Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A fresh look at Baltimore

It's funny how you can come to a town to visit relatives and think you know it   but come back for another purpose and discover  lots more you didn't know. That's how Baltimore is for me. I  come fairly often to see my daughter and grandson, but am here now as a travel writer.

Today I discovered a north side neighborhood called Hampden Village,with its mix of individually owned shops, restaurants, and boutiques, mostly along 36th Street. There seem to be no chain stores and funky residential neighborhoods surround what once were old mills, which originated in the early 1800s,  for making cotton canvas to be used for sails on ships.
 The mills have been repurposed into interesting places, such as a glass blowing operation we visited today that itself is pretty unusual. Under the tutelage of experts each of us blew our own glass pumpkin from molten glass. Each was slightly different and since our breathe went into the glass to form it, they are truly one-of-a-kind works . Tomorrow we go back to get them. Groups of 2 to 100 book time here to do substantially what my small press group did.

 We then convened for dinner at The Food Market, which opened last spring and by the looks of the crowd has been embraced by Baltimore. It's blue collar food with white collar sensibilties,  according to its chef, an affable, and very talented, young man  who stopped to chat at each table. The dish that likely most illustrates that concept were the meat loaf fries... french fry sized slices of meat loaf dipped in a batter of rice flour, black pepper and seltzer water then deep fried and served with sides of gravy and catsup. I'll have details about these places and others soon, so stand by. Or check them out yourself at and

Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed that the storm dubbed the Frankenstorm is not going to hit this area. I'm due home Sunday, but if my flight can't take off I can hole up with my daughter and regale her with my Baltimore discoveries.

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