I finally got rid of my writer's block!! My head is finally in the writing English mode versus the writing code syndrome. Outside of the inner harbor, Baltimore is one of those cities that fails to impress. A lady I talked to in Boston put it best, "Something brings you to Baltimore, and you want to leave when you're done".
In the rather uneventful city, where my friend and I tried to explore as many things as possible, we found few things to like. However, there was one rather excellent place: The Woodberry Kitchen. It seems like a very out of place establishment, hidden in a veil of manufacturing, next to a railroad, surrounded by fashion designers and the only modern block in Baltimore, but it is truly an excellent kitchen. It is pretty difficult to find, but it is across the pool.
The kitchen was formerly known as Artifact Coffee, but turned into a lounge/restaurant/bar/random coffee thing attached to it. It features outdoor sitting with a bonfire running outside, and a very upscale yet cozy atmosphere for a decent price of $10-$30 for food items. The bar has all the usual drinks, and the bartenders were extremely friendly willing to talk about stuff to do in Baltimore (not much).
SO as a place that looked more like a lounge than a coffee shop, my friend and I reluctantly entered asking for coffee. We sat at the bar, and a barista came asking us what we wanted. I got the usual macchiato, while my friend relaxed to an interesting tea. The tea was multi-faceted with 3 or 4 stages of different flavors in one seamless transition, along with green ice cubes!
The macchiato itself was pretty good. The Barista really knew his stuff, using a naked portafilter, tamped correctly and had a good shot. He pulled it a bit ristretto, making it a tad bitter, but the espresso itself was very bold with strong chocolate notes. I talked with the guy a while about how he prepared coffee, and I guess the usual customer likes it a bit bitter while I prefer sweeter drinks. He said he could've made a sweeter shot on the next drink, too bad I was already wired otherwise I would've gotten more. The milk was steamed to perfection, perfectly creamy with the correct amount of foam. The texture was deliciously thick, but not enough to sit on top of the drink as a hard barrier. There was a perfect harmony to the drink, with the correct texture, temperature, and balance between the milk and espresso. He even did latte art in a machhiato, an impressive feat no doubt. Le Image: