The man cleans a mean grill

Dan Rodricks XHC lnB

September 18, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

I like a man who cleans his grill, especially when I'm eating food from it. The short-order cook at the Wyman Park Restaurant, 135 W. 25th St., works right behind the counter, right there in front of the customers, which reminded me of something Uncle Ralph once said about never patronizing a restaurant where the diners couldn't see the kitchen from where they were sitting. Knowing that he is under observation might motivate a cook to keep his stove and grill greaseless and clean. It might be what motivates the Wyman Park cook to be so utterly meticulous in his scrubbing of the grill after the noon rush. Anyway, from what I've seen around town, he'd be a hard man to beat in a grill-cleaning competition. Check it out.

Recommendations: The view of the new stadium, looking east from Washington Boulevard (from Pigtown, basically). . . . The chocolate babka at the bakery in Eddie's Roland Park. . . . Any pork dish at Rio Lisboa on Eastern Avenue. . . . The crabcake mix from Bud's Calvert House. . . . The story of the John Garfield shirt in the J. Peterman catalog. . . . Ron Barlow's Boumi collection at Retro Vintage Clothing in Fells Point. . . .

Friends of the late Barry Holniker will open an exhibition of the photographer's works at the BAUhouse, 1713 N. Charles St., on Oct. 19. Barry, who produced great shots for several magazines, died in an automobile accident last September. He was 34. Especially strong are Barry's prints of Eastern European peasants, captured on assignment for Warfield's. Also promised the retrospective are selected works from Barry's personal portfolio, shots of models and meatpackers, boxers and builders. Jennifer Bishop, Eric Garland, Elizabeth Nead and Paula Sloane organized the show, an exquisite tribute to an absent friend.

Gratitude must be rendered to Sterling Leese for the loan of some classic Oriole yearbooks -- from 1960, 1963, 1964 and 1966. I don't know how they were stored, but the yearbooks have been kept in excellent condition and, as you might imagine, provide an amusing glance at the way them Birds were -- back before baseball lost its floppy pants.

The 1960 book leads off with a cover by artist Jim Hartzell, former Bird Man of The Sun. The 1963 edition features a gorgeous color photo of Brooks drawing a bead on a grounder during a home game. The 1966 book was dedicated to catcher Dick Brown, who suffered a brain tumor that year. . . . The photographs are almost all black-and-white, all the players have crew cuts and clean necks. A lot of them have big ears. They wear those classic, baggy uniforms, with the pants pulled high to the knee. In the 1964 book, Dave McNally looks like a child, Hank Bauer looks like a happy bulldog. In the 1966 book, Jim Palmer looks about the way he looks today. The books have photo collages of Father-Son games at Memorial Stadium and a few shots of players in Florida golf tournaments (with palm trees hovering seductively in the background). Here are some names from the old days -- Wes Stock, Ike Delock, Bill Hoeft, Gordon Jones, Gene Green, Leo Burke, Ray Barker, Al Pilarcik and Buster Narum. Those were players, folks.

Joe Chilcoat, the Catonsville 7-Eleven owner who tried to drive loitering kids away from his parking lot by blasting them with opera recordings, will be featured next month in a segment on "Real Life With Jane Pauley" on NBC. Joe, struggling to come up with a mild form of Rid-A-Kid, settled on Luciano Pavarotti singing a constant cycle of arias over a couple of patio speakers above his convenience store parking lot. I said it wouldn't work, arguing that Large Luciano was just too sweet a tenor to be a turn-off, even for those young "Guns N' Roses" fans out there. But Joe claims it worked. Now, thanks to Lady Jane, the whole nation will know his formula.

Oh, that's what it is . . . The person who authored a brochure listing fall cultural programs at Johns Hopkins University apparently doesn't think potential patrons are very hip when it comes to modern music. Referring to the Oct. 9 scheduled performance of Old Guys With New Socks, the brochure states: "These senior citizen performers, based in Florida, have received national attention for their rap (a story put to rhyme that is sung and spoken to a musical beat). . . ."

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