Horseshoe Casino was abuzz Tuesday afternoon as preparations continued to open the entertainment facility Tuesday evening – not just its gaming spaces, but its restaurants too.
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri was there as well, preparing his restaurant for its big Baltimore debut. But he made the most of his trip to Charm City, as he visited several local haunts Monday for his Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Through all the excitement, he took a few minutes to tell The Daily Record about his new restaurant and his love for Baltimore.
“I’ve been coming to Baltimore since I was a little kid,” he said. “You’re close to D.C., you’ve got the water, you’ve got an eclectic mix of food, you’ve got great sports teams. So I remember coming to Baltimore games when I was a kid and I was like, ‘this is awesome.’”
He also happens to have some Maryland ties thanks to “DDD” — the owners of Chaps Pit Beef, he said, have become good friends and now cater his birthday every year.
Fieri’s new restaurant in Horseshoe includes some Maryland inspirations like the B’More fries — waffle fries covered in lump crab dip, complete with Old Bay seasoning and an Old Bay oil drizzle.
“Baltimore’s so crab-centric,” he said. “The blue crab is outrageous.”
He’s passionate about crab cakes, lamenting that for the majority of his life he had been eating imposters, rather than “real crab cakes” from Maryland. That of course influenced his recipe.
“I want that crab cake to be so much crab cake and so much crab and so little binder that if we were to have a tremor, the crab cake would fall apart,” he said.
After his DDD taping Monday, Fieri also gave a preview of his impressions. He visited three Baltimore restaurants — Sláinte Irish Pub, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and Johnny Rad’s Pizzeria Tavern.
Sláinte, he said, is “out-of-bounds,” and makes some of the best gumbo he’s had.
He put Jimmy’s right up there on the list of Baltimore’s best crab cakes.
And Johnny Rad’s, he said, is “the bar you wish you had down the street from your house.”