Adventure, Food, Music

Day Tripping in Baltimore


I admit, I don’t know much about Baltimore. I’ve been there before, and I’ve driven by it even more, but it hadn’t been on my personal radar much.

We gave it some attention with a day trip a few weeks ago, which I recommend if you’re in the D.C. area. It’s only about an hour’s drive from D.C.

We had lunch at Faidley’s, which takes up a large space at the entrance of a public market. If you like crab cakes, this is the place to have one. They’re 15 bucks a pop, and worth the price tag. They don’t skimp you on the crab. The crab cake has jumbo lumps of crab and isn’t loaded with filler like flour or bread crumbs to fake rich seafood plumpness. We also got some oysters on the half shell. The oysters reminded us of the beach oysters we used to forage on Vancouver Island. (Ah, the days when we could just walk on the beach and pick up big, beautiful bivalves.)

Faidleys crab cakes and oysters

Afterward, we drove to another part of town, the historic area of Fells Point along the waterfront. The area looks to be undergoing a revitalization as pockets of hipsterdom have popped up. We chatted briefly with a young lady walking her pit bull puppy. I love dogs, so I just had to say hello. She said she works in software and works from home, as does her husband. We saw her walk her dog again before we left town.

There’s a mini public market at Fells Point, and we bought some “hunter’s sausage” and some sort of slightly sweet bread from the Eastern European vendor.

We collect vinyl, and we browsed the vinyl racks through The Sound Garden record store. They’ve got new and used records, and we combed the bargain selection, which is full of classic albums and artists. We walked out with The Beatles “Rubber Soul” and an obscure live album from The Grateful Dead. We browsed though another record store nearby, this one in the basement of a row house, and walked away from that one with vinyl of classic mountain music.

There’s plenty to amuse in Fells Point, including walking through the quaint cobblestone streets and seeing beautiful, historic row houses. When we walked alongside the water, we saw kayaks stored along the pier. It was gray and raining/drizzly that day, but if it were sunny, it would’ve been fun to see the sights by kayak.

We also stopped into a comic book store and picked up a t-shirt from the Natty Boh promo shop. Natty Boh is beloved in the Chesapeake Bay area, originating in Baltimore and now owned by Pabst of PBR fame. We also spent a while tasting an array of olive oils and balsamic vinegars at The Seasoned Olive; I never knew there was such a wide world of these things.

For an afternoon snack, we sat down for a spell at Bertha’s, an old-school bar/restaurant with a reputation for mussels. We ordered mussels with spinach, tarragon and garlic butter. I didn’t feel hungry when we arrived, but I ate more than my half pretty quickly. For a free souvenir, we picked up a green-and-white bumper sticker that says “Eat Bertha’s Mussels.”

Our last stop before we headed home was a visit to the liquor store. Why? To pick up a six-pack of tall-boy Natty Bohs.