Duff Goldman is Baltimore's most badass baker. He's trained with chef Cindy Wolf, wields blowtorches and power tools to decorate his Charm City Cakes creations, and plays bass in a rock band. A new Los Angeles outpost of his bakery and his most recent Food Network show Sugar High have him traveling all over the country, but Duff will always have a place in Charm City, hon.
It was tough to leave crabcakes off the list, but after checking out Duff's top five burgers in Baltimore, it's clear that the game done changed.
1. The Dizz is right across the street from Charm City Cakes. The Black and Blue Burger is a generous, juicy, hand-formed burger topped with bacon and zippy blue cheese which melts into every bite. If you want to experience true Charm City hospitality, come say hi to Elaine and her gang at The Dizz.
300 West 30th Street, Baltimore MD 21211 (map); 443-869-5864; thedizzbaltimore.com
2. Salt Tavern's ridiculously decadent Foie Gras & Wagyu Beef slider, served with truffle aioli and red onion marmalade, is technically on their starters menu, but there's really no need to go any further. Order with their duck fat french fries and you'll be reduced to eye rolling, speechless nods of food nirvana.
2127 E Pratt St #1, Baltimore MD 21211 (map); 410-276-5480; salttavern.com
3. Kooper's Chowhound Burger Wagon serves a behemoth burger called the Charlie Brown. It has a pound of meat on it, and you can totally customize it. Pick from local Angus beef, turkey, lamb, bison, Kobe beef, or veggie. Top with your choice of cheese and pick from serious toppings like arugula coleslaw, cilantro mint chutney, or applewood bacon. Did I mention it's ONE POUND of meat? I had one once and had to take a break about midway, but I powered through.
See website for address; kooperschowhound.com
4. Hamilton Tavern's Crosstown Burger is a hefty beauty, made with local Roseda Farms beef and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, onion, and horseradish cheddar. You have your choice of adding bacon and/or a fried egg. Go for both. The high-quality beef, biting cheese and sweet, brown sugar-crusted bacon all swirled together in an egg yolk-y bite is life changing. Comes with homemade chips. If you ask for ketchup, you're doing it wrong.
5517 Harford Road, Baltimore MD 21214 (map); 410-426-1930; hamiltontavern.com
5. The menu at Alewife states that "This burger takes a bit longer than an average burger to prepare. Your patience is appreciated and shall be rewarded." Believe them. The Smoke Burger is eleven ounces of a blend of local beef brisket, skirt, and filet. Smoked gouda and Gruyère. Chipotle aioli. Twice-smoked applewood bacon. Duck fat fries. Wear stretchy pants and get comfortable. The last bite will make you sad it's over.
21 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore MD 21201 (map); 410-545-5112; alewifebaltimore.com