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Eat Feature

Time to Eat

City Paper's Dining Guide 2002

Eat Special Issue 2002

Time to Eat City Paper's Dining Guide 2002 | By Michelle Gienow

1900-1919 A Toast to the New World Power | By Michelle Gienow

1920s Speakeasies, Cocktails, and All That Jazz

1930s Hard Times, Good Eats | By Michelle Gienow

1940s War and Peas | By Michelle Gienow

1950s Rock 'n' Roll 'n' TV Dinners | By Michelle Gienow

1960s Power to the Peoples | By Michelle Gienow

1970s Sideburns and Szechwan | By Michelle Gienow

1980s Blackened Ron and Nancy | By Michelle Gienow

1990s Boom and Buzz | By Michelle Gienow

2000s Onward and Inward | By Michelle Gienow

Eat 2002

By Michelle Gienow | Posted 2/27/2002

Food, like history, generally flows in only one direction. You eat, you digest, and--barring the effects of a bad oyster or a tainted burger--you move on. The past is behind you. Time to think about the next meal.

If we reflect at all on the things we've eaten, it's mainly to consider the what and the where. And those are the matters with which EAT, our annual Baltimore dining guide, traditionally concerns itself: corned beef at Attman's, yucca- encrusted sea bass at Bicycle. This year, though, EAT looks backward past yesterday's dinner, back to the deeper questions of gustatory history: How did we come to eat these things, in these places? And why?

So this EAT presents a survey of dining out through the past hundred-odd years, from the formal dining rooms at the turn of the 20th century to the tapas bars at the turn of the 21st. It's not so much a matter of listing antiquities as it is of fitting restaurants, recent or ancient, into their historical context. Decade by decade, new kinds of restaurants have evolved, serving new or different food, even as the old types linger like so many lungfish. Looking around at today's eateries, you can see the whole history recapitulated: lunch counters, burger joints, vegetarian spots. We eat what we were.

EAT 2002 was largely conceptualized and entirely written by Michelle Gienow, who now knows far more about the past hundred years of Baltimore dining than she ever thought she would. Jefferson Jackson Steele took the pictures; David Baker, Anna Ditkoff, Alison Milne, Matt O'Brien, Mike Spector, and Katherine Tiernan provided invaluable editorial assistance. Thanks to Angelo's Restaurant and Carryout in Hampden, which supplied the cover slice, and Sarah Miller, who posed with it. Their work is done; now go forth and forage.

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