Attman's bills itself as an "Authentic, New York-Style Delicatessen," and it is, but with the charm of "Charm City."
The restaurant has been on Lombard Street in Baltimore since 1915. (This was the original area of the city where Jews lived, especially during the Great Migration.)
Since that time, Attman's has always been and still is a family-owned establish with hearty sandwiches you've just got to try.
Attman's Delicatessen in Baltimore — Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman
You just never know who you'll see here, but you can bet you'll find anyone from a neighbor to the city's A-list noshing in the "Kibbitz Room" in back. (How to translate kibbitz? It's kind of a combination of gossiping and catching up on things, maybe with a touch of procrastination implied.)
The Kibbitz Room's walls are pretty much lined with old deli posters, photos of city power players, reviews and something very special in back: a price list from 1919.
Back then, the deli (though it does still have some cupboard staples for sale) had more of a grocery bent, including Kosher soaps and other staples.
You stand in line, which goes by amazingly fast. The workers behind the counter working noisily, yet efficiently, could rival a NASCAR team. They are busy slicing up tender, luscious, secret recipe corned beef, brisket, tongue and pastrami. This is not grocery store deli meat, if that's all you're familiar with!
You'll taste authentic heartiness in sandwiches like the Bye Bye Black Bread, with their roast beef and Hebrew National liverwurst. The Tongue Fu has (almost) all your favorite meats, like beef tongue (Don't be afraid. It's like a tender corned beef!); corned beef; and pastrami, along with Swiss cheese.
For those of you in the know, no, Attman's is not Kosher. But if you're having a catered occasion, they certainly can do everything Kosher, wrapped up and all.
The sandwiches are huge. Even so, you should try a bunch of sides . . . "You look hungry." So, have you had kishkes? They are a Polish-Jewish type of beef sausage with potatoes and spices. They're mild and fork tender.
Attman's also makes a variety of pickles in-house, ranging from sweet to sour to cucumber-y. Go ahead and try them all! Also, the fries and onion rings are extra crispy and hot.
Some people are just not red meat people. That's okay; we'll forgive you.
Attman's makes coddies and a mean whitefish salad. If you haven't had that, think of a peppery, super white tuna salad with a kick.
They do have a beer license.
Do you have room for dessert? Get the noodle kugel (pudding) and ask for them to heat it up. The topping gets all buttery and caramelized.