Here we are, yet again, talking about the historic Cross Street Market in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD, for the 3rd time. I suppose we can call it a series at this point, right? I mean, when a space like the Cross Street Market gets new life by adding 4 new grub-spots at ONCE??? Right before a renovation??? I mean… obviously I’m going to cover it here. I live 5 minutes away, walking distance, and I love new things. Especially new food places. So it’s just a given that I needed to visit all 4 places, and share my thoughts with all of you!
So the first place I visited was Cookie Dough and Co., where you can get cookie dough that you can just eat. Yes, RAW COOKIE DOUGH… FOR SALE TO EAT… It’s amazing.
The second place I visited was Sundays where my family fell in love with their creative and delicious brioche donuts. Their flavors are classic yet innovative, and the execution is perfection.
The third place I checked out was Smoke, a BBQ place from Cockeysville that has had my attention for quite some time. A while ago, I put it out into the various neighborhood groups I belong to on Facebook that I was in search of really damn good BBQ. Having moved from TX a little over 2 years ago, one of things that I really miss is the food, and obviously BBQ is one of those things that TX does really good. Frankly, it’s hard to find some good BBQ here in MD, but the one place that kept popping up in the comments was Smoke.
I never made it out to Cockeysville, but when I learned Smoke would be opening their second location here in Federal Hill at the market, I was stoked. So my 3rd location in this Cross Street Market series will obviously be Smoke. While it is a temporary location, Smoke has confirmed they will take up permanent residence in the market after the impending renovation.
You’ll find Smoke in said temporary location in the stall adjacent to Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood on the S. Charles St. side of the market, and it’s not hard to find, especially if you follow your nose.
Seriously! The aromas of the various smoked meats on the grill getting ready to be stuffed into sandwiches is intoxicating. It wafts through the air, beckoning you to come, sit, eat.
Side note: I love their logo. It’s very punk rock, and I dig it.
The menu isn’t extensive, and it isn’t TX BBQ, but everything looked amazing. Even though there weren’t. million options to choose from, I still didn’t know what to get. I was torn between the Notorious P.I.G., puled pork with Carolina vinegar sauce and slaw, or The Bama with smoked chicken, Alabama white sauce, Josh’s killer bacon and pickles.
So naturally, I ended up getting ordering anxiety and went with a Maryland classic, a pit beef sandwich called The Pit. I guess I decided to go safe? Anyway, it boasts smoked beef, pickled onion and horseradish piled high on a bun. Now, I’m no stranger to a pit beef sandwich, which is basically Maryland’s answer to BBQ. A traditional take on the sandwich usually has smoked bottom round sliced thin on a deli slicer, combined with horseradish and onion, so what I was presented with was what I’d like to call a pit beef sandwich on steroids. In a good way. Not in a, “you’re going to get in trouble for taking steroids,” type of a way. That got weird.
Anyway, the smoked meat was piled on the sandwich in chunks, and they did NOT skimp on the portions. Let me tell you. There was a ton of meat, and it smelled amazing.
I also ordered a side of slaw, because I love slaw, and one of my favorite things to do is add slaw to BBQ sandwiches. It adds a little excitement and of course some crunch that I so need.
I’ll say this about the Smoke pit beef sandwich: It was phenomenal, but it was messy and nearly impossible to eat as a sandwich. As soon as I picked it up, half the meat fell out the side. I was a little bummed out, but I made it work. And the result was something amazing.
The meat was so tender and juicy and smoky and delicious. The pickled onions and horseradish pair perfectly with the beef, and I really liked their creamy slaw added to the mix. It was classic done right. Even though it was difficult to eat, I absolutely loved the flavor of the meal, and I can’t wait to get back out to Smoke and try something else.
Smoke will be open every day from 11am to 7pm, and also offers catering.
Have you been? What’s your favorite?
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