Inside the savory-scented digs of Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, spools of hardwood-smoked, spiral-sliced ham entice carnivorous palates. Here, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff still makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
The hammery's kitchens also whip up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
When it comes to seafood preparation, its seems like the culinary minds at Fifer’s Seafood have thought of just about everything. Every cooking method is fair game—broiling, deep-frying, steaming, and serving it up raw—as long as it enhances the natural sweetness and subtle flavor of each ingredient. They pile platters to the rafters with hand-peeled shrimp, flaky filets of haddock, and quarter-pound crab cakes, and they shuck fresh oysters and clams to pair with classic accoutrements and a squirt of lemon. Seafood even adds an extra punch to some of Fifer’s other options, such as Angus beef burgers crowned with housemade crab dip.
To complement these maritime feasts, bartenders serve pours of liquor and wine behind a tiki-style bar, which also features more than 15 beers on tap. Drinks in hand, diners gather around the dining room’s solid-oak tables, which are surrounded by aquatic décor and high-definition televisions broadcasting sports.
My Butcher and More's meat-cutting masters acquire grass-fed or naturally fed beef from local farms, from which they prepare juicy, flavorful cuts. Roseda Black Angus beef arrives from a 350-acre farm, where steers enjoy an all-natural diet, natural ponds, and frequent games of patty-cake. The protein emporium also carries Creekstone Farms beef, a 100% Black Angus blend processed according to stringent guidelines to ensure quality. The staff precisely grinds each hearty slice of steer by hand, and customers can chow down content in the knowledge that the shop's sources shield their cows from hormones, antibiotics, and violent video games.
Al’s Seafood—helmed by the Strzegowski family, who have been entrenched in the seafood racket for nearly 60 years—sates sea-fare seekers with its vast menu of oceanic victuals prepared with fresh, locally sourced fish. Starters such as the shrimp cocktail ($7.95) whet appetites in time for salad-and-veggie-furnished main courses, such as the crab imperial ($18.50) or the linguini-lassoed mediterranean seafood platter ($22.95). Cap’t Doc’s broiled seafood medley ($23.95) unites shrimp, crab, and lobster tail to create a partnership more memorable than Martin Van Buren’s alliance with the Ninja Turtles. Mouths can moor to shore with a bevy of land-based eats, such as the Cajun- or grilled-chicken sandwich ($6.25) or the roasted prime rib ($18.95).
The skilled confectioners at Mary Sue Candies have been quelling the cries of Maryland’s sweet teeth with handmade, preservative-free treats since 1948. For starters, feast on strips of almond bark ($15.50 for 16 oz.) harvested from the nation’s oldest bonbon forests, or let teeth saw through the nutty crust of a pecan nougat log ($2.49 for 3 oz.) to free the nougaty nature-spirits imprisoned inside. Alternately, the handmade salt water taffy ($4.99 for 16 oz.) whisks tongues away on a sugar-laced seaside sojourn, while a 16-ounce box of nuts and chews chocolates ($15.90) lets mouths practice athletic jawrobics on Mary Sue’s most popular caramels and clusters.
Baltimore City Paper named Santoni's the Best Grocery Store in the metropolitan area for good reason. A local staple since the 1930s, Santoni's is proud of its old-school roots and personal service. The friendly staff acts as one big family, either because they are blood related or because they are brothers and sisters in ritual kiwi juggling. Open 24 hours a day, Santoni's is the perfect place to catch the sunrise over a neatly kept stack of navel oranges.