Why I Can’t Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

April 13, 2016

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

I had to go to Baltimore last week for a teaching conference, and, I have to admit, I wasn’t too excited about it. Sure, there was the whole prospect of getting out of work for four whole days and being able to stay in a hotel room I wouldn’t have to pay for.

But getting out of work so that I could go to Baltimore?

That kind of sounded like getting out of purgatory so I could go straight to hell.

No offense, people of Baltimore, but you have to admit, Baltimore doesn’t exactly have a good reputation.

It tends to be lumped in the same category as Detroit. Namely: “Cities You Probably Shouldn’t Go To If You Value Your Life.” And while I’ve grown to love Detroit and all its quirky, urban blight glory, I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to find the same affection for Baltimore in the four short days that I was going to be in the city.

And then I arrived there and found myself stumbling past ornately spired churches and quaintly, cobble-stoned streets and thinking to myself, “THIS IS BALTIMORE??? HOW IS THIS BALTIMORE??? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME BALTIMORE WAS LIKE THIS???”

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

The only thing I can think is that the natives of Baltimore have purposefully given their city a bad name so as to keep Baltimore to themselves. And, frankly, I can’t blame them. Because not only is Baltimore full of pockets of cobble-stoned quaintness, it is also home to some of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

Like this pork-filled bowl of goodness and ramen.

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

And this magical meatball pho with Vietnamese iced coffee.

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

And this baklava that was all flaky phyllo dough and honeyed bits of heaven.

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

I will admit that I spent the majority of my time in conference sessions thinking not about teaching techniques but about lunch. And dinner. And possibly second lunch. And pre-dinner snacks. And whatever that meal is called when you happen upon a French bakery on your way back to the conference and you suddenly find yourself playing hooky so you can stuff your already full stomach with apple tarts instead of stuffing your head full of teaching tips.

Why I Can't Fit in My Pants Wednesday: Baltimore

That meal has a name, right?

I think it’s called the “Baltimore Made Me Do It.”


What city were you dreading visiting only to be pleasantly surprised by how nice it was?


I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On April 13, 2016 at 8:33 am Michelle said:

    Please Sir, may I have some Baltimore?
    🙂 Looks beautiful! Don’t you just love it when you go somewhere and are completely bowled over by unexpected awesomeness? soo much better than getting a nasty shock when it’s the other way round!
    Conferences are the BEST/WORST when it comes to eating too much. The food’s so nice, it’s social, and best of all I didn’t have to cook it! Thank goodness I don’t go to many of them, or I’d be writing posts called ‘Can’t fit in my pants Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…’

    • On April 16, 2016 at 11:15 am Sally said:

      AND…. (if you’re lucky) your place of work is footing the bill. So I spent the whole week going, “Sure, I can have a second breakfast! I’m not paying!”

  2. On April 13, 2016 at 10:51 am zoe said:

    I was recently in Baltimore, it was a million times better than I expected (maybe a billion times, actually, since my expectations were, “Well, hopefully I won’t get shot”).

    My biggest I REGRET NOTHING moment was going to Faidley’s for a crab cake for lunch, eating it, then turning around and getting a second one. I did not need dinner that night.
    zoe recently posted..Notes from my extremely glamorous life: Spring!

    • On April 16, 2016 at 11:14 am Sally said:

      I had some of the best crab cakes of my life in Maryland — Annapolis, actually. I can’t believe I didn’t have any this time around. Guess I’ll have to go back!

  3. On April 13, 2016 at 12:27 pm Charlie said:

    To tell you the truth, I’m secretly a little nervous of starting my next trip in Chicago. People keep googling things like ‘it’s murder rate is up 72 percent this year so far”. Maybe they’re just getting the dirty stuff done early in the year so they can relax come holiday time? But food is getting me through. Deep pan pizza, crazy hot dogs and sandwiches where the bread is fried plantains and they’re stuffed with meat. I’m so glad you found the finer side of Baltimore. And how good is Vietnamese coffee. It’s the best! And Pho. And pastry. And I thinks those meals are called randomunch, randominner depending on what time it is. Thanks for sharing.

    • On April 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm KathiG said:

      Hi Charlie! That’s so funny you say that. I was pondering all of the towns I’d been sent to on business, some great ones, like Atlanta, and some “less great” ones like Auburn Indiana. And I thought, one of my most favorite places of all is Chicago! Which has the culture of a great city like New York or Paris, but mixed with the heart and soul of the Midwest. Plus as you say, incredible food! Embrace it, enjoy it! I really think it’s one of our best cities!

      • On April 16, 2016 at 11:12 am Sally said:

        I totally agree with you on Chicago. It’s got that big city feel but is still Midwest down-to-Earth. It’s definitely one of my fave cities, too, Kathi!

    • On April 16, 2016 at 11:14 am Sally said:

      Wait. Sandwiches made out of fried plantains for bread??? WHERE??? TELL ME WHERE????

  4. On April 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm Penguin Lady said:

    We stayed at a gorgeous little B&B in Baltimore, Rachel’s Dowry, and it was fantastic. I love love love the Harbor, even in it’s tourist tackiness because of the aquarium. Fish are the best.

    To answer your question: we took a Mediterranean cruise a few years back that stopped in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I knew nothing of the place and thought it would be boring. Instead, it was beautiful and charming and I would love to go back. Istanbul surprised me, too. I guess I was expecting a dirty, inefficient city and found this amazing, modern city built on ancient bones.

  5. On April 18, 2016 at 10:37 am choi kum fook said:

    From the post description ,Baltimore is not so bad.Many calourful food stuff can be found. What is the distances from Baltimore to Washington D.C. and Baltimore to Buffalo, Miss Sally?

    • On April 20, 2016 at 4:59 pm Sally said:

      It’s only about an hour away from DC, so you can easily visit Baltimore on a daytrip from DC (or vice versa). Not sure how far it is from Buffalo — probably about 8 or 9 hours driving. Definitely not daytrip-able!

  6. On May 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm keierra said:

    haha I love this post. I live in Baltimore & I’m glad you’ve found something to love about it. 🙂 One of the missions of my site is to give Baltimore a better name. I’m showcasing the versatility of fashion while simultaneously showing the beauty of the city.


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