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ILoveBacon's Profile

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What is your single worst meal ever in the DC/Baltimore area?

C.B. in Baltimore's Little Italy. I ordered the Frutte Di Mare and what came out was a plate of watery, over-cooked spaghetti (there was a ring of water all around the outer perimeter of the plate) with two tired looking shrimp, a scallop and a few rings of calamari. The whole thing also smelled faintly of ammonia. Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Birthday Restaurant Recommendation: Halfway between Fairfax, VA and Baltimore, MD

I'm trying to schedule a birthday dinner for my father at a nice restaurant that is located approximately halfway from Fairfax, VA and Baltimore, MD. Easy access from I-95 would be bonus. Thanks!

What am I doing wrong at Piedigrotta Bakery?

In recent threads, there's been high praise for Piedigrotta Bakery. I really, really want to like this place, therefore would appreciate recommendations about what to order.

When I went, a few weeks ago, I order a piece of lasagna, a side salad and a "lobster tail" pastry; the total came to over $18. The lasagna was bland. The salad was comprised of a cup of roughly chopped iceberg lettuce and one olive ($3.50 for that!). The pastry, while the outer shell was shatteringly crisp, was filled with what tasted like the cheapest instant vanilla pudding.

What should I be ordering? Please advise.

Piedigrotta Bakery
1300 Bank Street Suite 140, Baltimore, MD 21231

Recommendations for good whole belly fried clams near Asbury Park, please.

Mr. Shrimp sounds like the best option for me. Thanks so much for all the input!

Aug 24, 2011
ILoveBacon in New Jersey

Recommendations for good whole belly fried clams near Asbury Park, please.

I'll be traveling up to Asbury Park, NJ from Virginia in September for a friend's wedding. I've always wanted to try good whole belly fried clams and would love recommendations about where to go. From the little research I've done, all I know is that I do NOT want Biggie's Clam Bar. Thanks for your attention!

Aug 22, 2011
ILoveBacon in New Jersey

Top ten favorite things to eat (and where to get them) in Baltimore

Welcome to Baltimore, hon!

1. Crosstown burger with fried egg and candied bacon from Hamilton Tavern (Hamilton)
2. White pizza from Matthew's Pizza (Highlandtown)
3. Porketta sub from Mastellone's (Hamilton-ish)
4. Almond croissants from Bonaparte Breads (Fells Point)
5. Soon dubu chigae from Eel-town Flounder-ville (Ellicott City)
6. Crab cakes from Duda's Tavern (Fells Point)
7. Pork and cheese papusas from El Salvadore (Upper Fells Point)
8. Stuffed Flounder Francaise from Ciao Bella (Little Italy)
9. Pad Thai from Thai Jai Dee (Canton)
10. Panko Encrusted Fried Oysters from Ryleigh's Oyster (Federal Hill)

Recourse for bad farmer's market produce?

On Saturday morning, I went to the Waverly farmer's market, where I picked up a lot of great produce, including 2 quarts of strawberries. Everything was handled gently and transported in my air conditioned car to my air conditioned house. So imagine my dismay a couple of hours later, when I discover that well over half of the strawberries are rotten, bad and/or fermented.

If I were to buy strawberries from Giant and discovered that the ones on top were fine but everything below was bad, I would march that container right back and request a refund/exchange in a heartbeat. But what is the "right" thing to do in this case? I would love some feedback regarding this matter. Thanks!

French bistro fare in Baltimore (not Petit Louis)?

I second the Cafe de Paris recommendation. Be sure to go at dinner, as their lunch menu is crepes and sandwiches only.

Help with good eats near Hopkins

While I agree that Gertrudes is a lovely restaurant, it is close to Johns Hopkins University (Charles Village), not Johns Hopkins Hospital (Upper Fells Point).

My suggestion is Birches, located in Canton (about a 15 minute drive from JHH). It's good comfort food served in a nice but not overly formal setting.

Best Mul Naengmyun in the Baltimore Area

Nothing beats hot, humid weather like a cold bowl of refreshing mul naengmyun (Korean noodles in cold broth). But since I haven't found a good version of dried, refrigerated or frozen versions of mul naengmyun, I would really appreciate suggestions for the best restaurants in the Baltimore area for this summertime treat. Thank you!

Seafood Restaurant Recommendations for Columbia

If it was up to me, I'd go Vietnamese, Thai, sushi or Victoria's while in Columbia. However, the Birthday Girl specifically requested seafood so that's my dilemma! What if we widened the search to include Ellicott City and Laurel? Thanks so much!

Seafood Restaurant Recommendations for Columbia

Could you please recommend a good seafood restaurant in/near Columbia, MD? It's for a birthday celebration so something upscale is preferred. Thanks!

Desperate for good southern food...please help.

I don't know how authentically Southern it is, but I really enjoyed the fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and hash from Langermann's in Canton.

Green Chilies

The only place I can think of is Golden West in Hampden. Unfortunately, consistency and quality has been an issue for me. On some days, their green chile sauce is out of the world delicious. Other days, it tastes like green dishwater.

Golden West Cafe
1105 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD

Feast of the Seven Fishes in Baltimore

I've have wanted to try the Italian "Feast of the Seven Fishes" on Christmas Eve for many years now. Which restaurant in the Greater Baltimore area would you recommend?

Head-On Shrimp in North Baltimore

What an interesting idea! I will definitely try the shrimp shells and dried shrimp option next time.

I ended up getting 2 pounds of shrimp and a dozen small female crabs from Conrads last night. Boiled the shrimp shells and crabs (picked out the lump meat, gills and the innards) for 2 hours. The stock, while very rich with seafood taste, unfortunately also has a bitter aftertaste. I'm going to use it anyway and hope for the best. Thanks for the feedback!

Head-On Shrimp in North Baltimore

JP, it's not the distance that kills me, it's that I'm incapable of walking out of H-Mart without spending at least $100. The produce, especially things I have no idea what they are, they call my name. It's through my H-Mart addiction that I know Dragonfruit is really cool looking, expensive, and doesn't have much in the way of taste. I know that if I schelp out to Catonsville tonight, not only will I get the shrimp and crabs, but I'll also have persimmons, ginko nuts, white sweet potatoes, coconut milk, mochi, the rough scrubby washcloth, etc.

But as always, you give good, thoughtful advice.

800 N Rolling Rd, Catonsville, MD

Head-On Shrimp in North Baltimore

I need to get a few pounds of whole, head-on shrimp so I can make a good seafood stock for gumbo. Any suggestions as to where to find such a product in Baltimore, ideally toward the Towson area? Conrads doesn't carry it and neither does Whole Foods. Bonus points if the place also sells live crabs. Please help and thanks!

Texas transplant seeks kolaches

While not exactly "DC area", I've gotten sweet and savory kolaches from Kolache House Bakery in Fredericksburg. Since I've never had kolaches before, I can't speak for how they stack up but I found them to be a pretty tasty alternative to danishes.

Baltimore/ Washington Dishes You Dream About

Crosstown Burger from Hamilton Tavern with the candied bacon and fried egg

Poutine from Victoria Gastro Pub, made with duck fat fries, duck confit, gruyere and duck gravy

Sam Sung Gan Jajang from Da Rae Won

Taramasalata served with hot flatbread from Samos how the hell am I suppose to be satisfied with my stupid Lean Cuisine lunch?!?

Harris Crab House @ Kent Narrows

Hal - if you call Salt River Lobster by Wednesday, you can pick up your order of soft shell clams at their stand at the Sunday farmers market under the JFX. This past week, the clams were $6/pound. Out of a 5 pound bag, there was about a dozen dead/broken clams; not a bad yield. They were briny, sweet and exactly what a belly clam should taste like!

Best Mul Naeng Myeon Around Baltimore

Sweltering heat + humidity = craving for a cold, refreshing bowl of mul naeng myeon. But what's the best restaurant in/near Baltimore for this delicious summertime Korean dish?

Good Late-Night-Not-Fancy-Preferably-Ethnic Eats in Columbia?

Any recommendations for good, tasty, not fancy/expensive eats in the Laurel/Columbia area?

Knife Sharpening in Baltimore?

I took all my knives to Frank's Cutlery for the first time this summer. You call him, leave a message, and he'll call you back to set up a date/time for you to come by. It took all of 10 minutes for him to fine hone 1 chef's knife, 1 santuku, 3 paring knives and kitchen scissors. On top of it all, he even gave me a couple of cucumbers from his garden and gave me a tour of his bocce court. Highly recommend.

4121 White Avenue Baltimore, MD (Parkville area right off Bel Air Road)
(410) 426-6720

Hamilton/Lauraville's Tuesday Evening Market

I recently found out that there was a farmer's market in Hamilton/Lauraville (on Harford Road across the street from Safeway) every Tuesday evening. My friend and I went last night to check out the action. It wasn't quite a farmer's market as there were only 3 - 4 produce vendors. Bulk of the market were prepared food vendors and a bunch of arts & crap.

Since the various knitted, painted, essential oiled stuff doesn't interest me, didn't pay much attention to it. As for the food, here's the list of the vendors I saw:
• Pig & Pickle (pulled pork sandwich & a variety of pickles and relishes)
• Check Mac BBQ (smoked briskets & ribs & Cajun sides
• Indian food (chicken curry, potato patties, etc.)
• Soo's Kimchi (Korean platter including kimchi, savory pancake, buckwheat noodles)
• Parkisde Inn (don't recall what they were selling)
• Grilled corn guy (offering regular and compound butter)
• Quesadilla/Hummus/Dips guy

My friend and I got a sampling of goods and here are our thoughts:
• Pulled pork from Pig & Pickle is fantastic; smoky and moist and the sauce provided the perfect touch of spice/sweet to make Mr. Pig really sing.
• Brisket was good; nice and moist with a good amount of fat for juice and flavor. Unfortunately, the pork ribs were awful. The 3 pieces I got with my meal were tough, dried out and not flavorful at all. The red beans and rice sides were good, though.
• Grilled corn was something I really wanted to like. But for all the black grease on the ear, the flesh was not charred and simply didn't have the good grilled corn flavor/texture. My guess is that the grill wasn't hot enough so it simply steamed the corn, not grilled it.
• After tasting the cucumber kimchi, I got a container to go; it will be rice with kimchi and roaster laver for dinner tonight.

I don't know how long the market is slated to run but all in all, a nice place to grab dinner on a Tuesday evening.

Indian Food - Baltimore Hounds, please help

I really enjoy Kebab Stop in Mt. Washington. They offer the ubiquitous lunch buffet but the the owner is so proud of the food that he'll happily explain what's on the menu.

Baby shower in Baltimore

Clementine in Hamilton. They recently expanded their space and the new bar / dining room area is big, airy and can accommodate a large group.

Red Velvet Cake in DC, MD, or NoVA?

More than just the taste (which is basically a yellow cake with a smattering of cocoa), there's just something quaint and old-fashioned and comforting and satisfying about a good red velvet cake. As a result, if I happen to see it, I always get a slice (and am disappointed 2 out of 3 times). For me, the hands-down the best red velvet cake I've had in the Baltimore/NoVa area is at Spro Coffee, located in the Towson library (410-296-0023).

Lighthouse Tofu Vit Goel Rockville and annandale

Wayne_Keyser, your posts made me laugh out loud. Your comments reminded me of the woebegone look of dread, panic and defeat on my friend's face when we were presented with hellbroth + whole fried fish for breakfast while in Korea. It's not for everyone, everytime but I'm glad we have the option!

Lighthouse Tofu Vit Goel Rockville and annandale

Would you walk into a pizza place and expect a good burger? Chances are, you'd get a passable burger but you know that you could go somewhere else and get it better. Same expectations should apply to most Korean restaurants in Annandale. Because there are so many of them so close together, each house tries to differentiate itself by being known to do one thing well. So stick with whatever they're specifically promoting and you'll walk away full and happily stinky!