to open up, but was beautiful when it finally did.
Went to Lex Market for lunch at Faidleys oyster bar twice--I think their crabcakes are totally overrated, but the prime oysters are some of the best I've had anywhere. Berger Bakery for desserts, OD'd on Berger cookies.