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February 23, 2008

Guilty pleasures

SteakButter.jpgIf you've gotten bored discussing Rachael Ray, how about Robert the Single One's guilty pleasures idea? I don't think it counts if you, say, enjoy a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup more than you should when you're given one, but you don't actively seek them out. It has to be something you crave fairly regularly and indulge in but know you're bad, bad, bad for giving in. People might think less of you if they knew. (If you have a better definition, feel free to post.)

I suppose in the interest of full disclosure I should present mine. I don't think it will surprise faithful readers of this blog that it's animal fat. Lovely butter, of course. Then... 


...there's the crispy fat on the edges of steaks and chops, crisp duck skin with its edge of fat (but not too much), just the right amount of fat on a sparerib, and so on. Bad Elizabeth. This totally disgusts my daughter and husband, who carefully trim their meat.

The only reason I'm not dead of a heart attack is that I enjoy, and therefore eat, so many entrees that involve lean meat or no meat at all.

Remember, you can use a nom de plume for your nom de plume if you don't want to sully the one you usually post under. 

Note the butter that steak is sizzling in. 

(Photo courtesy of


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:32 AM | | Comments (42)


I have been caught hidding in the kitchen pulling the skin off the chicken, turkey, duck. I love poulty skin when it's just out of the oven and crispy, crispy, crispy!

My Sunday eggs are fried in way too much butter - they take the same bath the filet is in the picture above.


Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity
(all bacon - I don't care for IHOP susage)

Now that Easter is around the corner, I have to admit that I enjoy Brach's Bunny Basket Eggs waaaayyyyy more than any adult should. They have a shell similar to that on a jellybean but thicker which covers a marshmallow like substance. I have been known to take apart a whole display looking for the bag with the most white and orange ones.

My candy addiction also includes Atomic Fire Balls, Chewy atomic Fire Balls, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, candy corn, and Good n Plenty's. I can't claim one high end candy addiction. I must now slink away in shame....

Everyone knows you're an immortal.

Bypassing the bran muffins in favor of the chocolate chocolate-chip muffin ... for breakfast.

Chocolate chips. Usually we have the standard Nestle semi-sweet stuff, and I've been known to eat three or four times the amount that actually makes it into the pancakes/waffles.
We got ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips to make "fallen chocolate cake" for our Valentines day dessert, and only used 1/3 of the bag. The rest of the bag lasted maybe a week. And I got in trouble with my girlfriend because I finished them while she wasn't around...
There's a reason we don't keep snack food in our apartment. Imagine how much worse it gets when it's something that's actually meant for consumption in its present form...

Why, oh why did I log on. So, here goes. I crave and seek out McDonalds french fries but they must be hot out of the fryer. If I am given cold fries, I just march myself back to the counter for hot ones. They were even better back in the day of beef fat but I still love them. Secondly, in the past year I have craved and purchased many Fractured Prune donuts dipped in chocolate. Oh my goodness, they are soooooo good. And finally, bologna on white bread with mayo. Enough already, I have divulged enough secrets.

chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies. Thankfully my daughter loves them as well so I can blame the purchase/stockpiling on her.

I'm a poultry skin fan too. But I like all of the weird parts on a chicken. We usually get a rotisserie chicken once every other week or so and I like to pull all the meat off the carcass while it's still hot (so it's easier). In the process, I eat a goodly amount of skin, the breastbone cartilage and that fatty pad at the back in which tail feathers once resided. Superfresh chickens are the best because the skin is seasoned and most of the fat has been rendered out.

Actually, I don't feel guilty eating that stuff. I try not to feel guilty about anything I put in my mouth.

Oh, yes. Thanks Regina. McD's fries are one of mine, too ... that's my road-trip staple.

One more, I don't do this very often anymore but ate this sandwich all the time as a kid.

Lightly toast 2 pieces of white bread and butter them liberally. Then pile Utz potato chips on one piece, put the other piece on top and push down to crush the chips.

Heaven, I'm in heaven...

When I prep a thick piece of top round to be grilled for london broil I invariably have to cut off a piece of the lean beef, cut it into bite sized pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop them in my mouth as I complete the process.

If steak tartare were more available maybe I could break myself of this, but then I probably wouldn't grill London broil as much.

Regina got me thinking about Rehoboth beach, and downyocean food in general. Funnel cakes and Thrasher's fries with a large Grotto pizza chaser - that's my seaside weakness.

Some poultry-skin addicts can really live dangerously. I almost cut off my sister-in-law's finger once when she reached in to grab some skin while I was cutting up the bird.

Chocolate peanut butter ice cream. The inventor of this will win the first Food Nobel Prize.

Poor poor pitiful Zevonista! I called the Envoy and he said that it already exists! Don't you feel like a desperado under the eaves? Go here and type in your zip code to find the nearest retailer before that S.O.B. Van Owen buys it all.

If you have any problems, I can send lawyers, guns and money.

Let's go a little more towards weird (although Utz on white bread is certainly getting there.) Slightly green bananas with a side of Utz. The salt adds a nice touch. Anything else I admit to is going anonymous. Oh, maybe that's not admitting anything. Oh well.

Oh boy, here's goes...

I like to take gingersnaps and smear vanilla frosting (yes, that crap in the plastic tub) on them.

I like to eat Nutella right out of the container with a spoon.

I like my ice cream crunchy. My favorite combination is vanilla ice cream with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal poured in the bowl. Chocolate ice cream with Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch is good too. Crushed up potato chips over Butter Pecan Ice cream.... the possibilities are endless.

I like to eat toasted laver (think nori, but salted) right out of the package. I'm not allowed to shop at H Mart or Lotte alone any more...

And last but not least - Frozen Cake! I know... it sounds crazy.... But I will bake a cake (and not ice it) and purposely throw it in the freezer and then eat it frozen. Why? I have no idea. But my husband scolds me every time he sees me throwing a perfectly good piece of cake into the freezer.

Just send me to therapy now....

Not directly on subject, but a guilty pleasure from the past. Went to Martick's this evening for the first time in years with my lady friend and her 15 year old daughter. Had a reservation and was very pleasantly surprised to find a packed restaurant, every seat taken and very good service. Reminded me of the 70's and 80's. The salmon with caviar was very good as was all of our other dishes. The wine selection was small but adequate, with very reasonable prices. My friends daughter loved the location and I relived many great meals and occasions by being in a genuine Baltimore institution. BTW I credit your blog with an obvious resurgence in Martick's popularity as it has been mentioned many times by contributors.

This makes me happy to hear. I'm going to have to do a post on Martick's.

I love a frito pie. fritos. chili. then grated cheese on top.

when I lived down south, we just split open a small bag of fritos and put the chili and cheese on top. and you get a plastic spork to eat it with.

Bacon! Even the grease gets used in the wife's top secret Mississippi family gumbo recipe. I always thought the Muslims had it right on the concept of credit being evil, but we agree to disagree on Bacon, yes?

Here is a press release about the event, from google -

Poor poor pitiful Zevonista! I called the Envoy and he said that it already exists!

But of course I'm aware of the fact that this exists! I'm just an Excitable Boy, after all! It's my current guilty pleasure...

It just takes many, many years for the Nobel committee to recognize greatness. First, they must create the new category, then they start recognizing the geniuses (geniusi?)...

And for my money, Cold Stone Creamery gets the nod over Hagen Daaz...

"And for my money, Cold Stone Creamery gets the nod over Hagen Daaz..."
I agree with this, but, in general, I'm a Moxley girl.

Could not resist following up on Alan's comment about Martick's. My husband and I always get the giggles when we go because it is always a charmingly quirky experience. I simply can not resist the pate there! I love the fact that he serves it with Saltine crackers (or something akin to the Saltine) instead of toast points or the like. The salmon florentine and the lamb are excellent staples. I smile thinking of the handful of times I have been to Martick's --- my husband and I are ALWAYS seated at the same table for some reason and without fail one of us receives the menu with "profiterroles" spelled incorrectly, the other gets it right.....speaking of which, the coffee (when it is piping hot, which is not always the case unfortunately) and profiteroles are totally irresistable. I love everything about this place and really wouldn't change a thing, including the fact that I have to put my coat on to use the restroom. (giggle).

The Flying something-or-other said:

I simply can not resist the pate there! I love the fact that he serves it with Saltine crackers

The saltines are definitely quirky. I can handle that the restaurant is often too cold, but I wish he wouldn't serve the pate so darn cold.

43 posts for this so far. Shocking. I wonder how mundane a topic you could post and still get play, like "Forks, why?"

I was just thinking about how ugly Sabatino's uniforms are, like combo funeral parlor/bowling alley waitresses. How about a top ten server uniforms? Are there interesting ones? I don't know.

Maggi I hope you enjoy the recipe for cinnamon toast ice cream. I believe it will fulfill some of your needs. It comes
from the folks at Gourmet.

I cut a thick slice (1 cm thick) off a whole Lebanon bologna (my husband's from Lancaster) and grilled it. I grilled it by putting it on the eye of our gas stove. I know, but it worked. Served with melted swiss cheese on a toasted English muffin. Delicious and a little shameful.

I would appreciate a post on Martick's. I want to go there badly, but was worried about safety issues after driving past one day. I would be interested in hearing about the benefits of driving vs. cabbing there.

Just waiting to post one until I can get to work to get a photo for it. Stay tuned.

I am a choc-o-holic. Seaonally, I wait in anticipation for each new chocolate delight....cadbury eggs, hershey's candy coated choc easter eggs, fudge in the summer, truffles regular ones and gourmet, dark chocolate's a sickness. I know it stems from being raised by choc-o-holics as well as working for a local (and amazing) confectioner for 9 years. We could eat whatever we wanted while we were on duty.......oddly enough, I never got tired of it!

Hot, crisp poultry skin fresh out of the oven

Mac 'n' cheese so gooey that I can listen to my arteries harden.

Melted cheese sandwiches: melt sharp cheddar in a pan over a very low flame, then dip in the bread. My mom made this instead of traditional grilled cheese

Peanut butter & strawberry preserves on white bread

Peeps (whatever the season)

Peeps, but held for a couple of months so they are stale and thus somewhat hard and chewy. They seem less sweet this way.

My favorite guilty pleasures:
1. Fries cooked in peanut oil from Five Guys.
2. Cream of crab soup from the crab cake place at the Sunday Farmers' Market.
3. Plugra!
4. Godiva's mega-chocolate drinks.
5. An artery-clogging untrimmed ribeye steak from anywhere.

And one pleasure that I don't feel so guilty about: Oatmeal w/ Cranberry cookies from Whole Foods.

Chic-Fil-A sandwich...on a whole wheat bun for health's sake. :)

O Terrier Mom! A Lebanon bologna compadre! My all-time favorite comfort food is fried lebanon bologna (regular, NOT the sweet kind), with a pile of swiss cheese melted on it right in the pan and served on soft rye bread. No redeeming nutrition here; just salty, smoky burnt-around-the-edges wonderfulness. Glad there are others out there who indulge!

Guitly pleasures... caramarsh candy or the English toffee from Rheb's! I lived quite close to the location off Wilkens Avenue for most of my life. I grew accustomed to being able to gauge the wait time from the length of the line. Woe to the poor sole who ended up around the corner, they had at least a two hour wait... but oh are their candies worth it! My mom's favorite are the jimmy truffles.

How about as we approach Easter (a big local candy holiday), a top ten of local candy shops? Nothing says Easter like a Mary Sue nougat egg!

No, no, no: Mary Sue Vanilla Butter Cream. It has the right taste and mouth feel. Best butter cream I've tasted. (Sorry, Ms. Misha. Although local candy shops would be great, but before Holy Week so we have a fighting chance of getting in the shops.)

Don't worry about safety at Martick's. The street directly in front has plenty of spaces for the amount of tables inside and I am sure that if you call when you get there, they will open the front door and watch your entry. The neighborhood is not as bad as the lack of renewal makes it seem.

Robert (the single one), I agree the Mary Sue vanilla butter cream is delicious. But it's been a tradition since I was a little kid for my mom and I to split a pecan nougat egg.

As for me, Rheb's is worth the stand in the cold. For the Christmas season about 2 years ago, I was the fourth person in line and still had to wait an hour because the three people in front of me all had enormous orders of hand picked boxes. Oh, and it has to be their Wilkens Avenue shop, the counter ladies are worth their weight in gold just to watch them shuttle between the candies and quickly wrap your order.

Any thin noodle pasta dish, dumplings, red meat (rare to medium rare), and dark chocolate =)

Oxymoron: too rare (beef, not veal or duck breast.)

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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