New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton fills today's review of a Greenwich Village restaurant with all sorts of Baltimore references, most related to The Wire.
He mentions Wire characters Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell. He ends the review by quoting The Wire's Snoop, "a stone-cold gangster making sense of the Baltimore night." He also drops John Waters' name and says the restaurant's vibe was "suburban, as safe as Cal Ripken."
Why all the Charm-City centrism?
The restaurant is named Choptank.
As in the river that's neither physically nor culturally attached to Baltimore.
"Mr. Sifton may remember Baltimore and know its current cultural references, but his geography is a little rusty," writes a poster on the Times' dining blog. "The Choptank River is not across the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore. The mouth of the Choptank is about 45 miles south-southeast of Baltimore Harbor, and as far as culture is concerned, it might as well be one thousand miles."
The only legit Baltimore reference was to Ostrowski's Polish sausage, which is on the menu under "nibbles" ($7 with sauerkraut and a house-made pretzel).
Sifton described the sausage as "garlicky as a Pigtown housewife."
The Choptank River runs through Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester Counties as well as -- who knew? -- Stringer Bell's 'hood. Baltimore Sun photo by Monica Lopossay