The last day of summer. I can’t believe how fast the year has passed. With the late onset of hot and humid days this season, these past few days of cool, crisp and overcast mornings has been a reprieve. We have a lot going on this week, and so instead of going to sleep after working overnight, I stayed awake and went to the gym to do some squats. I’ve been wanting to try out a well known Fells Point place for a while, but to my disappointment when I got down there it was closed! Not quite as disappointing as the time I drove up seven hours to upstate New York to find an old favorite closed, I was still trying to figure out what to do, and where to go. And as I headed toward the car, I saw a familiar face.
A lot of this blog has been connecting the regional food and locale to my identity, my childhood sometimes and often to my family. It is a literal engram of the connection between taste and smell and memory. I’ve written a lot about my parents, my brothers and my grandparents. But what I realized today is that I haven’t written too much about my friends, I haven’t written too much about the rest of my family that I left behind when I moved away. The family that was, and is still here for me now. I’ve known Liza as long as I can remember. She is like my sister. And several years ago when I was still in LA and she met and married Justin, I didn’t know him at all. In fact, I didn’t even really get to know him until we moved back. But since then he has proven to be a good friend, and a great husband and father. So it was a blessing when I saw him walking by, and had the chance to catch up with him over some good food.
Baltimore has a long history of Irish immigrants. And while the Irish, Polish, German and other ethnic groups in the city are not as prominent as they once were, there are still lasting impressions of their presence. Particularly in Baltimore’s food. There are several Irish restaurants, pubs and taverns in and around the city but honestly the last time I patronized one I think was when as a former DJ I met with several local MC’s and DJ’s as part of a Baltimore hip hop social event at Mick O’Shea’s of all places. So it was perfect when Justin suggested Slainte’s at the end of the block.
Featured on the Food Network’s Diner’s Drive-In’s & Dives, Slainte’s is apparently a huge soccer bar and their Seafood Gumbo, Natty Boh battered Fish ‘n’ Chips and Irish Bibimbap are fan favorites. The atmosphere was great, the food was delicious and it was the ideal backdrop to catching up with a good friend. With family.
As you may have noticed, the frequency of posts have picked up once again. It is in part, an attempt to be more mindful, more appreciative and grateful for all the little things. The passing moments, the fleeting flavors. While I will still be writing emotionally drenched and nostalgic pieces of me, there will be a lot more of the everyday treasures as well. Like today. Plus, lots more seductive food pictures.
Thanks again Justin. See you soon.