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March 11, 2009

I'll never eat corned beef and cabbage again

corned beef and cabbageWaaaay back in the dark days before Midnight Sun, I was a food critic. Bet you didn't know that.

Yes indeed, for about two years, I was the takeout food columnist, and I also reviewed restaurants for The Sun's annual Dining Guide. That was back when we had a Dining Guide.

It's been a while since I regularly wrote food reviews, and I was ready for another challenge.

So when Kate Shatzkin, the editor of the Taste section and the blogger extraordinaire behind Charm City Moms, asked me to write about corned beef and cabbage (the piece came out today), I jumped at the chance.

Little did I know what was in store ...

To be honest, I hadn't eaten that much corned beef and cabbage before this. I've had my share of corned beef sandwiches, and growing up, I would occasionally have corned beef when I was out and about. It was by no means a regular thing. And after this little corned beef binge, I can't say I'll ever order the dish again.

I ate five orders of corned beef cabbage in three days. Chew on that for a second. Five orders. Three days.

At one point, I actually felt physically ill -- not in the food poisoning sense, but in the sluggish, I-can't-go-on-eating-this sense. Know what I mean?

People seem to think that being a restaurant reviewer is one of the best jobs in the whole wide world. After being one for a couple of years, I don't know about that.

After all, there are only so many adjectives to begin with. You try writing about hamburgers without using the word "juicy," or Indian food without using the word "spicy." It's tricky business, I tell you.

Well, the piece is finished, and I learned a lot about corned beef and cabbage along the way. I'd say I learned enough for a lifetime.

(Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:08 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff


Sam, we need you! Please consider slowing down on the red meat intake. Let me know if you want/need the cell number of my Mom's cardiologist.

I remember when you were the Sun's takeout critic. That was in the "pre-photo of columnist" days, for obvious reasons.

This review explains your FB post with the same headline. Did I just bust you for recycling headlines?

Ryan's Daughter in Belvedere Square has some AWESOME corned beef and cabbage...not that you're going to eat that anytime soon... ;-)


Are you actually obligated to eat the entire meal from each eatery?
Most people seem to find cabbage rather gassy.

Corned Beef Brisket and Cabbage article, I assume, is for St. Patrick’s Day. Curious association to Irish as it has a Jewish tradition. My Grandmother was born and raised in Erie and having beef of any sort was an extremely rare occurrence. The meats they ate usually were lamb or pork, which they didn’t eat with the frequency we now eat meat of any sort.

Wikipedia for more details on Corned Beef:

St. Patrick, who was Welsh, if interested:

Courtney, I'm not recycling -- the blogs are automatically imported to the Facebook page with the same headlines.

GDA, thankfully, I'm not required to eat the entire meal. Otherwise, I might not be here right now. is running a special where you get a free Drunk Leprechaun St. Patrick's Day T-shirt when you buy another Irish t-shirt!

Thanks for clarifying.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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