Ribaldi’s of the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. has generated a lot of buzz and goodwill that it was only a matter of time I would get to writing about them. This recap comes from a request via a few people, so thank you so much for the suggestion.
While I raved about a place nearby (that can be found here), I was told that Ribaldi’s is that much better. I was told it was run by a real Sicilian, and that their pizza was off the charts compared to its counterpart.
If the location seems familiar, you will recall this is where Angelo’s sat for years. Home of the jumbo slice seemed like it would last forever. I never lover their pizza but it was good enough. And sometimes good enough is just enough. Their was a temporary occupant that left much to be desired, and no here we are with Ribaldi’s.
I met Siro the manager, and he is straight up the real deal. The staff read me like a book, and not the fact that I’m a blogger (Not sure they’ll see this), but that it was my first visit. My energy field was in a weird place, and when no matter how your energy level is, you’re going to attract a similar wavelength. Whether that’s good or bad is up to interpretation.
This was unique.
The guy behind the counter was strange, peculiar, but never made me feel uncomfortable. But the fact that I’m even implying the latter means something was off. He was cracking some jokes that were funny at first, but then went off in directions that I won’t even begin to explain. Words won’t do it justice and there’s no puns here whatsoever.
It did make the impression of this, the food I ordered, the food I ate, and the aftermath long lasting. And yes it’s been altered.
I forgot they do slices, so it made my decision that much easier. I literally ordered everything in plain view, which includes a Sicilian Cheese, Sicilian Pepperoni, a small calzone, and then Siro just broke out a New York Style cheese pie right out of their gas oven.
They called the calzone the Ribaldi and that’s the same guy (who may or may not have been Siro’s second) cracking jokes and maybe losing the plot a little.
As a bonus I got a can of soda and this guy gave me a dessert, which was a sweet croissant on the house. This whole gag seemed to be lost on me, or maybe there was no gag. It’s ridiculous to speculate and over-analyze what this visit meant. It happened for a reason. Maybe they saw something was up. I was in a goofy frame of mind. The whole visit was goofy. But goofy doesn’t mean bad.
There’s not much to the interior. There’s a few seats inside and outside, and that’s the way I like it sometimes. There’s a a place for lavish, and today was not the time or place.
Most importantly of all, how was my food? This wasn’t all for me, that would be crazy. But I’m going to base this on my own opinion and nobody else’s.
I didn’t love this. And I’m not going to base my opinion on anything other than my eating experience. Something just didn’t stand out, and I really wanted it too.
The cheese slice was lacking in some cheese and tomato sauce. That’s the issue for me. The crust is fine and that’s all I can really say about that.
The Sicilian is a bit rough. I know some people are going to love this and I wouldn’t dispute this, but this was nothing special. Yet the pepperoni slices tasted great.
The calzone was fine and I’m glad it was a tinier piece, because you can only eat so much of this. And this dessert? Man I don’t know.
I don’t know about any of this. My mind is all over the map here. I feel like this visit needed to happen. I’m projecting a lot but something was really off center, and I put a lot of this on myself. I attracted an experience that might make sense later.
But for now I’m trying to make sense of all this.
Here’s their menu, and that’s all I got for you. For some sense of closure, I’m going to have to come back.