Best Of Baltimore - Page 24 - Food and Drink (9)

Best Of Baltimore
- Page 24
Food and Drink (9)

Shucker Lou Fleming has been at it here for 40 years, and to watch him is to watch a maestro at work — be grateful he’s prying those things open and you’re not (last time we tried, we ended up in the emergency room with a deep gash in our hand).

 

Faidley’s owner Bill Devine, 87, is the third generation of the family to serve Baltimore’s tastiest seafood from the market (his daughter Damye Hahn, who’s working to make the business computer-friendly and bring it into the 21st century, is the fourth), and while he says business isn’t what it once was — too many fancier places are just a light-rail stop away — there’s still plenty here for both regulars and the frequent tourists to slurp down.

 

Orioles’ Opening Day is their busiest, he says; Fleming estimates they serve about 2,000 oysters that day, and about half as many clams. You won’t find bigger, or tastier, or cheaper oysters anywhere. And each one is delicious.

 

203 N. Paca St. 410-727-4898. faidleyscrabcakes.com

 

STEAMED CRABS
L.P. STEAMERS

 

Mallets raised? Pound away. At times, it sounds like customers are playing Whac-A-Mole instead of cracking open the fresh, seasoned steamed crabs for which L.P. Steamers is known. A South Baltimore landmark for 23 years, it’s a bluecollar locale whose staff will even teach you how to pick the crabs. Just ask.

 

1100 E. Fort Ave., Locust Point. 410-576-9294. locustpointsteamers.com

 

THAI
THAI ARROY

 

At the one-room BYOB with the bright yellow awning, customers can’t go wrong with any of the coconut curries or noodle dishes. But it is the crabmeat fried rice, which features huge chunks of jumbo lump, that is dream-worthy.

 

1019 Light St., Federal Hill. 410-385- 8587. thaiarroy.com

 

WEDDING CAKE
PATISSERIE POUPON

 

Many wedding cakes look good, but sometimes beauty is only icing deep. Not so at this French bakery where Joseph Poupon has been creating luscious gateaux since 1986. He fashions about 200 cakes a year for newlyweds and has also made confections for everyone from former Vice President Dick Cheney to Lady Gaga.

 

820 E. Baltimore St., Jonestown. 410-332-0390. patisseriepoupon.net

 

WINE LIST
CHARLESTON

 

Touting more than1,300 wines, the selection at Charleston is among the largest in the region. And it’s in step with the Foreman Wolf restaurant group’s approach to fine dining — bringing fine French cooking techniques to Low Country cuisine.

 

The restaurant has repeatedly earned accolades for its wine selection, which is thoughtfully chosen by co-owner Tony Foreman and sommeliers Lindsay Willey and Linah Maya Mathabane-Pool.

 

Foreman, who travels the globe researching new wines for the restaurant’s offerings.

 

“I know just about every single grower in that cellar,” he said.

 

In 2018, Charleston was named to Open Table’s 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America and has twice been named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Wine Program by the James Beard Awards in 2011and 2016.

 

Wine at Charleston is an integral part of its success, Foreman said.

 

“It’s certainly a giant part of its ethos,” Foreman said. “It’s music and dancing. One doesn’t work well without the other.”

 

1000 Lancaster St., Harbor East. 410-332-7373. charlestonrestaurant.com

 

— Chris Kaltenbach, Mike Klingaman and John-John Williams IV