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Lexington Market and Trinacria

aphayes Sep 15, 2013 02:09 PM

Hi all,

We are headed to Bmore this Friday, and after doing my foodie research, I was thinking about maybe hitting up these spots for lunch. Maybe stopping at Faidleys for a crab cake and then heading up to Trinacria for some sandwiches. Let us know if you have favorites, please!

My familiarity with the area is nill, but I have read lots of negative reviews on the area... mainly mentioning it is dangerous. I just wanted to check and see what y'all thought and what would be the best way to get to these locations from our hotel, near Camden Yards.

Thanks so much!

  1. s
    Steve Sep 15, 2013 03:15 PM

    Not dangerous.

    1. j
      Just Visiting Sep 15, 2013 03:19 PM

      I agree with Steve - not dangerous. But run-down and depressing. Not the most charming part of Charm City.

      I wouldn't go there. Good crabcakes can be found elsewhere.

      1. w
        Worldwide Diner Sep 15, 2013 03:31 PM

        You can walk it. Lexington Market is fun to check out. Definitely try a crab cake and maybe some coddies.

        1. Bob W Sep 15, 2013 05:29 PM

          It is not at all dangerous at lunchtime. Many white-collar office workers walk over for lunch. Not at all good for the local tourism industry for people to get mugged at the Market.

          There is possible danger to be found just a few blocks west, but tourists would have no reason to go over there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob W
            fldhkybnva Sep 17, 2013 04:16 PM

            I would think it'd be OK to walk to Lexington Market though the few blocks towards Trinacria are dodgy and I personally wouldn't walk them but in daytime there are plenty of people outside if that brings any comfort.

          2. hill food Sep 15, 2013 07:04 PM

            it's an easy and safe walk, if you're feeling lazy there's always the light rail. sure the 'hood's a bit grubby, but I've walked around that area to the North South and East of the Lexington. yeah there were a few guys hanging out and we were cracking wise about the neighborhood being the "City that Charm Forgot". yes I've only been a visitor and as Bob W points out, there was no reason to go West.

            Faidley's IMHO is best for slurping down cheap oysters even if they do usually come from the Gulf. but the market itself is worth a visit if you're a grocery geek like me.

            what was skeevier was walking from the light rail over to the Cross-Street Market, but that was fine too.

            1. h
              hamster Sep 16, 2013 05:06 AM

              I went to Lexington Market last year when I was in town for a conference at the Convention Center, and I was really turned off. I found it extremely depressing, and not at all an appetizing environment. Just really sad.

              8 Replies
              1. re: hamster
                flavrmeistr Sep 16, 2013 06:08 AM

                Are you speaking of the Lex, or the city as a whole?

                1. re: flavrmeistr
                  hamster Sep 17, 2013 05:12 AM

                  The Market. I really didn't get a chance to see much of the city, which I understand has some great neighborhoods.

                  1. re: hamster
                    hill food Sep 17, 2013 06:04 AM

                    oh Balto/Balmer has flaws, deep flaws, but for me it has an odd attraction, (speaking regionally) I prefer it far over DC or Philly. never spent any time in Wilmington,

                  2. re: flavrmeistr
                    fldhkybnva Sep 17, 2013 04:17 PM

                    This was my immediate thought, the city is kind of depressing in many areas but it has charm-ish. I love it here. Lexington Market reminds me of many other similar markets in other cities, such as Reading Terminal in Philly although that is much more inviting but still has that market feel.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      flavrmeistr Sep 17, 2013 05:50 PM

                      I like the Lex, but I liked it better before Polock Johnny's left.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        hamster Sep 17, 2013 05:52 PM

                        I expected it would be more like Reading Terminal, which I find charming and fun. This place was smelly and depressing, with nothing that I found appetizing to eat. That place has seen better days, I hope.

                        1. re: hamster
                          flavrmeistr Sep 17, 2013 06:55 PM

                          In it's nearly 250 years of existence, it probably has seen better days, but the Lexington Market is not really intended for tourists. It serves the needs and tastes of the people of Baltimore. Unapologetically. If you want a sanitized version, stick with the Inner Harbor.

                          1. re: hamster
                            hill food Sep 17, 2013 07:34 PM

                            hamster - I think you might mean you hope it WILL see better days.

                    2. d
                      daynasch Sep 17, 2013 07:20 AM

                      There is no place to eat at Trinacria. It's just a deli. You can eat at the market, but it's really dirty. Dangerous is in the eye of the beholder. If you're not use to cities and crowds of people just hanging around, then Lexington Market will scare you. If you don't mind crowds and are street smart (keep wallet in front pocket, wear a zippered purse, etc) then you should be fine. But, I agree with the poster who said there are better places to get a crab cake, and probably better Italian deli out there as well that won't sour your Baltimore experience

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: daynasch
                        Bob W Sep 17, 2013 08:08 AM

                        It's too bad Angelina's restaurant on Harford Rd. is no more. (Apparently you can still order the crabcakes). With Mastellone's and Fenwick Bakery nearby, you could really get a taste of Baltimore.

                        Anyone tried the restaurant that is now in the Angelina's space? http://thebaltimoredish.com/marchiondas/

                        1. re: daynasch
                          Worldwide Diner Sep 17, 2013 09:48 AM

                          Lexington Market isn't any dirtier than Reading Terminal Market, the West Side Market in Cleveland, or Chelsea Market in NYC. I find markets fun in general and Lexington Market to be no exception.

                          1. re: Worldwide Diner
                            daynasch Sep 17, 2013 12:32 PM

                            No offense, IMHO, Lexington Market is no Chelsea Market or Reading Terminal. I work 2 blocks from Lexington Market. If it looked like Chelsea Market and had the wonderful pasta shop and the 2lb lobsters, I would be there everyday. Lexington Market is one of the country's oldest public markets so it could account for some of the issues

                            1. re: daynasch
                              Worldwide Diner Sep 17, 2013 01:24 PM

                              Only comparing cleanliness - not the quality of vendors. I don't equate drab with dirty.

                              1. re: daynasch
                                hamster Sep 17, 2013 05:53 PM

                                Totally agree.

                            2. re: daynasch
                              JonParker Sep 17, 2013 10:14 PM

                              Better places to get a crabcake? Maybe? Better crabcakes? Not likely. In nearly 20 years in Baltimore, my two favorite cakes were Faidley's and the late Angelina's. Both use only domestic blue crab, instead of the flavorless Asian product.

                              I've spent a lot of time at Lexington Market, and I love it. Yeah, if you're not into the whole urban atmosphere it's probably not for you, but it's in no way dangerous.

                              I despise the Inner Harbor -- it's a sanitized Baltimore for tourists.

                              I fell in love with Baltimore on sight, and it's my favorite city on the east coast -- New York and DC are fine to visit, but Baltimore is a place to live. Lexington Market is a part of that, warts and all. I consider it a must see for any visitor that doesn't want to be stuck in the tourist areas.

                              1. re: JonParker
                                Bob W Sep 18, 2013 06:25 AM

                                Jon - you can still order Angelina's crabcakes. Have you tried those? Pappas has very good crabcakes too -- like Angelina's the rest of the menu is meh, targeted to their geriatric clientele.

                                If tourists want a less-gritty market "experience," they can go to Cross Street.

                                I confess to being so old that when I first came to Baltimore for college, there was no Harborplace. The Inner Harbor was just that, a body of water. Harborplace opened in '79 and it definitely gave the city a shot in the arm, but most of the local food stands and shops that gave the place some charm initially are long long gone.

                            3. 4
                              4X4 Sep 18, 2013 06:44 AM

                              The best time to go to Lexington Market is when they have live music there (Friday and Saturday afternoons.) My band will be there November 2. :)

                              1. l
                                lawhound Sep 18, 2013 07:25 AM

                                On food, you should absolutely give both Faidley's and Trinacria a try. The former for crabcakes and oysters; the latter for really any of the sandwiches, but especially the muffaletta and the prosciutto and mozarella on their focaccia. True that Trinacria has no place to eat, and the market isn't all that pretty upstairs where most of the seats are. You can walk a few blocks north on Paca Street to what is called, I believe, St. Mary's Park where there are benches and green space. Or you could just go elsewhere, like Federal Hill back down on the harbor, with a nice view.

                                Public safety is a non-issue; the market is full of people (including lots of cops) during the day, and folks from all walks of life eat there. But if you're looking for white bread, there's always Newport Beach.

                                Is Lexington Market "depressing"? Not to me. I like being able to buy crab cakes, or a good looking rockfish, or a deli sandwich at Mary Mervis, or pigs feet (and when I buy the latter, being asked whether I want "short foot" or "long foot"). To me, Lexington Market is Baltimore, one of a relatively few places where all kinds of people, including lowlifes and lawyers (no jokes about there being no distinction between them) mix together. It's not Chelsea Market, and it's not Reading Terminal. But if you're looking for a slice of life in Baltimore -- and some great food to go with it -- you can't do much better.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: lawhound
                                  JonParker Sep 19, 2013 07:16 AM

                                  ^ ^ ^

                                  1. re: lawhound
                                    Steve Sep 19, 2013 09:12 AM

                                    Hearty applause all around.

                                    1. re: lawhound
                                      melpy Sep 19, 2013 09:40 AM

                                      While I love Trinacria, I think perhaps for grabbing lunch DiPasquales may be a better Italian market.

                                      1. re: melpy
                                        lawhound Sep 19, 2013 11:15 AM

                                        DiPasquales has a bigger selection than Trinacria, including hot foods (and good pizza). And the sandwiches are excellent too. The only drawback is that it is -- although a short distance as the crow flies -- probably a 15 minute drive to the east from downtown, if that's where you're starting from.

                                      2. re: lawhound
                                        flavrmeistr Sep 20, 2013 11:36 AM

                                        ...or some muskrat! Where else can you get that?

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