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February 14, 2011

My lunch with Second City, part 1

wolfSecond City Does Baltimore is winding up a very successful 8-week run at Center Stage this Sunday. All of the remaining performances are sold out.

I had lunch at Iggies last week with ensemble members Dana Quercioli (front row, left), Megan Wilkins (front row, second from right) and Tim Sniffen (back row, second from left) and stage manager Josh Miller.

I had been thinking lately about how restaurants have been the source for so much memorable sketch comedy, and I wanted to talk with experts about that. I'll tell you what I learned in part 2.

We talked, too, about where the ensemble has been eating and drinking during their long stay in Baltimore, one of the longest in Center Stage's history. They've had a chance to do a lot of exploring but not as much as they'd have liked. A few of the cast members, Baltimore will be flattered to hear, are extending their stays a week beyond this Sunday's closing date so they can do all the things they haven't had time to.

Hands down, their Baltimore food hero is Cindy Wolf, of Charleston, who appeared as one of the six celebrity walk-on guests that joined the ensemble during their Baltimore run. As thanks, Wolf hosted and treated,the ensemble to dinner at Pazo, guiding them through their meal. They loved it and her.

Iggies is just across the street from Center Stage's artist housing, and the ensembles have become regulars. (When Wilkins' father was visiting and stopped in, for the first time, the counter person said, "oh, you must be Megan's dad!")

They've come to like City Cafe, too, and the Owl Bar but they're more likely to turn up at the Midtown Yacht Club and the Mt. Vernon Stable, which have long been haunts of Center Stage's visiting cast and crews, in large part because of their late serving hours. 

When we were talking about waiter's dreams and nightmares, Wilkens said, "I just realized, I dreamed last night of the polenta at Sotto Sopra!!!" (She was talking about the polenta,  sprinkled with truffled sea salt, served with lemon-caper aioli. I love it, too.)

Still on their list -- Woodberry Kitchen and G&M. The ensemble is free tonight -- Mondays are dark at Center Stage. So, if you've got room in your restaurant, and would like them to stop by, let them know here. 

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 12:30 PM | | Comments (4)


Megan W. - Sotto Sopra has always said eat.drink.sleep.dream-----Italian. Grazie for the compliment.

How long will that stupid Washington Post article continue to ruin the reputation of Baltimore's crab cakes? At least a dozen years ago, the Post named G&M as a bright spot in their "crummy but good" series, and ever since you see it recommended over and over.

It's not good -- it's flavorless Asian crab meat in a doughy filler. It's possibly the worst crab cake available in the area, but people still continue to travel to that dump of a restaurant for it. Go to Faidley's, where they use blue crab. Get a crab cake and a couple of coddies. Know what a decent crab cake is. Then go to G&M if you must, but at least have a basis for comparison.

We saw the show Feb 2nd when Cindy Wolf was there. Very funny and Cindy Wolf was pretty good. Loved the part when she did the hand gestures for the one skit. Haven't been to the Yacht Club in a while and we'll have to check it out soon.

I found Second City does Baltimore to be very predictable.

Now, if you don't want predictable, go see the "Homecoming" that is playing now at Center Stage. Ummm...that play may be a lot of things, but predictable isn't one of them.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner 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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