Chap's Charcoal Restaurant 
 Baltimore, Maryland          Date of Visit: 04-12-10         

Having enjoyed the pit beef at Camden Yard, we thought we ought give it a try at a Baltimore hot spot, one that has been featured a number of times on the Food and Travel channels. Hard to find, our GPS unit nearly had a breakdown sending us around all four leaves of a lucky clover to get us headed the right direction on the divided street to stop at a run down shack in the parking lot of a strip club. Uh-oh.



The Pit Beef Sammitch

We then pulled into the lot and saw one of the best signs possible, A mixture of police cars, shiny expensive sports cars and busted up hoopties. It seems everyone comes here to eat. In a rare change of pace, outside of one cop and one other patron, I was the thinnest person in the restaurant. I could get used to this. Actually, Chaps most reminded me of an odd methadone clinic. Here the clientele is large and waddles instead of thin, but everything else fits. Seedy part of town, run down building, people staggering in the door and up to the window to get their fix and then sitting down at a picnic table blissfully chomping away.

We tried the pit beef sandwich, the mac-n-cheese, the raven, and something I have always found interesting, gravy fries. The mac-n-cheese was perfectly passable but wouldnít send my running back to Baltimore with the withdrawal symptoms these patrons were obviously seeking to rectify. Where I come from fries are usually only accompanied by ketchup or if you are in a fancy-dancey place some aioli. I have seen fries with gravy on menus in the burgh and other cities so letís see. Crispy, skin on, peanut oil fries are doused with a salty, peppery, beef based gravy which turned out to be rather pleasant if still a little weird.

Gravy Fries


Quoth The Raven "Again and Again and Again!"

Now for the payoff. The pit beef and raven. The raven is a combination of pit beef, corned beef and turkey. The pit beef is a lesson in simple perfection. Minimally seasoned and cooked slowly over charcoal, it is sliced very thin and then finished to your liking back over the coals. It tastes of beef, salt and pepper. Wonderful beef, salt and pepper. Having been clued in ahead of time we added a couple of condiments. Both made in house they offer in addition to the standard condiments a barbeque sauce and a tiger sauce. The tiger sauce is a simple combination of mayo and horseradish. A thick strip of each added a tangy, sweet, and bitey layer of incredible to the aforementioned simple perfection. When I find myself in Baltimore again, I will find myself at Chaps again. Itís a good thing Baltimore is so far away or I would likely become a fellow pit addict, making daily pilgrimages until it started to interfere with my ability to function. Don't go to the BLT without twisting and turning your way to this spectacular find!


The Raven with BBQ & Tiger Sauce




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      But appropriate Super Saucy Raven or
any Pit Beef combo
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