Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eating Baltimore: Inner Harbor

I feel like George Clooney in Up in the Air. I've been on the road constantly this month for conferences and collaborations-- Las Vegas, Memphis, Baltimore now, D.C. next. I'm living out of a suitcase, running in hotel gyms (I hate running in the dark in strange places), going to work during the day, and exploring in the evenings. 

Last night, for the first time, I took myself out to dinner, no book or magazine in tow. Just went in to a bar, pulled up a stool, sat down, and had a quiet dinner, chatting with the bartender. Now I know I'm George Clooney... with boobs and no grey hair. 

Or I'm just finally acting like an adult. You make the call.

I stopped in to Pratt Street Ale House for a bite after hearing about it from another person in the office I'm working in. Great beer selection, and amazing food. I settled in with a Cherry Blossom beer, which is brewed with local cherries, and the crab cobb salad. Normally I'm not a fruity drink or a beer person, but the tartness of the cherries made the beer very unique. Really good, solid, fresh bar food. 

I didn't take a picture of the food, because that would have been weird, right?

Next, I decided to explore the Inner Harbor. I stumbled on a small mall on Light Street, and found this store:

Who knew McCormick was a Baltimore company? Really neat to see all of their products--I picked up a few things, including blackened Old Bay spices.

Next, I hit up Charm City Cupcakes, a small storefront in the mall. 

When I got there, it was the end of the day (I did have to work until 5, after all!), so despite their sign claiming that they have over 20 flavors at any time, their selection was dwindling, but the girl working there was incredibly sweet (pun intended).

I picked up the Key Lime, the hot fudge sunday one (which had a fancy name I can't remember), and the pecan praline. Passover was over, so I kind of went overboard, I guess...

The pecan praline was a simple, vanilla cake with a dense crumb, and the vanilla American buttercream on top was a bit saccharine, but it was solid. The pecan mixture on top was definitely NOT praline, but rather just pecans in carmel. Disappointing, but decent.

The hot fudge one was an okay chocolate cake, with a light, whipped frosting. Again, just okay, nothing out of the ordinary.

But the Key Lime -- oh! That was the winner! I don't know how they got so much lime flavor into the light buttercream AND the cake-- guessing it was a triple whammy of lime juice, extract, and zest (which was clearly visible)-- but it was incredible! That one may have completely disappeared...

I also made the requisite stop at a gift shop. You may not be able to visit Charm City Cakes, but you can buy their swag (and, being a fangirl, I did).

Also picked up some taffy (a requisite in Baltimore), and an interesting chocolate bar from McCormick (peanuts and jalapeƱo in milk chocolate-- verdict coming soon!).

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