Baltimore’s best burger: Poncabird Pub [classic article]

Right near Baltimore’s southeast line, where its industrial base was one of the strongest in the nation back in the day, is Poncabird Pub. For over 30 years, they served shift workers their beer from 6 am to 2 am.Sadly, many of the plants, factories, mills and supporting offices that lined that stretch of the city are gone or aren’t paying the living wage salaries that they used to. I’ve passed Poncabird Pub hundreds of times on the way to my in-laws’, three generations of whom put food on the table working at Bethlehem Steel.

It’s a second floor destination — built before ADA stuff, no doubt. You climb up and it’s . . .cute! There’s glossy, clean wood paneling, Tiffany-style light fixtures and an outdoor deck.

Food is prepared right at the bar, so you can see the care taken with it. I first tried a hotdog sandwich with salami. It’s kind of a riff on the deli favorite of hotdog with bologna. This is a fun sandwich! The red hots are split to lay flat on the freshest of Kaiser rolls, then grilled. Thick-cut salami is also grilled and stacked on top. The chef recommends that you use hot mustard and so do I!

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Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

Then, I had the Baltimore Burger. It’s a freshly grilled burger on Kaiser topped with rich crab dip and melted cheddar cheese. OMG! How do I put this? It’s the best burger I’ve had in Baltimore, EVER. I’ve lived here for 30 years. I know there are burgers in NYC with short ribs and foie gras, but really . . . could they even be any better than lumps of sweet crab and melty cheese on a thick, perfectly grilled burger and soft Kaiser bun? I have to watch out how much I chow down on now — occupational hazard — but I really could have eaten a second one right there and then! It was that good.

They have all kinds of specials, including $7 burgers after 7 pm on Sunday. Finally, no more Sunday night blues!

It’s a second floor destination — built before ADA stuff, no doubt. You climb up and it’s . . .cute! There’s glossy, clean wood paneling, Tiffany-style light fixtures and an outdoor deck.

Food is prepared right at the bar, so you can see the care taken with it. I first tried a hotdog sandwich with salami. It’s kind of a riff on the deli favorite of hotdog with bologna. This is a fun sandwich! The red hots are split to lay flat on the freshest of Kaiser rolls, then grilled. Thick-cut salami is also grilled and stacked on top. The chef recommends that you use hot mustard and so do I!

Then, I had the Baltimore Burger. It’s a freshly grilled burger on Kaiser topped with rich crab dip and melted cheddar cheese. OMG! How do I put this? It’s the best burger I’ve had in Baltimore, EVER. I’ve lived here for 30 years. I know there are burgers in NYC with short ribs and foie gras, but really . . . could they even be any better than lumps of sweet crab and melty cheese on a thick, perfectly grilled burger and soft Kaiser bun? I have to watch out how much I chow down on now — occupational hazard — but I really could have eaten a second one right there and then! It was that good.

They have all kinds of specials, including $7 burgers after 7 pm on Sunday. Finally, no more Sunday night blues!

 

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