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May 16, 2009

Top Chef favorite Spike Mendelsohn at Pimlico today



If you're a Spike Mendelsohn fan, the former Top Chef contestant will be holding cooking demos in the Preakness Village today at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. You might even get a sample of dishes like Classic Crab Cakes with Chile Garlic Mayonnaise. (Sounds good, but once you pair a crab cake with chile garlic mayonnaise you can't call it classic anymore.)

He'll be cooking with Kelsey Nixon, his Food2 co-host. (Food2 is the Food Network's new online channel.) ...

Mendelsohn owns the Good Stuff Eatery burger joint in DC, just visited by the First Lady. (Do the Obamas eat only burgers? Probably it only seems that way if you read this blog.)

The Mendelsohn burger must be a pretty good one. He swept the South Beach Food & Wine Festival's annual Burger Bash earlier this year.

(Photo courtesy of The Door PR)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:19 AM | | Comments (27)


Is this town big enough for two goofballs named Spike? I think no. Cue silly hat.

Well, with the looks of the size of the infield crowd, the cooking demonstration with Chef Spike could well be a private lesson.

This Preakness is shaping up to be quite the debacle. At this point all we need is the President of Magna Entertainment to stand up on a port-a-pot and declare Mission Accomplished.

Years ago, the Orioles had a BYOB policy at Memorial Stadium, as long as the beer was in a picnic jug. I always wondered why a team (especially one once owned by National Brewery) would tolerate such a drain on beer sales. If the O's could survive the end of the BYOB policy (and, yes, I know that applying the term "survive" to the O's is quite debatable these days), surely the Preakness will, too.

Not to be mean, but wouldn't you just love it if people were promoted more honestly, such as:

Cooking contest loser Spike Mendelsohn.


The funny hat guy from Top Chef.

At least he didn't have faux-hawk.

Oh that was mean. Still the meritocracy is crumbling in favor of a celebritocracy or notorietocracy.

We loved it when Memorial allowed us to bring picnic jugs of beer into games. It took awhile but we could pour (slowly, to avoid needless foam) about 22 beers into our orange Coleman picnic jug. Then we lugged that thing up the hill from the YMCA where we parked to the games. If we were lucky/good, it lasted until about the 6th inning, then we bought the stadium beer. The "we" was usually three of us, but sometimes two, and sometimes four.

Once, we filled it with Southern Comfort and Kool-Aid. And we killed it by the third inning. The Southern Comfort would make our paper cups come unglued, which was odd. Other than that, not much else is remembered.

this was during the early days of Wild Bill Hagy in Sec 34, we'd sit a few rows behind his gang. It was before he got famous; Sec 34 was really empty and you could pretty much do whatever you wanted.

PCB Rob, I'm surprised the paper cups were the only thing coming unglued from that much Southern Comfort.

I imagine the Preakness will survive, but it will never be the same. The old Preakness was very organic. Organic in the sense the activities (the port-a-pot race, the flashing, etc...) grew naturally, albeit with the help of an alcohol fertilizer. The new Preakness, however, will be a very predictable one of scripted activities. At noon there will be a moonbounce. At 1pm there will be a volleyball game. At 2pm there will be a concert. And so on.

I feel that we are losing our traditions and trying to replace them with pre-packed, corporate sponsored, events. That is not a good thing.

I was watching when your governor presented the Woodlawn Vase to the winning connections. He said it is “the most coveted trophy in all of sports.”

Lissa? Do you agree?

(Just trying to stir the pot a little.)

I’ve also been surprised all week at the furor over doing away with BYOB at a major, professional sporting event. I’m trying to think of a sporting event I’ve been to in the last decade where I could bring my own booze. Can’t think of a single one, including college sports.


Governor O'Malley has been known to fling around the blarney every now and then. As to your other point: it's a Baltimore thing, you wouldn't understand.

Never heard of it, Bucky. But I agree with RoCK, although I'm probably more pro-flashing than he is.

Bucky -- the Woodlawn Vase is generally claimed by Pimlico to be the most valuable trophy in sports, having been appraised for $1 million back in 1983. For a photo, see this link (scroll down for photo).

I understand that there are many reasons for stopping people from bringing unlimited amounts of beer into the Preakness. My problem is the spin that management insists on spewing. Don't tell me how great the Preakness is going to be with the addition of beach volleyball, ZZ Top and $3.50 beers.

This change reminds of what happened to football games at my college. For years football games at Hampden-Sydney meant Hillgating, which meant dressing up and having drinks on the hill that surrounded the football stadium.

Well, this tradition changed with the “riot” at the Macon Game. Now some may say that I helped start the riot and some may say no comment, but I am not sure that anyone will make any definitive statement at least not before the statute of limitations expires. What is not contested is that some time near the end of the game a group of young men sporting bow ties and holding plastic cups of bourbon had an altercation with an unruly mob of miscreants wearing wife-beaters and clutching cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

After the riot the college went and banned alcohol from the hill. There will probably never be another riot or anything that even resembles one. (However, I imagine if John McIntyre and the staff of b ever had a confrontation it may provide for a similar visual, albeit one on a much smaller scale.)

I understand the decision, but what I hated was how they tried to make the argument that things would be better. Oh yes, things are better now that I can focus on the excitement of Division III football without the distraction of Booker Noe and Basil Hayden.

Bucky, I don't "love the guv" at all...but he is right that the Woodlawn Vase is probably coveted trophy for the appraisal value (thanks hmpstd) if for no other reason! And it is a good looking trophy.

In the old days, the Preakness was a wild bunch of rowdies with tents, coolers, grills and furniture. Now, I agree with RoCK. The Preakness of the future will be a scripted "event". But the corporate snoot village will survive!

hmpstd - maybe I'm not remembering what he said correctly. (Although if he had said "valuable" I think I would have understood that distinction.)

I was mostly trying to bait Lissa into talking about the Stanley Cup, anyway. She didn't bite.


Bucky, I assume that no one else in Baltimore has my fetish for Lord Stanley's dog bowl.

Judging from the guy next to me today at the sports bar, Red Wings fans are quite passionate about their team. Profanities streamed forth as the game progressed, and it was only 1-1 heading into the second intermission.

We were (having wings - food reference!) while watching the Orioles blow a nice lead, as usual.

If you were eating wings, PCB Rob, you can see why us Wings fans were screaming profanities.

We are extremely passionate about our team. Which is why I try not to get started. You guys really don't want to hear it. It is more boring than trying to teach critical analysis of the quality of web sites.

I've noticed your restraint, Lissa. We went though the whole octopus discussion without a single Red Wings reference. I was, quite frankly, a little disappointed.

I will admit, whenever I see an octopus get tossed on the ice, I'm sad because I'd rather eat it than throw it.

Lissa, another hockey fan lurks here as well. The series my team just won certainly lived up to all the hype, and I was pleased with the outcome. It was especially nice since I saw all the local stories about how wonderful and glorious the Caps were before the series began.

The series my team just won

I know your zip code = I know your teams. Shhh...

Ah, a Penguinista. I like the Penguins because I'm a Linux fanatic.

I was hoping for the Caps to win, though, because then maybe I could have snuck down to DC to catch a game. Not that I could afford a playoff game, but it was a nice daydream.

We're gonna kick your butts, though . smack. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Would hate to disappoint someone who probably is in thrall to that stickball team called the Avs.

Whoops...getting carried away there.

When I was still in Detroit, one playoffs, when the Wings and the Avs were playing, a woman came into the library wearing an Avalanche sweater.

My co-worker and I looked at each other as she headed towards the ref. desk. We looked at each other's Red Wings sweaters, then sighed, and commented that, tempting as it was, we had to help her.

Later, we grudgingly admitted we admired her chutzpah in walking into our library, filled with fanatical Wings staff, wearing *that.*

19604, I know --just wait until football season. But I may be surprised; citizens of the Nation are everywhere.

Lissa, didn't you enjoy watching Crosby (quietly) play even better than flashy Ovechkin?

19604 was my zip code growing up, not Yums. And 19604 would NEVER be guin territory

Lissa - You won't suck me in; I was just wanting to watch and be entertained.

(Claude Lemieux rules.)

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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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