“Authentic New York Delicatessan (Only Better)” That’s Attman’s slogan, and though it’s not from NY, it certainly is the most authentic in Baltimore. Attman’s has been around for over 90 years, spanning 3 generations of family ownership, serving up hearty hot and cold culinary delights on what is still known to locals today as Corned Beef Row. If you’ve visited these few blocks of Lombard Street recently, no doubt you’ve noticed the uprising of new cloned townhomes. Attman’s, however, still remains an institution, a relic of old Baltimore with decidely Jewish roots, that stills thrives today due to its loyal customer base, addicted to its overstuffed corned beef and chopped liver sandwiches.
On any given weekend, the line is so lengthy it may overflow out the front door. As you wait in line, on your left is the deli counter with an array of homemade meats, smoked fish, salads, and an assortment of pickles and pickled onions. On your right you’ll first notice the famous “Kibbitz Room” for diners-in, a rack of chips, and an impressive selection of beverages, including some hard to find brands like Boylan’s, RC Cola, Dr. Brown’s, and the original Yoohoo. Pay attention to who’s ordering in front of you; as soon as someone behind the counter points to you, be ready with your order. No dilly dallying, or else risk getting the stare-down from the Jewish mother standing behind you, getting a pound of lox for her son the doctor. The staff is quick and friendly, most of all efficient, shouting orders, flinging meat, well not really. But they are fast. They know the drill, and expect you to too.
With a full weekend of packing ahead of us, Mr.S and I made a stop here early Saturday. Already the line had snaked halfway around the room. The couple in front of us, obviously first-timers, turned around to ask us if a whole sandwich was enough to split, to which we responded, if you’re going to wait in line for this long, might as well get two! It’s worth it. I decided on Sara’s Dagger on pumpernickel, a turkey breast and pastrami coated corn beef
sandwich with cole slaw and Russian Dressing. Mr.S order the Reuben- Jewish corned beef, sauerkraut, melted swiss, and Russian Dressing on rye, with a side order of onion rings.
Approximate waiting time: 14 minutes
The damage: $23
Verdict: My dagger sandwich was a double decker! The turkey was nicely seasoned, the pastrami slightly fatty, and the Russian dressing was sweet and tangy that cut the meatiness. The only complaint we had was there weren’t enough napkins to go around! (Definitely a meat-juices-dripping-down-your-arms kind of meal) But I guess that’s really not much of a complaint at all, is it? Oy vey, you’d be mashugana not to go!