After the heavenly experience of Insomnia Cookies, my friends and I walked the square searching for any place that served food at 10 PM. Bars of Baltimore: please don’t stop serving food at 10 PM. Continue serving food until the bar closes. You’ll get more people in.
We found ourselves back at the hotel’s basement bar. Basement bar at a haunted hotel? Totally not creepy. There was one older fella drying up some glasses with a cloth. He looked lonely considering the place was completely empty. There was something eerie about the place. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was like an old school movie meets horror film meets lighthearted fun. Does that make sense? The bartender was nice enough to smile for the picture at least. 🙂 Too bad he didn’t have food.
He recommended that we tried the restaurant next door. We walked in, relieved it was only ten feet away from the hotel. Stomachs growled in frustration when the hostess told us the kitchen had closed. She did, however, provide us with a recommendation: Sir Duke Bar & Liquor Store. It was not on the main square but on the side streets, about a block or two away from us. It was a bar and a liquor store. A part of me didn’t feel like walking in the 40-degree weather but it was my birthday and wasn’t going to stop then.
Sir Duke’s bar area
Sir Duke’s seating area
A poster of The Clash’s “London Calling” album
I ordered a grilled cheese with french fries. My friend ordered Breakfast Poutine for the three of us to try. I’ve had poutine only once in my life and that was at a French party/class assignment at St. Ed’s. The poutine was amazing. The gravy sorta stayed with your breath but totally worth it.
The grilled cheese was also good. It was cheesy, the tomato was fresh and the fries (more fries!) were crispy. What I liked most about it was the fact it was warm enough to heat up my body and protect myself from the chill that came through the door.
The three of us had grown happy with a pinch of homesick when we saw the Tito’s tins used as a receipt holder. We asked the waitress if she knew what Tito’s was and of course she did. We explained we were from Austin and she immediately replied “I love Austin!”. She tried remembering the sparkling water all the hipsters drank (Topo Chico) and says it’s her tradition to drink a bottle of Topo when she goes down to ATX. It’s funny to hear someone say they love Austin, let alone visit. After living in ATX for 11 years and seeing it when it was still sorta in sleepy town mode, you tend to forget it has become such a tourist destination. Nothing wrong with ATX being a tourist destination…just don’t move there (there are plans for a major I-35 overhaul so just warning you).
We headed back to the hotel with leftovers. On our way back we found a couple homeless teenagers outside a closed boutique sitting on a bench. I gave them my leftover sandwich, keeping my oatmeal cookie. My friend took a few steps before turning around and giving them his cookie. The guilt got to me when I saw another couple of teenagers near a lamp post. I gave them my cookie, feeling both bad that I didn’t get a chance to experience the oatmeal cookie, but happy to know I didn’t think of my stomach for once.
It was a great last night in Baltimore. A wonderful adventure full of unexpected people and events. Definitely a birthday I will not forget.
Sir Duke Bar & Liquor Store is located in Fell’s Point at 701 S Bond St., Baltimore, MD 21231
The evening started with a best 2 out of 3 chess match in the hotel lobby with one of my more nerdier friends as we waited for a third companion to come long. The first game went on for some time as we were both rusty. I lost that match. The second and third matches were much swifter and also not in my favor. Turns out the nerd was hustling hahaha
The night began with a short walk around the corner to The Horse He Rode In On, which is a well-known dive bar. It is supposedly the oldest bar in Baltimore, opening around the 1700s (can someone fact check that for me please?). It is also said (per the bar folks) that it was Edgar Allen Poe’s last stop before the Grim Reaper showed up. No, unfortunately I did not see Poe’s ghost wander around.
The dancing area of THYCIO…at least it looked like an area to dance…
This old dive bar is actually a lot bigger than you think.
Not only do they claim they are America’s oldest Saloon, but they were the last stop for famous poet Edgar Allen Poe.
Live music was playing near the front. The singer was good but I’ve got to say nothing beats Austin live music. The food menu wasn’t too grand. Mostly snack items from what we could tell. We left the bar around 9:20 in search of food.
We passed by Insomnia Cookies near Fell’s Inn. The place smelled like fresh hot chocolate chip cookies. They also advertised ice cream sandwiches. We went in, falling for the temptation. Who doesn’t want dessert before dinner?
Oh man. We spent a great deal of time in there, deciding which cookies to get and talking to Bryan The Cashier, who is pictured above. Insomnia Cookies doesn’t have a large variety, but when everything looks good, it’s hard to pick the cookies that gets the honor of cheat meal.
I got a Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal. I ate the Chocolate Chip in one minute. It would have taken about 20 seconds but I wanted to enjoy the gooeyness of the chocolate and the smoothness of the dough. It was heavenly. More than heavenly. It was above heavenly.
The best part? Insomnia Cookies is open AND DELIVERS until 3 AM. We made a note to venture back here later for ice cream sandwiches because dinner was awaiting us.
The Horse He Rode In On is located in Fell’s Point at 1626 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21321.
Insomnia Cookies* is located in Fell’s Point at 812 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231.
*For you Austin folks, Insomnia Cookies has a location in San Marcos at 111 E Hopkins St., San Marcos, TX 78666. Please note they do NOT deliver to North Austin. I asked.
Today is my birthday. I can’t believe I am celebrating it away from home. My friend and I made plans to go across the square to bring breakfast for the group. We received recommendations about Diablo Doughnuts. Considering we are foodies and donut people, we took the opportunity. My reaction to the donuts: MOVE OVER VOODOO DONUTS!
Diablo has many cool flavors from Blueberry Basil to S’mores. My personal favorite was the Strawberry Cheesecake donut, which is pictured below. It’s a plain yeast donut with cream cheese icing ad slices of strawberries. Most donut shops that have crazy donuts are typically super sweet, so sweet you can’t finish it (my eyes are darting at you Voodoo). This strawberry cheesecake donut, though, was the perfect amount of sweetness that you are to finish the whole thing without the taste of syrup in your mouth. The strawberries were fresh and the yeast donut wasn’t hollow when you took a bite, a major plus.
Don’t like donuts? That’s ok. They do pizza for dinner. Talk about geniuses!
Diablo Doughnuts is located in Fell’s Point at 717 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Don’t know how I feel about being 23. Don’t feel older. Don’t look older. But there’s this new feeling of wonder that has me thinking with a new pair of sunglasses. I am giddy like a kid but know work must be done like any other adult.
Death will destroy my body, but my creatures will keep on living ever after, in the years to come.
98 years ago, Enzo Ferrari drove his first race in Parma, Italy. Though he lost, coming in 4th place, his desire for speed and beautiful cars never ceased. This one event is the butterfly effect that leads to the selling of the first Ferrari sports cars in 1947.
I had to grow up in a lot of ways. If you do this all your life, you don’t have a normal experience. The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle does not encourage you to be responsible. I’m still sorting it out, but I’m on better ground.
-Tom Petty, 2006
It was true then it wasn’t true then was true again but you don’t want it to be true. Damn. RIP Tom Petty