Best Of Baltimore - Page 16 - Food and Drink (3)

Best Of Baltimore
- Page 16
Food and Drink (3)

BARBECUE
ANDY NELSON’S SOUTHERN PIT BARBECUE

 

You’ll see him most days behind the counter, a gray-haired oldster slinging ’cue for the customers who swear by the food here. At 85, Andy Nelson still works at the Cockeysville restaurant that he opened in1981after a pro football career in which he helped Baltimore’s Colts win two world championships.

 

“I have a thing for this place; it gets in your blood,” says Nelson, a former NFL All-Pro safety who grew up helping his dad, Guy, run a barbecue — the Hoggly Woggly — outside Huntsville, Ala.

 

Nelson learned well. Here, pork shoulders are smoked 17 hours, then doused with “Guy’s Pig Dip” (cider vinegar, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce et al) and served up with sweet cornbread and spicy collard greens to hungry patrons—everyone from Jeff Sessions, former U.S. attorney general, to Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

 

They dine on the barbecue, ribs and beef brisket as if in a time warp, amid1950s rock music and keepsakes of Colts lore from Nelson’s playing days. Though his sons and daughters now run the place, it’s seeing the old pro at work that draws the crowds as much as it is the heavenly smells.

 

11007 York Road, Cockeysville. 410- 527-1226. andynelsonsbbq.com

 

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH
BLUE MOON & BLUE MOON TOO

 

With two locations — the original Blue Moon Cafe in Fells Point and Blue Moon Too in Federal Hill—and what seems like endless varieties of sweet and savory French toast, the Blue Moon brand has become synonymous with breakfast in Baltimore.

 

After 23 years, owner Sarah Megan Simington continues to push the boundaries, promising new savory and sweet twists on breakfast staples.

 

Considered one of the pioneers of the breakfast and brunch movement in Baltimore, Simington recently renovated her Fells Point location to prepare for expanded hours — a 9 p.m. weekday close time and 24-hour openings on the weekends. She’s also amped up her catering — her cinnamon roll cakes are popular for weddings — and there’s talk of eventually expanding to new locations.

 

“It’s so flattering to stay relevant. There are so many new places doing breakfast and lunch. When we were doing breakfast for dinner, we were the first [in Baltimore],” she said.

 

She’s still known for creating Cap'n Crunch French toast.

 

“I love what I do,” she said. “I feel refreshed every year. It’s really cool to watch my own progression.”

 

1621 Aliceanna St., Fells Point, 410- 522-3940; 1024 Light St., Federal Hill, 443-759-4907; bluemoonbreakfast.com