Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Food Lovers' Guide To Baltimore": A Quick Guide For The People Who Want To Explore With Food

Food Lover's Guide To Baltimore
If the Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore had been published five years ago, I might never have started to blog.

Exploring through food is great fun, but it's pretty hard if you have no guide.  I started HowChow because I couldn't find a place that recommended restaurants and markets.  Now the couple behind the MinxEats blog have created a terrific guidebook that touches locally, but concentrates on "the city" and "the county" -- as used by the Baltimore locals.

This is a book to inspire trips.  Quick summaries of restaurants from Harbor East to Catonsville to Towson.  Great lists of food markets that I have never heard about before.  Would you drive to Timonium for great chocolate and coffee?  Ice cream with vegetables in Charles Village?  Italian groceries on Paca Street?

Kathy and Neal Patterson write hundreds of blurbs, and they're funny while still being informative and helpful.  Trust me, it's hard to write over and over about food without resorting to the same descriptions.  I fail all the time.  The Pattersons cover everything from the "meat hangover" at all-you-can Brazillian to a list of their favorite crab cakes.  Where I know the places, they're right on point.  That makes me trust the recommendations that are new to me.

The smartest part of the book is that the Pattersons messed with the normal guide book vocabulary. Instead of just recommending places, they break them into categories -- including "foodie faves" that range from white table cloths to holes in the wall and "landmarks" that are the well-known joints.

Keep the Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore in mind if you want a spectacular homewarming gift for friends who move from out of town.  Where should we go out?  Where is great sushi?  What could we turn into a Saturday drive for special food?  The answers are all in the Food Lovers' Guide, and your friends -- or your new neighbors or the new residents in your hospital -- can eat well while they learn the charms of the city.

I could tease and say that the Food Lovers' Guide did us a disservice by lumping Howard with three other counties in a chapter called "Worth The Drive."  But the Pattersons did pick good local spots, and I'm pleased to see that the "Food Lovers' Guide To Howard County" remains an open possibility.  Maybe I'll get on that once I can sell the movie rights.

Hat tip again to Kyle who had pre-ordered the book and wrote the first review last month.  The link for the book goes to Amazon though an affiliates program.  They give me credit when people buy through the link.  So I encourage that!


Matt said...

By Italian grocery on Paca street I assume you mean Trinacria? If you haven't been there go ASAP place is amazing. Probably the best sandwich i've had, Tons of amazingly good cheap wine and fresh bread coming out of the oven constantly.

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