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December 10, 2009

11 more things every foodie in Baltimore should do

TioPepeSangia.jpgWhy 11, you may ask? It's because that's the number of the original 100 things every foodie in Baltimore should do that involve alcohol.

I got this nice e-mail from Erica, and I thought others may be in her situation: I saw your list and immediately decided and posted on twitter that it is my 2010 bucket list – born and raised in Baltimore, I’ve done some of them – but heck who can’t have another Berger Cookie?

So I set out, got my list and I’m checking it twice…planning to hit the ground running come the new year and use it to play Foursquare…Ahhhh!

But….I don’t drink and neither does my partner that I will most likely be doing all of these things with over the new year – I have another notion to blog about my experiences as I check them off of my bucket list.  So, my ask….would you be willing to fill in the alcohol related spots with something us non-drinkers can do – no Black-Eyed Susans for me? Is that asking too much?  I’d like a complete list of 100 things that I can do without exception, near or far.

That seems reasonable to me. ...

Of course, I could give her 11, but I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to rectify any glaring omissions on the original list. Suggest one or 11, however many you want, but be careful not to repeat any that are already on the list. I'll be the final judge if we get more than 11.

Here are the ones Erica asks us to replace for non-drinkers:

4. Drink a Natty Boh.

15. Knock back a goblet of Resurrection Ale at Brewer's Art.

18. Have a Black Eyed Susan at the Preakness.

23. Order a Tio Pepe sangria (red). It contains fruit, so it counts as food!

42. Discuss a bottle of wine with Tony Foreman at Cinghiale.

54. Sit at the bar at Cinghiale and order anything. Talk to Rob about wine when Tony isn't in town.

84. Oysters and beer at Cross Street Market!

87. Go to the Wine Market on a Monday night and enjoy a neighborhood discount (extended to all diners).

90. Margarita in a hubcap from Nacho Mama's.

91. Take the Clipper City brewery tour.

95. Sip a Bloody Mary with an Old Bay rimmer. I only see this done at Baltimore restaurants.

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:02 AM | | Comments (26)


Food and drink are so intertwined I think it would be missing out on a lot, but nonetheless will think about it...

Erica - the blog already exists from some readers that was posted on Dining@Large the other day:

Always room for two competing blogs. :-) EL

While I think going to the wine market or sitting at the bar at cinghiale are enhanced by alcohol, they don't require it.

Also you could just have oysters at Cross St mkt. (especially since going to cross st market is clearly something any Baltimore foodie should do).

And I don't think you have to drink wine to take advantage of the discount at The Wine Market.

And I don't think you have to drink wine to take advantage of the discount at The Wine Market.

And you don't have to drink at the Clipper City Brew just makes it more fun.

And Drinking a Natty Boh hardly qualifies as drinking. It's only 4.2%.

I'm not a big drinker and I totally recommend just oysters at Nick's (Cross St Mkt). They are huge fresh and awesome.

Also try Virgin Mary's with V8, tabasco, worcestor (sp?)over ice in a glass rimmed with Old Bay.

Have a coffee and lunch at the Daily Grind Fells Point whilst people watching.

Lunch at the AVAM on a tuesday afternoon.

I'll have to agree that Nat Boh hardly counts as drinking, but if you're a non drinker, it is as it is.

There's also sushi at Cross Street Market -- so good! -- and steamed shrimp, and fresh Utz potato chips. None of those require alcohol, and all are offered during weekday lunch, when you don't have to worry about as many drinkers (if you don't want to be around them).

I only like to drink. Can you make me a list of 89 things I can do to replace the ones that don't involve drinking?

4. Maybe try one of the places in Natty Boh Tower? It's not IN the tower, but Blue Hill Tavern is very nearly by and very foodie friendly. Even if you don't drink their upstairs outdoor bar is lovely. (Wait until it's warmer, though!)

15. The bartenders at the BA are so nice, it would be worth it to ask if they have any interesting mocktails up their sleeves.

18. It's not a food event per se, but I went to Sunrise at Old Hilltop last year during Preakness Week and had a blast. You show up at Pimlico at 6am and they have (free!) coffee and donuts and you can sit very close to the track and watch the horses do their morning exercises, and then get a behind-the-scenes tour. It's nothing gourmet, but I had a lovely time sipping hot coffee on a cold morning watching the beautiful horsies and then getting the tour.

23. Non-alcoholic fruity drinks make me think of fruit tea. I haven't been since I was a kid, but I was very impressed by Brighton's at the Harbor Court, at least in terms of the grandness. The online menu looks nice, too, but I would eat an old shoe if they put Devonshire clotted cream on it, so I am not to be trusted.

42/54. Go to Cinghale and get a cappucino and a dessert instead of a glass of vino. I bet they can talk coffee beans as well as they can talk grapes.

84. You can still do the oyster part.

87. Wine Market discount is definitely worth it, even if you're not drinking.

90. Nachos in a hubcap at Nacho Mama's.

91. The Clipper City tour is still interesting even if you're not drinking.

95. Virgin Mary with an Old Bay Rimmer

I also don't drink, but I wouldn't dream of imposing my personal preferences on a 100-item list that is intended for a general audience. Next thing we know, Erica will have incited the vegans to object to the 96 items on the list that don't specifically refer to vegetables. (Those four items, by the way, are 36, 43, 88, and 93.) My advice to Erica -- just do the 89 non-alcohol items on the list, and be thankful that you can do that many!

I know I'll think of way better additions in another 10 minutes, but:

1. in the fall, order the Thanksgiving sandwich from Regis
2. you may not feel the best afterwords, but head to Mothers in Federal Hill before a Ravens game and attempt the "Heart Attack on a Plate"
3. bring a bottle of sauvignon blanc to Baba and enjoy a meal at the counter
4. order the meat muffins at SoBo
5. eat with your hands at Dukem Restaurant
6. get take out from Thai Arroy and enjoy it in Federal Hill Park, better yet, do it while Flicks from the Hill is running on Thursdays in the summer
7. visit Taharka Brothers and order their Honeycomb ice cream on a cone
8. get meat on a stick during Artscape
9. stop at a farmer's produce stand on the side of RT 404 on the way back from the beach.
10. play some shuffleboard and enjoy a half priced crab quesadilla at Little Havanas on Thursday
11. enjoy a delicious meal and people watch at Meli Restaurant's outdoor seating in Fells Point

We'll need a sub for your No. 3. :-) EL

In the spirit of the holiday season 18, 90 and 95 could be virgins. 42 only requires talking not imbibing, while 91 only requires touring and again not imbibing. For 54 you do not need to order an alcohol containing drink.

Grab some gellato, or pizza, or an italian sub, or a bookmaker salad and enjoy a movie under the stars in Little Italy.

Visit the Fudgery to hear the fudge makers sing, and then buy a little treat to nibble while you people watch in the inner harbor.

I've been fortunate to repeatedly experience a convivial atmosphere while enjoying a drink at Starbucks.

Yawn. I'm with Cdub.

Hello? Hellloooooo?

I'm with pomme de terre... just do the list slightly modified which keeps the essence of the original 100

Pumpkin at The Helmand

There are a lot of variations of the 100 that could be done. No harm done.

I don't drink, but I'm used to working around. Thing is, there are a lot more than 11 items on the 100 list that involve alcohol, if you count chefs who cook with it (especially those who cook with it without noting it on the menu).

Not one of the alcohol things on the list are really Baltimore specific. Then again, a lot of the other things on the list aren't, either.

Those who object to an alcohol-free list should go get a few drinks, and calm down.

Peppermint stick in a lemon at the Flower Mart in the Spring. Quintessentially Baltimore, hon. (But you have to wear a floofy hat...)

Gotta agree on the peppermint stick. Can't believe it didn't make the original list!

Go to a Kapi Luwak coffee tasting at Zeke's.There's one on January 10. Tasting coffee that has been through the intestines of a wild animal is a unique experience.

Or how about mushroom fritters or mushroom sandwiches or any mushroomy goodness at the mushroon stand at Waverly Market.

English cruddier. That cracks me up.

I would go immediately to Captain Harvey's Subs on Merritt Boulevard. THey sold their original location and I heard from two different people they are selling this one before New Years! If this is true, get your cheese steaks now, because no one is going to make it like them ever again!

I recently relocated to Baltimore and I really enjoyed your column because I am so intrigued by all things traditional here. I would love to find a recipe, or a source for the Maryland Stuffed Ham. Any suggestions? Thanks, Pat


You could go here:

MD Stuffed Ham

coxe Sylvia

Better yet, Saturday tours of the Clipper City brewery are FREE if you don't want to sample beer. It's still pretty cool to see how beer is made and how a Baltimore business gives back to & interacts with it's surrounding community.
So bring a coffee with you and enjoy!

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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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