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Monday, February 18, 2013

Diners Drive Inns & Dives Follow-up: Baltimore



 A quick trip to Baltimore to check out 3 places that were on DDD  resulted in mixed results from myself, my cousin and friend.

<<< First stop was Di Pasquale's Marketplace, a very old school Italian grocery, bakery, deli and all things Italian, in the Highlandtown
neighborhood.  From the outside, it's a typical building,  but once you step inside, it's food porn!  The smells of fresh baked delicious bread, imported cheeses, olive oils and cold cuts will fill your head and you will have to find a chair to sit and regain your senses.  I ordered a meatball sandwich >>>>  
In my life, I have never experienced
such a big and spectacular sandwich as this!!!                   Fresh baked, rustic style bread, 4 billiard size excellent meatballs and fresh, homemade "mutz".   One could only eat this with a fork and tear 
 off the bread and then dip it in the sauce.  This was totally unexpected and was a treat.                                                               

"Hand crafted" Stromboli....the Size of A Small Cinder Block!

Meat and Rice Stuffed Artichoke

Everything Is Fresh as Well As A Vast Selection Of Imported
Olive Oils, Coffee, Water and  Drinks.







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The second stop on the weekend culinary adventure was G&A Restaurant a few blocks away in Greektown, where owner Andy slaves away behind
his hot dog grill and his wife and crew of waitresses serve up typical diner
food.  Definitley a classic city diner, it serves as a reminder of what a real diner is and what used to be. The specialty of the house are the chili dogs with onions, prepared for all to see, which my cousin and had, my friend had a The G&A version of a veal parm sandwich, considerably smaller than a pizzeria would offer, but good non the less.
Brandy, our very sociable waitress informed us about the behind the scenes happenings for the DDD shoot and things in general and made our visit very enjoyable as did the other girls there. "Brandy, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you will be"  Looking Glass 1972!!

As with every restaurant in Baltimore, they all claim to have the best crabcakes in town.  Andy of course, insisted we try his.  Served up fresh, they were very good and we all enjoyed them...in fact BETTER than the Sip and Bite Diner that DDD went to. We were told the secret, but it's a secret, so you're on own!  As with all Greek diners, rice pudding HAS to ordered for dessert.  G&A's style of custardy ricey goodness holds up the Greek tradition in Baltimore.  Thank you.



 








A Classic Milk Shake Machine
Behind the Counter Pays Tribute To The Past


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The Sip & Bite is another Greek owned Baltimore diner, in the Canton neighborhood.  The evening we visited was after dinner with only 2 other customers.  I was disappointed that the owners Tony and his wife were absent this evening as I looked forward to meeting them from their DDD appearance.
Again, claiming to have the best crabcakes in town, they were OK at best.  Although the prestation was appealing I did not care for the "yellow mustard infused" crabcakes as I felt it should be on the side as to not take away from the natural crab flavor.
Nothing special here as Guy once again plays it up for the show.

Everything else was good from the spinach pie to the fresh veggies and
mashed potatoes as this is typical diner fare. "Cheap eats" and "pocketbook friendly" as the reviews say.

  The booths here have to be the most narrow and uncomfortable restaurant booths in any restaurant anywhere which is cause not to return.

           




 


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