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Thursday, January 5, 2012

baltimore visit: attman's deli and di pasquale's market



Hi friends! We enjoyed a weekend in Baltimore that extended the holiday spirit of good times and good food just a bit longer into the new year--so much fun! As per our visit two summers ago, we stayed at a nice hotel downtown with great views of older buildings, a pleasing collage of different architectural styles...






Attman's Delicatessen is an old Baltimore tradition, one of the few remnants of a once-thriving Jewish neighborhood of grocers, shops, markets. This bright-gritty-delicious slice of Jewish-America has been in place since 1915, offering up no-nonsense, perfectly prepared portions of classic cured meats...really worth a visit!







Here is my scarily oversized "Lombard Street" sandwich with corned beef, pastrami and silky chopped liver, Russian dressing on rye bread. Half of this came home with us...


Half sour pickles a nice tart counterpoint to the rich meats...


Jamison ordered a classic Reuben...yum.







I loved that the dining area was a time warp to the mid seventies...


It would be lovely to step back in time and wander the aisles of the original Attman's grocery as described on this framed list, with tea, nuts, "Russian Fruit Caramels" for sale, "Palestine" chocolate bars....




A painting of the old neighborhood depicting a vivid, lost world of grocers, shops...Attman's is one of the only original businesses left on a street now caught between stages of vacancy and "renewal"...


However, much of the past of this richly international, immigrant city remains, richly sedimented in surrounding neighborhoods
.

Di Pasquale's is an Italian market/deli that has been in place for 95 years. Interesting how some shops really make you want to cook: every corner of the market was thoughtfully and lovingly stocked with quality and authenticity, selected with a knowing eye and evident love of Italian food and drink...

Beautiful bread, pizza, pastas, homemade sausage and much more is made here. Italian tools for making pasta, tomato sauce, cookies, even wine making supplies are for sale. 

We saw intriguing imported aperitifs and wines, joyously packaged candy and chocolate, preserves of all kinds (savory and sweet), a deli counter offering the unmistakable, tidy brightness of carefully made Italian antipasto specialties: shining roast peppers, emerald and onyx olives, tender and supple fresh mozzarella, little purple edged baby octopus in olive oil....









My first time seeing this pointy variety of radicchio in the U.S...saw it once before in Florence. Should have bought some!


Still thinking about this bright "Orangecello" liqueur!


Roasted fennel and peppers--classic, healthy, so good


How cool--Italian vegetable seeds!





Love the old-world flavor magic collected here: oregano from the southern Italian countryside, dried porcini mushrooms, garlic, pistachios...elemental and elegant.







How amazing would these yellow peppers be harvested from the home garden, roasted and tossed in a dressing of extra virgin olive oil amplified with minced Italian anchovies?


We bought a loaf of this beautiful country bread to take home...it had a perfect dense crust, salty savor (perfect with milky fresh mozzarella): a golden, edible continuity of wheat that goes back to Rome and before, amazingly preserved here, along with ways of cooking that are also wise and pleasurable ways of being. Patiently cultivating quality in daily life: there is a slowness, a quietness to Italian cooking, a sympathetic coaxing forth of natural flavors...this cozy, replete shop echoed that spirit so beautifully.

It was enough to make me want to stay in the warm proximity of the pizza and bread oven, the preserved glow of such earthy, cultivated foods and traditions...to become a regular here welcomed by name, part of the neighborhood, this bright slice of Italy-in-America.




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You guys find the best spots!!! When you and Jamison come back to NY ;) ... you have to go check out Eataly (23rd & 5th)

http://eatalyny.com/

~ Robin W.

Robin said...

So, did you come back with loads of goodies from this adventure? My bags would be so full. A foodie shopper's heaven! You are so right, Di Pasquale's just makes you want to run home and cook!

Great post! Should be submitted to the local news for a feature article, it is just that good.

Bentobird said...

Hi Robin! Thanks so much for sharing your warm comments! I went to Eataly just one time...so fab! Delish lunch, such opulent pastas and everything!(blogged here:)
http://bentobird.blogspot.com/2010/09/september-new-york-visit-and-bento.html

What do you like to buy there? Happy Friday!!

Bentobird said...

Hi there! We came home with beautiful bread, delicate fresh mozz, orange infused olive oil from Sicily, cavatelli, caponata...and all I want to do is go back and buy just about everything else in the store! Have a beautiful weekend, sweet friend!

AikoVenus said...

My mum told me about Pasquale a lot - all of these pictures look beautiful as usual, Bentobird! ^^

Susan B. said...

gorgeous photos as always - they too make me want to run home and cook! :)

Bentobird said...

Hi AikoVenus, oh that is SO cool! Thanks for stopping by to share :)!

Bentobird said...

Hi Susan B.! Happy New Year, how are ya? Glad you liked this post...happy cooking this weekend!

Gnoe (@Graasland) said...

Smoked garlic on the strand -- have some! :) But I *don't* have any of that awesome looking Orangecello liqueur..! ;)

Looks like a great trip; wishing you a lot more of those in 2012! :)

Bentobird said...

Hi Gnoe! Yep, liqueurs are becoming de rigueur chez Bentobird of late, huh! Thanks for your lovely visit, here's to a wonderful new year, sweetie!

Yurippe Masuda said...

HEHE saw you make fotos to italian food, torrone, amaro averna and more, really here in Milano theese are quite common and cost less, we are not really eating theese kind of things but is funny to see people loving them abroad ^O^

Bentobird said...

Hi! Interesting, Yurippe M.--I have a very fond memory of being in a cafe/restaurant/shop just outside Milan many years ago and being absolutely captivated by the displays of torrone and other festive and gorgeous packaged candies/sweets. Only wish I'd been a food blogger way back then!