Friday, March 22, 2013

Not just crab cakes

Baltimore's inner harbor is impressive, and home to a variety of dining places. So yes, I did eat crab cakes for dinner last night at an old-time restaurant called Phillips Seafood, which has been in that neighborhood for over 30 years, though mostly in another location. Now it's next to the really cool Barnes and Noble that occupies a former power plant, and incorporates all sorts of chimneys and other mechanical leftovers.

The inner harbor used to be unsightly and industrial, before becoming a tourist attraction full of shopping malls with not only seafood but also lots of chain restaurants. Once upon a time, the McCormick's spice factory was right on the harbor: just where our hotel now stands. I found the photo at right on the McCormick website, to try to picture how much the harbor has changed. I had always heard that the aromas of spices sometimes flooded the harbor area, though the aromas of many other industrial processes competed in a not so nice way.

In the shopping mall that now stands in front of the hotel (where the shipping buildings stood in the old photo) there's now a McCormick spice store with a selection of spices from their various divisions in the US and internationally. This includes Zatarains New Orleans spices, Old Bay spices, and a number of others. They even have smell-o-vision; that is, a game where the aroma of various spices is presented as a multiple-choice challenge. Since they also fill the air of the shop with cinnamon (as sort of a memorial to the old factory) it's hard to pick out the challenging smells. I got 3 out of 4.

During the afternoon, I spent some time at the Baltimore museum, where there were a couple of recent works depicting food, or at least using images of food to make some sort of statement. I also ate fried clams in their restaurant. Full Baltimore experience.

Wade Guyton and Kelley Walker Inkjet Print on Drywall, untitled, 2011

Rachel Harrison Inkjet Prints, also untitled, 2008

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

You did know I would be in seventh heaven in a spice store! Baltimore is one of those cities I'd love to visit sometime. Now I know where I'm headed if I get there!