Just about a year ago, I had the very sweet opportunity to write about Katie Horn and Marie Stratton, the ladies behind Baltimore's Kinderhook Snacks.
If you haven't had the snacks, you should. They're so good - my favorite are the macaroons - and it's a bonus that Horn and Stratton are super, super nice.
When I asked them to talk to me about something they love in Baltimore, they had a million glowing things to say about the food, beer and - most importantly - the staff at Golden West in Hampden.
Golden West has been a part of the Hampden community for years and people love it for a lot of reasons. For Horn and Stratton, it's a port in the storm when they get busy. "Since we started Kinderhook, we've had so many long days and late nights in the kitchen, after which we are needing a good beer and good food. Golden West has been our most favorite place to go in these seemingly dire situations and the staff there continually lifts our spirits," they say.
"They recommend great beers, they don't judge us when we finish off an entire Green Chili Cheeseburger and fries (in fact, they congratulate us) and they always seem to know when we need a shot of tequila."
The Kinderhook ladies love that not only does the GW bar staff feed them burgers and tequila, they also have interesting creative pursuits of their own. David Spelce is one of their favorite bartenders, they say, and "a wildly talented artist."
And Edan Perrigo, Stratton and Horn's former Charles Village neighbor, works behind the bar and is also part of Great American Canyon Band, a Baltimore indie-folk band releasing a new album this spring. The band has already released one video from the new album, which I'm sharing (with permission from them) here:
This is some of what I love most about Baltimore. It's the kind of place where you can find a home at a restaurant because you like the food...then discover that the people behind the bar are talented artists and musicians and great bartenders. And you never know - maybe the people on the stools next to yours make great snacks, too.