Monday, December 31, 2007

Best of 2007 Part II: Other Local Favorites

Favorite places to get crabs - Only in Baltimore would that not immediately be taken the wrong way. Strangely, thinking back over the year I didn't eat that many crabs. I still love them. I just haven't eaten many. I certainly haven't bought many (ah, the benefits of knowing people that can give you crabs they caught and steamed themselves).

I did have some crabcakes, though. I can't say I had a bad crabcake at all this year (even the one I had at the Lansdowne Inn was unexpectedly good). The best one was from:

G&M (crabcakes / American, Linthicum) - There's a reason why theirs is called the best of Baltimore.

Yes I know Faidley's of Lexington Market usually shares that "Best of Baltimore" designation with G&M. And yes I left Faidley's off this list. That's because I never got over there this year. But it's a goal for 2008. Now leave me alone about it.

Favorite guilty pleasures - It's SOOOOO bad for me, but I liked it anyway.

Krispy Kreme (donuts, all over the place) - I eaten about twenty donuts this year (yes, over the course of the entire year). Most of them came from here. Heat them up in the microwave first in case the ditzy kid behind the counter doesn't understand what a "fresh" donut is.

Little Grove (deli, Linthicum) - It's quick and cheap. There are better places, but I would drive way out of my way for their spanakopita (spinach pies).

Panera Bread (sandwiches, various locations) - I gotta admit, I am addicted to the half frontega chicken - half French onion soup deal. Just throw away those nasty croutons (BLEAKHKH)

Quickly (super-cheap Asian, American and Mexican junk food, San Francisco, CA, and all over Taiwan and Southeast Asia) - The first place I stumbled upon in the Castro. Eating there everyday will kill you. I don't think my system can even handle another round of chikuwas.

Favorite places to shop: I mean food, not handbags.

Bakery: SugarBaker's Cakes (Catonsville) - They also sell 'em by the slice, which is more in my budget than their fondant-covered supercakes.

Specialty foods: Rheb's Candies (Violetville and Downtown) - Best. Chocolates. Ever.

Groceries: H-Mart (Catonsville), Trader Joe's (Pikesville and Towson), Wegman's (Hunt Valley) and Whole Foods (Harbor East and Mount Washington)

Beer and Wine: the Wine Source (Hampden) - The only beer tastings I know of in this area, if not frequent. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

A few food things I "discovered" in 07 - Mind you, everybody else knew about this stuff. I was the one who didn't.

Baltimore's Artscape and Book Festival - I have lived in this city, what, most of my life? And yet this stuff wasn't even on my radar until this year. Artscape was great, though not necessarily for the food (massive amounts of average, average food). The Book Festival stood out as an unexpectedly good source for some cookbooks, and I got some good soul food towards the end of it.

cappuccino - Had it not been for London I never would've even tried it. Now it is the thing I get whenever I'm in a coffee shop. And I can't stand coffee.

chocolate top cookies - I've been searching for good ones for much of the year. My favorite? The ones at Sion's Bakery in Pikesville (and those were cookies that were sitting around just before closing), followed by Geresbeck's at a close second, and then the New System Bakery's of Hampden in third. Just avoid the ones at Giant unless you are in withdrawal.

fried Twinkies - **shudder** Let's not let that happen again.

- I ask myself again: how did I miss this place exactly?

Fave Foodie Show - It's an easy one - Ace of Cakes, with your haomeboy and mahn, hon, Duff Goldman. For the record: number of Charm City Cakes employees/Ace of Cakes stars that I have accidentally seen around town, from afar: two. But to go any further would just come off as creepy.

Coming up... the Worst of the Year (oh, joy!)


jmc said...

I am physically unable to pay for crabs. Does not compute. I will, however, pay for gas (for the boat to go crabbing) or for chicken necks or other bait. Usually either of those offers will result in someone in my family being willing to go crabbing with me. And once that's done, someone makes slaw or brownies or puts beer in cooler. And thus a family party is born.

John said...

Mmmm. That's the best crabbing experience in my opinion.

Pigtown-Design said...

Got my mom some Rhebs the other day for xmas. Thanks for reminding me.

Happy New Year, John!

John said...

Happy New Year to you too!

Anonymous said...

The Wine Underground (on Evans Chapel Road) does beer and wine tastings, occasionally. And its small atmosphere means you get a more personalized shopping experience than at the Wine Source.

John said...

I will have to get out there and have a look. Thanks!