Food Fare in The North

This is a continuation of my food fare posts.  Go back and read the previous one about New Orleans,  if you are interested.  In this post I’ll be discussing Baltimore, Maryland and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Baltimore, Maryland

I ate at several great places during my stay in Baltimore a few years back.  Most of the cuisine I could obtain with equal or better taste locally.  There is only one that really stood out.

The Helmand

The Helmand | 806 N. Charles Street

I was treated to traditional Afghani Cuisine four years ago, this month, for my birthday.  It was positively sublime!  There is nowhere, with in 500 miles of my home, that I can obtain this simply delicious and mouth-watering food.  This place is certainly no dive, as it is rather classy.  It is also some of the best food I have ever had in my mouth.  Utter perfection.

Interior of The Helmand

The interior was sparsely decorated, but what decorations it contained were stunning.  Though I’ll admit the atmosphere was a bit too swanky for my personal preferences, but once I tasted the food, I no longer cared.  It was certainly worth the visit.

Food at The Helmand

If you find yourself in Baltimore, then this is the place that I recommend.  I simply can not recommend it enough.  Try anything, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Bertha’s

Bertha’s | 734 S. Broadway

This is apparently THE place to go for mussels.  Only thing is, I’m not a fan of things that are slimy and taste of rotten mud, no matter how many fancy dipping sauces or Old Bay you serve with it.  However, if you are a fan of things like this, then this is where you should go once you find yourself in Baltimore.  I didn’t choose the place, if that helps.

Eat Bertha’s Mussels

This whole mussel thing and the fascination with Old Bay, not to mention the disastrous details of only flour encrusting your very Mid-Atlantic “southern” catfish only confirmed to me that these people are not southern.  They will say that they are, but it’s like I’m from Jupiter and they are from Mars.  Anyways, I ordered a hamburger and you know what?  It was one of the best hamburgers I have ever had in my entire life (which is why I’m including this place in my post).  I was made fun of for ordering and consuming said hamburger at a place famous only for their mussels, but it was totally worth it.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Jamaica’s Comfort Food

Jamaica’s Comfort Zone | 417 S. College Road

It’s unassuming.  It’s in a strip mall and not very easy to find.  But it was Jamaican cuisine and I was going to have it.  Mother and daughter from New York were always traveling to Jamaica.  The daughter met her husband there and the entire family decided to settle in Wilmington and open this restaurant, basically.  My sister, who as traveled to Jamaica, agreed that it was definitely Jamaican food.  Good enough for me.  I may never get to go to Jamaica, which would be a shame, but I have tried the food now and that pleases me.

Food at Jamaica’s Comfort Zone

We had the Jamaican Beef Patty, Coco Bread, Plantains, Curry Fried Chicken, and Oxtail.  The Oxtail is what I remember the most and it wasn’t even my dish.  All of it was wonderful, all of it!  The Oxtail was like really good beef stew with all the bones included.  It was fascinating to witness my sister eat her way through it and just oxtail.  When am I ever going to eat oxtail?  This is definitely a place to eat if you are in this area.  A must.

Double Happiness

Double Happiness | 4403 Wrightsville Avenue

My sister and I have longed for a Chinese restaurant that was not a modern take on Chinese food, nor an all you can eat buffet.  Growing up there was a beautifully stunning restaurant called South China.  I mean gorgeous!  Chinese lanterns, carved posts with gilded dragons, murals or lotuses in water.  Just fantastic, especially for my city which was then a back water of a tiny town really.  They had a very small buffet, but what they were was a sit down, rather elegant, covered dishes Chinese restaurant.

My sister having lived in Los Angeles for a bit said that South China was nothing like the Chinese restaurants out there.  Where the family sit at one table and watch all the patrons and your food is served family style, but for the south I’ve really never seen anything like South China.

Interior of Double Happiness

Double Happiness simply resides in someone’s former business.  But the interior though nothing as grand as being akin to The Forbidden Palace is sparse, yet very classy.  I’m sure most of my restaurants would be mocked by people living in very large cities, but if you are not from a very grand, urban area, then this is going to be the end all be all, my friends.

Scallion Pancakes at Double Happiness

I am always pleased when a restaurant serves street fare that I have read and dreamed about, not to mention drooled over.  Scallion Pancakes is one of those classic Chinese street foods that I fell in love with the first time it was mentioned.  Bonus points in my book to Double Happiness for this one.  We also had the steamed pork wontons, but beyond that I can’t really remember, even though it was just last year.  Looking over the menu, however, is making me hungry.  Whatever we ate it was fantastic.  Superb.  I only wish this restaurant was here in my hometown.

The Greeks

The Greeks | 124 Princess Street

The Greeks is your typical Gyro, french fries, and salad place.  I adore the fused beef and lamb gyro meat, so I have had a lot of them.  This place was exceptionally good.  I also liked that the interior was covered with large photo’s of the owners home of Greece.

Food at The Greeks

I’m not saying that this is the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten, no that was a sit-down restaurant in Natchez, that I don’t think even exists anymore.  It’s not even the best of the best concerning Gyro’s.  But it does rank at the top of my list and when you’re in a city that is rather trying, having comfort food can become the best meal you’ve ever eaten.  Though, honestly it was really great, regardless.

My next entry, we’ll hit Laurel, Mississippi.  You may never find yourself in the little town, but if you do these are places that can’t be missed.

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