From there, the group strolled to The Black Olive, where owner Stelios Spiliadis spoke about his passion for organic, high-quality ingredients and elegant table service. He served the women bread, a selection of Greek dips and feta made in Northern Greece with sheep's milk.
"There is feta cheese, and there is feta cheese," he said. "There is feta cheese made in Mexico."
The last stop was Meli, a restaurant and bakery-cafe. It was there that the tour hit its first snag. After leaving The Black Olive, the group bumped into Spiliadis about a block away from the restaurant, in front of his house on Shakespeare Street. He invited them to take a peek inside the historic home, which once belonged to Admiral Fell, who, he noted, was not really an admiral.
The unscheduled detour took them from a stone-walled basement with a pool table — "This is how I make my money," he said — to a rooftop deck with an expansive view. It was surely the highlight of the tour for many, but it put them behind schedule.
By the time the group got to Meli, the area where the tour usually sits was occupied. After a bit of confusion, they were seated in sidewalk cafe seats. Since it was hot out, the baklava was paired with iced coffees instead of the usual espresso. Everyone was happy.
"It's all about improv," said Corsaro, the guide.
Maribeth Sherman, a teacher from Owings Mills who took the tour with her 19-year-old daughter and her Aunt Caroline, the 88-year-old Grand Marnier fan, said it was a great way to entertain an out-of-town guest. Szep is a world traveler who was not going to be interested in Inner Harbor chains.
"She just took a cruise of the Canary Islands, so how can I put her on a harbor cruise?" Sherman said.
Szep greatly enjoyed the tour, even though it forced her to violate her lifelong policy of always leaving the table a little hungry.
"That's more than I eat in three days," she said.
If you go
The tours take place from 3 p.m. to about 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. They begin at the north "shed" of Broadway Market. Reservations can be made by calling 800-979-3370. Go to baltimorefoodtours.com for more information.