Attman's in the News
Voted Best Deli in Baltimore by Baltimore City Paper (http://www.citypaper.com/)
A Sandwich Worth Flying For? - BonAppetit.com
Attman's Deli earns a mention on Bon Appetit for our Corned Beef Sandwiches!
Attman's Featured on WBAL
Ava Marie visits Attman's Deli in downtown Baltimore, where they're busy preparing some Ravens-themed sandwiches for the Super Bowl this weekend.
Check out the video here!
Repeat after me: corned beef, rye, mustard.
The legendary Attmanís Delicatessen has been a local institution, serving up some of the best corned beef charm city has to offer for nearly a century now Ė with no signs of slowing down despite a bum economy. I lived in east Baltimore for about two years and used to love going to this place. I must have gone fifty times at least. The clicheí amongst deli-lovers is ďwell, the pastrami is good, but itís not KATZí goodĒ. Well, first of all, hereís a little secret: the best pastrami in New York isnít at Katzí. Itís not even in Manhattan, itís in Brooklyn. But thatís beside the point, because at Attmanís I really donít go for the pastrami Ė I go for the corned beef. The warm, buttery, tender corned beef sliced so thin it melts in your mouth. Slap that stuff on a piece of rye bread with some of their signature mustard and, as Emeril would say, BAM!! By the way, is that guy even around anymore?
Another great thing about Attmanís is the service. The same guys have been working there for as long as I can remember (which is only 6 years or so, but thatís still a long time to be employed at one single Deli). Their faces are so recognizable to me (and vice versa), and so are their personalities. Take Bob. Bob, and Iím not even sure if thatís his real name, has long hair and a lazy eye. Bob loves to hand out samples of his corned beef to everyone waiting in line Ė as if the smell werenít already reason enough to order it. Bob also loves to crack hilariously dirty jokes, but he saves them for the end of the day so for an extra treat, show up around 6:25. And who wouldnít recognize this guy if they saw him on the street?
Back to the food. Attmanís has other sandwiches too if youíre looking for more than just corned beef. Theyíre all good but my favorite is the ďSarahís DaggerĒ Ė turkey breast cured with a pastrami coating, corned beef, cole slaw, and russian dressing. Itís incredible and itís enormous.
I honestly donít know enough to recommend some of their other menu items (ribs??), so your best bet is to stick with the winners: corned beef, pastrami, hot dogs. Oh yes, hot dogs. They have some of the best hot dogs in Baltimore. Great snap to them, spicy and full of flavor.
And thatís not all. On your way to the check-out line be sure to grab a Dr. Browns cream soda or deli classic ďcel-rayĒ. And please, for Godís sake, donít forget the chocolate tops. What are ďchocolate topsĒ you ask? Well well well my friend, let me tell you all that I know:
A local bakery known simply as ďBergerísĒ has been churning out their famous cookie for so long that they have literally become ancient artifacts Ė no joke. The problem is, buy them from your local chain grocery store and they may actually taste and feel like ancient artifacts. BUT, purchase them from the Bergerís bakery housed in Lexington Market and youíll find thick, golden, buttery cookies topped with a sizable swirl of some of the best chocolate topping a vanilla cookie has ever come in direct contact with. Yes, you can see where I am going with this. Only at Attmanís (and Bergerís) can you find these puppies. And at 75 cents a pop, you can order two or hey, how about three?? Bring some home with you. Give emí to mom. Give emí to pops. Give emí to your dog, I donít care. All mammals deserve a chance to partake in the awesomeness that is Bergerís original chocolate tops.
So, in short Ė letís say itís a rainy day and youíre feeling a little down in the dumps. You wife left you. You lost your job. Your child support check bounced. You ran out of vicodin Ė whatever the reason! If you wanna fill that hole up with something worthwhile, head down to Attmanís Delicatessen at 1019 E. Lombard Street and order the following:
- Corned Beef on Rye with Mustard
- 2-3 Chocolate Tops
- 1 Dr. Brownís Cream Soda
(pillow and blanket not included)
And please, thank me when youíre finished.
Tip from the expert: call in your order ahead of time and skip the never ending line at the counter.
Baltimore Eats Highlight
The other day I was in a common predicament of mine; What do I want to eat for lunch? I usually answer with a go-to meal that I end up settling for. I end up getting a couple slices of pizza, Chinese food, or a sub sandwich. None of these things were hitting me. I felt that I needed something that was more of a treat; something I hadn't had in a while.
After thinking about it for about an hour, I realized that the Jewish half of my stomach hadn't been appeased in quite some time. We are in the middle of that major holiday draught that occurs between Passover in the spring and Rosh Hashanah in the fall. This made me decide to go to one of Baltimore's best Delis: Attman's.
I planned on going all out. Everything I ate was going to be one of my favorite items to eat during meals I have with the Jewish side of my family. I was going to stop just short of putting on my yarmulke and tallis for this meal. Having decided on my plan, I set out on my journey to the nearly 100 year old deli.
I met a friend out front of Attman's around 1 PM. The place was busy enough to make it hard to enter the door, and was even busier when I left. Personally I love it when lunch spots are busy. During the work week people look forward to their lunch hour and cherish their choice of eatery. When you walk up to a crowded lunch counter, you know you're great shape.
We got in line, but didn't have to wait very long. Within 5 minutes one of the Attman's team behind the counter was taking our order. My friend went traditional, but opted for a 'combo' sandwich; corned beef and turkey pastrami on rye with mustard, which he said he thoroughly enjoyed. The couple minutes I had looking at menu boards while waiting were definitely needed. I was glad to be prepared when my turn came.
I chose a Lox o' Luck. Lox, onion, lettuce, tomato, and a cream cheese schmear. I got 2 potato latkes as a side dish. The only reason that I didn't get matzoh ball soup too is that it was about 127 degrees outside, and I was already on fire. I did, however, make sure to grab an ice cold can of Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda. No meal at the deli would be complete without it.
As I walked to the end of the counter to pay I fell prey to one of the greatest marketing schemes of all time; desserts at the end of the deli counter. The first person to use this tactic may just be the smartest man who ever lived. I didn't feel too bad this time because I happened to spy something that I didn't expect; black-bottoms. For those who don't know, black-bottoms are essentially chocolate and cream cheese swirl cupcakes. The reason that I was so excited is because I hadn't had them since my great Aunt Marie died about 15 years ago. I was psyched. I added that to my tab, paid my bill and went to sit down in the dinning room.
As soon as I started in on my makeshift Jewish holiday meal, I knew I had made the right choice. A slice of pepperoni or chicken fried rice just wouldn't have cut it that day. The Lox o' Luck had perfectly smoked salmon on a great bagel with the perfect ratio of toppings. The latkes were handmade and tasty. I washed each bite down with black cherry soda and was in heaven.
In line with society's norms, I saved my cupcake for last. I unwrapped half of the black-bottom and eagerly took a bite. It was amazing. I live for those mind-blowing moments when a familiar taste from the past touches your lips once again. It was like being back at my great aunts house in Pikesville. I was ecstatic that the treat lived up to the high standards that had been ingrained in me from a young age. It was suiting end to a great lunch at Attman's Delicatessen.
2010 DC/Baltimore Restaurants Zagat Guide
Ratings: Food: 24; Decor: 8; Service: 15; Cost: $13
"No time to go to NYC?" Ė when the "craving hits", hit the "ridiculously long line" at this 94-year-old deli located in increasingly gentrified East Baltimore, where the "Meg Ryan orgasmĖinducing corned beef" and other sandwiches are "served with a side of attitude" from the "grizzled staff"; itís "nothing fancy", but "great photos from the glory days" and free parking are a nice touch; N.B. order in advance via phone, fax or Internet to avoid the waits.
A beloved Baltimore iconic restaurant -- Attman's -- keeps up with the times
Attman's has been on Lombard Street in Baltimore since 1915. This was the original place in the city where Jews lived; there's actually a theory that all places with a "Lombard Street" have had Jewish merchants, going back to the days of the Lombardis and the de Medici families. Attman's is family owned. Okay, enough with the history lesson. Let's talk eatin'! I was very happy to have a chance to sample some of their finest and to learn more about the place open 7 days a week.
Attmans bills itself as an "Authentic New York Style Delicatessen" and it is, but with the charm of Charm City. You just never know who you'll see here, but you can bet on anyone from your neighbor to the city's A-list noshing in the "Kibbitz" room in back. How to translate kibbitz? I instinctively wanted to write, "kibbitzing," but I can do better. It's kind of gossiping and catching up on things, maybe with a touch of procrastination implied.
You stand in line, which goes by amazingly fast. The workers behind the counter working noisily, yet efficiently, could rival a NASCAR team. They are busy slicing up tender, luscious, secret recipe corned beef, brisket, tongue, pastrami. This is not grocery store deli meat, if that's all you're familiar with! You'll taste authentic heartiness in sandwiches like the Bye Bye Black Bread, with their roast beef and Hebrew National liverwurst. The Tongue Fu has (almost) all your favorite meats: beef tongue (don't be afraid, it's like a tender corned beef!), corned beef, pastrami, with Swiss cheese. For those of you "in the know," no, Attman's is not Kosher. But if you are having a catered occasion, they can do everything Kosher, wrapped up and all.
The sandwiches are huge. And still, I'm gonna encourage you to try a bunch of sides... "you look hungry". (That's what my bubbies would have said. Then, they'd talk about the latest diets after you put down your fork.) So, have you had kishkes? They are a Polish-Jewish type of beef sausage with potatoes, spices. It's mild and fork tender. Kishkes refers to the casing used. Attman's also makes a variety of pickles in-house, ranging from sweet to sour to cucumber-y. G'head, try them all! The fries and onion rings are extra crispy and hot.
Some people are just not red meat people. That's okay, we'll forgive you. Attman's does coddies and a mean whitefish salad. If you haven't had that, think of a white peppery, super white tuna salad with a kick.
The best thing to wash these dishes down is with Dr. Brown's seltzer, such as cherry or Cel-Ray, but they do have beer, too.
Do you have room for dessert? Get the noodle kugel (pudding) and ask for them to heat it up. The topping gets all buttery and caramelized.
So, what's new since your bubbie and zayde's day? Well, catering is a big deal now, with big time celebs and politicians hosting their chic parties with Attman's goodies. A favorite for kids' parties is the hot dog stand they can set up chez vous, complete with bologna slices. Yes! They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
And now, it's like Attman's had a kid after all these years... like their own little Isaac. They have a new branch at Oriole Park --- 333 W. Camden Street! And you don't have to wait for game days, either. They're open Mon. - Friday and unlike the papa location, they've got hot breakfast items starting at 8 am. They've got a pancake platter that includes an order of home fries for $3... talk about your steal/deals. Actually, everything on the breakfast menu is $5 and under, with some $1 and $2 items.
For lunch, they serve many items from the "home team", as it were, but not the complete menu. If you work downtown, this is a new yet old-school, convenient option. If you're doing an office gathering thing, they'll even deliver.
What's not on the menu anymore? Gefilte fish, schmaltz herring, stuffed cabbage, borscht, kreplach, and rolled beef. I know, it's a shanda. Some of these, like gefilte fish and kreplach, are very labor intensive. My mom's mom used to say, "Why make it from scratch when Manischewitz does such a good job?" Others are, well, kind of stinky -- like the herring and the stuffed cabbage. Maybe they just are too much for today's palates and noses.
From the Culinaria Eugenius blog
Howdy, Eugeniuses! Iím writing to you from the wrong coast, the first of many long-distance trips Iíll be making in the next few months. As youíve probably noticed, I havenít been posting many recipes and food-substantial posts lately. My blogging has been like my cooking ó I manage to squeeze in a few steps of a multi-step process, then just canít finish. So I have photos and experiences and notes, but no time to finish off something palatable for general consumption. So everything goes in the compost pile. Themís the breaks.
Iím finishing the last few weeks of my first year of employment as a professor, and itís been a tough term administratively, with increased demands on my time from all quarters: teaching, emailing/form-filling/grant-applying, researching, writing. All I want to do when I get home is fall asleep, not wrestle with raw meat, bread dough, unwashed greens, unroasted peppers, unmashed potatoes, etc.
But with the school year ending imminently, I am excited to spend more time with my great love, food. I organized a special session panel on literature, food, and desire, for my disciplineís big conference (the MLA convention in January 2011), and it was accepted! Iíll be presenting on the iconic fruits of modern literature. To prepare, Iím going to Zurich, Switzerland, in August to take part in a workshop on James Joyce and food. And tomorrow, Iíll be at the University of Maryland archives researching the little-known food journalism of another modernist, Djuna Barnes.
For yes, Iím in Baltimore! My husband grew up here, and we lived here for a couple of years together. He knows the city far better than I do, but what I do know is that eating Jewish deli is one of my favorite things in the world. So why do I look so crabby?
Well, itís not the crabs. And weíve had our fill of crabs. Iíll fill you in on another post. Itís the Jewish deli. Iíve written about Jewish deli before, even scooping the NYT on a story on new Jewish deli. But I have to say that Iím absolutely floored by the oldest, probably least sustainable (?) Jewish deli techniques Iíve found back in Baltimore. Because they are SO GOOD.
Now, I make a pretty good corned beef. This one from last month was made from well-aged (i.e., a near save from rottenness; see paragraph one), local grassfed beef, so it doesnít get much better than that.
And yet! My corned beef is a pale, sad imitation of Attmanís corned beef, the best corned beef on the planet. I mean, my corned beef tastes like youíre chewing on a piece of cardboard (and this is certainly not helped by the crap-ass rye bread we have in Eugene) compared to this:
Itís the same d%$@ cut! And sure, they use a slicer to shave the meat, which makes a difference, and I spied with my little eyes that the flat cut of the brisket was topped by a thin portion of the fattier point cut, so each slice gets a bit of fat in it, but even without that delicious, magical trickery, I swear the brisket is actually silky. The texture is SILKY. How does that even happen to a hunk of meat? This was what I was muttering and cursing to myself, holding up a slice of corned beef to the light, stretching and poking at it at Attmanís the other day. Attmanís is the famed deli at the corner of Lombard and Horseradish Lane one of the very last remnants of the old Jewish district, Corned Beef Row, in East Baltimore. Here is one part of the dining room, with a small glimpse of the adjoining deli and its omnipresent line of customers:
Can I even tell you how hard it was for me to concentrate, what with the crooked picture setting off my OCD tendencies, the vintage self-named host chatting up the old ladies about Our Greatest Generation and ďKids TodayÖĒ and a homemade model of the H.M.S. Bounty (courtesy of said gentleman) and the mustard and the sign telling you how to order (Corned beef. Rye. Mustard.) (and the menu charging you extra for tomato and lettuce and othersuch nonsense) and the tubs of pickles. Pickles! Green tomato, sour pickle, green new pickles. Sauerkraut.
And Jewish deli pickles drive me mad. MAD! I can taste how they are different from mine (above, in their clean, West coast jar, bubbling away) and itís maddening. God. Itís like Iím missing an entire range of subtle flavors and I donít know how to get them. Donít know if itís POSSIBLE to get them when youíre pickling in a glass jar and you donít have the aged must of pickle fairy dust seeping from the barrels into your murky, menschy brine.
A rave review from FanHuddle.com
For the first time today I tried the new Attmanís deli located on the lower level of the Warehouse on Eutaw St (the former location of Pastimes Cafe). As many of us know, Attmanís is a NY-style deli on Lombard St in Baltimore, which has been around for many years. Nevertheless, weíve all probably seen the advertisements on MASN during the games for the new ballpark location (and heard Gary Thorne rave about the sandwiches during the games!), so as a result I decided to try it this afternoon. The sandwiches arenít cheap, but if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket I would recommend paying a visit. (According to their website the location in the ballpark is also open from 10 AM Ė 3 PM during the week on non-game days.) One thing I learned growing up in an Italian family was that quality food was well worth the expense. If you like good deli sandwiches take my advice and pay them a visit. While I love a good hot dog or Italian sausage at the ballpark, today I decided to throw a change up and get myself an Attmanís sandwich!
Marc Attmanís interview with Ron Matz from WJZ about Super Bowl Sunday
The player will show in this paragraph
On the Web: Attman’s Deli is rated one of the Top 15 restaurants out of 1,220 in Baltimore on the Trip Advisor Popularity Index.