Eccentric Places in Baltimore

Austin, Texas has a slogan which encourages the locals to help Keep Austin Weird. Any community or family has its own weird side, the portions that can be described as eccentric. For some that might be understood as “deviating from the recognized or customary character, practice; irregular; erratic; peculiar; odd.” For me, this is what makes something a little more interesting. In this post, we will look into what helps makes Baltimore “weird.”

Our journey into weird Baltimore started with the Papermoon Diner for breakfast on Saturday morning. From the moment you walk thru the front door of this restaurant you are greeted by thousands of colorful Pez candy dispensers. The décor is fun and kitschy taking you back to your childhood of Barbie dolls, spaceships, Radio red wagons and many more pieces of artwork to catch your attention. Outside there are beautiful gardens surrounding the restaurant with colorful mannequins draped in beads, mirrors, and silverware as spiked hair. In a 2015 Baltimore Sun Article Papermoon was described as keeping to its own orbit in the Remington neighborhood from the artwork inside and out to the wildly divergent menu. My husband ordered the Big Dipper, and I had the Southwestern Omelet. Both were filling and delicious. They have Covid protocols in place with mask requirements inside the restaurant and plastic disposable silverware. The customers were as diverse as the menu itself, making for stimulating atmosphere. 

Pictures from Papermoon Diner

Not far away is Hamden, which celebrates the Hon of Baltimore. “Hon,” the Bawlmer term of endearment short for “Honey”, embodies the warmth and affection given to the neighbors and visitors alike by the historic working women of Baltimore. Honfest is an annual celebration in honor of these women. While in Hamden, stop in at Café Hon where a gigantic pink flamingo will greet you Wednesday thru Saturday from 5 – 8 pm for dinner. There was controversy surrounding the owner wanting to trademark the word “Hon” which she relinquished in November 2011 due to a significant drop in her business.

Pictures from Hamden

There are several other restaurants in the Hamden on the avenue that will delight your taste bud palette. Pre-pandemic, the décor of Golden West Café was that of a funky restaurant which is fun and lively with record album covers housing the seasonal menu with a large variety of vegan options for their customers. The tables and booths would take you back to the 1950’s with laminate style table tops and lots of kitschy Knick knacks. Due to the pandemic they pivoted their business to a carry out only with a takeout window and have a service fee on all orders. This enabled them to keep their dedicated staff of 23 people during uncertain times. No need to tip unless you are feeling overwhelming generous. Their culinary menu is Americana cuisine and Southwest comfort food, rooted in traditional New Mexican specialties. Chef Chad Gauss is a native Baltimorean who has risen up the ranks all the way to chef and owner of The Food Market. Gauss’ food focuses on significant comfort food in an industrial setting. Since the pandemic they offer outdoor seating creating an open café. It may not be “weird”, but their food is delicious.

Edgar Allen Poe Grave Site

Edgar Allen Poe is buried in downtown Baltimore. His gravesite is the source of an annual mystery. Each year on January 19th, in the early morning hours of Poe’s birthday, over many years and generations, a mysterious figure appears with roses and a bottle of cognac with which to toast. It is a good thing to know that this literary legend is remembered for something more than contributing the name of Baltimore’s NFL team, the Ravens.

Last, but not least is the American Visionary Museum that shines brilliantly with the bling mirrors on the outside of the building and the Christmas tree made out of hanging mirror pieces to shine the reflection of Baltimore. This is a wonder place to spend the day viewing local artists inside and outside the museum. The colors are bold and beautiful. There are many exhibit events and programs for you to visit on 800 Key Highway with tickets prices ranging from $9.95 – 15.95 per person.

Pictures from the Visionary Art Museum

These are just a few suggestions for some “weird” places to visit in Baltimore, but there are many others to seek out fun and exciting adventures. “You have to take risks,” suggests novelist Paulo Coeho, “We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

Published by annemillermom

Baltimore earned the reputation as Mobtown because throughout its history her citizens would often find an excuse to riot. This blog is designed to assist Loyola University Maryland students in hosting visits from their parents and, in doing so, change Charm City’s character to being MOMtown. I am Anne Miller. I am an adult student of Loyola, parent of Loyola alumni both biological as well as through adoption by friendship.

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