We were briefly in Baltimore yesterday. Had lunch in Little Italy at a place called Sabatino's. Awful. I'd heard great things about Baltimore's Little Italy. Did we just happen upon a stinker?
In three and a half years of living in this city, nearly all my ventures into Little Italy have been disappointing: The district is a magnet for mediocre, overpriced food. Rona finally asked a friend of hers if there's any place in the neighborhood that's worth the price. She was told that a few good bistros are tucked away here and there but that most of the venues exist to fleece the tourists.
Baltimore itself is filled with good restaurants; I'm a huge fan of The Helmand, for example, a cheap & terrific Afghan place run by President Karzai's brother. But for some reason the idea has taken hold down in D.C. that the sole places in Baltimore worth visiting, other than the Ravens and Orioles stadiums, are the Inner Harbor and Little Italy. I guess if the only other part of the city I'd been to was the Inner Harbor, where every restaurant is an overfamiliar chain, I'd be more impressed by Little Italy's relatively homey charms. You might not like Sabatino's, but it still beats Hooters or the Cheesecake Factory.