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48 HOURS: Crabs, cookies and Baltimore's small-town vibe with Kara Trent

Published 02/21/2024, 07:14 PM
Updated 02/22/2024, 04:22 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The cupola of Baltimore City Hall is seen amid the skyline in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. May 12, 2019. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kara Trent embraces Baltimore's small-town vibe when she visits the Under Armour (NYSE:UA) corporate headquarters.

Trent, who is the newly appointed president of the Americas for the sportswear giant, shares her Baltimore to-do list – including crabs, almond cookies and a healthy dose of culture.

The following interview is edited and condensed.

WHAT I LOVE MOST

They call it "Smalltimore" for a reason. I love how connected everyone is to one another, really making it seem like one big family.

It doesn't matter where you go, you will likely always run into someone you know. Knowing the city's culture and how everyone looks out for each other makes visiting such a joy.

WHERE I GO FIRST AFTER I LAND

My hotel. The flight to Baltimore from Amsterdam (where Trent is based) is roughly nine hours – and that's if it is direct!

WHERE TO STAY

The Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (Thames St.), co-owned by Under Armour's founder Kevin Plank. This hotel is in the heart of Fells Point, which is not only a historic part of Baltimore, but also has spectacular views of the harbor. The Pendry has a champagne vending machine which makes for a great Instagram photo.

BEST (NYSE:BEST) PLACE FOR TEAM MEETINGS

Under Armour's offices (Hull St.) have an amazing outdoor turf that overlooks the harbor.  This space allows us to get some fresh air while looking at the water during a meeting. It's much more energizing than a conference room.

POWER BREAKFAST SPOT

Tucked away in the Fells Point neighborhood, Blue Moon Cafe (Aliceanna St.) has some of the best breakfast I've ever had.

I recommend ordering the cinnamon roll "for the table," and for the mains, either one of their delicious omelets or, if your sweet tooth still hasn't been satisfied, some of their specialty pancakes or French toast.

TOURIST TRAP THAT'S ACTUALLY WORTH IT

Baltimore's Inner Harbor is beautiful. Not only are there plenty of amazing seafood restaurants – Maryland is famous for their crabs – but there is the National Aquarium (E. Pratt St.) that is such a fun spot to take the family. They have these huge tubes of undulating jellyfish that are mesmerizing.

BEST WAY TO GET AROUND

The water taxi that runs between Tide Point and Fells Point. It's like Venice...kinda.

IDEAL COFFEE SPOT

Ceremony Coffee Roasters (various locations including Point St.) It is super close to the water taxi, so it has been my go-to for a quick cup of coffee.

FAVORITE AREA TO SHOP

Hampden's main road, 36th Street aka "The Avenue," is a great place to grab a bite, share a drink, check out some trendy boutiques and wander through vintage shops. I could spend all afternoon there.

A few favorite stops of mine are the Bluebird Cocktail Room (Hickory Ave.); The Food Market (W. 36th St.); Vent Coffee Roasters (W. 41st St.) and In Watermelon Sugar (Chestnut Ave.)

CAN'T-MISS TREATS

Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood ( Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) St.). A Baltimore tradition since 1956, it has some of the best fine Italian pastries you'll ever eat – worldwide.

The cannoli and rum cake created a sensation among Baltimoreans, but I'd have to say my favorite is their unique take on an Italian classic: an almond cookie.

A FUN LOCALE FOR TEAM OUTINGS

Baltimore has the Orioles baseball team (Camden Yards, Camden St.) or the Ravens football team (M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) Stadium, Russell St.) Depending on the time of the season, everyone loves a game.

BEST MEMORY

Some of my favorite memories are concerts at the Pier Six Pavilion (Eastern Ave.). On a great spring or summer evening, you can sit on the promenade and hear the music.

If I only had to pick one, my favorite memory is taking the water taxi over from our Tide Point UA Headquarters with my family to see Diana Ross.  

SOMETHING ONLY INSIDERS KNOW

Marylanders are very serious about crabs, especially how they are eaten – no meat left behind. To get the full experience, you need go with a true local who can teach you how to properly eat a freshly steamed Blue crab, paired with an ice-cold beer like Natty Boh with Old Bay around the rim.

BEST DINNER SPLURGE

A Baltimore landmark restaurant with rich history, Restaurante Tio Pepe (E. Franklin St.) offers authentic, homemade Spanish and Mediterranean food. An evening there is like stepping back into the 1960s for a one-of-a-kind experience.

FAVORITE SOUVENIR TO BRING BACK HOME

Berger Cookies (Waterview Ave.) for a soft, cake-like cookie covered with delicious hand-dipped fudge icing.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The cupola of Baltimore City Hall is seen amid the skyline in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. May 12, 2019. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

The Charmery, an old ice cream parlor (various locations, including W. 36th St.). The Salted Caramel flavor is my absolute favorite.

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