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Maryland Eats

March 31, 2010

My BFF from highschool recently moved 900 miles away from me to Rockville, Maryland. ‘Twas a sad day. However, my cousin Dan also lives in Maryland, in the city of Baltimore. 2 of my favorite people, right there within 40 minutes of each other. This means… I have places to crash when I travel there!! 🙂

I made my first of what I’m sure to be many trips to Maryland last weekend. Although I would have loved to visit some of the places Tony visited in the Rust Belt and DC episodes of No Reservations, I happen to be a terrible planner. So most of our dining experiences were suggested by my cousin, his fiance, and my BFF and her fiance… hey, eat where the locals eat, right? It worked out well.

First off… Rockville. It’s a happening little town about 20 minutes from D.C. Driving through town, I noticed a plethora of Peruvian restaurants! Peruvian is just not something you see much in the STL, so I was intrigued. My friends took me to a pretty little local place called La Canela for dinner, where we enjoyed some Pisco cocktails, and very flavorful food. I wrote about it a bit in this Iron Stef post.

The next day we walked our feet raw around DC… monuments and museums to the max! We actually had a very interesting and fun lunch at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum’s Mitsitam dining area.

Mitsitam is a cafeteria-lke set-up, with each station featuring the cuisine of a different region of Native American culture. While eating here can get sort of pricey, it is worth it for the inspiration alone. The food was good, and seasonal. I had a salad with fiddle-head ferns and beets, and a chile relleno that had spring lamb in it.

The main reason we went there is because my friend lusts after the giant coconut macaroons. And I now lust after them as well. A slightly bigger than a baseball size ball of coconut, toasted and crunchy on the outside, dipped in chocolate… you could eat of this thing for days… and they would be magnificent days.

After that Smithsonian Experience, we hurried our sore feet over the Smithsonian’s American History museum to see… Duhn Duhn DUHHHN!! Julia’s Kitchen!!!

OMGSQUEEEE. this is a must for any fan of Julia Child. Like a Mecca. It was kind of a spiritual experience for me, gotta say. See how excited I was? Dork? yes, but you’re jealous.

That night we walked through DC’s Chinatown, but didn’t eat there.

Shame, I bet this place is phenomenal 😉

Sunday was Baltimore day. After some fun in the inner harbor, we walked to the city’s Little Italy, where we ate a fantastic brick oven pizza from Isabella’s on the eateries’ neighboring Bocce Ball court. Great atmosphere!

We couldn’t leave Little Italy, apparently, without a stop at Vaccaro’s for some authentic Italian cookies. Que Bella! Delicioso! (did I just make up Italian words? maybe. They were some damn good cookies, is what I’m trying to express…)

Though we didn’t go in (appointment only), my cousin happens to live a block away from Charm City Cakes!! That’s really all I have to say about that… just thought it was kind of a cool fact. Also within walking distance  is Paper Moon Diner, where we went for his birthday dinner. Paper Moon is excessively quirky… every surface is covered with toys and found object art.

I collect PEZ dispensers, so I was pretty excited by the entryway display. I’m not sure how appetizing a bunch of disassembled mannequins and babydolls is, but they abounded, and I liked it. There’s also the fabulous diva outside the bathroom. I want to be her when I grow up.

Oh, and the food at Paper Moon was tasty, too. Classic diner foods with some twists. Some good vegetarian options, also! But my favorite was the peanut butter shake I shared with my BFF. Ain’t we adorable?

On the day I was to fly home, we went to Fell’s Point in Baltimore, a historic district with lots of cute little tourist shops and brick roads and whatnot. Hungry, we ducked into an Irish pub that advertised the days specials as Lamb Burger and Crab Cake sandwich. It was not quite crab season yet, but I didn’t want to leave Baltimore without having a crab cake. The pub was called Slainte, which is a Celtic toast, and was decorated with all sorts of football paraphernalia.

When the bartender saw me take a picture of my well-poured Guinness, he said I had better post that to the Pub’s facebook page, and also mentioned they have a twitter! The lamb burger and crabcake sandwich were both really good. The burger was well cooked and super rich with mushrooms and grilled onions on it. The crab cake was dwarfed by the hamburger bun they put it on, but a really good crab cake, just the same.

I will be going back to Maryland. Lots of times, I hope. So much to do and see and eat! Tell us your favorite Maryland food places in the comments!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 1:27 pm

    As a Baltimore native here are some suggestions:

    The Brewer’s Art – http://www.thebrewersart.com great beer, great menu, bar is fun too
    Miss Shirley’s – http://www.missshirleys.com best decadant, brunch around
    Alize – http://www.alizeebaltimore.com fancy night out, superb
    Clemintine – http://www.bmoreclementine.com interesting menu, nice atmosphere, good prices
    Joe Squared – http://www.joesquared.com trendy & fun bar atmosphere
    Tapa’s Teatro – tapasteatro.com next to the best movie theater in town, always packed, consistantly good
    Pazo – http://www.pazorestaurant.com totally decadant tapas

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