Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lexington Market

I'm kicking off my return to blogging by sharing about Lexington Market, one of Baltimore's most famous spots, and officially the location of the best meal I've had in the States thus far! A quick Google search and you'd soon figure out that if there's one thing Baltimore's famous for, its their crabs, and boy oh boy, did it not disappoint. 
I'm no stranger to markets thanks to the great food I've had in London, but Lexington gave an entirely different feel. For lack of a better word, the neighbourhood itself was rather ghetto and from the moment you step in, the entire place is seeping with its culture. There were musicians playing in the centre of the market, and the people around were dancing without abandon. People were getting down reaaaal low, swaying their hips and closing their eyes, moving their bodies to the beat. It felt surreal, like I was in a television show where everyone knew the right moves to a song. 

As we were walking along the stalls, I had people asking: 'You doin' alright, guuurl?' But of course, familiarity was abound as well. When there are markets, there are Asians, and for every three stalls we walked by, at least one would be manned by an Asian person, selling fried rice and chow mien. We weren't there for the Chinese food though and headed straight for Faidley Seafood, for a taste of that world famous, award winning crab cake! 




I have to tell you, these things don't come cheap! We ordered a jumbo lump cake (about the size of a tennis ball) each which came at $14 per piece, but they were definitely worth the steep price! We also got a 'Cream of Crab' to share at a more affordable $6.


Both the crab cake and the soup were delicious. Each bite of crab cake was an explosion of flavour, complete with a very satisfying amount of crab meat. The batter on the outside was slightly crispy, housing the buttery crab flesh within that was so well seasoned the flavours linger long after you've swallowed. My sister and I ate unhurriedly to savour each bite, and the accompanying free salad helped prevent the meal from getting too moreish. 

The soup was delectable, creamy and flavourful, with once again, a generous portion of crab. They provided some crackers to go with the food, but I couldn't help but wish for a buttery crusty roll to go with it instead. The portion was generous as well! I'm convinced I will be haunted (or blessed, idk) with dreams of crab cakes and crab soup for days to come. 

The shop is run by Nancy Faidley, the same lady who has been running it for years, and of which hundreds of reviews have been written about. She apparently shows up at work every single day, and when I was there, we saw her keeping a sharp eye on the guests and staff, ensuring that everyone is well served. As the tables there are standing only, she noticed a young boy struggling to reach the high tables and called over a member of staff to bring him a little stool to reach. Now that's dedication right there! 

Whilst at Lexington, we couldn't bear to miss out on their famous fresh oysters as well, ordering a helping of oysters (they come in threes!) for $6.50. Little did we know how enormous they'd be! 



For comparison's sake, here's an iPhone 6s for scale.


Not only were they huge, they were delicious!! I only started getting hooked on oysters when I was in Howth, a Dublin Coastal Village where I got to try amazingly fresh oysters. The ones here were just as fresh, but so much bigger. Topped with some horseradish, a squeeze of lemon, and a dribble of Tabasco sauce, they were the perfect way to end our meal.

We worked off the meal by walking around the market, which wouldn't take more than 30 minutes, ogling the gigantic smoked turkey wings, abundance of fried chicken stalls, and steering clear from the bakeries which were selling cakes that looked over weeks old. 


The rest of Lexington was just like any other farmer's market, and we happily strolled through it, grabbing sweet potatoes, grapes, and some Black Angus beef on our way out.


I've been cooking loads since being here so may next blog about how we're planning to cook the 3lbs worth of beef! BUT, bearing in mind that I'm also 11lbs heavier than I was in March, the food posts should start slowing down. :P 

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