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Visiting Baltimore for a week

Hey fellow hounds. I'll be staying just outside downtown Baltimore for about a week. I'll have a car so please feel free to make any recs outside the city. I got most of my ideas from Diners, Dives and Drive-ins because I like the restaurants that they choose for Minneapolis. I like places that have some history or make a couple of things really well and want to share it with others. I don't like food that's been fussed with too much. Any other ethnic recs welcome.

This is what I have on the list so far:

grace garden chinese - Odenten
chap's pit beef baltimore - 5801 Pulaski Highway
Dipasquales - go during the week for lasagna
G & A Restaurant - 3802 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore for sliders and coney dogs
crab - Stoney Creek Inn 20 min outside Baltimore
blue moon cafe - I'm not sure about this one
Faidley's crab cake in Lexington market
Piedigrotta Italian Bakery and Pastry
Attman's Deli
Dangerously Delicious Pies
Bonaparte Breads.

I'll be there the first week in December. thanks!

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Dangerously Delicious Pies
1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

Bonaparte Breads
8600 Foundry St, Savage, MD

G & A Restaurant
3802 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

Stoney Creek Inn
8238 Ft Smallwood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21226

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  1. I think you're off to a great start.

    I would eat more than just crab cakes at Lexington Market. Do a search of this board for other options, and be prepared to read reviews of the there's nothing at all chow-worthy about the place, it's scary, and why oh why would anyone go there ilk.

    I used to be one of the few defenders of Chap's on this board, but recently had a truly lousy sandwich there (ok, it was right before closing), and am rethinking ever recommending it again.

    I'm not familiar with Stoney Creek for crabs. A favorite on this board is Mr Bill's in Essex.

    I wouldn't miss the Greek food in Baltimore, specifically Zorba's, for the amazing lamb chops and great grilled fish. (Also, do a search.) I'd also see if I could fit in Matthew's pizza, which is a bit of a local institution.

    If you're here on a Sunday, plan to have your breakfast at the JFX Farmers' Market. One of the very best things about living here!

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    Zorba's
    4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

    Lexington Market
    400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

    1. I fall in the camp that finds Lexington Market unappealing if only because I find the food not worth the trip. Faidleys is the exception but it occupies a semi-autonomous niche of its own within the market. The crabcakes are tasty but they are not representative of the traditional Maryland crabcakes. Altogether, if you enjoy "low brow" food you will probably enjoy Lexington Market.

      I doubt you're missing any special Baltimore institution based on your comprehensive list, which is a bit on the high calorie side, so you may want to walk instead of drive! Blue Moon is a standard "artsy" diner which did serve excellent pancakes but it's been years and years since I ate there.

      For crab and steamed shrimp you may want to consider LP Steamers on Fort Avenue in Baltimore, across the harbor from Fell's Point. The place still retains much of a ye olde working class Baltimore atmosphere and their coconut cake is one of the best I've ever had.

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      Lexington Market
      400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

      Blue Moon Cafe
      1621 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

      6 Replies
      1. re: Roland Parker

        Some of the worst crabs I have had in recent years has been at LP Steamers, can't recommend that place at all and Stoney Creek is just OK. Had great crabs a couple of weeks ago at "Ships Cafe" in Catonsville.

        828 Frederick Road
        Catonsville, MD 21228
        (410) 744-1838

        1. re: hon

          I agree that LP Steamers has a great location, a great view of the Domino's sugar sign from the deck, nice people working there, but truly awful crabs.

          1. re: baltoellen

            I can appreciate a good view of the Domino's sugar sign! Too bad about the crab.

        2. re: Roland Parker

          RP- What about Faidley's crab crakes do you think are not traditional? IMO (and this is a highly shared opinion of Baltimoreans) they are quintessential crabcakes- the standard that most others fail to live up to. But you must get the jumbo lump. Additionally they have excellent sides- especially the mac and cheese and cucumber salad .
          I've been going to this market since I was born and I'll admit I may get overly sentimental and defensive about the place but I take every out of towner there and it is always loved. It is one of the few places where all of Baltimore comes together- from the down trodden to the power brokers and everyone in between sharing for a moment in a common B-more love of amazing seafood. The other highlights of the market can be found in other posts but personally- I get roasted peanuts from the peanut shoppe and a couple of Berger cookies from the Berger stall.

          If you want good crabs and you don't mind traveling a short distance out of the city- I recommend Costa's or Bill's Terrance Inn- they both have great crabs all year long. In the city and in the fall winter I recommend Canton Dockside or Bo Brooks. If it is nice out I love the crab eating experience on the deck at Nick's Fish House.

          I totally second baltoellen's rec of Matthew's Pizza- it is a special family place that will cause you to have dreams about their pizza- it's thick pie with lots of cheese. Zorba's is great greek but I'm personally more drawn to Samos- their spinach pie is out of sight.

          Blue Moon is superb but go during the week it is too popular and small to handle the demand on the weekends- the wait gets absurd. Also in Fell's point I reccomend grabbing a drink and some mussel's at Bertha's in the bar, especially when they have a blue band,it is a great experience. Grab some gelato at Pitango afterward.

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          Zorba's
          4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

          Blue Moon Cafe
          1621 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

          Bo Brooks Restaurant
          2701 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21201

          Canton Dockside
          3301 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21224

          1. re: poached

            Good advice about going to the Blue Moon on a weekday. Their Cap'n Crunch french toast is surprizingly good. Bertha's is a good suggestion, too, and an off hours rainy day lunch of their fish chowder and draft beers at the bar is hard to beat Baltimore ambience.

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            Blue Moon Cafe
            1621 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

            1. re: poached

              Every time I've had Faidley's crabcakes, which has always been the lump meat version, it's had a marked tomato paste flavor which must form part of the batter. Maryland crabcakes traditionally consisted only of crabmeat and seasoning held together by a beaten egg and perhaps a smidgeon of mayonnaise and sometimes rolled in breadcrumbs before being fried. I've never had anything that tasted like Faidley's crabcakes elsewhere. It may be excellent but I still wouldn't call it a Maryland style crabcake.

              Then again, food is subject to very personal opinions. Matthews is popular but I have never cared for their pizza, finding the crust too thick with too much cheese and the sauce too sweet. It's fine as comfort food go, but I would never call it a great pizza.

          2. I love Blue Moon. I haven't been in a long time, but it was always excellent when I went. I think Pitango gelato is also something worth trying. They have delicious hot chocolate.

            Definitely hit the JFX farmers market if you can.

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            Blue Moon Cafe
            1621 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jeserf

              If you want pit beef and don't go to Chaps, there are delicious, smoky and tender pit beef sandwiches at the Sunday market under the JFX, just follow your nose. Dangerously Delicious Pies are also on sale there; and if you calorie count is running low, freshly made mini donutsat the market would fit into your food tour

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              Dangerously Delicious Pies
              1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

            2. I have two for you to try.
              1.Holy Frijoles in Hamden great fish tacos
              908 W. 36th Street
              21211
              Andy Nelsons BBQ everything is good. Fridays special BBQ catfish and BBQ rice
              11007 York Road
              21030
              good luck

              5 Replies
              1. re: juandymondo

                I had a great chili releno at holy frijoles. They also have an excellent taco salad.

                1. re: Jeserf

                  A note of dissent on Holy Frijoles. I like them fine, but would not put them in the top 5 Mexican places in Baltimore (Blue Agave, Tortielleria Sinaloa, etc). And if I were picking a list of interesting Baltimore places per the OP's guidelines, I suspect HF would not be in the top 20.

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                  Holy Frijoles
                  908 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

                  1. re: lawhound

                    I agree, I live in the 'hood and find their food from OK to mediocre, nothing special. The $3 margaritas on Saturday afternoons at the bar are very special though!

                    1. re: lawhound

                      Errr... Blue Agave is truly awful. Holy Frijoles is better any day of the week, even if it's not a CH destination. (I used to love HF in college but consider it cheesy junky fun now, but rarely go.)

                      Tortilleria Sinaoloa, however, is magnificent and more than worthy of a visit from an out-of-towner. A great suggestion.

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                      Blue Agave Restaurant
                      1032 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

                      Holy Frijoles
                      908 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

                  2. re: juandymondo

                    I agree that Andy Nelson's is good but I think Big Bad Wolf (5713 Harford Road) is even better for BBQ. And if you're heading in that direction, might I also recommend Clementine's?

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                    Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque
                    5713 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214

                  3. I like your list mostly. I'm not a huge pit beef guy, but most people here prefer Pioneer Pit Beef to Chaps. Listen to hon on the crabs -- I have been for years and she knows her stuff.

                    Grace Garden, Faidley's, Attman's and Piedigrotta are the absolute don't miss spots on your list. At Attman's get the pastrami (my fave) or corned beef. Faidley's does a great crab cake bu their fish sandwich is as good or better. Be sure to get a coddie or two.

                    I'd swap Dangerously Delicious Pies for a return trip to Piedigrotta's -- there's way more there than you can eat in one visit and DDP is just ok -- I don't like their crusts at all.

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                    Dangerously Delicious Pies
                    1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

                    Grace Garden
                    1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD