Of all the trends that have come out in the last decade, food trucks will forever be my favorite. Despite blow back from brick & mortar restaurant owners, Baltimore has been a thriving community for these savvy entrepreneurs. Most of my food truck dining happens at Gatherings or whenever I’m randomly roaming around the city, so when a never before seen food truck sets up shop on the same block as my day job, I gravitate towards it without hesitation.
Enter Foodgitive, a local food truck that specializes in something so indulgent, you won’t think twice about breaking that diet you’ve been working on since New Years. Cheesesteak fries sound like a simple concept, but what sets Foodgitive apart from the competition is that they deliver on both quality and quantity. For $10 you get a massive amount of fries, steak meat and all the fixings (if you so choose). Chopped Angus beef can’t be beat in this humble foodie’s opinion. It’s as if someone resurrected the sacred overstuffed sub from Captain Harvey’s and replaced the roll with a heap of crispy fresh fries. I ended up taking half of my meal home for dinner (which I immediately inhaled as soon as I changed into a loose fitting pair of pj’s).
My only regret was not getting fried onions, a mistake I plan to rectify the next time these food magicians come careening into town. Check them out on Facebook to find out where they will be throughout the week.
It’s noon on the east coast and while dozens of students and state employees scour the streets for a quick meal, I am sitting comfortably at my favorite sub shop watching it all pass by in a blur. I have very specific wants and needs when craving a cheese steak. Call me a diva if you want, but you can’t just go to any hole in the wall sub shop thinking it’ll work out. No, I need the best of the best and that special somewhere is located right around the corner from my day job.
The Real Thing is run by two foreign gentlemen with big hearts and a passion for creating remarkable carry-out food. Their signature dish: a 8’ cheese steak that will make you reevaluate your life. The secret (in my opinion) to this sub is the way they chop the meat. Pillowy doesn’t even begin to describe how light this cheese steak feels. While I pride myself on dressing my meals with an assortment of condiments, all you really need at The Real Thing is lettuce and a standard amount of mayo, the overall flavor of the beef mixed with fresh provolone does all the heavy lifting. They do offer an assortment of add-ons but all you really need is the meat and cheese.
The Real Thing is open 7 days a week in Towson. If you’re like me and have too much to deal with in your working life, TRT caters to the bar/late night crowd with a 11 am to 3 am schedule Thursdays thru Saturdays. While I’ve seen many random eateries come and go in this part of town, it’s safe to say The Real Thing isn’t going anywhere. Check them out with a friend so you have someone to revel with after finishing an entire sub. Because yes, you really had to eat the whole thing.
Whenever I have a craving for frozen pizza, my instinct is to grab a thin crust, three cheese Tombstone pizza. Always delicious, never disappointing, it’s safe to say I’ve been eating Tombstone off and on for over two decades. Recently, my local grocery store ran a sale on various brands of frozen pizza, excluding my life long favorite from the list. Never shy to try out new things, I decided to grab two different pizzas and hold a side by side review, with a clear winner being declared at the end.
First up, a four cheese pizza with garden tomatoes and pesto by Urban Pie. I was drawn to this pizza because of the pesto, now I know better. It’s my new belief that you should never trust frozen pesto. While the sliced mozzarella and tomatoes cooked perfectly, the pesto combined with the overall grease, creating a weird green oil that covered the pizza like a poisonous trap set for the TMNT. With no sauce to barricade the dough from everything else, the whole thing started firm but became limp and inedible. I picked through the tomatoes and gooey moz before scrapping the rest.
Screamin’ Sicilian is a brand I’ve been meaning to check out for a while. Their adverts are catchy and the names of their foods are clever, it only made sense to pick them for the purposes of this review. I picked a four cheese pizza affectionately called “Bessie’s Revenge”. Unlike the pesto pizza, the sliced mozzarella turned out toasted, mimicking the outer skin of a marshmallow. Weird but still very edible. The dough was somewhat fluffy for a thin crust pizza but still snapped with crispy perfection. Bessie’s Revenge sported a tomato sauce that was more spicy than robust but went very well with the melty, creamy Wisconsin cheese.
You’d think by this point, the clear winner would be obvious, but you’d be wrong. While Urban Pie’s wimpy, grease filled pizza is no comparison to Screamin’ Sicilian’s crispy, flavor filled circle of wonder, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had eaten Screamin’ Sicilian before. That’s when it hit me, the spicy tomato sauce, the multitude of creamy cheese, the perfectly crisp crust… this is a Tombstone on a different level. If I had to categorize it, I would say that Bessie’s Revenge is the perfect gourmet rendition of a Tombstone frozen pizza. The ingredients are elevated, the sauce and crust a bit thicker, but the warm happy feeling you get as you take your first bite remains the same. The only real difference here is price.
So to reiterate, never trust frozen pesto and when in doubt, get a Tombstone.
Doughnuts have been a staple of our times since before we were born. They’re a late night comfort food, the perfect breakfast for office folk and a ubiquitous wisecrack at law enforcement. With such a lengthy history, it’s no surprise to see the beloved dessert still thriving today. And with an onslaught of options, it can be hard choosing which among the many is the king of doughnuts. It’s my honor to inform you that the crown jewel of gourmet doughnuts can be found in a small shop in Fells Point.
Diablo Doughnuts has been a fixture in Baltimore for two years and have already made a name for themselves with unique, delicious doughnuts made from scratch Wednesday through Sunday. After following the Diablo Instagram for over a year now, I finally got the chance to visit the shop last weekend. Familiar with the wide variety of creative flavors, I went in with a game plan. I’d get a dozen, mostly smores but also a few strawberry cheesecakes, a crème brûlée and a blackberry lime. Unfortunately, by the time we got there (noonish) there was only a bakers dozen left to select from… so I bought the whole box!
Pictured above is that first wonderful box. Several Blackberry Lime, Chesapeake, Blueberry Basil and one loan maple bacon (all of which were destroyed by the end of the day). Throughout the week I tried writing a review that would do justice to how flavorful these magic doughnuts truly are, but it was impossible. I needed more for inspiration.
The very first day I had free, I grabbed my best friend and headed down to Fells Point as the sun rose above the city. And after a really great sit down with Ros, owner and creative genius at Diablo, I bought nine doughnuts and headed back home.
By far, my favorites were the Chesapeake, smores, blackberry lime and maple bacon. Even as a lifelong Baltimorean, I had my doubts about crab seasoning on a doughnut, but my god, the Chesapeake works perfectly! The smore doughnut is like a fluffy Boston creme, substituting the creme for a large toasted marshmallow on top. Which while we’re on the subject, the créme brûlée is delicious with a sugary hard top and a creme that I can only describe to you as smooth home made vanilla pudding. The blackberry lime is tart in a good way. I’m not ashamed to admit I licked the sugary remnants of blackberry off my fingertips. And the maple bacon is the perfect mix of sweet and savory, a combination that’s been done before but not on this level.
Diablo Doughnuts is a must have if you haven’t experienced gourmet doughnuts with originality and incredible taste. Their Fells Point location can be found at 717 S Broadway in Baltimore but they will soon open a brand new location in Federal Hill. I know I’ll be lining up with the rest of the foodie community at the grand opening and I hope to see you there!