And Baltimore Ave. has its Dollar Stroll

If the idea of an evening outing along eatery lane appeals, consider trekking to the next Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 1 in University City.

Launched two years ago, the Baltimore Avenue Stroll shares some similarities with Night Market - both feature bands, D.J.s, crowds, gourmet food trucks, and specials at the local eateries. In fact, the most recent Baltimore Avenue Stroll coincided with the Mount Airy Night Market, on Aug. 4.

But Night Market, sponsored by the Food Trust, and the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, a project of the University City District, are pals, not competitors, says Lori Brennan of the University City District.

"We set our dates months in advance," Brennan said, "so it was just a coincidence that we both chose Aug. 4."

September will be different. Baltimore Avenue's Dollar Stroll then will be the last one for 2011. Night Market plans one last event this fall, too, in Chinatown on Oct. 6.

At the Baltimore Avenue event, at least 15 restaurants on the eight-block strip between 42d and 51st Streets will take part, with each offering at least one $1 deal.

Elena's Soul Showcase, Lounge & Cafe at 4912 Baltimore will sell $1 cans of PBR (that's Pabst Blue Ribbon to you); the Gold Standard Cafe, 4800 Baltimore, will sell $1 mini sandwiches, wraps, and brownies; Milk & Honey Market, 4435 Baltimore, will offer $1 Bassetts ice cream; and, at Vientiane Cafe at 4728 Baltimore, look for $1 chicken or tofu skewers, spring rolls, and bottles of water.

Specialty food trucks and vendors, also with dollar deals, will be at the ever-popular Clark Park Farmers Market (43d and Baltimore) - Jose Garces' Guapos Tacos and Country Meadows Barbecue are frequent vendors there. Live bands and a DJ will provide the night's soundtrack.

The University City District will give out free copies of West Philly Mix Tape download card, featuring tracks from some of the 'hood's finest musicians.

About 1,500 folks, from the neighborhood and beyond, are expect to land on Baltimore Avenue Sept. 1.

"It's a great concept," Brennan says, "with a nice, neighborhoody feel."

- Dianna Marder