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johnny dollar's vault

retro pop culture and various local observations and ramblings.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
johnny dollar's vault resides in the basement of stately dollar maisonTM, amongst the wine cellar, tiki bar, and finicky electrical panel. from time to time i will unearth various artifacts from either there or from the random crevices of my mind.

please visit the new and improved pig cookin' post!

NOTE: this blog will NOT deal with any recent pop culture (i.e. since about 1990) or topical issues, so if you're looking for discussion about britney baracko jacko flacco, look elsewhere, lol

Friday, May 25, 2007

best places to eat

i don't normally engage in these viral meme thingies, but this actually got my rear in gear to talk about some places i been meanin' to. restaurants follow the list below:

1. add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. include the city/state and country you’re in.

nicole (sydney, australia)
velverse (kuala lumpur, malaysia)
lb (san giovanni in marignano, italy)
selba (jakarta, indonesia)
olivia (london, england)
ml (utah, usa)
lotus (toronto, canada)
tanabata (saitama, japan)
andi (dallas [ish], texas, united states)
todd (louisville, kentucky, united states)
miss kendra (los angeles, california, u.s.a)
jiggs casey (berkeley, ca, usa! usa! usa!)
tits mcgee (new england, usa)
joe (ne tennessee, usa)
10k monkeys (chattanooga, tennessee, usa)
big stupid tommy (athens, tennessee, usa)
newscoma (weakley county, tennessee, usa)
russ mcbee (knoxville, tennessee, usa)
atomictumor mrs eaves (oak ridge, tennessee, usa)
oh really? lissakay (oak ridge, tn, usa)
mark steel blogitude.com (knoxville, tn, usa)
swanky the swank pad (knoxville, tn, usa)
johnny dollar's vault (baltimore, maryland, us of a)

2. list out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

the prime rib

1101 n. calvert street, 21202
(410) 539-1804

when i got a billfold of benjamins burning a hole in my backside, i get my bride and me to the prime rib. the place was opened in 1965, and when you walk in, you feel like that is the exact year you're in. leapord print rug, heavy black leather seats. frank, sammy and dino could be the next table over from you ~ as a matter of fact, the live band will hit a rat pack melody every two or three songs.

but as supreme as the ambiance is, the food and the service make every simolean you spend worth it. this is simply the best cow you will get in town. i recommend their signature prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes. and make sure you order a martini at the bar, this is the one place in town they will make it properly.

so: $ $ $ $ but worth it.


caesar's den

223 south high street, little italy, 21202
(410) 547-0820

there are plenty of great restaurants in little italy, and several with more glitz, but to me caesar's den is what an italian restaurant SHOULD be. not to get in a rut, but this place has frank and dean on the soundsystem and a classic decor. you know i'm a sucker for a neon sign. it's where i proposed to my wife, even all down on my knee and that kinda chick-flick jazz.

every dish you get here is solid, old-school, just plain good eats. my two favorites are the chicken vesuvio and the seafood combination linguine. the low-end wines are decent and i just get a strong sense of 'I-talian culture' well being in there.

so: $$, just go there already.


g&m restaurant and lounge

804 n hammonds ferry rd, linthicum heights 21090
(410) 636-1777

people round these parts are liable to get into fisticuffs over where the best crabcake can be had, but for my money it's at g&m restaurant and lounge. as shown above, the crabcakes are literally the size of a baseball and are all jumbo lump crabmeat, which is like the cadillac of crab. with spinnaz and everything.

the decor has a local roadsidey feel, and the service is good, but most times we're calling in and picking up a double crabcake platter. crabcake and home fries, and you got all you need. the best in town, you heard it here first.

therfore: $1/2, it's worth it fer cryin out loud.


dizzy issie's

300 w. 30th st., 21211
(410) 235-0171

dizzy issie's is an old-school corner bar restaurant with good solid comfort food a'la pub grub. it's in a classic baltimore neighborhood, and incidentally is across the street from charm city cakes. but that's neither here nor there. go there for the food, the beer, and the am-beyonce.

the star of the show in my opinion is the maryland crab soup. it tastes more like your great aunt helen made it instead of a restaurant kitchen. and that's a good thing. the spicy tomatoey broth and all the irregularly chopped up veggies and decent crabmeat make this the place to go if you have such an inclination.

the place has a clientele of many hopkins students, but from the picture above, you see they let about anyone in. go get yourself a burger or a grilled cheese and a beer, you won't be disapointed.

$. i should go there more often.


bel-loc diner

1700 e joppa rd, parkville, 21234
(410) 668-2525

also under the heading of places i should go more often is the bel-loc diner. built in 1964, i'm not going to claim an exhaustive knowledge of the ouvre, but this to me is the classic example of what a diner should be. it's not only the building but the friendly staff in their white uniforms and the obvious care of the joint. the stainless gleams and there's patsy cline on the jukebox.

the food is alsho what diner food should be. cheeseburgers. fries. milkshakes. all top notch, and of an era when ray kroc was still flipping burgers instead of industrializing them. there are other diners in town of varying degrees of authenticity, and maybe even more restaurant-style food, but for my dollas i'm gonna say bel-loc diner every time.

$. do it.


3. tag 5 others

this is not a popularity contest, it's more who i think probably might participate and have some off-the-beaten-path choices:


malnurtured snay

anger hangover


Blogger kris said...

i'd be very interested in what m. snay has to add. heh.

10:33 AM  
Blogger johnny dollar said...

if he says his pizza joint, i'm giving him a noogie.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Mark Steel said...

I really hate Memes ... but this one had a purpose, eh? ;-)

I'm pretty sure I'll be hitting Caesar's Den & the Bel-Loc next time in I'm in Baltimore ...

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great information but I am clueless on the meme deal nor do I do it.

My blog has turned into a log of my latest RC plane build, not many people check it unless they are buildin a Four Star 120 LOL

3:17 PM  
Blogger NPR Junky said...

My darling, you realize I live in DE, right? Our "high class" food revolves around Mickey D's and going out of state. Nevertheless, I will endeavor to come up with a list of five stellar places :-)

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH.. you make me so hungry now! Dizzy Issie sounds like cool! The maryland crab soup sounds yummy!!!

Yummy yummy.. ceasar's den look delicious too especially the pasta pic with just oh so many mussels.

Ah... You proposed there~ Nice, great food and now even great memories :)

I wanted to drool over the prime ribs but it sounds a little too expensive. :(

Thanks for doing the tag :D

11:06 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Prime Ribs looks good…but not as good as that seafood pasta at caesar’s den!! I just want to steal it off the screen right no! and the crabcakes at G&M!! I’m starving now! Nice pictures!

Ps thanks for doing the tag. I hope you enjoyed it.. If you know of anyone else doing it please feel free to send me a message and I’ll update them too on the updated list of tag doers

12:53 AM  
Blogger johnny dollar said...

steely mark: yeah, i guess you swanky and i all had the same rationalization :D - but yeah, for sure hit those places if you can. gimme a call if you're ever in the area.

fritz: no sweat, it's all about having fun. if it's work, what's the point of it?

npr: i'd say you did a fabu job, hon...

velverse: this was a cool idea, i'm glad you enjoy what i put together!

nicole tan: yeah i'm getting hungry now too!!! thanks for your interest as well 8)

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is gonna sound terrible, but I hardly eat when I go out. Now if this were a Top 5 favorite places to drink, I could do that.

But now I am inspired to check out some of the eating establishments you've mentioned, since I've not eaten at any of them before.

10:55 AM  
Blogger johnny dollar said...

well you could mix it up anghang, since that's how you roll :D but yeah, you really oughta check out g&m, it's just down the bw parkway from you.

11:02 AM  
Blogger John said...

I haven't taken part in these memes, not sure if I want to neither. Unless you count Rachel at Food Maven and her blog event where people listed everything they bought. But that's not really a meme. These suggestions WOULD make me hungry, but dI'm full from some tasty-enough Mexican food from dinner and what seems like a dozen hot dogs and chicken tenders from lunch 8-P

11:44 PM  

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