« Bakery cafes flourish in a troubled economy | Main | The Meat Week haiku »

January 20, 2010

News from the frozen tundra

GreatSageVegan.jpgI just checked my work inbox, and while I've been gone, folks have e-mailed me some interesting tidbits of news.

John P. tells me that Boccaccio in Little Italy, both the restaurant and the liquor license, is being auctioned off Feb. 17.

Great Sage in Clarksville, a favorite gourmet vegetarian restaurant in the area, has become completely vegan as of Jan. 1. Reaction has been very favorable, according to the owners. I think this says something about veganism becoming more mainstream, but I'm not sure what. ...

Big Al sent me a link to's Top 10 Heart-Healthy Restaurants in the United States list, and Dalesio's of Little Italy is No. 4. We've all gotten a little cynical about Top 10 lists here, but it's still nice to have the national recognition.

On the other hand, the list of other heart-healthy places in Baltimore is strange. 

And while we're talking Little Italy, Sergio Vitale of Aldo's sent me a couple of funny links, one to where you can buy the Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn Pig Out, which gives new meaning to the term "eat your heart out" and another to Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Kit. Reviews, anyone?

Ken e-mailed me to say, "I just called Venegas Prime Filet and was told they are not honoring any gift certificates or gift cards from Jordan's as Jordan's database of information was lost.  I mentioned your newspaper article and your blog and was told the information given to you on certificate acceptance was wrong."

My guess is that once Jordan's owner was no longer involved in the restaurant they figured there was no upside to honoring the gift cards. I still think it might be to a new restaurant's advantage, but maybe they are doing well without having to offer any incentives or promotions to draw in new customers.

The frozen tundra is where my e-mailers are, by the way, not me. Here the weather is sunny and warm. The reason you haven't heard much about it is that I've given myself over to a nasty head cold and am doing nothing but watching the Australian Open and drinking lemonade.

(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:07 AM | | Comments (16)


Die, mucus, die!

Freshly sliced ginger with a topper of sriracha sauce and wasabi. The two minutes of full on "ouch" is worth the sinus clearing.

Meekrat, that wouldn't just clear out one's sinuses, it'd also melt all the snow within 200 miles!

I can shed a little light on the Jordan's gift card debacle: basically we (Portalli's) and Venegas have no way of knowing what is on a Jordan's gift card. That database is long gone, so when we swipe it on our Micros it won't show us what's left on the card. Therefore somebody could come in with a $25 gift card and tell us there's $300 on it and we'd have no way to prove it one way or the other.

Our original intention was to offer the full amount on a Jordan's card, but for obvious reasons we can no longer do that. What we decided on was to offer a flat $50 for any Jordan's gift card since that was most likely the best selling amount (based on what former Jordan's employees have told us). I can certainly understand Carlos' (of Venegas Prime) stance- there's no way of telling what's on the card and they have no affiliation with Jordan's in any way other than being in the same county. We, on the other hand, have taken over the spot Jordan's used to occupy so it made more sense in our case to honor the gift cards.

So basically, that's the deal. If anybody has a Jordan's gift card feel free to bring it in to Portalli's and we will honor it at $50 per card.

EL, I have read that you can do do-it-yourself acupressure to clear the sinuses by placing a finger on ether side of the base of the nose and gently applying pressure. I haven't tried this myself, as I rely on my trusty Neti pot.

I second the recommendation of the Neti pot. Looks awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you're good at a minimum for the whole day.

Those neti pots really work?

I guess I will have to try one.

BTW, I'm finally able to use my wireless network at home. Comcast couldn't help me, but the IT guy at work walked me thru it over the phone.

Just have to get a mouse for this laptop, the touch pad is a PITA.

My doc and Yum Porchetta recommend the squeezy version of the neti pot. Means you don't have to contort yourself. The kind YumPo got me had pre-measured packets of the saline stuff.

It did seem to help when I had my sinus infection from hell this past summer.

The ad hoc fried chicken kit seems to be missing both oil and chicken. It looks like a bag of salt and flour for $15.

The neti pot has been suggested to me by a number of people, but I think I'd rather have bad sinuses than look like the people on the neti pot commercial while their using it. Sure, there's nobody that will see me, but just knowing that I looked like that is enough of a deterrent.

RoCK- yeah apparently when you become a world famous chef, the next step is to mix common household spices together, put them on the shelf and make billions. [Note to self: Become world famous chef]

Neti pot? Oh sweet chrysanthemum hippie flower power sunflower tangerine profoofery! Silly lads, don't fummel your swichbeg to the Tamil neti conglomerates. Take a glass of hot salt water and pour it into your sniff-blegger. Silly hippies. Beckham 4eva!

Lee Biars, props to you for doing the right thing in a difficult situation!

Just have to get a mouse for this laptop, the touch pad is a PITA.

Radio Shack, about $20. It isn't cordless but the ball is in a stationary setting (instead rolling the mouse all over the arm of the couch)

Eve, that is called a trackball.

I have a mouse for the laptop, it just wasn't with me at the time. But a trackball is a pretty good idea too, didn't think those were still around.

Oh. He's back.

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected