The 25 Best Food Moments in The Wire

From pit beef to lake trout sandwiches, the beloved HBO series delves deep into the guts of Baltimore.

Wee-Bey Loves Horseradish

Season: One
Episode Name: "Lessons"
Actual Baltimore restaurant: Chaps Pit Beef

The Barksdale boys go to eat some pit beef (a beloved Baltimore sandwich made with grilled top round shaved thin and served on a sandwich) for lunch. Wee-Bey—the muscle in the group—spreads tons of horseradish all over his order, which elicits a response from D'Angelo: "Damn, Bey, how can you stand that shit with all that hot shit on it?" The stone-cold killer replies, "The trick is not to give a fuck, boy. I got this."

Pit beef acts as both a regional marker for the Baltimore working-class neighborhood where the scene takes place, as well as a symbolic divide between Wee-Bey—the metaphorical "beef" who can dismiss it all—and D, who is incapable of doing such (he is commonly associated with chicken on the show).

Unfortunately, this YouTube clip ends before we see Wee-Bey choke on his super-spicy sandwich.


  • Jakest

    Slide 4: “may be”

    • First We Feast

      @4931c3b0e816719b8455a0659bd11f27:disqus got it, thanks for the catch

  • McNulty

    The scene in slide 1 is also referencing a famous scene from Lawrence of Arabia (“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” –

  • Actually…

    The meal in Clyburn Park did not get Bodie killed. Being seen outside Central Booking talking to McNulty later — that was the telltale.

    • First We Feast

      @5fbd72948ededfe29020e2d5a172b5bc:disqus good call. cleared up the language, was meant to connect it to the string of meeting between the two.

  • Mike

    There’s some good character insight when Bubbles visits & volunteers at the soup kitchen.

  • BunnynSunny

    I’m from Baltimore and I don’t ever recall Lake Trout as local food.

    • Actually…

      Are you white or black? Selling whiting as “lake trout” is a fundamental in Baltimore’s inner city, and a journey to any sandwich shop or seafood joint between Hilton Street and Milton Avenue will confirm as much. If you are a white Baltimorean, it may well have eluded you. My favorite: Tyrone’s on North Avenue, although the place at Woodland and Park Heights brings it as well.

    • Zack

      Dude, Lake Trout is a MAJOR city food. Have you never food heard of a chicken box, either? You must be the whitest person or actually from Bel Air.

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  • technoreaper

    How did this writer miss the scene where the prosecutor, detectives and I forgot who else were wearing the bibs and eating the crab outdoors? That was in season one, I think. Very memorable. Holy fail.

  • Bubs N McNutty The Sitcom

    How about the Chinese food McNutty spills on himself the night Prez shoots another cop? If Prez wouldn’t have gone to pick up the order, he’d still be a cop.

  • JenR

    David Simon is pure genius, Baltimore is one of the most amazing food cities and the Wire is hands down the best show ever. I’ve seen every epi 3x+ and am still wowed.

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  • t-mack

    Season four when Namond treats the boys to Chinese food and Dukie orders his meal and ask for Turkey Grease, not knowing that’s what helps drunks like his parents throw up the liquor so they can sober up.

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  • T Inman

    MISSING: Season 2, ‘White Mike’ McCardle. Interrogation with McNulty and Greggs. White Mike offers confession against ‘The Greek’s’ people for “Two hot dogs and a strawberry soda…Hook a brotha up.”

  • ash333

    Four glaring omissions as far as I can see: 1. Bubbles sitting down for dinner with his sister in the final episode. 2. ‘Snatchpops’ (The craze of smacking a friends food out of his hands and on to the floor). 3. Marlo stealing the lollypop and having the guy who dares stand up to him killed. 4. Landsman’s lunch times. Always a bottle of Peptobismal on the desk to wash down his mammoth meals of sandwiches that barely hold together to ‘Chicken Doo-Hickys’.

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