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Restaurants & Bars

A few snacks in Baltimore: the good and the bad

RandyB | Dec 3, 201102:27 PM

I'm just in Baltimore briefly for some family celebrations. I had a couple of hours to spend on my own. I had heard that lump crab cakes could be the highlight of Baltimore snacks/lunch. I went to Faidley's Seafoods at the Lexington Market, one that people generally rave about.

The lump crab cakes were really good. Crispy fried on the outside, creamy on the inside. There was a lot of crab meat, as promised, and little if any filler. I was told the only thing to put on it was mustard. I think it's even better plain. Cost for one fat cake is $12, not cheap, but worth it.

On the other hand, the oysters at Faidley's were absolutely tasteless. They were fresh enough, no off odors or smells. I just cannot remember ever eating a tasteless oyster like these. $5 for three large ones. The shucker said they mediums were "from the same place" and wouldn't taste any different. That was all he could tell me. He didn't seem even to understand my advance question about how briny they were.(They weren't.)

As for the bad, I checked out the historic district of Fells Point. People there raved about the Daily Grind, a local coffee hangout. I had absolutely the worst expresso (French spelling that I'm used to) I've ever tasted. They did pull it to order, but it tasted like Maxwell House sludge that had been boiling for an hour. I couldn't drink it at all. And as a regular drinker of French expresso in Paris, I have a lot of tolerance for bad coffee.

The coffee at Bonaparte Bakery and Cafe a block away was tolerable. The croissant looked like it was taken out of the oven 15 minutes before it was done. The pain au chocolat looked ok. It felt like rubber. Maybe it was a day-old version. It also had no interesting taste.

I crashed the reception at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Had some nice, homemade hot cider and a tiny little chocolate chip cookie. The latter might have been store bought, but at least it was crispy.

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