Baltimore mini road trip

2009/04/20 10:44:24
Well, here goes my first trip report.  Did not start out intending to write one (no pictures, sorry), but post-trip, it seemed to make sense.
A friend and I went to Baltimore last Saturday morning with the intention of having breakfast at the Blue Moon Cafe.  It was kind of a spontaneous decision, so we didn't even have the address (and no GPS) -- we figured we would find it once we got to Baltimore.
Once we got to Baltimore, however, we decided to stop at Lexington Market ( ) first.  I then embarked on my own "eat around" of the Market:
1. Faidley's - This was my first stop.  Even though it was about 10:30 am, I knew I wanted a crab cake.  I got the jumbo lump, and it was very good and reasonably priced at $12.95.  You can get it with bread or crackers, and it comes with a garnish of lettuce and tomato, and your choice of tartar sauce and/or cocktail sauce.  I asked for both sauces, and the server gave them to me, but offered the suggestion that I try the crab cake without any sauce first.  Of course she was right, and I don't know what had possessed me -- I knew I wasn't going to use the sauces!
2. Polock Johnny's - I got a small polish dog, well-browned, with relish.  Tasty, and the relish had a bit of a kick.
3. Berger's - Looking at the cases I saw a rendition of sweet potato pie that was new to me -- it was done in a full sheet pan and cut into large, thin squares for serving.  I got a slice and ended up taking it home and eating it later that night.  It was okay, but not the best sweet potato pie I have had -- almost bland, if that is possible.
4. Konstant Hot Dogs - Got a chili dog with mustard and onions.  The chili was not great, the onions added nothing.  It might have been an okay hotdog just with the mustard.  I ate about half of it (I needed to pace myself anyway!).
5. Faidley's - Yes, back to Faidley's.  There were other temptations in the Market, but I knew what I really wanted -- clams and oysters.  Knowing we were still going to look for the Blue Moon Cafe, I just got 1/2 dozen -- 3 clams and 3 of the biggest oysters I have ever seen -- they were out of the smaller "medium" size, so I got the premium size oysters.  A couple of shakes of hot sauce and their thin, bottled cocktail sauce and I was very happy. 
Left Lexington Market and found our way to the Blue Moon Cafe.  There was over an hour wait for a table, so we left our name and wandered around Baltimore a little while -- Fells Point and Little Italy, where I had to stop at Vaccaro's ( ) for some pignoli cookies.  They were big, chewy and topped with lots of pignoli nuts -- excellent.
Made it back to the Blue Moon Cafe, were we drove around for a while before we found a parking spot.  Once inside we were seated at a table in the front picture window and right next to the front door.  The restaurant is in a converted row house and very small.  Being by the front door wasn't bad, because the door was open and there was a bit of a breeze.
I ordered brown sugar oatmeal pancakes and bacon, my friend got a sort of breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, chorizo, green salsa on the side, and hashbrowns.  The waitress pointed out that they had the house speciality of Cap'n Crunch French toast on the menu that day, and that customers were ordering a short stack (2 pieces) to try it.  We said sure, add that on!
Overall, the food was ok.  There were 3 dinner plate-size pancakes in my order -- very large and thick, and a bit dry.  I had to ask for butter -- it helped a bit.  The syrup on the table was not maple, but the sweetness and moisure helped.  The bacon was good -- chewy, not over- or under-done.  The French toast was good -- two thick slices of white bread, soaked in egg mixure like regular French toast and then coated with crushed Cap'n Crunch cereal.  The short stack was topped with whipped cream and fresh blueberries, bananas and strawberries.  My friend said she liked her burrito, but the sausage was a bit too spicy for her taste.
Would I go back to the Blue Moon Cafe?  Yes, but with these caveats / considerations: 
Minimize the wait and go at an off time -- i.e., not high noon on a lovely spring Saturday.
Order more judiciously -- even if I had not "pre-eaten" at Lexington Market, the portion sizes were huge.  I took home 2+ pancakes and most of the French toast.
Be prepared for -- food orders arriving separately, small tables / crowded room, dirty floor and restroom, brusque service. 
Blue Moon Cafe
1621 Aliceanna St
Baltimore, MD 21231

post edited by Ivyhouse - 2009/04/20 14:19:57
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 13:01:06
Berger's for pie??!! Berger's for their cookies...yeaaahh!!!
When did Konstant start with hot dogs? I only remember them as Konstant's peanuts (fresh roasted)
Ahi Mpls.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 13:05:46
  Wow!! great trip!  I'm thinking it was a " mini " trip in distance traveled NOT food stops made! I think I would have happily sat at Faidley's all morning/ afternoon It really looks like my kind of place...don't know WHY they located the ocean so far from Mpls.- no fair.  Dawn
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 13:10:46
Excellent job for your first trip report.  But the question I'm sure everyone wants to know is, were you offered anything besides chips at the Utz stand?
ann peeples
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 14:05:20
thanks for the fine report, Ivy.No pics needed as your narrative is great!!! Boy, could I go for some crab cakes as described....
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 15:21:28
Thanks for all the kind words.  Next time I will try to get pictures.

OCdreamr -- don't know when Konstant started the hotdogs.

Dawn -- I would have been happy to stay all day at Faidley's, too!  I didn't intend for it to be the eating marathon that it turned into, but in retrospect, I ate part of some items, waited till later for others, and really, 6 clams and oysters on the half shell don't count!

Buffetbuster -- Yeah, the Market got some bad press recently!  Well, I'm not a big potato chip fan anyway......
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 15:31:49
If you aren't familiar with the place, you should check out Dangerously Delicious Pies the next time you are in Baltimore.  I'm sure it will be better than the sweet potato you had at Lex Market.
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 15:40:05
buffetbuster --

Thanks for the recommendation -- will have to try it.

The lemon chess pie sounds great...
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 16:00:43

I kind of think that if I had crabcakes and raw oysters first I might not care a whole lot for breakfast stuff like sweet pancakes, either.
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 16:16:48
Michael -
Yes, it was a mix of foods that I have never done before, and certainly didn't plan!  The pancakes were not as sweet as you might think, given their description, but still, I don't believe I will be repeating this "menu" any time soon!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 16:20:50
Personally, instead of heading out to Blue Moon.  I'd have just stayedat the market & had a shrimp salad on rye at Mary Mervis's  Hmmm.. My sister has been dropping hints about my coming home for a visit , just might have to save up the pennies & make the trip!!
Buffalo Tarheel
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 18:08:11
Very nice report.  It sounds as though you had a great time.  Thanks for the good recommendations.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2009/04/20 18:42:39

Konstant has always sold hot dogs inside at a second stand they operate.  I've never tried one though; they just don't look like anything special.
Junior Burger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2010/10/20 00:20:46
We just came back from moving our son's stuff to Hunt Valley, MD and since we called this area home about 10 years ago, we decided to take a trip and see which of our favorite places were still in business.
After we dropped his stuff at the rental storage place and got rid of the Uhaul, we found ourselves right next to-Andy Nelsons BarBBQ oh wow- it was better than we remembered- we both has the brisket sandwich with that wonderful red kinned potato salad and coleslaw. Topped off with Andy's lemonade and wished we had never left.
Back to the hotel for a nap- I'm a travel agent and we stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Timonium. Really nice for a budget property- very clean, nicely appointed, had a micorwave and frig in the room. It's located right off I-83 N.
Dinner was a huge failure-an Irish Pub-AN POITIN STIL, on York Road. Freezing cold inside. Mike had corned beef and cabbage and the corned beef was sweet- never tasted anything like it. Cabbage was overcooked and potaoes had no seasonings. I had a very nice onion soup- has french fried onion ( freshly made) on top. But the Shepards Pie was grotesque- menu said they used sirloin tips- well, it  was chuck and was tough and stringy.  Not enough beef, too much gravy and a melange of veggies, when only peas are used. The server had the nerve to argue with me! The manager came over and didn't charge. They are way over priced with less than stellar service.
The Ashland Cafe on York Road, was another of our favorite places for Sunday breakfast. They enlarged it and now serve dinner! Place was spotless, servers quick and efficient and wonderful 3 egg omletts. I had ham and cheese and Mike has a cheese omlette with chili. Good coffee and with rye toast and has browns, we'll be back.
Just a quick trip this time, but we'll return again soon
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2010/10/20 08:36:21
Great report Ivyhouse. The all beef hot dogs at Konstant are a liitle better than the regular ones, but not by much.  The Berger cookies with the 3/4 inch of fudge are a must have next time.  I always get a little bit of Polock Johnny's 'everything' sauce on the side.  I like it, but it has too much onion for my taste.
desertrat - If you're back in that area again, you'ra a short drive to Andy Nelson's BBQ on York Road, very close to Hunt Valley shopping center (where there's a Wegman's).
AN POITIN STIL is to Irish Pub's what Penthouse is to literature.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2010/10/21 23:17:16
Great first report. Some day I have to make it to that market.
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2010/10/22 08:15:19
First of all, welcome to Roadfood!  And you make your first post a trip report, too, which is excellent!
Sorry to hear about your bad experience at dinner.  Hopefully, the other two meals made up for it.  I hit Andy Nelson's BBQ during the Summer and didn't care for it.  The people were extremely nice and the atmosphere was good, but we didn't really like anything we ate.  Maybe they were just having a bad night.  Thanks for the tip on Ashland Cafe and I will put it on the list for next time.
Re:Baltimore mini road trip 2010/11/13 17:07:21
I know this is an old thread but I saw a recent post and thought I would comment. Like the Signman said Konstant has served hot dogs for as long as I've been going there (mid 1960's). I haven't had one since high school. We used to get them back then because they were really cheap. I stopped buying them when the price exceeded the experience. I went to Andy Nelson's for lunch yesterday and my pulled pork sandwich was great. I've had BBQ in Texas, the Carolina's, Memphis and Kansas City and I think Andy's does an admirable job with the basic stuff. Their ribs can't compete with Kansas City and their brisket isn't as good as Texas but the pork is as good as I've had anywhere and the prices are reasonable.