“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain
Life comes at you fast and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
This is more prevalent today than any other time I’ve been alive and I’m no spring chicken.
To clarify, I’m not old either and I’ve lived long enough to know that if you just relax and enjoy the ride the bumpy parts aren’t that bad.
A week ago, I thought I would be visiting a food truck in Arizona or a pop-up hot dog stand in Venice. Next thing you know I am on a last-minute flight to Charm City, Maryland and in need of a new plan.
I call and I call, but sometimes you hear back and sometimes you don’t.
Some of my adventures become cool stories (Hot Diggity Dogs, Sarasota).
Sometimes we make new friends (Webbers, Sarasota & Clay Dawgs, Gilbert) and occasionally we are told to go and kick rocks. I get it.
I’m okay with all of them as it’s all part of the journey and at the end of the day we always find the hot dogs.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….We get it…
Eh, not too much to get here, but if you don’t get your two cents in this wouldn’t be “BTD.”
So fast forward to me driving to Tampa to catch a last-minute flight to Baltimore with no plan for this week.
I reach out to a couple of joints and I don’t hear back so I start to figure out how I can make it all come together potentially without wiener participation this week.
So, I do some homework and I head up towards the Lexington Market in search of a place called “Kostano’s Deli” which allegedly has great hot dogs.
I know the area and there is a lot of great food in and around the market although the area has been beaten up pretty badly by Covid.
I hop on one of those cheap little scooters you rent and off I go.
Fearing for my life while having a blast is a unique feeling, and I’d advise anyone to give it a go.
I didn’t die (this time) so I can somewhat confidently say it’s a safe and enjoyable means of transportation.
So, we get there, and this place is HUGE. Indoors and in an old warehouse, it is just rows upon rows of food stands.
Anything you could imagine.Especially pork.
As I wander around drooling at the sight of all the amazing booths, I start to see things for the second time, but no hot dogs.
Now, I’m not one of those shy guys who walks around aimlessly because it’s not manly to ask for directions, so I tap a construction worker passing by and look for some guidance.
“Closed man. Coronavirus. Sucks man, the place was great.”
Another one bites the dust…
Heart breaking no matter how many times I hear it. I get a lot of requests and I bookmark a bunch of them on Twitter, so I pulled my phone out and checked what I saved for Baltimore.
Lo and behold, I found a strong recommendation to seek out a place called Attman’s Deli just down by the Little Italy section of the Inner Harbor.
Out of ideas and before too long, I pulled up on my scooter.
I knew that I had definitely found something as the line wrapped around the building and down the side into the parking lot.
A kind older man was working the door and controlling the flow of patrons.
I knew I had hit pay dirt. Boxing gloves on the wall behind the counter with years and years of sweat… and glass as far as the eyes can see.
As I walked up to place my order the gentleman from the door was inside and picked up a pack of cookies, “fresh baked, just came out of the oven and I’ve already eaten a pack,” I overheard him telling another visitor.
Sadly, I’m watching my weight now after packing on a little quarantine squish, so I stayed focused on my mission – find that damned great hot dog.
Well, Did you?
I’m glad you asked, but if you want to see the rest of my adventure, you’re going to have to watch for yourself.
Stay Tuned and Stay Hungry.
1019 E Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Rating: Best Supporting Meat (The Joe Pesci of hot dogs- never a star, but you need him)
Major League Teams: Baltimore Orioles
Minor League Teams: Gulf Coast League Orioles, Bowie Bay Sox, Fredrick Keys and Delmarva Shorebirds all play in Maryland. The Aberdeen Iron Birds are the closest MiLB team to Baltimore City.
Other Baseball: The Birthplace of Babe Ruth (Museum), The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro League Baseball