Hot!Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More...

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billyboy
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2018/07/06 05:14:40 (permalink)

Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More...

Friday June 29, 2018 - My friend, Doug, has been on many Roadfood adventures with me through the years and in 2007, we had begun a tradition of visiting a Major League ballpark a year, beginning with AT&T Park in San Francisco.  Life has a way of happening while one is making plans and we've only been to Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium since then,  This year, we started up again and just returned from an overnight trip to Baltimore, MD with his brother-in-law, Mike, and Duane, an old friend from high school, to catch the Baltimore Orioles take on the Los Angeles Angels at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.   I camped out at his house in Carle Place, NY (Long Island) the night before so we could get on the road early.  We grabbed dinner at a place Doug had been telling me about for some time, Thomas's Ham 'N' Eggery Diner in Carle Place.   

72 years?  They must be doing something right!

 

This place had a classic diner feel to it and our waitress was really great a clued us in to some good specials.  I do regret that I neglected to take any photos of our meals.  I was leaning towards a patty melt (theirs comes with Swiss cheese and grilled onions on griddled rye bread, just how I like it) but the chicken pot pie special was too good to pass up.  It came in a crock with a covering of puff pastry and was filled with carrots, peas, potatoes and onions. At first, it looked like a fancy-pants version but it was the real deal.  While I still prefer the classic double crusted version like the chicken pie I had at Dottie's Diner in Woodbury, CT so many years ago, Thomas's rendition is excellent.  
 
I somewhat regretted my choice when Doug's Lobster Avocado BLT was placed in front of him and when he offered me a bite, I knew I should have gotten one too.  Thick-cut buttered and griddled challah bread, filed with shreds of lobster, slices of avocado, strips of smoky bacon, lettuce and tomato.  They only offer it in the summertime when they can get good lobster.  Man, I could go for one of those right about now. 

Thomas's was founded by two brothers, one of whom had a thing for collecting magnets.  He has since passed away but over the years, customers bring in magnets from places they had visited.  This is just a small part of the collection.  I love the "Eat Here and Get Gas" magnet.

Just around the corner from the diner is Cardinali Pastry Shop.  This is one of my most favorite pastry shops in NY.  They made two amazing cakes (cannoli cake and peanut butter & jelly cake) for Doug & Marisa's (his wife) wedding.  I've stopped in numerous times on my way to their house for their brick-oven pizza, prosciutto bread, pignoli cookies ands sfogliatelle.  

 

The great thing about the prosciutto bread is that the knobs of meat inside are chewy nuggets of salty, meaty goodness, while the ones at the surface get all crispy, like bacon.  

So many cookies.

I'n not sure how I feel about a "poop emoji" cookie but my friend's kids get to pick out one big cookie each whenever they come here.  I do like the look of that pignoli loaf cake on the middle shelf.

I've had their red sauce pizza (seen below) and their white pizza with fresh mozzarella and fresh ricotta many times and both are outstanding.  At turns soft, crispy and chewy, with a bright tomato sauce and an abundance of fresh mozzarella, this slice is the exemplar of perfect bakery pizza, which has always been a favorite of mine and Cardinali's gets it so right, though do get here early as they tend to sell out in the afternoon.  

Ahh the sfogliatelle, my most favorite Italian pastry.  

This was filled with a sweet cheese that had a hint of citrus and that multi-layered shell was shatteringly crisp.  

After picking up Mike at JFK, we headed to the local Shake Shack in Westbury, NY as Mike hadn't yet eaten dinner.  When I spied the Pie Oh My concrete on the menu, I knew I had tho have it.  Once again, I forgot to snap a photo.  Rest assured, this would be the last time I forgot to take a picture on this trip.  The sweet chunks of strawberries, the creaminess of the ice cream, the tang of the balsamic and the pieces of pie crust all worked wonderfully together.  

Saturday June 30, 2018 - We all knocked off early for the night as we had a long day ahead of us.  Before drifting off to sleep, I sent out a Facebook request seeking breakfast recommendations along Rte. 95 and was hoping to find a diner in NJ we could check out along the way.  We got on the road at 6:00am sharp and thanks to replies from fellow Roadfooders Joe Rogo and The Travelin' Man, we were on our way to the Roadfood review Mastoris in Bordentown, NJ.  

It was about a 10 minute drive off of our route and their online listing said they opened at 7:00am and we arrived close to 8:00am but the parking lot looked pretty empty and the building didn't really strike me as impressive from the outside.  I approached the door thinking it might be locked but thankfully it opened when I pulled on it and there were customers inside, we just happened to arrive on what appeared to be a slow morning.  

Love the counter seating.

I take it as a sign of good eats to come when a diner has placemats with ads for local businesses.

Each table starts out with a free plate of warm cinnamon bread and warm sweet cheese bread.  I like the cinnamon but the cheese was the real winner for me.  Nothing like housemade baked goods to get the appetite charged up.  

Doug ordered the Greek omelet (with feta, oregano, basil and tomato).  It came with home fries but it appears that they mixed them in with the omelet.  Nonetheless, Doug really enjoyed this.  

Mike went with the corned beef hash and eggs with home fries.  I got to try a couple forkfuls of the hash and it was clearly made in-house.  I'll definitely be ordering a side of hash the next time I'm here.  They guys were not fans of the coffee.  

Breakfast at a diner in NJ meant a pork roll, egg and cheese (Swiss for me) sandwich on a kaiser roll with a side of home fries.    $8.49 seemed a bit steep at first glance as I have gotten a breakfast sandwich and home fries for less in Manhattan.  However, I have never had a sandwich this big and overstuffed nor have I found home fries this good in the Big Apple.  This was worth every penny.  Mike had never tried pork roll before so I encouraged him to take a slice and he really liked it.  Those potatoes were super crispy on top and still soft in the middle.  Definitely worth going out of the way for a meal here.  Our waitress was really great and took good care of us.

Mastoris is a HUGE place with multiple rooms for many different dining functions.  Bar, diner, formal dining, large functions rooms, etc.  And they have a big bakery too.  Plenty of cinnamon bread to go...

As well as individual cinnamon breads and cheese breads as well as a loaf that blends the two together.  

Crossing over the Delaware Memorial Bridge in Wilmington.  About halfway to Baltimore...

Not sure where this was exactly but this statue sorta jumped out at me from the side of the road.  Shiny Jesus, as I like to call him.

We made it into Baltimore around 10:30am and headed to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to pick up Duane, who was flying in from Syracuse.  Next stop, the hotel,  Since the game was at 4:00pm and our check-in was at 4:00pm, we decided to take advantage of the valet parking (which I was told was $34.00 a day when I called a few days before but we found out was only $5.00 a day on the weekends.  Score!) and then walk around checking out some sites and eats before the game and just check in later that evening.  Being the food guy in our group, I had already mapped out a route to the ballpark based on the local eats along the way and I hoped that they guys would 1.) be up for it and 2.) like my suggestions before and after we tried them.  First up, we all needed a restroom stop and we found one in a local food court, along with this cool sign.  My thoughts exactly!

Baltimore appears to have many old buildings that have been left intact and for me, it added a lot of charm to our walk.  Though like in many cities I have visited, the old buildings have new tenants in them, like the 7-11 on the ground floor seen here.

First stop, Lexington Market.  I always love checking out a longstanding market in any city that has one (Quincy Market in Boston, Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Chelsea Market in New York City.)  

 

Lots of vendors selling fresh fish.

A huge variety of meats.

Hocks, hams, bacon, hot dogs etc...

I'm hoping that some members of Hot Dog Nation will chime in on these brands.  From the Oriole logo on the front, I'm guessing that the Esskay brand is the official hot dog of the Baltimore Orioles.  Has anyone here ever tried them?

One of my two main reasons for coming here today was to have a crab cake at Faidley's

The place was a-hoppin'!  I couldn't tell what the ratio of locals-to-tourists was but people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Hey, while I do like seafood, I'd totally be okay if Jesus fed me a bacon cheeseburger or a sausage sandwich with peppers & onions.

Love that neon!

One catch to Faidley's is that there isn't any seating.  Everybody stands at the tall tables to eat.  I don't mind but I get that it isn't for everyone.

While waiting in line, I spied this sign.  Seems like I may have heard of these Sterns somewhere before!!

My crab cake and a National Bohemian beer  or "Natty Bo" as Roadfooder Wintahaba called it.  I had also considered checking out G & M Restaurant south of Baltimore but the Market here was just much more convenient and we would only be in town for 24 hours exactly.    

 I know a some Roadfooders had negative experiences with the crab cakes here but the four of us loved them.  Plenty of jumbo lump crab with just enough filler to bind them, a bit of Old Bay spice and a slight mustardy tang.  The small salad on the side was a nice complement.  My National Bohemian, not so much.  I felt that it was a weak and bland beer, much like a Coors. After trying some, Doug concurred.  

My second reason for coming here was to score some Berger's cookies from Berger's Bakery.  I had seen an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Cooking Channel (that channel title seems to be a bit of a misnomer these days but that is an issue to discuss another time, in another thread...) and Duff Goldman had described Berger's cookies and I just knew that one day I would have to have them!  

While they do sell boxes of them here at the bakery, I wasn't sure if I could bring in any bags/packages to the ballpark and putting anything perishable back in the car would have been a bad idea as this day turned out to be as hot as Hades!!

A Berger's cookie is a shortbread cookie that is topped with a thick layer of fudge frosting.  Okay, let's be honest, the taste and texture of the cookie is really good but it is just a vehicle to cram as much fudge frosting into one's mouth as possible.  At least 70% of this cookie is frosting and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Duane, Doug and Mike, in a Roadfood "action" shot.

The lady behind the counter was very helpful and had me take a picture of the box which had the number to call if I wanted to order cookies to be shipped to me in NYC.  She also hooked me up with a wafer thin sugar cookie, fresh from the oven and yes, I DID forget to take a photo as I was too busy inhaling it!

On our way out of the market, we heard live music and stopped to listen for a bit and there were plenty of people dancing like no one was watching.  Such fun!

Our next stop was just 3 blocks away at Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, the site of Edgar Allan Poe's Grave.  I read many of his stories over the years and to this day they still send a chill down my spine.  

Poe's cousin & wife.  I don't think I knew that he had married his cousin.  

Poe's aunt & mother-in-law.  

 

 

Westminster Burying Ground is also the final resting place for many veterans of the War of 1812.

Coming from a family that has been in the burial business for over 7 decades, I have always found cemeteries and tombs to be fascinating.

Another classic building.

I always like finding advertisements painted onto the walls of brick buildings.

The row houses of Baltimore really reminded me of the ones I've seen in Philadelphia (more on that later...).

Up next is the place we were all excited to check out, the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.  When I think "larger than  life", "The Babe" is the first one who springs to mind.  

We still had some time to kill before the game so we could take our time and since the museum was air conditioned, we paced ourselves.

I know why he wore the last 4 jerseys but I'm not sure what the "P" stand for on the one at the far left.  We began the self-guided tour with a short 7-minute film about the origins of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and how it became a part of baseball tradition.

I read a lot and watched many films about The Babe over the years but I don't remember this story.

Posing with The Babe.

Billyboy and The Bambino.

 

Not everyone knows this but Ruth was a pitcher for my Boston Red Sox for a number of years before being sold to the Yankees and he was an excellent pitcher as that.  He held the record for most consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play in 1918 for over 4 decades until Whitey Ford broke it in 1961. 

While he may not be the number one record holder anymore, most of his record are still pretty high on the overall list.

A little history behind his iconic nickname.

I would LOVE to add that rookie card to my collection!

Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, 1939.  There were 11 living Hall of Famers present at the induction ceremony that year.  Which one is missing from this picture?

Man, what I wouldn't give to be able to take my cuts with one of these bats!

 

 

The bedroom where George Herman Ruth was born.  

There wasn't much that The Babe wouldn't endorse or be a part of.  He really was the most popular and most photographed person in America at the height of his popularity.  

Some memorabilia from films about The Babe.

Some of The Babe's influence in pop culture.

Ruth, in the middle and his dad, on the right.  Spitting image, I'd say.

I think he'd make a fine ambassador for the Hotdog Nation group!

I couldn't leave without picking up a magnet for my collection.

 
 
More to come...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#1

32 Replies Related Threads

    ChiTownDiner
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 06:50:28 (permalink)
    I'd still be eating cookies from that case!  WOW!  
     
    Comp breads...don't see that every day...they look superb! 
     
    Pork Roll or Fried Bologna breakfast sandwiches...dining like royalty! 
     
    Love the 2nd picture of the Two Babes!  
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 07:10:30 (permalink)
    Great beginning.
    I was unfortunately very disappointed with Faidley's when I visited in 2005. Every crab cake  I ever had in Maryland (with the exception of the awful one at the ballpark)  easily surpassed the one I had at Faidley's
    As you know we visited Lexington Market back in March- you were wondering about the tourist ratio when you visited. Based on  our experience off season, the fact that you visited in the height of tourist season  and based on the people in  your photo, it's obvious that they were 100% tourists.
    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 08:28:31 (permalink)
    Great report so far, Billy!  Although with your family history I'm now wondering why your RF handle isn't something like "Gravedigger" or "Digby O'Dell".
     
    By the process of elimination and without resorting to the Internet, I think the missing player in the HoF photo *might* be Ty Cobb.  When are you going to take the Babe Ruth Hot Dog Challenge?
     
    Mmmm, prosciutto bread...
    #4
    leethebard
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 09:04:15 (permalink)
    Loving this report!!
    #5
    chickenplucker
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 10:02:50 (permalink)
    Love the photos. Keep em coming.
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 10:52:39 (permalink)
    BB: dont you already have a fine local source of the sfog and the lobster tail?
     
    https://www.foodnetwork.c...stry-with-alex-0150422
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    Wintahaba
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 13:41:10 (permalink)
    Great start Billy...loving it..it's been a while since I've been to B-more. Hey, you asked for a local beer...."Bal'morens swear by it, Hon"  We always called it "Nasty Bo".
    post edited by Wintahaba - 2018/07/06 13:42:55
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    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 18:26:22 (permalink)
    ChiTownDiner, thanks, man!  Which picture?  The one with Ruth and his dad behind the bar?
     
    Wanderingjew, I read some of the comments on FB about how the crab cakes had been microwaved.  I wasn't paying attention on our visit based on the texture and the fact that they weren't hot in the middle, I'm going to say that they weren't nuked on this day.  I'm with you though on restaurants reheating something like that for service.  Joe Rogo and I went to a place in Chinatown, NYC some years ago and we had ordered some Chinese spare ribs.  I could see the kitchen from my seat and I saw that they had nuked them right before bringing them to our table.  Ugh!  
     
    ScreamingChicken, I was six feet under one summer when I worked at the family shop making burial vaults and delivering them to cemeteries and putting them in the graves.  I've got lots of interesting stories.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding! Ty Cobb is CORRECT!!  Don't think I'll be taking the any hot dog challenge anytime soon.  I do have to thank Roadfooders Benzee and John Fox for educating me on the different brands and preparations for so many great hot dogs and now I do seek them out when traveling when in years past I would have just kept on walking.  
     
    TJ Jackson, Alex does love her Italian pastries as do I.  Love that shot!  She is my niece's favorite Food Network chef and we had dinner at Alex's restaurant, Butter, in Midtown NYC in April 2017 for her birthday.  When I made the reservation, I asked if she could come out and say hi to my niece if she was in-house that night.  While she wasn't there, Maddie got a special birthday dessert and an autographed photo of Alex, which was pretty cool.  
     
    Wintahaba, I wasn't sure if your beer recommendation was serious or tongue-in-cheek but I figured I should try it anyway.  We had names for low cost/low quality beers like that in Central NY.  Old Milwaukee=Old Swillwaukee and Milwaukee's Best=The "Beast"!  Doug and Duane both had Edgar Allan Poe inspired beers from a craft brewer called RavenBeer.  I tried some of Doug's "The Raven Special Lager" and it was pretty good.  
    post edited by billyboy - 2018/07/06 18:27:38
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    wanderingjew
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 18:38:15 (permalink)
    billyboy
     
     
    Unfortunately my experience of nuked crab cakes turned me off of Faidley's permanently
    I'm surprised you didn't ask me how I knew the folks in the photo were tourists- Well based on our visit in March, I can deduce that these folks are the tourists
     

     
    and these folks are the locals
     

     
     
     
     
    #10
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/06 20:27:31 (permalink)
    Saturday June 30, 2018 (cont') - We lingered about in the Babe Ruth Museum for a while to cool off as it really was steaming hot outside but eventually we had to make our way over to Orioles Park at Camden Yards for the game. One of the Oriole greats, Number 5, third baseman Brooks Robinson aka The Human Vacuum Cleaner.  He had one of the best fielding percentages in baseball.   

    Number 8, The Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr.  I really like this ballpark as it is set up in such a way that is very fan friendly.  There were many staff on hand to answer any questions that we had, there was lots of Orioles history on display and one could stroll around before the game, taking it all in.  And I couldn't believe how relaxed they were with backpacks and coolers.  They checked everyone's bags but I had just assumed we couldn't bring any in so we drank our bottles of water before entering the park.  Drat!  

    Duane couldn't stay for the whole game so we scoped out light rail options to get him to the airport and I saw this bumper sticker.  I've heard good things about Bertha's in the Fells Point neighborhood.  I've got it on the list for my next visit. 

    Welcome to The Show!!

    The porch just above right field is a great place to hang out with a beer and watch the game and provides a great view of Eutaw Street (the one inside the park).  There was also a great little beverage shop, the name of which I now forget, but they had a HUGE selection of beers (cans & bottle), national brands and local craft brews: RavenBeer, Balls To The Wall (my favorite name), Flying Dog, and many, many others.  They also had water, Powerade and other NA beverages. I couldn't justify paying $8.75 for a bottle of beer so I opted for a $4.00 bottle of Powerade which I held onto and refilled at the water fountains throughout the game to stay hydrated.  

    I've had Boog's on my list for some time and would be checking it out later in the game.  

    Great view from the porch.

    Can;t wait for the game to start.  It was about the time I took this picture that Doug realized our seats were under the second tier overhang, out of the searing sunlight.  Score!  I knew we had good seats around the third baseline but on this day I was thankful to not be so close to the action.  

    All of the relevant mileages to the home parks of Orioles associated teams.

    The Orioles have put together some pretty goods teams over the years.  I remember watching Earl Weaver throw fits whenever an umpire made a call he didn't like and being at Yankee Stadium for one of Cal Ripken's final games in the fall of 2001.

    Fellow Roadfooder Greymo recommended Polock Johnny's to me but this was as close as I got.  Boog's was my main goal and the heat took away some of my appetite.  Sorry, ChiTownDiner, I'll try to atone for it in Chicago in a few weeks!

    Always gotta be paying attention.  A foul tip behind home plate crashed into the announcer's booth and knocked over a lamp.  

    The O's got off to an early 2-0 lead and I got up in the 4th inning to stretch, wander around the park and grab some food.  This might be my favorite shot of the trip.  Such a beautiful park.  And the people sitting around us were really nice too.  A mix of Orioles and Angels fans, one of whom was rather elderly but made the trek from from California to root for her Angels, complete with her Angels rally sock monkey who was wearing his team jersey!

    A beautiful day on Eutaw Street, with the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower off in the distance.  

    Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr. Boog Powell, Eddie Murray; so many great players have passed through here over the decades.

    A classic throwback park that doesn't have a sterile or corporate feel to it.  I felt bad for the people in the seats below as they must have been roasting in the sun!  There was a brick wall behind me and a walkway behind it that was shaded and many fans sough some respite there with their kids.  

    I've been looking forward to Boog's BBQ for years!  


    I went for the Big Boog's for $15.00 which gave me double meat (pit beef for me today), excellent potato chips dusted with Old Bay spice (though they were REALLY salty!) and I added a side of Boog's Beans for $2.50.  I love the substantial bun and the fact that they toast it so it holds up to the meat.  They have a good toppings bar with raw onions, pickle slices, different BBQ sauces and horseradish.  I went with some classic type of BBQ sauce and cut it into quarters so we could all share.  The pit beef was very tender and had a good beefy flavor and the sauce really added something special to it.  I arrived back at the seat before Doug and Mike and I have to confess that after one bite of the beans, I knew I would not be sharing them.  They were thick and rich and totally tasted like the doctored up Grandma Brown's brand baked beans that my grandma would make at every family picnic.  
     

    This was me after the first forkful of those beans:  


     

     

    I enjoy the attention to the little details like these Orioles on the gates.

    Native son.

    The lighting wasn't great for a decent shot of The Babe and it didn't help that there were so many people who thought it was a great place to sit down or lean against.  It ain't a bar and it ain't a bench folks.  Keep it movin'!!

    I think that Bromo Seltzer may have been before my time but the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower is a beautidful part of the Baltimore skyline as has been there since 1911.  There used to be blue Bromo bottle replica atop the tower but it was removed in 1936.  They do offer clocktower tours but no time on this trip.  



    The building now houses artists' studios throughout and Bromo Seltzer Museum on the 15th floor.

    Some history of the Tower.

     
    The O's had a 2-1 lead going into the 8th inning and then two Angels batters beat out infield hits by a hair and everything started to crumble and when it was all over, the Angels won with a score of 6-2.  Better luck next time, guys!  The walk back to our hotel wasn't a long one but being so hot it felt much longer.  Baltimore has definitely had it's share of hard times and we were walking on the edge of a neighborhood that looked like it had seen better days.  We finally made it back to the Embassy Suites and to the air conditioned lobby where they had a big glass container of ice cold water with lemon slices for guests to imbibe in and on this day it was most refreshing.  Here's where things get a little weird.  Mike was checking in at the front desk and it seemed to be taking longer than it should have.  Then I heard the woman behind the desk say that they would have to move us to another hotel.  What?!  Turns out that a pipe burst and flooded our room.  Oh, man!  WE just wanted to settle in and take cooling showers and relax.  It was a happy accident though as they refunded us for the room and sent us to the Hotel Revival and based on the lobby and neighborhoods, was a big upgrade.  They comped us the room, valet parking and breakfast the next morning (which we didn't take advantage of as The Travelin' Man closed us in to a great breakfast spot!).  Free digs and parking?  Score!!  I did enjoy this painting in the lobby of the Embassy Suites with Tupac, Edgar Allan Poe and Billie Holiday and other Baltimore notables.  


    Just outside of our new hotel is the Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument in the nation's capitol.

    The lobby of the Hotel Revival, restaurant on the ground floor and lounge up above.  They also have a karaoke bar in the basement, workout room and a very hip rooftop bar with great views of the city.  

    More of the restaurant.

    Love the funky wallpaper.

    The view of the Washington Monument at nigh from the rooftop bar.  We though about getting a drink but before turning in for the night but we were all just too tired.  

    Upon exiting the elevator on our floor, this art deco sign made it easy to find our room. 

    They even have doorbells and interesting geometric wallpaper.  

    This isn't actually our room but a photo I found in a Google search.  I forgot to take a picture of our room until the next morning, after we had our stuff and the comforters strewn about.  This is pretty much what it looked like when we walked in.  Doug kindly offered to take the couch while Mike and I took the beds.  

    I HAD to take picture of the bathroom as it is much bigger and nicer than the one I have at home.  I love the design of that vanity and the mirror with the shelf.  There is even a full closet behind the door!

    So much room and a great separation of elements.

    We all showered and changed and were watching my Red Sox crush the Yankees but we decided to make one final Roadfood stop before turning in for the night.  We were lucky to get out of the hotel because we took the elevator to the lobby and when when got out there were lights and sirens and a fireman trying to pry open the other elevator with a crowbar.  Looks like we picked the right one.  I hope whoever was in there got out safely.  The drive there was through one of the most desolate and rough neighborhoods I have seen since I used to work with runaway and homeless teens in the Cornhill neighborhood in Utica, NY in the mid-1990s.   

    We all wanted to check out Chaps Pit Beef and after the guys found out that it was next to a strip club, well, the Roadfood atmosphere just jumped out at us.

    Look like we missed out on "Freaky Fridays".  


    Pretty bare bones operation but that's just how I like it.  

    I was on the elevator in my apartment building the other day during the heat wave when the woman on there with me turned and said, "Hot enough for ya?".  All I could think of was this sign.  

    Pretty extensive menu for such a small place.  

    Hahahaha!!

    The staff was kind enough to allow me to get a shot of the charcoal pit grill.  The aroma wafting through here really had my stomach growling.  

    A great selection if sauces but the pumps were a bit tricky to work.  Pull up on the cap first and then push down.

    My feast!  A pit beef and pit ham combo sandwich and homemade baked beans, with a bevy of sauces.  This meat was incredibly tender and moist with a nice kiss of charcoal smoke and the bun held up right till the last bite.  The different tomato-based BBQ sauces were okay but the standouts for me were the Gold BBQ (a mustard sauce which paired quite well with bites that were heavier on the ham) and the Tiger Sauce (a creamy, spicy horseradish sauce that was a soulmate to the pit beef).  I am a HUGE lover of baked beans and anytime I can score a homemade version I am all in.  These had some bits of green pepper in them and shreds of meat that I'm guessing are cast-offs from the slicing process.  If so, that is a brilliant idea.  They really reminded me of the beans at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY.  The guys really enjoyed their sandwiches and Mike had some tasty mac & cheese and some gravy fries that I wasn't crazy about.  Doug was a bit surprised at how analytical I was about this meal and how I approached eating it by breaking down the individual elements.  I tend to put a lot of thought into most meals as I want to remember what I want to say about them later.  Though sometimes, I forget to take photos until there are just crumbs left on the plate!

    A close-up of that beautiful sandwich.

    When I saw Homemade Banana Pudding on the menu, I just couldn't resist.  This was really good.  Creamy with lots of banana slices and Nilla wafers.  A perfect end to the meal.  

    Sunday July 1, 2018 - After a night of pure, blissful sleep for 8 solid hours, we were ready to check out and get on the road. Mike had a flight from JFK to Syracuse that afternoon so we had to make sure he got there in time.  Before turning in for the night, I posted one more time on the Facebook, looking for a breakfast recommendation in Baltimore.  The Travelin' Man came through once again with his choice of the Blue Moon Cafe in the Fells Point neighborhood.  This place is quite popular and we had a 1-hour wait too get in.  We had enough time before we needed to get on the road and when Doug saw "Captain Crunch French Toast" on the menu he thought we simply must go there!  

    Lots of great old brick row houses in the neighborhood.

    A bit hot outside again this morning but the shaded streets were a perfect way to kill some time.  

    I'd love to take a tour inside this green house.

    Interesting entryway on this building.

    If you look at the middle window on the second floor, you'll see a curious metal attachment on the window.  I noticed more than a few of these when Dayna & I visited our friend Beth in Philadelphia a few years back.  Anyone know what it is called and why people use it?  I did see a few metal boot scrapers embedded in the sidewalks in the last 24 hours, the same as I saw in Philly.  Many similarities between the two cities.  

    The narrow tunnels on many of these buildings lead to courtyards which I imagine would be a great place to unwind in private after a long day.  

    Inside the Blue Moon Cafe.

    Lots of cool knick knacks though I am glad that I didn't eat at a table with Gene Simmons watching over me!

    Some pretty cool artwork on the walls.  RIP Tom and Janis.

    Bowie, Mick, Leonard and Debbie.

    This one I really like.

    Inside this menu are, as their staff t-shirts say, bad-ass breakfasts!

    A great selection of Bennies along with Frito Pie French Toast and the famous Captain Crunch French Toast.  It became famous after being featured on an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and when we walked in I took a few pictures before sitting down and I'd say at least half of the table had the CCFT on them.  It is a gorgeous and very Instagrammable dish but I do worry about the "DDD Effect", something that is even touted in commercials for the show.  It's where places get swarmed by a whole herd of new customers after being featured join the show and many of them only order the 1 or 2 dishes that Guy tried when he was there.  Blue Moon seems to have handled it pretty well but I know of many small places that I love and I would never even think of telling DDD about them for fear that they might not be able to handle the onslaught.  

    I was still making up my mind when I saw the "Must Haves" menu.  The Sweet Baby Jesus jumped off the page.  This was my last meal in Baltimore and any chance to get more jumbo lump crab had to be taken.  

    While this isn't pure maple syrup I do like the vessel.

    Michael's Frito Pie French Toast. At first, I couldn't imagine a savory French toast but this was outstanding. Three slices of French toast, chorizo, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, spicy sauce and Fritos corn chips. For some reason, it reminded me of the Old El Paso tacos we would have on taco night when I was a kid, but an a whole other plane of existence.

    Doug's Crab and Pig Benedict. He really loved this but wished that the bacon had been cut up and mixed in with the crab. The pineapple wedge we split was really sweet and super juicy.

    Not sure if this is homemade but it is some tasty scrapple. Crispy outside, creamy inside, with a great sausage-like taste and a certain popcorn-y nuttiness from the cornmeal binder. Swiping it through some maple syrup really took it to another level.

    Sweet Baby Jesus is right. Perfectly crispy hash browns, crowned with a generous amount of jumbo lump crab, cheddar, tomatoes and two jiggly poached eggs and then smothered in a homemade hollandaise and dusted with Old Bay. Despite all of the rich ingredients, the flavor of the crab was front and center. Just a truly wonderful dish.

    I've heard that this place, Captain James Crabhouse, has some good crab feasts and they're also shaped like a merchant ship, which is pretty cool.  I also learned that "carry out" is a common term in Baltimore.  In Central NY, "take out" was commonly used.  Roadfooder ScreamingChicken let me know that "carry out" is a pretty common term in the midwest.  I learn something new everyday.

    On our way out of town, we stopped at a gas station/convenience store to gas up, one last bathroom break and to pick up some snack for the road.  Little did I realize how wide-spread and popular these stores are.

    Can't resist a photo of a plastic chicken on display outside.

    Billyboy & the Chicken...this fall on CBS!!

    I saw the "palooza" signs and immediately thought of fellow Roadfooder Nancypalooza.  Maybe she can strike a copyright deal with them for some of the profits??  Hahaha!!

    I posted about this on Nancypalooza's Facebook pages and fellow Roadfooder Ayersian said that the chicken here is the bomb.  I wish I had room.  After that HUGE breakfast I just didn't have any space.  Next time...

     

    While making my way to the register with some cold bottles of water, I spied these boxes of Berger Cookies.  Woo Hoo!!  I was bummed that I couldn't make it happen at the bakery so I was thrilled when I stumbled across these.  Three boxes oughta do the trick.  Two of them are already gone and the only reason that the third still lives on is that I am saving it for my Brooklyn friend, Ian, who introduced me to Roadfood so many years ago.  These really are quite amazing cookies and they refrigerate very well..

     
     
    That's it for this trip.  I've already come up with a pretty big list of sights to see and places to eat should I find myself once again in the Charm City.  
     
    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2018
     
     
    The 411:  
     
    1.)  Thomas's Ham 'N' Eggery Diner
          325 Old Country Road
          Carle Place, NY 11514
          Ph# 516-333-3060
          Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Thomass-Ham-N-Eggery-Diner-192087337505353/
     
    2.)  Cardinali Pastry Shop
          461 Westbury Avenue
          Carle Place, NY 11514
          Ph# 516-997-1120
          Website: https://www.cardinalibakery.com
     
    3.)  Shake Shack
          860 Old Country Road
          Garden City, NY 11530
          Ph# 516-620-2880
          Website: https://www.shakeshack.com/location/westbury/
     
    4.)  Mastoris
          144 US-130
          Bordentown, NY 08505
          Ph# 609-298-4650
          Website: http://www.mastoris.com
     
    5.)  Lexington Market
          400 W. Lexington Street
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Ph# 410-685-6169
          Website: http://lexingtonmarket.com
     
    6.)  Faidley Seafood
          203 N. Paca Street
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Ph# 410-727-4898
          Website: http://www.faidleyscrabcakes.com
     
    7.)  Berger's Bakery
          400 W. Lexington Street
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Ph# 410-727-3685
          Blog: http://lexingtonmarket.com/we-are-lexington-market/bergers/  
     
    8.)  Edgar Allan Poe's Grave
          515 W. Fayette Street
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Website: https://www.eapoe.org/balt/poegrave.htm
     
    9.)  Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
          216 Emory Street
          Baltimore, MD 21230
          Ph# 410-727-1539
          Website: https://baberuthmuseum.org
     
    10.)  Oriole Park at Camden Yards
            333 W. Camden Street
            Baltimore, MD 21201
            Ph# 410-685-9800
            Website: https://www.mlb.com/orioles/ballpark
     
    11.)  Boog's BBQ
            323 W. Camden Street
            Baltimore, MD 21201
            No phone number
            No website
     
    12.)  Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
            21 S. Eutaw Street
            Baltimore, MD 21201
            Ph# 443-874-3596
            Website: http://www.bromoseltzertower.com
     
    13.)  Chaps Pit Beef
            5801 Pulaski Highway
            Baltimore, MD 21205
            Ph# 410-483-2379
            http://chapspitbeef.com
     
    14.)  Blue Moon Cafe
            1621 Aliceanna Street
            Baltimore, MD 21231
            Ph# 410-522-3940
            Website: http://bluemoonbaltimore.com

     
     
    post edited by billyboy - 2018/07/07 20:21:29
    #11
    ann peeples
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 07:34:46 (permalink)
    What a fun trip so far, billyboy! Great to follow along!
    #12
    leethebard
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 09:16:56 (permalink)
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) That roll doesn't look like a Kasoir roll, however???
    #13
    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 10:24:02 (permalink)
    quote=billyboy]




    Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, 1939.  There were 11 living Hall of Famers present at the induction ceremony that year.  Which one is missing from this picture?





    Tyrus Raymond Cobb.
    #14
    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 11:02:10 (permalink)
    leethebard
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) 



    Could you please send one to Dallas? 
    Down here "diner" = primarily breakfast focus, not the all-meals "real deal".
    #15
    leethebard
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 11:41:18 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
    leethebard
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) 



    Could you please send one to Dallas? 
    Down here "diner" = primarily breakfast focus, not the all-meals "real deal".


    Funny, occasionally you hear of one being disassembled and sent to another state and reassembled. Possible!! 
    #16
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 12:18:06 (permalink)
    leethebard
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) That roll doesn't look like a Kasoir roll, however???


    leethebard, I didn't think that it looked like the traditional pinwheel type of Kaiser roll I'm used to seeing at delis/bodegas in NYC.  However, this roll was pillowy soft, yet it held up nicely to the massive amount of fillings inside the sandwich.  
    #17
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 12:19:26 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
    leethebard
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) 



    Could you please send one to Dallas? 
    Down here "diner" = primarily breakfast focus, not the all-meals "real deal".


    MetroplexJim, Yup.  Bonus bit of info, Babe Ruth was the only one who forgot his tie!


     
    post edited by billyboy - 2018/07/07 20:23:38
    #18
    Wintahaba
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 13:48:18 (permalink)
    Great trip report as usual, Billy. BTW, Did you prepare for your trip by watching the classic Barry Levinson movies, Diner, Tin Men, and Avalon?
    #19
    leethebard
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 13:48:57 (permalink)
    billyboy
    leethebard
    Mastoris always makes any list of best diners in New Jersey (and God do we have many!!!) That roll doesn't look like a Kasoir roll, however???


    leethebard, I didn't think that it looked like the traditional pinwheel type of Kaiser roll I'm used to seeing at delis/bodegas in NYC.  However, this roll was pillowy soft, yet it held up nicely to the massive amount of fillings inside the sandwich.  


    It looks delicious. I'd certainly enjoy that "very healthy" size sandwich. Kaiser roles, however when made right, have a unique taste, partly due to the traditional poppy seeds, and crist on the outside,airy on the inside pinwheel roll,you correctly described!!
    #20
    JRPfeff
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 14:45:04 (permalink)
    billyboy
    I've heard that this place, Captain James Crabhouse, has some good crab feasts and they're also shaped like a merchant ship, which is pretty cool.  I also learned that "carry out" is a common term in Baltimore.  In Central NY, "take out" was commonly used.  Roadfooder ScreamingChicken let me know that "carry out" is a pretty common term in the midwest.  I learn something new everyday.

    In the UK this year we learned the term "Take Away." It took us a while to figure out it was used everywhere.
    #21
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 15:43:39 (permalink)
    You've set the bar at the highest of levels....I have my work cut out for me...we will rise to the task!  
    #22
    joerogo
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 16:35:34 (permalink)
    Billy, you sure packed a lot into this trip...and report!
     
    Enjoy Poe NEPA Style!
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7tQHZqotvA
    #23
    lazycook
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 19:17:59 (permalink)
    Those cookies looked so amazing, and you described them so well, I just Googled for a copycat recipe.  I might have to run to the grocery store for heavy cream.......
    thanks for a very fun read!  And the beautiful ham sandwich photo!  Wowza.  A childhood fond memory is Sunday night ham sandwiches from the leftover 1 p.m. dinner.  Ham sandwiches are found no where in West Michigan.  Unless you count Honey Baked.  No need to mention any of the sub shops.  None at all.  Sure a sub can be good, but it ain't a ham sandwich.  
    #24
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 20:25:30 (permalink)
    Wintahaba
    Great trip report as usual, Billy. BTW, Did you prepare for your trip by watching the classic Barry Levinson movies, Diner, Tin Men, and Avalon?


    Wintahaba, nope.  I knew about Diner but I'm not familiar with Tin Men or Avalon.  Are they all Barry Levinson films?  What I definitely did NOT do was binge watch episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire!
    #25
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 20:26:50 (permalink)
    joerogo
    Billy, you sure packed a lot into this trip...and report!
     
    Enjoy Poe NEPA Style!
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7tQHZqotvA


    joerogo, I've never heard of them before but that song just reached out and grabbed me for reasons I cannot explain.  
    #26
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 20:28:24 (permalink)
    lazycook
    Those cookies looked so amazing, and you described them so well, I just Googled for a copycat recipe.  I might have to run to the grocery store for heavy cream.......
    thanks for a very fun read!  And the beautiful ham sandwich photo!  Wowza.  A childhood fond memory is Sunday night ham sandwiches from the leftover 1 p.m. dinner.  Ham sandwiches are found no where in West Michigan.  Unless you count Honey Baked.  No need to mention any of the sub shops.  None at all.  Sure a sub can be good, but it ain't a ham sandwich.  


    lazycook, thanks so much for the kind words!  I grew up on thin sliced/shaved/BBQ/hot ham sandwiches in Central NY and I just can't resist them whenever I find them in my travels.  
    #27
    billyboy
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 20:29:02 (permalink)
    ChiTownDiner
    You've set the bar at the highest of levels....I have my work cut out for me...we will rise to the task!  


    CTD, I am equal parts excited and scared!!
    #28
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 22:28:33 (permalink)
    billyboy
    Wintahaba
    Great trip report as usual, Billy. BTW, Did you prepare for your trip by watching the classic Barry Levinson movies, Diner, Tin Men, and Avalon?


    Wintahaba, nope.  I knew about Diner but I'm not familiar with Tin Men or Avalon.  Are they all Barry Levinson films?  What I definitely did NOT do was binge watch episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire!


    They are part of Levinson's Baltimore Trilogy (which is actually a quartet when you add in Liberty Heights).  Tin Men loosely picks up the story several years after Diner.  Not necessarily the same characters, but plot lines and themes hinted at the end of Diner carry through.  Plus, the film introduces the world to Fine Young Cannibals and their hit "Good Thing" (think before you click.  The song is a potent earworm, but in this case, that's a...good thing).
     
    Avalon takes place years before Diner.  There's even a scene near the end of the film where you see a crane in the background of the shot, lowering the diner onto its pad.  No specific mention of what's to come, just a clever visual reference for those in the know.  The soundtrack is provided by Barry Levinson's favorite music collaborator, Randy Newman.  It is one of the most moving scores you'll ever hear.
     
    Of the three (four) Avalon is my favorite.  It tells the story of the 20th century immigrant experience via one family's American assimilation through three generations.  It does this beautifully by focusing the timeline, through the years, on the two most American of all holidays, The 4th of July and Thanksgiving.
     
    Avalon is a must see for anyone whose family came to this country in the last hundred years, especially if you're a Baby Boomer.  One of the best things I ever did in my life was to bring my maternal Grandmother to see Avalon in a theater.  She loved it.  I think you will too.
     
    Buddy
     
     
    #29
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Baltimore Bound With the Boys for a Ballgame, Berger's, Beef, The Babe and More... 2018/07/07 22:37:47 (permalink)

    Look like we missed out on "Freaky Fridays".  




    Kinda makes you wonder about the sauce ingredients, or what it might be used for.  Did you ask how tangy it is?
     

    Billyboy & the Chicken...this fall on CBS!!


    Well, you'd certainly be an upgrade over anything with Kevin James.
     
    The Hotel Revival looks awesomely cool.  Not that I have any desire to visit Baltimore, but if I did I'd certainly look into staying there!  As to your comment about the bathroom, my understanding of NYC apartments for anyone other than the uber-rich leads me to believe that at home you barely have room for a bucket and a washbasin.
     

    I've heard that this place, Captain James Crabhouse, has some good crab feasts and they're also shaped like a merchant ship, which is pretty cool.

    And on July 29 you'll get to meet Captain James Crabass, of the Port of Pewaukee!
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2018/07/07 22:59:56
    #30
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