Attman’s Deli – Redux
“There is no such thing as great work, without longevity.”
― Johnny Hunt
P atience is a virtue.
We’ve all heard the saying a million times and although it’s easy to lend as advice to another person its always been hard for me to follow. I’m not perfect, but I can admit my faults and for me that’s enough. Coming back to Baltimore knowing I wasn’t searching for a hot dog was a different kind of trip.
I’ve been to Attman’s Deli, enjoyed one of their famous hotdogs with fried baloney on top and rated it a few months ago. What I didn’t get was the full story and I’ve been chasing it ever since. This offseason, El Jefe has granted me a little bit of freedom as we transition into the slow part of the year and let holidays and family take the reins. There will still be hot dogs – don’t you worry – but there might also be ice cream, pizza and the occasional stadium food that’s wandered outside the concrete cathedrals and into the streets.
So, wait…no hot dog?
Not this week, my friend. Take a break and let your intestines recover. I hear a ton of nitrates isn’t great for you anyway. This week we tell the story of Marc Attman, a living legend here in Charm City and really, around the country.
A third-generation deli man – the grandson of a Russian immigrant who chased a dream 115 years ago that’s still living today -on the once famed “Corned Beef Row” in downtown Baltimore, near such attractions as the Inner Harbor, Little Italy and of course, Camden Yards.
A city famous as the birthplace of Babe Ruth, streak busting host of Cal Ripken Jr. and a Home Run Derby where Ken Griffey Jr. hit the first HR out of the ballpark, off the warehouse in right field and on to Eutaw Street.
You can visit the plaque where the ball landed and take in this mammoth accomplishment.
Now THAT'S a sandwich.
Marc Attman, the son of Seymour, is an optometrist first, he owns six eye doctors’ offices in Baltimore himself, but still had time to learn the family business.
You just don’t hear stories like this anymore and you definitely don’t meet people like Marc. “Old school” guys who had already given me a book and a sandwich before I ever asked my first question. Who stopped our interview to check on any guest in view and allowed regulars to come in and out of the conversation as we chatted. We both knew I was the least important person in the room on this cold Friday morning, but Marc also knew how to make you feel like you were the most important. His warm, welcoming personality made everyone feel special, this man has a gift. It’s no secret why this place has been so successful for so long; just spend an hour there watching it run and you’ll see the formula to 115 years of success.
So, corned beef and good company over lonely meat sticks?
Always! This BallNine opportunity has taken me places I never thought I’d go and eaten things I never imagined eating when we started. The hot dogs have been great, the surprise snacks, donuts and sandwiches have been tasty…but, it’s the people that have made this adventure worth all the time I put into it. I could have stayed and talked to Marc for hours, but we both had things to do and places to be. I’m sure everyone does who comes in those doors, everyone is friendly, everyone is working hard, and everyone takes the job seriously. Marc Attman is a sports fan and he loves the local teams. He’s down to earth and gets that the grand standing politicians who grace his deli every couple of years for a photo op with one of his famous sandwiches are just as important as the ball players, bus drivers and construction workers who have been coming since 1915. There are no buns to toast this week because a hot dog was traded in for great company and possibly the best corned beef sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. Marc tells me the secrets in the cuts of meat they’ve been buying in bulk, regardless of price for over a decade. You’ve heard enough from me, it’s time to hear the rest from the legend himself. Enjoy – I know I did.
Stay tuned and stay hungry.
Attman’s Deli: 1019 E Lombardi Street Baltimore, MD
Rating: We didn’t rate the corned beef sandwich, because everyone already knows it’s the best in Baltimore.
Major League Teams: Baltimore Orioles
Minor League Teams: Gulf Coast League Orioles, Bowie Bay Sox, Frederick 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
Shout Out: Marc Attman- for your kindness, an amazing sandwich and a new book to read. I really enjoyed the morning hearing your stories.
How we rate our meat sticks
- Oscar Wiener (The Best, award winning)
- Best Supporting Meat (The Joe Pesci of hot dogs- never a star, but you need him)
- Nominated Dog (Hey- just getting your name called is a big deal)
- Honorable Mention (Average, Edible- No shame in the game- or bun)
- Drunk David Hasselhoff (You may be on the floor and incoherent after this one)