Carolyn, thanks for letting us know your experience. To be honest I'd say that Faidley's has loads of atmosphere - total Baltimore institution and their crabcakes are terrific. (have to be careful about crabcakes around here - I'm not a native and have been subject to criticism on this subject, but I don't think anyone can argue about theirs).
Did you wander into the market at all? Berger's Bakery is reknowned for their cookies - sort of a fat sugar cookie with dollop of chocolate fudge on top. They are just delicious - worth going out of the way for. Also you can get really good fried chicken livers in the market.
Trinacrea (sp?), an italian goods store is also in that area - about a block up the street from the market - be forewarned this is a frightening neighborhood, but safe enough during the day. It's got provolone balls hanging from the ceiling, pesce wine in fish bottles, probably 15 kinds of pasta sold by the pound. People come from all over Baltimore to shop there. I was in there once during passover. Maybe a five year old girl and her mom in front of me were sort of surveying the contents of the store, when the little girl pointed up at the provolone, and very sweetly said, "Mom, look, they have matzoh balls just like us."
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