Eat It, Damn It!

Reviews, raves, slams, and damns.

Category Archives: Maryland

Pitango Gelato

Pitango Logo
After the Orioles game, MG and I wanted some ice cream. Most of the shops at the Baltimore Inner Harbor close around 10pm. There was one spot that was open a little later (until 11pm) nearby, Pitango Gelato.

To get there from Camden Yards is a little bit of a hike on foot, but very quick by car. Late at night, there is plenty of parking. There are also a number of bars in the immediate area if you want a postgame drink.

Flavor Plaque
Rather than a chalkboard with flavors scratched onto the surface, there are framed plaques with each flavor. According to a mural on the wall, everything from Pitango is organic.

Regular Coconut
I opted for the Coconut. This gelato is a little pricey with a regular at $4.99 and large at $6.99. The flavor is wonderful, but the texture is a little odd. I don’t eat much gelato, and I’m not sure if this is normal, but the gelato seems to stretch almost like bubble gum.

Black Tea and Coconut
MG got a mix of two flavors in a regular (no extra charge). She combined Black Tea and Coconut. The black tea is really nice, almost like eating a sweet tea drink.

I can’t say that Pitango Gelato is a destination spot, but it is definitely worth a visit if you are nearby and are in the mood for something sweet. The place is frequented by hipsters, or at least it was when I was there, so consider yourself forewarned.

Pitango Gelato
802 South Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231
(Google Map)


Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina

Logo on Cup
Somewhere above Taco Bell on the ladder of Tex-Mex fast food lies Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina. This particular outpost is a few blocks away from Camden Yards, so if you’re not interested in anything from the stadium, but don’t want to get something at the Inner Harbor, Salsarita’s is not a terrible choice.

Chips and Guac
They have tons of fresh made chips. They have some sort of oven that keeps them crisp. Though a little light on the salt, they have good snap and crunch. The Guacamole isn’t bad. It’s nothing special, but it was better than I expected from a fast food restaurant.

Steak Taco Salad
MG got the Steak Taco Salad. The bowl is big and crisp. The steak is nothing to write home about. It’s not particularly tender, but not particularly tough. For fast food, you could do far worse. The cool part about Salsarita’s is the assembly line that each dish goes down. You can choose what toppings and condiments you would like on each dish. There is corn, jalapenos, beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, and a bunch of other items.

Chicken Burrito Innards
I got the Chicken Burrito. It did not feature a finely grilled chicken, but some sort of chicken fricassee. By itself, the chicken would be a complete loss. However, with the addition of the beans, salsa, and other toppings, it made for a passable meal. It was certainly big enough, looking like a toddler’s forearm by the time assembly was complete.

If this seems like a very lukewarm, wishy-washy review, it’s because that is what Salsarita’s inspired. When it comes to fast food, you could do far worse, but there is certainly better. I would definitely rank it above McDonald’s or Taco Bell. Don’t rush out of your way for Salsarita’s, but you don’t necessarily need to cross to the other side of the street to avoid them either.

Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina
324 W Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(Google Map)

Hungry Andy’s

Hungry Andy Logo
The Water Taxi about the Baltimore Inner Harbor makes a number of stops. A few blocks away from one of the stops lies Hungry Andy’s. At heart, they are more or less a deli. They have a wide variety of burgers and supposedly, they specialize in pit beef. However, this day, I wasn’t in the mood for beef and just wanted something simple.

Grilled Chicken Sub
I got a Grilled Chicken Hero with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard. It was great. A nice sized portion of white meat chicken breast was nestled inside a fresh submarine roll with plenty of vegetables and condiments lathered on top. It was great, I couldn’t ask for more.

Chicken Salad with Bacon on Wheat Roll
MG got the Chicken Salad on a wheat roll with bacon and cheese. The chicken was all white meat and diced fine. It was pretty tasty, not amazing, but pretty good. The roll was fresh, the chicken was plentiful, and the bacon was crisp. Success.

Amusing Hot Dog Sign
Hungry Andy’s may not be a destination restaurant. I can’ really tell because I didn’t try their specialty. I can say without reservation that they are very worthwhile if you are in the area and need some lunch. There is a little square nearby, so picking up a bite and then going to each lunch outdoors is highly recommended. Plus, with humorous signs like the one above on the wall, how can you go wrong?

Hungry Andy’s
629 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21224
(Google Map)

Bonaparte Breads

The Closed Emperor Sign
Hot croissants. Fresh baked breads. MG and I were looking forward to getting something from a place that was billed as an authentic French bakery.

A word to the wise. If you attempt to go there, the storefront is not visible from the main road. It is part of a complex called Savage Mills. Once you see some signs and a driveway, just pull in, park, and look for the sign that you see in the picture above.

Hopefully, you will have a better experience than MG & I did. According to Yelp, their sign, and their website, they keep fairly normal hours. We arrived on a weekday, at around 11am. They were closed. There was no sign up that said “Back in 5”. There was no note about being closed for a few days. Wonderful smells were coming from inside, but the door was barred.

There was a door on the side entitled “French Bakery”. MG tried that door and it was open. It opens to the area just behind Bonaparte Breads’ main counter. There were people inside, baking bread. MG asked, “Are we able to get anything to go?”
“No, we closed. We closed.”
“When might you be opening?”
“No. We closed. Don’t know when lady coming in.”

Huh? Lame. Breakfast fail.

This isn’t so much a review of Bonaparte Breads as it is a tale of an experience. They might be good. I just don’t know. Maybe they had a family emergency and couldn’t open. Perhaps there was something extreme that prevented the manning of a counter. The baking section was certainly open.

Take what you will from this experience. I just suggest calling before going to the store. If you make the trip without calling beforehand, ensure that you are not very hungry. There aren’t many other breakfast options nearby (as I found out the hard way).

Bonaparte Breads
8600 Foundry St # 2091
Savage, MD 20763
(Google Map)

Potbelly Sandwiches

“You never eat fast food, do you?” A co-worker asked me this once. It’s not entirely true. In a place like New York, there are so many food options. There is Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Indian, Greek, German, Korean, French, Italian, Russian, Polish… the list goes on and on. Just about every food option is available. All it takes is a little bravery and a little effort. Most times, the food can be had at a reasonable price. With all the options available, why would I want to go to McDonalds. Even people who eat at McDonalds probably don’t consider their burger the best available. So why eat it?

I do partake of some things at fast food locations. The coffee at McDonalds is generally respectable. If I am at a loss for something to eat, and I need something quick and cheap, Subway fits the bill.

When I travel, I am fascinated by regional chain restaurants. Is there a regional flavor that sets them apart from what is available in NY? Do they have a theme that is particular to the region? When I was in Florida, I had to try Steak N’ Shake. Sadly, when I California, I did not get to try In N’ Out. While in Maryland, I got to try Potbelly.

Potbelly is a chain sandwich shop in the vein of Subway and Quiznos, which are both also in Maryland. So I wondered, “What makes Potbelly different?” Nothing.

Grilled Chicken
I got a Chicken Salad (large $5.50) on multigrain club roll with provolone, bacon, and jalapenos. It was terrible. The chicken was dry and lousy. The roll did not have any flavor.

Grilled Chicken
My girlfriend got the Grilled Chicken (regular $4.50) with cheddar, mayo, and lettuce. Equally disappointing.

Potbelly also has soup and chili, but considering their inability to make decent chicken, I would not have them cook anything else. If you have the opportunity to sample Potbelly, don’t.

Potbelly Sandwiches
917 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(Google Map)