Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
9/1/2010 2:19:00 PM
Corned Beef Row. The name designates an area that was once the center of Jewish life in Baltimore. Today, Corned Beef Row consists of Attman's Deli and little else. Seymour Attman, longtime owner of the deli, has passed on but the deli continues. This once thriving Jewish neighborhood can today seem a little intimidating to some, but a daytime trip to Attman's (the only time it's open) will make it worthwhile.
Enter to the head of the line at the counter, squeeze past those ahead of you (there's scant room between the waiting customers and the refrigerator cases holding beverages), and proceed to the far side of the counter. While you wait, make your selections from the assorted signs scattered behind, in front of, and over the counter. As you move along, the counter people will wisecrack with each other, the customers, and the occasional street person wandering in.
We recommend the tender and savory corned beef, and the terrific kosher hot dogs, which come garnished with a couple of pieces of sizzled bologna, as Attman's personal, eccentric signature. The pickles are good, too.
There is a side room, called the Kibbitz Room, for dining, but much of the clientele order to go. Some of those customers place rather unorthodox orders: how does corned beef and provolone sound? But the counter help don't miss a beat. You want it, you got it.
We were the lone Kibbitz Room diners, though we understand that during prime lunch hours, the place can get pretty crowded. Prices are extremely reasonable. If you're in Baltimore, make a point of lunching at Attman's, and have a taste of Corned Beef Row.