.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

johnny dollar's vault

retro pop culture and various local observations and ramblings.

My Photo
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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

do it...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

a memorialable weekend

following is a little photolog highlights of the dollar weekend...

garden bunny!


authentic pirate ale!

authentic pirate hula hooping!

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

it was thirty years ago today

episode iv? wtf?

wow, ship.

omgz ship!!!1

i was six years old when my mom took my friend and i to the pike theatre on rockville pike to see star wars. it was later in the summer, of course. although i was only six i remember it very vividly.

if you are an old fart remaniscer like me, you know deep down that HAN SHOOTS FIRST...

some top-notch star wars nostalgia here...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

queuein' up: andy nelson's bbq

this is one of those places i was like, 'why haven't i come here already!!!' then i slapped my mammy.

the name is andy nelson's bbq, and don't get hung up on the fact that mr. n used to play for the colts. this bbq is supreme!

first of all, giant pig on the roof. major roadside points.

second of all. you walk in and SMELL the HICKORY SMOKE. if they was less scrupulous bidnisspeople they could charge for smells per minute. ima thankin'.

finally, the RIBS be KICKIN. the joint sells pit beef and pulled pork too, but for my cherry breakin i wanted ze ribbage. oh gawd, they are good. i wish i could hyperlink you to the taste. smoky sweet. succulent. eff the trans fats. and monkey county, for that matter.

so i urge thee to make haste to the bbq of andy nelson in cockeysville.

even zippy/griffy got in on the action - click and enjoy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

please help fund my doctorate

and buy me this swell dr. zaius replica. he would look great standing behind the tiki bar. i could make him a swell drink with 99 bananas.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

betcha the washington post would not run this story

the sunpaper runs a story about tiki culture in the context of baltimore. they don't screw up the facts too bad. i hope turbogod will still acknowledge me when i see him and his posse in cvs.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

in case you missed this star trek lollitude

this may be last week's news, but i checked to see if there were posts about folks seeing this lolcats version of the trouble with tribbles - omg u has not?

Monday, May 07, 2007

maybe i should rename this blog 'i am obsessed with vintage chinese restaurants'

peeped on 406 park ave
this is one of the coolest ghost signs i've seen, if for nothing else, its color palette.

get yourself some yum yum chinese food - call LEXington-7982 right now! looks like this block or two was an old school chinatown. gotta investigate further.

ADDENDUM: the baltimore chinatown project. 'tsokay, i wish the photos were less vaseline-smeared lookin'

Thursday, May 03, 2007