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June 06, 2007

Departure Imminent

Dominic Armato
I've been coy about it long enough, so I figure I ought to make it official. In a few weeks, at least on a temporary basis, Skillet Doux will become a Baltimore-based food blog.

The good news -- check that -- outstanding news is that my ladylove has been presented with a truly awesome career opportunity. Such is the magnitude of its awesomeness that the "should we or shouldn't we move" question never even came up, because the answer was so obvious. This may be spousal pride talking, but inasmuch as I understand it, this essentially makes her the number one draft pick in her chosen field. She juggled her career and moved to Chicago on my account four years ago, and I'm thrilled to have such a perfect opportunity to return the favor.

The bad news is that we're leaving Chicago, at least for two years. If all goes as currently planned, we'll be back come summer of '09. But nothing is certain, and even as a temporary situation it's tough to leave home. I was born and raised here and I love this city. It took six years in Los Angeles to make me realize just how much. And between writing this blog and an atypically light travel schedule over the past year, I've done an unusual amount of communing with my hometown lately. Which makes it that much harder to say goodbye. Easier than moving away from friends and family, of course, but you don't read this blog to hear about my friends and family. So I've been busying myself hitting as many old favorites as possible over the past month or so -- Superdawg, Chickie's, Cemitas Puebla, Spoon Thai, Lao Sze Chuan, Tank Noodle, D'Amato's, Hot Doug's, Spacca Napoli, P.S. Bangkok -- but the list is long, and there's a lot of packing to do.

Back on the good news front, however... hey! A whole new city to explore! I'm looking forward to the seafood so much that I'm already dreading having to leave it in two years. And Baltimore is a small enough town that I feel like two years will give me enough time to really get to know the food scene. Truth is, I really don't know what to expect. Well, crab. But beyond that, I really don't know what to expect. And while it'll be tough not having a resource as deep and comprehensive as LTH Forum to participate in, there's a certain thrill in the knowledge that I'll just have to get out there and pound the pavement and blaze my own trail, so to speak. It's exciting.

Plus, did I mention that we'll be living in the heart of Little Italy and there's an Italian grocery two feet (literally!) from our front door? Downsides and upsides, indeed!

I'll be getting started in about three weeks. And in the interim, if any of you folks know Baltimore, start commenting... I'd love to have a few leads to start me out :-)


Hey Dominic, have you ever read The Gay Place? Written by Billy Lee Brammer before gay meant what it does, it is a novelized account of Lyndon Johnson's early political career in Austin. His character (I think he was called Fenstamaker or something like that) is the only other person in the history of ever I have heard use the expression "ladylove". I think the full thing he said time and again was, "my dear miss ladylove."

You'll have a blast in Baltimore, Dom.

The best marriage I know worked the way you are talking about. They have tag-teamed on career, switching off being "selfish." It's a great strategy. And the "unselfish" one often discovers new and exciting alternatives (for example when nepotism laws prohibited the unselfish professor from teaching at the same university as his wife, he stumbled into becoming an intellectual property lawyer, which he ended up loving).


Please keep posting on LTH, not just about cooking, but about baltimore's food scene. You never know how many lurkers will come out of the closet to start posting, and everyone will love to read 'em.


I've been a longtime lurker here and I have your rss feed on my homepage. I never miss a post. I've lived vicariously as a foodie through you and I'm really excited to see what the Baltimore food scene looks like under your microscope. I'll be in Montreal for another year and would definitely be able to show you around better than I did two summers ago. Good luck with the move!

- Tulio's middle brother

good riddance

no seriously,

good riddance - we will all miss the priviledged snobbery in which you write with.

Kingsley... Can't say that I have! Dunno where I picked it up.

Dave... It's working for us so far :-) Incidentally, I'm sure I'll get up to New York at some point... I'll drop you a line.

Ed... Wild Horses, et. al. LTH will still be a (10 times) daily stop :-)

Ronak... Glad you dig it, man! And you introduced me to poutine -- as far as I'm concerned you did a damn fine job showing me around.

Food... excuse me... Joe and/or Dave... Sorry you feel that way. BTW, your IP address is easily traceable. Posting anonymous insults in my personal blog? Really? That's big of you.

This blog is a recent discovery for me, and I must say it's the only one I read. I moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (Google Map it) about a year ago, and the worst thing about the North is the fact that good food is completely unavaliable. Reading your entries are kind of like that taste of food I really miss from Ontario.

I'm looking forward to reading from Baltimore - I'm heading down there from the great white North for a week or two come July.

Good luck in Baltimore! It is a good "food" town like Chicago...you should look into any local food blogs to see what the restaurant scene is like. Anyhow, I've enjoyed your posts & look forward to the stuff coming out of Maryland, chefjp

Stumbled across this blog as I'm a fan of the Monkey Island games you worked on and I've really enjoyed your writing and finding out about the Chicago culinary scene. Looking forward to hearing all about Baltimore!

WAIT. you worked on Monkey Island!???? Holy shit I love you this much more now.

Jonsey: he may not mention it much, but Dom *is* guybrush threepwood.

At least in the third and fourth installments in the series.

Jessica... WOW! That's really up there! I imagine good produce has to be especially tough to come by. Any local specialties? Do you guys get any fresh fish out of the lake? I'll have just arrived myself, but hopefully I can point out a few good spots in Baltimore in time for your visit :-)

JP... Yeah, I need to do some searching. I don't know of any Baltimore food blogs at the moment, but I'm sure they're out there.

I've never commented here before, but I've been reading your blog for about the last year or so. I've really enjoyed it and will miss your observations about the food scene in Chicago. However, your timing is great. My girlfriend works for the federal government and will be in Baltimore for 3 weeks for training in August. I'll join her for a weekend while she is there, and hope to pick up some really good tips on where to eat in the Baltimore/DC area from you.

Great News! You have provided me with a learning experience in CHI, cocktail chatter, and a understanding of the time that goes into a great food blog. Have a great time exploring.

An outreach from a Baltimore Foodie. A big welcome to Baltimore. I'm not sure our food scene is as large as Chicago's but it is interesting. You always have a quick overlap with DC and Philly at your doorsteps.

Please feel free to reach out to me when you get to Baltimore if I can be of an assist.

Best regards,



Fresh produce is very hard to come by up here. It's a rare day you can even find a Green Bell Pepper anywhere near it's prime. Strawberries run about $6/lb when you can find them.

However, we do have one local gem of a resturant. Rated by McLean's Magazine a few years back as "The Best Fish and Chips Canada" - this place is amazing. It's fresh fish from Great Slave Lake.

The dining experience is unique. You come in and sit down, grab a drink from the cooler, and you're presented with a couple of options. You get to choose what kind of fish you want based on what they caught that day, then you get to decide if you want it pan fried or deep fried.
That's it. It comes with everything home made - whole wheat buns, salad, french fries, home made tartar sauce, and balsamic vinegar. It's not cheap - nothing is up here. Your meal will run you $25 / person or so. With the limited options of good food, though, it's worth it.

The one recommendation I can make is the Black Olive in Fells Pt., MD. I had a delicious lunch there with friends last year.

Crab Cakes Ahoy!

Good luck in B-more! I'm a food writer in DC and we have a board that's similar to LTH: www.donrockwell.com. There's lots of baltimore-friendly stuff on it. Also check out Coconut and Lime and Kitchenography; they're both Baltimore based blogs. Love your site and looking forward to hearing more about your exploration. . . .

Well, as much as I enjoy reading about Chicago restaurants, a Baltimore food blog would be of more immediate use to me, since I live in Virginia. I hope you enjoy the chance to explore a new city in every way, including food.

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast!

Papermoon Diner, mostly for the ambiance and pure Baltimore attitude.
Tamber's Nifty Fifties, traditional diner food and a full Indian menu.
Vaccaro's, Italian pastries beyond anything I ever dreamed of.
Isabella's, good sandwich type stuff in Little Italy.
J. Patricks, best Irish pub I've ever been too.

Brewer's Art, great beer and fries... I've never been there but my girlfriend recommends it.
Cafe Hon, again, my girlfriend recommends it, but I've never been.

I've got a few links to good Baltimore food review sites. If you're interested, I'll dig them up.

There is no (or very little) good food in the Inner Harbor area.

Awesome... thanks for the welcomes and recommendations, folks!

I'm just starting to dig out from behind the boxes and get around. Next week is all about Tampa, but the Baltimore posts should be flowing immediately thereafter. All I know so far is that Faidley's fricking rocks, but anybody with Google doesn't need me to tell them that :-)

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