When the Stamps blow it in the big game for the second year in a row, you KNOW I’m diving face-first into a plate of barbecue, bro!!!! So, we’re hanging out at Meatings, this funky family-run joint on the east end of Ottawa. Dude, this place isn’t New Orleans, it’s in old Orleans, just a 109-yard fumble return from the Place D’Orléans. And they’re smoking their own brisket, pulled pork, chicken ‘n ribs, alongside a whole cheering section of scratch-made sides. Dude, there were more menu items at this place than Argos fans at TD Place!!!!
They may not be serving up a four-meat platter, but for 20 bucks, you get three meats, two sides and dessert–which sure beats giving up a 100-yard TD pass in the snow! 😦 😦 😦
First up is this BBQ chicken leg. I’m pretty sure I could kick a game-winning field goal with this beauty! Chicken is nice ‘n moist, and it goes great with the caramel sauce that I was supposed to save for dessert. Still, that wasn’t the biggest mistake someone from Calgary made this weekend… 😦 😦 😦
You know a place knows its BBQ when it asks if you want your brisket lean or fatty. This wasn’t the best brisket I’ve ever had–it was a little bit dry–but it still beats blowing a fourth-quarter lead to a team you beat twice in the regular season! 😦 😦 😦
Now, these ribs were the star of the show. Nice ‘n smoky, with a good dry rub that had just a bit of a kick to ’em. And unlike another star, they don’t throw an interception in the end zone when all you need is a FG to tie it!!!! 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦
(Not that I’m still upset or anything…)
OK, so here’s the deal. Up in Canada, we don’t get a lot of the craft beers you’ll see in the States. Especially when you live in a province where the government’s in cahoots with a couple ne plus macro breweries to control beer prices and distribution.
Anyways, suffice to say that when I head down south of the border, I ain’t drinkin’ Bud Light. Here’s some of the craft beers I had in Baltimore:
DOGFISH HEAD 60 MINUTE IPA: This “East Coast” IPA was a lot smoother than what I’d expect from a beer with those three letters at the end. And at 6%, it kinda sneaks up on ya!
FLYING DOG DOGGIE STYLE PALE ALE: You gotta love the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas artwork on the label! This beer was a little more citrusy than I thought it would be, but still left a bitter beer aftertaste.
ANNABEL LEE WHITE: Happy Hour at Phillips Seafood means 4-dollar draft beers—and that includes all draft beers, bro! I went with this one, a light, citrusy brew that tastes pretty much the same as Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly.
NATIONAL BOHEMIAN AKA NATTY BOH: Baltimore’s answer to PBR: it’s cheap, light and it (sorta) gets the job done. Plus it comes in a Baltimore Ravens purple can!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Watertable, this classy joint in a Renaissance Hotel on top of a mall with fifth floor views of the Inner Harbor. Now, I gotta say this was a bit of a bait and switch—their online menu mentions delicious dishes like crab poutine and a pork belly PB&J, but when I got there, they were nowhere to be found. Dude, you gotta update that website, bro!
So instead, I went with this funky crab fondue. You’ve got these chunks of fresh crab in a cream sauce, with a bit of Old Bay for that extra kick. They call this a sharing plate, but you KNOW it’s only a light snack in Flavourtown!
This ain’t no namby-pamby prime rib sammy! You’ve got a pile of thin-sliced prime rib, lettuce, tomato and a nice horseradish donkey sauce on top. Fries on the side are hot ‘n crispy, but the sandwich itself is served cold.
OK, so I might be a little miffed that I paid 19 bucks for deli meat..but it was still pretty good.
So, we’re hanging out at Miss Shirley’s Cafe, this Zagat-rated, Triple D, breakfast/lunch joint just a couple blocks from the Inner Harbor. This place is serving up some of the best brekkies in Baltimore—and they’re pretty packed by 9 am.
Now, I know they’ve got some crazy French toasts, slammin’ sammies and pancakes, but when I saw a chicken and biscuit and gravy omelette, you KNOW I had to check it out:
Dude, this is like a southern smorgasbord in egg form! The chicken is nice ‘n tender, you’ve got some onions and sweet peppers, and then they put two buttery biscuits on top!? Shut the back door! And then there’s the gravy, with a bit of Old Bay seasoning for that extra kick—down here, they put that shit on everything!
Man, after that scrumptious breakfast, I didn’t even eat anything for lunch!
So, we’re hanging out at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market, a weekly gathering spot underneath an overpass on Sundays for 40 years. Now, you’ve got all kinds of fresh seafood and fresh veggies, but I came here for one thing, and one thing only: grilled meat, bro!
Beef Barons has been serving up pit beef—a Baltimore tradition—since 1975. It’s sorta like prime rib, but cooked in an open-faced smoker. And not only that, but they’re grilling up some sausages, too. So when I heard you could get pit beef AND sausage served up in the same sammish, I was all over that like mustard on a corn dog, bro!!!
Ok, so let’s break it down. The beef is super tender, melt in your mouth, cooked up a nice medium rare (but you can order yours just the way you like it). And then the sausage is super-meaty, nice snap to the casing, sorta like a breakfast link on steroids. Dude, with this much meat, who needs any veggies, bro???
Now, Baltimore is known for its seafood, especially the legendary crab cake. But what they don’t tell ya is crab cakes don’t come cheap—you could be paying as much as 40 bucks, bro!
So what do you do when you wanna slam some crab without dropping mad cheddar? Try these minis on for size:
They sell these little flavour nuggets of funkaliciousness at Phillips Seafood, this local institution in the Inner Harbour. For Happy Hour, you can score three of these, plus a basket of chips, for just seven bucks, bro! But you know we ain’t done there…
This ain’t no poor man’s po boy! The shrimp is melt-in-your-mouth tender, lightly breaded, with a nice, crisp pickle, lettuce and tomato. Served on a warm lobster-roll-style role, this sammy is TheBomb.gov.md!
When I was in Nashville, before I headed down to the Grand Ole Opry, I stopped by Logan’s Roadhouse, which is kinda like Montana’s…if Montana’s was actually American. But man, these prices are on point–you can get an app, a main and a beer for less than the price of a rack of ribs in Toronto, bro!
Of course, you’re not gonna find country-fried steak north of the border. This hunka-hunka burning beef is breaded and deep-fried to perfection, with country gravy on top! Then you’ve got mashed potatoes, with more country gravy, and a skewer of mushrooms. But the deep-fried goodness don’t stop there, bro!!!!
They call these Roadhouse Shrooms and they’ve got me trippin’ balls in Flavourtown, bro! These crispy, breaded mushrooms are straight outta deep-fryer, and they’re still so hot they burned my hand, not to mention my face! And yes, I know I already had an order of mushrooms on the side, but there’s no such thing as too much mushrooms, broseph!!!!!