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Where to Go, What to Know

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Post's assistant food editor, Bonnie S. Benwick, recently spent time along the "kosher corridor" in Pikesville, Md., near Baltimore. Here is her reporter's notebook:

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DRIVE TIME

About 47 minutes from Interstate 495

COST

$75 or more per night for lodging

GETTING THERE

From Washington, take Interstate 95 to I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway) to Exit 20, Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, a northwestern suburb of Baltimore.

WHERE TO STAY

Ramada Inn (1721 Reisterstown Rd., just off I-695's Exit 20, 410-486-5600) has rates from about $115.95 per night double occupancy. At the Pikesville Hilton (1726 Reisterstown Rd., 410-653-1100), double-occupancy rooms are about $209 per night. Bina's Bed and Breakfast (3112 Bonnie Rd., Pikesville, 410-358-2810, bsberliner@verizon.net) is billed as Baltimore's "only kosher B&B." Native Bina Lerner has two double rooms (twin beds or a queen-size bed; $75 per room per night, including breakfast).

WHERE TO EAT/WHAT TO DO

On Saturdays, eat and shop kosher-style at the Suburban House Restaurant (911 Reisterstown Rd., 410-484-7775, http://www.suburbanhousedeli.com) for good blintzes, fluffy matzoh balls and coddies, fried cakes that are a Suburban House specialty. Open daily 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Downtown Baltimore is about eight miles away; take the opportunity to walk off breakfast and lunch by wandering around the shops in Fells Point. Then head back to Tov Pizza (6313 Reisterstown Rd., 410-358-5238, http://www.tovpizza.com). The pies are made with kosher (and vegan) cheese and baked in a brick oven. Slices are $2.26 each; an 18-inch pie starts at $16.51. Open daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays from one hour after sundown till midnight.

On Sundays, shop kosher and start early. Buy chewy bagels and bialys from Goldberg's New York Bagels (1498 Reisterstown Rd., 410-415-7001, http://www.goldbergsbagels.com). About 20 varieties, 90 cents each; baker's dozen, $9.50. Open Saturdays from after sundown until 1 a.m.; Sundays 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Find a treasure trove at Shabsi's Judaica Center (6830-A Reisterstown Rd., 410-358-2200). In addition to 15,000 book titles, the warehouse-size shop carries hundreds of prayer shawls, yarmulkes and CDs of Jewish music. Closed Saturdays; open Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Eat good Chinese at David Chu's China Bistro (7105 Reisterstown Rd., 410-602-5008). Closed Saturdays; open Sundays 11:15 a.m.-10 p.m., but closed today. Then, for small sweets, grab a sectioned plastic tray and create your own candy collection ($4-$6 per pound, or $10-$13 per pound for nondairy/pareve chocolate truffles) at the Candy Store (7002 Reisterstown Rd., 410-653-9900, http://www.thecandystoreonline.com). Closed Saturdays; open Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contribute generously to any of the wooden donation boxes near the checkout of just about every kosher establishment. The money goes to help needy Jewish families in and around Baltimore through the Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund ( http://www.ahavasyisrael.org).

INFORMATION

Go to http://www.star-k.org and http://www.israelim.com for categorized lists of kosher and kosher-style establishments. Read Eli Schlossberg's 2006 article about kosher Baltimore online at http://www.wherewhatwhen.com.


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