Joann Levin from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the chopped salad that was served at the now-closed Maison Marconi restaurant in downtown Baltimore. Marconi's, which opened in 1920, was an institution in Baltimore. It endured for years until the early 2000s, and the restaurant and some of its signature dishes remain near and dear to many as indicated by the number of requests I continue to receive. Unfortunately, the restaurant never produced a cookbook or officially shared any recipes. However, over the years I have come across a number of copycat recipes for some of their most popular dishes.
I ran a recipe in this column several years ago for a reasonable facsimile of the Marconi's chopped salad that Mike Flynn from Timonium, Md., sent in. He told me that he developed it from his memory of the salad served at the restaurant. Recently, I came across another similar take on the Marconi chopped salad on www.food.com. The contributor had seen Flynn's recipe in this column in 2009 then put together her own version — also inspired by Marconi's.
The salad tastes best if all your ingredients, and even your salad bowl, are nice and cold. So get chopping; you, too, can recreate a taste experience from this lost treasure of a restaurant and a time gone by.
Linda Terlizzi from Hanover, Pa., would love to have the recipe for the peach cake that was made at the New Systems Bakery on 36th street in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood.
Jan Griffin from Cary, N.C., is looking for the recipe for the spice cake/log that A&P stores sold many years ago.