13.5 for Silo Point
The folks behind 13.5 % wine bar in Hampden will be opening a project in Silo Point this summer.
That's about the size of it. But I've been promised more details in a while.
Baltimore Sun photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor
The folks behind 13.5 % wine bar in Hampden will be opening a project in Silo Point this summer.
That's about the size of it. But I've been promised more details in a while.
Baltimore Sun photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor
I just got a call from a reader asking me I knew anything about its closing. I didn't. But Mary Zajac over at City Paper did. Apparently, the closed sign went up on May 22.
I just called Perring Place's number and let the phone ring and ring. On the 20th ring or so, someone picked up! Yes, the person confirmed (I couldn't quite make out every word), the restaurant is closed.
I had never been, but by most descriptions, this was one of those Old Baltimore places. I also can't confirm that Peter Angelos was Perring Place's majority owner.
Who was a Perring Place fan?
I found very little to complain about at Bluestone, and I would recommend for all sorts of needs and occasions. I liked the food, and I flipped over the patio.
I said in the review that I stopped short of loving Bluestone, but there are comments under the review from folks who love it unabashedly.
I think for me to love a restaurant I have to connect with it in some way, and ultimately, I don't have to love a restaurant to patronize it.
How about you? How important to you is that little something extra?
Baltimore Sun photo/Colby Ware
But, where are the food trucks today (in this heat)?
Kooper's Chowhound Burger Wagon is Downtown at Commerce and Pratt streets from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Souper Freaks is at Ashland and Wolfe near Hopkins Hospital, and they've got chilled soups today.
Gypsy Queen is at Fayette and Paca near the University of Maryland, 11 a..m.-2 p.m.
Iced Gems is at 6105 Harford Road from 12-1:30 p.m. or until sellout.
Creperie Breizh is doing an event at the Bryn Mawr School and is scouting locations the next few days.
I'll add more as the Tweets come in.
We may learn a lot about the future of Baltimore's fledgling food truck fleet at tomorrow's meeting of the Street Vendors Board. Stay tuned.
Baltimore Sun photo/Jed Kirschbaum
I hope everyone had a relaxing and safe weekend.
It sure got humid.
Who ate where?
Anyone have soft shells?
I'd love to hear from folks who went down to the beaches - what was good there?
The sleeping pet of the week is Max. Max is dogphew.
In the previous episode unicorn-and-rainbow-loving neurotic lawyer Stephenie was sent packing after giving the judges a lecture on how lamb was not sustainable or ethical or something that she invented on the spot. Not knowing the difference between lamb and veal is beyond lame.
Now it is down to Sudhir’s Indian lite version of Chipotle, Jamawn with his “healthy” fake soul food, and Joey “Saucy Balls” with the less gonad-y Brooklyn Meatball Co.
The final three abandon their tiny food court kiosks and get separate restaurants spaces. Then they shoot a Benetton ad. Yeah, they’re movin’ on up ... to a deluxe restaurant in the sky.
This looks like the restaurant wars episodes of Top Chef. Minus good food.
They shop for equipment and fixtures. They also get a chance to redesign their logos. The studio restaurants look about the same size as the eventual winner’s restaurant. Very impressive, but small.
The judges don their chef jackets and “mentor” them in the kitchen. I think this was to remind us that these listless cranky gastro-knobs actually know how to cook.
Everybody’s family surprises them for the “soft opening”. Another fake surprise Top Chef trick. Jamawn and Joey are very emotional and Sudhir is restrained and polite. Sometimes I think this is more of a popularity contest than anything. Sudhir hasn’t cried yet. I think this kills his chances. You know, The Passion thing. I just realized that the nerdiest contestant is most strongly supported by King Nerd Steve Ells. It’s a true bromance.
The three restaurants open and people stream in. They all look like beautiful finished places, in a fast casual sort of way.
Spice Coast’s menu looks Mexican now with quesadillas, carnitas, and tacos. It’s weird that to make Indian food more accessible he uses Mexican names and constructions.
Joey’s order-taker is messing up the orders. Service is a disaster. Then the air conditioning blows the order slips off the counter. LMAO. As in every episode, Lorena babbles on about The Passion. The judges like the food though. People love this guy, but they also think he’s kind of a no-class joke.
My problem with this concept is how good can a ball of meat be? The best meatball ever is still not going to make it onto my list of a hundred things I want to eat. Ditto with a crab cake, a.k.a. meatball of the sea. Or meat loaf.
Judges like the Soul Daddy food. Oh great, now the chef there is crying about Jamawn’s Powerful Stories of Overcoming Adversity. I think the editing is foreshadowing a lot here.
The photo above is the worst Benetton clothing ad ever.
In the previous episode the SoCal so-so boho sun-dried undynamic duo from Grill’Billies was sent home after they served eye-gouging kabobs to four year olds. They also served half their food to the floor after their crazy-eyed chef tipped over the rolling cart of finished food.
Four restaurant concepts remain. I wish there was some kind of cage match and a fight to the death.
The remaining four will make three dishes for people in Las Vegas outside Caesar’s Palace. The thinking is that Vegas is a better cross-section of the country than say, Sunset Boulevard. They will be serving 900 people, which sounds untrue.
Blah blah blah, I’m tired of their personal stories. Shut up and cook. Jamawn’s Tales of Adversity and Triumph are tedious. I ain’t buying your pity ribs, fool.
Stephenie takes the lamb out of a dish because it may not be sustainable. Sustainable lamb? I don’t think I understand that. Nobody eats mutton, so I think the lamb is an almost infinite resource, Me thinks she is an idiot.
They have to hire two people and let them be prep cooks in the kitchen and serve the food while the contestants do shmoozy things and bite their nails.
SpiceCoast – Cardamom and mango milkshake. Chicken mini-taco. (Shakes fist at sky.)
Soul Daddy – Cajun salmon, barbecue ribs, and fried chicken.
Brooklyn Meathead Meatball Co. – Traditional meatballs with Sunday sauce (I have no idea) and white meat turkey balls with gorgonzola sauce. Lorena Garcia convinces him to change the heavy gorgonzola sauce to a white wine sauce.
Harvest Sol – Slow roasted short ribs over kale and a grilled Greek sandwich of zucchini and other things minus the non-sustainable lamb. It turns out that Stephenie has no idea what she is talking about regarding lamb. She admits that she confused it with veal. So lamb is back in.
The investors address the crowd outside Caesar’s Palace from a balcony Mussolini-style. Disturbing. Bobby Flay strikes a messianic pose to calm the masses. You know, Las Vegas is the PERFECT place to test out America’s Next Fake Restaurant. It is the capital of fake (except for anything Disney).
Emperor Elf Lord Ells dresses like his mother laid out his clothes for him ... when he was six. In 1952. In Dorksylvania. Aussie cartoon chef Curtis Stone looks again like he just came from a cover shoot for Honcho magazine. What is the deal with the untucked shirts? You guys look like a bunch of Towson numbnuts taking your girlfriends to wing night at Looney’s.
Look, it’s Penn and Teller.
In the previous episode Sandy from the high concept / low quality Sinners & Saints was kicked off for her consistently miserable food. Finally. Now get out of here before we sic Cerberus on you!
Five restaurant concepts remain: Chill grilin’ LA style, soul food lite, Indian lite, meatballery, and pseudo-organic pseudo-Mediterranean. Now let’s get crackin’ with this hour long ad for Chipotle America’s Next Restaurant You Settle For Because You Live in a Subtopian Wasteland of Banality.
The project for this episode is to create kid-friendly healthier food and design a promotional item (toy) to go with it. Uh oh, SpiceCoast. Kids don’t do Indian (except kids in India).
Soul Daddy is making a waffle sandwich (???) with turkey sausage and apple sauce spread. He later replaces turkey sausage with turkey bacon and chicken breast to be more healthy. It has pointy sticks holding it together ... for four year olds. Waffle sandwich? His toy is a corn bread muffin man with crayons inside that says “Soul Daddy” when you open it. Cool.
Grill’Billies is serving steak and chicken kabobs. More pointy sticks for small children. They’re going to need a M*A*S*H unit on site. Their toy is a plastic grilling beaver. Wait, it’s a lightning bug with beaver teeth and its butt lights up. Whuck? Much drama between the Wonder Twins and their chef. Chef wins and lame owners lose. Steak kabobs don’t feel like kid food. Can’t wait for the kids to start running with pointy sticks. I so hope someone else is giving out scissors and fireworks.
SpiceCoast is making a spicy veggie burger, French fries, and a milkshake. The toy is a plastic coconut with plastic representations of spices inside. Eh. When I was a kid I don’t remember that spices even existed.
Cinghiale isn't an official participant in the promotion but they're serving one helluva soft shell crab right now.
The Chesapeake Bay crabs are dipped in chef Julian Marucci's "secret recipe batter" and served with a alad of baby argula, preserved sweet peppers and a toasty almond butter.
Tonight, Cinghiale is pairing this soft shell dish with Prosecco, which is being offered at $5 a glass.
These soft shells don't stay around for ever. I know some of you only like your soft shells prepared in the most traditional way. But I tried this version last night, and I thought it was insanely satisfying.
I received this note:
My parents are coming to visit me for the weekend. They recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and I want to take them out for a nice dinner. I'm thinking seafood in Annapolis... somewhere where we can look at the water. Something nice, but not necessarily stuffy. From looking around online, it looks like I have more than a few options. Do you have a favorite? My parents are New England natives living in North Carolina, so I'm hoping to find them a seafood dinner that will blow them away.
First of all, what a good son!
Let's help him out. Where should he take them?
It's Memorial Day weekend.
Here's a list of Memorial Day events in Maryland.
We've got the annual Brew at the Zoo Saturday and Sunday (confession: I've never been); the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championships (confession: I've never seen an entire lacrosse game); New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys play 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday (confession: I was the "ugly one" in a boy band named the Staircase Witz).
Here's the Weekend Watch portal?
Who's grilling? Anyone invited to a crab feast? Who's dining out in Baltimore? Who's hitting the road?
Baltimore Sun photo/Amy Davis
They can't all be winners.
This is, what, JH3's fourth review, and while the first several have been descriptions of positive experiences; this one is not. I think he does a very nice job of making his criticisms clear. Nothing about his review seems gratuitous or snarky to me.
John devotes a few sentences to Te Amo's piano bar, which I've heard has been drawing enthusiastic patrons. A piano bar certainly stands out as alternative entertainment on the Square in Canton.
Are piano bars and lounges making a comeback? There are a few of them in Little Italy. Where else?
Baltimore Sun photo/Gene Sweeney, Jr.
The Woodlawn Vase may be leaving the state, but one trophy is staying home.
The Undisputed Preakness Pony Pig Out National Eating Champ was Jay "Gormonster" Gorman of Baltimore, whom Baltimore Sun readers met in John-John Williams' March article about a sushi-eating competition at Ra.
Here are the results of Saturday's Great Preakness Pony Pig Out National Eating Championship. Competitors had to consume 3 pounds of horse themed foods (e.g., carrots, oatmeal, apples) in dessert form - 1.75 lbs. of carrot cake, 1 pound of oatmeal creamed cookies (12 total) and .425 lbs. of of apple turnover. Gorman ate all that in 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
The purse: 250 simoleans.
Here's the full coverage on the website of All Pro Eating Promotions, which sanctioned the competition.
photos courtesy All Pro Eating Promotions
A new restaurant is about to open on Talbot Street in St. Michaels.
It's called the Big Pickle FoodBar.
The chef and manager Chad Scott, and Big Pickle marks his return to the Eastern Shore, where he helped open and ran Mason's in Easton for five years.
A graduate of Hyde Park, Scott had his New York apprenticeship era (with Jean-Georges Vongrichten and Eric Bedoucha at La Grenouille), and later did time in Atlanta and Roanoke, Va, where he opened and operated 202 Market.
Big Pickle FoodBar is located at 209 S. Talbot St. in St. Michaels. The website address is www.bigpicklefoodbar.com
I'll have more details soon.
The Sun's celebrity traveler of the month is chef John Shields of Gertrude's.
Ireland is where Shields likes to go when he can. Read about it.
I found this photo in Merlin. I'll have to find out where on his travels Shields found this soup and brown bread.
Where would you go tomorrow if you could go anywhere?
photo by John Shields
Thought you might want to hear about a few new restaurants in Ocean City in case you're headed down this weekend.
What else is new in Ocean City and the Delaware beaches?
What are you most looking forward to eating again, both the Boardwalk classics and in your favorite haunts.
► Opening on Friday, JUST in time for Memorial Day weekend is Simon & Olivers Wood Fire Grille. Here's the Facebook page (a website is coming soon). Simon & Olivers is located at 11604 Coastal Hwy, which looks on Google Maps to be about flip-flop walking distance from the Carousel. The phone number is 443-664-6708.
It's an American menu, with entrees priced at $20-30. Woodfired entrees, obviously, are the house specialty, and other menu highlights include grilled flatbread pizzas, sliders, crab pretzels and carpaccio.
The opening is being celebrated with a big party on Friday night. Open for lunch and dinner, it looks like, seven days a week.
►There is apparently another wood-fired grill joint opening on 33rd St. in the former Tutti Gusti space but I haven't been able to dredge up its name.
Baltimore Sun photo/Kim Hairston
That's what Melissa McCarthy told Conan O'Brien last night. (Grub Street)
It's only funny if you saw the movie and know Fieri's antics.
I this useful? I was thinking of doing this via Twitter (but I know not everyone is down with Twitter). But if you do use Twitter, please follow me @gorelickingood
Chowhound the Burger Wagon - Fayette &
Creperie Breizh - Charles & 33rd
Curbside Cafe - Central & Fleet
Iced Gems - Charles and Lombard
Souper Freaks - Calvert & Monument
Gypsy Truck - in maintenance (I think, I'll keep checking)
Last night, at a location I've agreed not to disclose, a group of the city's food truck vendors met to map out strategies. Alvin O. Gillard from the City of Balitimore was invited to attend, and did.
One participant at the meeting, who asked not to be identified, described the discussions between the vendors and the City as being "on the right track."
Going back home to Kooper's Tavern :( No luck at all with parking!
Good morning little burgeries... Who is hungry? Downtown / Inner Harbor today on E Pratt and Commerce St!
Good morningHopkins Hosp! We have another great rainy day menu at Ashland and Wolfe Street. We can't wait to see you!
Cash only tomorrow Harbor East! Sunny has jury doody.
@P4L hey sweetie we are not gonna be out tomorrow the Queen needs maintenance wanted to give u a heads up so you can plan:)
Bob Swank's lost recaps of America's Next Great Restaurant are a bonus feature on Dining@Large. Enjoy. RG
In the previous episode Melty the grilled cheese wimp was declared not gooey enough and was scraped off the grill. Sorry, Melty, I guess it’s just you and your George Foreman at home ranting about dipping sauces for all eternity. Next!
Today’s project? Design your own food truck. Nooo... It was inevitable. They also have to make one new entrée and one new side dish. They are given $300 for food and will be judged on how much profit they make.
Sandy of Sinners & Saints believes in her awesome chef, but fires her. Perhaps it had something to do with her making bad food every single time.
Three trucks park on Hollywood Boulevard in front of Chateau Denim. Uh oh, Soul Daddy. The other three park on Sunset Boulevard. The first location is bustling with foot traffic on a Sunday, but the second has few humans, but possibly some C.H.U.D.s.
Grill’Billies serves a grilled chicken sandwich and half an ear of corn on the cob ... on a stick. Everything is better on a stick. Judges love this place.
Judges hate Joey’s “tacky” design for the Brooklyn Meatball Company (neé Saucy Balls) truck. Come on, after six episodes Joey has been as classy as Donald Trump’s wig closet. Oh! I’m sure that a truck called Saucy Balls would be banned from being within a hundred yards of a playground or school.
He is serving a turkey meatball sub. Pass. Elf Lord Steve Ells obsesses about the bread. Flay hates everything except the meat balls. Aussie meat puppet Curtis (Carved From) Stone thinks that displaying a sample of the food is disgusting and unprecedented. Fast forward to the Blunder from Down Under licking his fingers licking he’s sucking the heads out of crawfish.
Soul Daddy Jamawn used canned green beans. Fail.
Over at SpiceCoast Sudhir serves up chickpea and cauliflower tacos and green chili tacos. By the eyes of Ganesh I HATE this idea. It comes with a roasted corn, tomato and jicama salad for $3. Yikes. Everybody else is selling their food for $6. Sudhir is the only one so far to actually figure out his food costs (under a dollar). Judges love the food.
Health freak Stephenie at Harvest Sol serves up a falafel salad. She used canned chickpeas. Fail. Judges all think it should be served as a sandwich. My head hurts.
Sandy from Sinners & Saints served “some of the worst mac and cheese ever” according to chef-mimbo Curtis Stone.
Nobody made a profit. Soul Daddy had the highest revenue. Joey had the lowest.
Judges love Joey’s balls of meat and hate all his marketing and design.
Sinners & Saints once again delivered terrible food with a new chef.
Stephenie gets bashed about canned chick peas.
Hit the road, bartender Sandy. You have been 86’d.
The gang at Grub Street came up with a feature on summer food treks. One destination per state, except for California, which was fault-lined into Southern and Northern regions.
Look where they're sending folks in Maryland.
UPDATE, May 24, 10 a.m.: It's a fun feature but a little unwieldy if you're interested in just one state. The Maryland destination is Tilghman Island (no specific restaurant)
What did everybody do this weekend? Sorry this post is coming so late in the day, but I really would like to know.
The sleeping pets of the week are Bentley and Mallard. They live with Jesse Sandlin!
A restaurant owner sent me his thoughts about food trucks. I've done some minor editing.
If a food truck parked in front of (my restaurant), I would take it as a direct challenge and pick up my game.
I know I sound like a d***head, but I'm not doing this to be average, I'm doing it to be the best.
We do this to be the best!
If you are a brick and mortar (a phrase that is obscenely stupid and now overused) restaurant, attempt to be better than the food truck! Again, if a truck was in front of (my restaurant), I would take all of their customers. That's it. It's business.
The food truck people are brave and bold for starting businesses in the worst economic climate of ours lives. More power to them and bring it on. If a truck sells more food than your s***hole, that means your food sucks!
I didn't think this would fly on the Sun website, so I sent it to you.
Thank you for your interest in Corks and Abacrombie. Corks reopened on Friday with a "soft opening". We did not change the voicemail or broadcast it because having been closed for so long, we didn't want to overwhelm the kitchen or staff and therefore leave our guests with a less than amazing experience. Rest assured that we open again with normal hours and specials: half-price steaks sun-thur, pasta night wed. Also, the voicemail has been updated.
Turned out to be a great suggestion, said the colleague, who was impressed with the place, as were the friends who had originally suggested meeting at the Olive Garden.
Thanks gang (and especially lily)
I just learned how to do these Twitter captures
Location update! The chowhound is on N Calvert and E Monument!
We are on Wyman Park Dr corner of Keswick until 1:30.
John Lindner reviews the Land of Kush, a new vegan restaurant in Seton Hill, close to the State Office Building complex. He found a lot of vegan food that had the look and feel of meat. I know some vegans and vegetarians are down with that and some are grossed out.
Bottom line, though - he liked it. Have a read.
In the last episode Sudhir’s Indian Lite / Indian Chipotle came out on top and looked tasty. Bobby Flay screamed that he wanted more cheese on his grilled cheese and the MeltWorks guy withered and cried a little. The consensus of the test crowd was that no one would utter the sentence, “I’m in the mood for saucy balls”. What do you get when you combine self-proclaimed coolness with bad tacos? You get kicked off the show. Adios, Alex and Revolting, I mean Revolution Tacos. Seven contestants remain, but only one will win and become that place in a strip mall that you settle for.
The challenge this week is to design a restaurant uniform. What I like about this show is that there is some reality to it. They dig into real world facets of running a restaurant that matter – menu design, furniture, décor, names, logos, slogans, etc. My brain is on fire to find out what Saucy Balls’ uniforms look like.
This should be fun. People with no fashion design background have to literally design their own uniforms and then someone will manufacture them. Giggle giggle. Time to bring forth my inner Tim Gunn.
Comical photo shoot involving props ensues:
Chill’Billies – Goal: “funky, fun, and interesting”. Result: Ugly gray t-shirt with tiny logo and whatever jeans. Boring. Fail.
Soul Daddy – Goal: Marvin Gaye / Motown. Result: Club bouncer. Black shirt with logo, black slacks, and blue striped tie. That’s not a fast casual soul food uniform. Prediction. Fail.
Sinners & Saints – Goal: Unknown. Result: Large logo on white tee with “mom” jeans. It’s just a t-shirt. Fail.
MeltWorks – Goal: Something conservative. Result: Maroon semi-V-neck long sleeve shirt with his gooey yellow dripping gear logo prominently displayed on front. Looks like an ad for preventing a robot venereal disease. (emphasis mine - RG)
SpiceCoast – Gray V-neck shirt. Couldn’t really see it. Gray isn’t very appetizing.
Harvest Sol – Long sleeve t-shirt, white with maroon sleeves and a large maroon stalk of wheat in front. Eh.
Saucy Balls – Goal: Brooklyn gangster. He also wants to show that he is “hugging you with my food.” Great slogan: Saucy Balls hugs your children with turkey balls. 911! Dial 911, Timmy! Result: Ridiculous cliché racist stereotype. Black long sleeve collared shirt, black slacks, white tie, and (wait for it) ... black and white wing tip shoes. Comical fail. Joey does DeNiro’s “You talkin’ to me?” bit from Taxi Driver during shoot. Oh, I forgot, he also has a machine gun. So much for hugs.
Flay announces something called Investor’s Choice. The four judge-investors get to pick something from their menu or something that’s missing. I think the items chosen from the menu have never been made before.
Sinners & Saints – A turkey burger (on menu). Hate crime! No one has ever said, “I had the BEST turkey burger today.”
Harvest Sol – Make shrimp panzanella salad on the menu, but make it into a sandwich for people on the go. From Wikipedia: “Panzanella is a Florentine salad of ... chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.” Stephenie’s response to Big Dog Flay: “I would prefer not to.” Nonplussed Flay’s reaction: “Interesting.”
Stephenie explains that no one eats and walks, so sandwiches are uncool. Judge Curtis “Who ARE you?” Stone disagrees. He sees people eating and walking all time. Yes, disgusting people with food stains on their jorts.
The judges seem kind of stupid here. Taking a salad where croutons are central to dish and making it into a sandwich is dumb. Stephenie relents and agrees to make salad and sandwich versions.
Meltworks – Stoney Curtis gloats over his beat down of wimpy Melty. Flay once again obsesses about dipping sauces. Melty must make a "classic” grilled cheese with five dipping sauces. Classic means just cheese and bread.
SpiceCoast – Make the menu item called Goan Chicken, but change the name.
Saucy Balls – Curtis: “You need to be serving your balls over salad.” Joey’s task is to serve his eggplant parmagiana balls on a sandwich. Yuk.
Soul Daddy – Bring back the fried chicken and waffles but in a new way.
Grill’Billies – Make menu item Cherry Cola BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. Sound disgusting. Sympathy points: They have to make pulled pork for the first time ... in three hours.
Most of these tasks seem easy, except for Melty, who has to invent five new sauces in three hours. His days are numbered. The judges want to turn a salad into a sandwich but a sandwich into something you dip into a sauce. So much for walking and eating.
Cans of Diet Cherry Coke are poured into a pot. Great Caesar’s Ghost!
Lots of lame do-or-die talk.
Stephenie phone orders ten baguettes. Why? Other people are making sandwiches. Editing foreshadowing ... ?
Still no sign of judges Steve Ells or Lorena “Coochie coochie” Garcia.
Eat it! Dip it! Walk with it! Make it work, people!
What’s with the V-neck t-shirts? Is it some LA thing?
The culinary test takes place in Pershing Park where there presumably will be much walking while eating. And dipping and walking and eating.
Steve Ells in pink button-down shirt LOVES the bleak gray V-neck (!!!) t-shirt uniform of Chill’Billies that looks like haute gulag to me. Aussie Glossy Curtis describes cherry cola pulled pork as “gross” before tasting. Ells chimes in with “a little junky”. White trash crap. Just say it. Remember, a key ingredient is Diet Cherry Coke. And they love it.
Over at Harvest Sol Stephenie serves up her shrimp panzanella salad as a sandwich on whole wheat pita. Whuck? We saw her order baguettes.
Soul Daddy serves up chicken and waffles with a twist ... bacon! Wow, that’s not obvious. Moron judge Garcia suggests that Jamawn make his tie shorter so that it ends in the middle of his chest, Oliver Hardy style.
Flay and Garcia enter the gates of Hell. Oops, I mean they try the stupid turkey burger they wanted at Sinners & Saints. One was raw and the other was over-cooked. I think my finger just threw up typing “turkey burger”.
Joey, Joey, Joey. Meat baller Joey gets hoisted on his own parmagiana. Stone: Gangster photo “making a total mockery of his own business”.
Sudhir from SpiceCoast renames Goan Chicken as Mom’s Curry Chicken. This seems to confuse Chipotle founder Steve Ells: “You mean mom, like mother?” OMG, in his continuing quest for a more Onanistic world where everything is “hand-held”, he once again wants to make everything into a sandwich. Plate and fork. Deal with it, dweeb.
Stoney Curtis disagrees with the Earl of Sandwich. Flashback: In the previous episode Cap’n Chipotle wanted to plop the meat, salad and sauce from SpiceCoast onto the naan and turn it into a taco. I think they have medication for OCD now, dude. Sudhir is now “petrified”. Based upon Ells’ sledgehammer sandwich model, I am guessing that the food at Chipotle is bland and boring. Reports from the field also say that if you tried to eat a Chipotle burrito while walking, your shirt would look like something discarded onto the floor at Shock / Trauma.
It’s Melty time! Eric from MeltWorks delivers five stupid dipping sauces, as demanded, to Flay. Flay tastes them. With. His. Dirty. Fingers. Oh, I assumed you were supposed to dip the sandwich in them. Dipping sauces – I hate you, Bobby Flay.
Flay doesn’t love every sauce (or his grubby fingers don’t). He complains that for dipping a basic mom-style grilled cheese Eric has missed the “obvious”: pesto and chimichurri. I think my brain just exploded. Chimicurri? Pesto? “Mom, where’s the damn chimichurri dipping sauce?” Whack! Upside my head. Chimi Churri? Didn’t she used to be on the Merv Griffin show a lot? No, that was Charo.
Swill’Billies’ Diet Cherry Coke pulled pork BBQ was the customer favorite. Go figure.
It’s Joey time. Nobody digs the kitschy gangster thing.
Melty on the grill. Doy! He wants to take the regular grilled cheese off the menu. He prefers “kind of” grilled cheese. This feels like a funeral. Lorena declares dipping sauces “a genius idea” that Eric doesn’t embrace. What is wrong with these people?
The food at Sinners & Saints is declared to be bad. Again.
In the end racism and very bad food win and Melty is sent home. They just don’t like him. Love is love and not melt away.
Bob Swank's lost recaps of America's Next Great Restaurant are a millenarian weekend bonus feature on Dining@Large. Enjoy. - RG
Haven’t seen the show yet? No prob. Catch up with my recaps for Episodes 1–3.
Full episodes are available on Hulu.com.
See what happens to people with more gumption than gumbo. It’s not the most exciting or perverse reality show, but you get to pit Joey Baggadonuts (Saucy Balls) against a self-loathing Harvard Law grad who consults a calorie-counting book every time a sesame seed falls into her Garden of Obsessin’ (Compleat).
Things are happening in Restaurant Row, the sterile array of empty kiosks. Now it’s a mall-style food court. Sports Wrap Fran and Sauce-on-the-Side Chao-neé-Wok Marisa have been sent packing. Note: if the judges say your food has no flavor, adding tofu is not the answer.
Contestants renamed their restaurants (except for exempt Saucy Balls and MeltWorks), created a slogan that reflects their “philosophy” and served a new dish that represents that philosophy. Best rejected slogan: “The love is in the balls.” (Oh, Joey.)
Bobby Flay – Bona fide high end faux Mexican / jerk. Boring host. Seems like a Little Rascals character that got cut during editing.
Steve Ells – Bona fide business genius of high concept, lowbrow faux subtopian Mexican. Visibly irritated by everyone.
N.B.: I am unfamiliar with chain restaurants in general, including Chipotle, and don’t eat fast food ever. I noticed on the show Undercover Boss that the chain restaurant Baja Fresh seems identical to Chipotle.
Lorena Garcia – Real Latina / shoe-horned TV chef / chimichurri Barbie. Machine gun English sounds like baseball cards in bike spokes. I’ll bet she uses a lot of exclamation points in her personal correspondence!
Curtis Stone – Kangaroo Ken doll / haircut in search of celebrity. In this episode they seem so embarrassed by Ken and Barbie that Flay and Ells are never seen with them.
Lorena Garcia – NBC’s culinary Laurie Partridge. When looking for video evidence, I stumbled upon this gem that shows what mama is really cooking. Garcia’s website declares that she is a top Latina chef. Her self-proclaimed “empire” consists of a coffee shop at the Miami airport, Concourse D. But wait ... it ... is ... a ... (future) ... chain.
Original concept names are crossed out if they changed:
Sandra Digiovanni, Kansas City,
LIMBO - Sublime Diner & Paradise Lost Lounge, Sinners & Saints – Food for your mood
Joseph Galluzzi, NYC, Saucy Balls, Italian Home Cooking Fresh & Fast.
Sudhir Kandula, NYC,
The Tiffin Box ("Indian Chipotle"), SpiceCoast – Modern Indian, Eat Flavorfully.
Stephenie Park, Chicago,
ComplEat: Fixed-calorie fast food meals in busy metropolitan areas, Compleat – Flavor you can count on
Eric Powell, Nashville, Meltworks – Artisanal Ingredients
Alex Terranova, Marina Del Rey, CA,
Hard N Soft Tacos, Revolution Tacos – explore. discover. indulge.
Gregory Westcott/Krystal Seymour, Los Angeles, Hicks, Grill’Billies – Urban grill with Southern attitude. They clearly didn’t get the memo on what “urban” means.
Jamawn J. Woods, Detroit,
W3: Woods' Wings and Waffles, Soul Daddy – Cookin with Heart & Soul
Grill’Billies – Flay had them change their name but that ruined their BBQ concept and they know nothing about grilling. These Left Coast bohos look like deer in tanning bed lights.
ComplEat – Stephenie is obsessed with calories, consults a calorie counting book constantly, has no food concept. Ignored judges advice to change name.
Meltworks – He is straying too far from the basic comfort food concept. Artisanal ingredients? Pfft. It’s grilled cheese.
Sinners & Saints – The food looks terrible.
Revolution Tacos –Judge Stoney Curtis describes his tacos as “disgusting”. Judges, please stop eating tacos with an upside down fork! You’re eating food meant for suburbanites in jorts and Crocs™. Enough with the lame pretentions.
SpiceCoast – Good concept. Needs to keep execution tight. Needs more charisma. Indian Chipotle.
Saucy Balls – Joey Badda-Bing riding the charisma train to the end. Needs more than balls to make a restaurant though.
Soul Daddy – Initially I thought he was a pity vote, but people are digging his food. Soul food for suburban white people? I can see the menu now: Bryant Gumbel Gumbo, Wayne Brady Mild Wings, ...
This week’s project is to create a mini-menu of five entrées and three side dishes for your lemonade stand-sized food court kiosk. They only have to make two items from the menu though. They will be making food for 300 restaurant industry “pros” for Restaurant Week LA, including architects and other not so obvious restaura-tourists. The Los Angeles setting for this show really rubs me the wrong way.
They are also have to revamp their names, slogans, and create graphic designs. (See awesome collage up top.) Oh yeah, their slogan has to reflect their “philosophy,"which is just fluffing up Chipotle, because they don’t just serve good food fast, they heal humanity with their love and empathy (or something).
For me, this is an exercise in semiotic cynicism. Everything on the tube is propaganda. You don’t need Umberto Eco to know which way the wind blows.
Alex from Disgusting Taco doesn’t need any help. He’s golden. That swirling sound is his meatball tacos circling the bowl. His concept: “rock & roll, luxury Gothic.” And greasy hair and bad food. “My whole concept is about being cool.” Ugh, your whole left-is-right, right-is-wrong earring strategy and motorcycle gang esthetic is LAME. If you say you want to be cool, well, you are not. Bye bye.
Uber-white SoCal bimbettes from Chill’Billies neé Hicks seem oblivious. Okay, we’ll grill instead of doing BBQ, because Grand Poobah Bobby Flay told us to. What is grilling? What is urban? What is reality? Pfft.
Meltworks – Overthought grilled cheese. Ugh, pull the trigger. I kind of hate this guy, because he has been sitting on this concept for three years.
Saints & Sinners (neé Limbo) – Just subbing bison for beef isn’t a plan. If I’m going to Hell, this food needs to be delicious.
Saucy Balls – Eh, oh, eh! I think Joey Balls may be a one trick pony. His physical design demands exposed brick, stainless steel, and an open kitchen. Hello, 1989!
Compleat – Sweet sassy molassey! Self-loathing Stephenie has changed both her name and concept from calorie-obsessive bummer Compleat to Harvest Sol, a Mediterranean concept that a Lunesta butterfly brought to her during a dream ... apparently: “like using American ingredients but infusing Mediterranean flavors.” That’s just stupid.
Contestants go to stores to buy fixtures and furniture for their fake food court restaurants. Zzzzzz......
Back to the studio kitchen where they confab with their loser chefs. Joey Saucy Balls is making sausage balls with “Sunday sauce”. Oh, Joey.
Everybody wants a signature sauce or dish. Ugh, how about making something edible first?
Where did they get these idiots? Calorie-counting self-loathing Stephanie has now told her chef in a wicker cowboy hat to design a menu using Mediterranean flavor without Middle Earth ingredients (did you not parse that from Lord of the Rings?), but using influences from thirty European, Middle East and North African cuisines. Sadly, I don’t think she is familiar with many or any of these. Kill switch engage.
Grilled cheese guy is like an albatross. I want to shoot him before he jinxes the whole voyage. Enough with your three-year-plan to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Just do it! I hate grilled cheese guy now. Step up or step off, Melty!
Uh oh, Bobby Flay wants Grilled Cheese guy to have four or five dipping sauces for his grilled cheese sandwiches. Well, that’s just stupid. My mom never made any “dipping sauce” for a grilled cheese sandwich.
The three hundred LA free-loaders mingle in the TV studio/food court.
Stephenie’s new concept is vaguely Mediterranean and it seems as if her randomly chosen chef designed the whole menu, which means Stephenie has no concept: African stew and Greek salad are two items. The foreign mimbo and bimbo are way excited by the superficial concept. Shocking. I do like how Lorena calls her Es-TEFF-eh-KNEE.
SpiceWorld, I mean SpiceCoast’s menu looks genuinely interesting in a toned-down but elegant lighter version of the usual gut-busting Indian buffets offered at lunch around town. Items include: Madras lamb; Goan chicken; green beans and coconut; daal; papadums and dip; fennel and orange salad; mango, mint and avocado salad; various sauces; and mango pomegranate milkshake. I would eat there.
Flay and Ells dig the food. Super-genius Ells theorizes that one could fold the naan with lamb into a taco and dump the salad and sauce on top – prison style. Aussie nobody Curtis Stone thinks Ells’ taco idea is stupid. Yay! Software engineer-cum-naan slinger Sudhir is comically kowtowing to every judge. He gets a tongue lashing on this from the Thunder form Down Under. He loves the food but doesn’t like the naan touching anything else on the plate (“a travesty”.) Lorena babbles something about the food court tables having not enough warmth (like your coffee shop at the airport?)
Grill’Billies – King Nerd Ells thinks the meat should be cut into small pieces so that everything is uniform in size. Smoked then pickled vegetables? Interesting. Flay/Ells like the food.
Sinners & Saints – The B team likes.
Revolution Tacos – Flays and Ells likes his fake brick wall. Cap’n Taco really wanted graffiti walls. Plantain chips. Fish tacos. Next!
MeltWorks – Flay thinks the grilled cheese sandwiches don’t have enough cheese. He thinks they are really panini with cheese on top. He wants the simple homemade mom version (with five dipping sauces). Ells grumbles that yet another person is stealing his Chipotle look. Duh.
Soul Daddy – Flay and Ells think the food is not as good as last time and is under-seasoned.
Saucy Balls – The B team is sent in. I’m sick of Joey already. Various young women flirt with Curtis and giggle about not wanting saucy balls. Lorena: “overdone, tacky”. Curtis doesn’t want any garlic for lunch. Menu is lame and one-dimensional.
The customers’ favorite was Sudhir with SpiceCoast.
The bottom three are:
Revolution Taco – Unfocussed, not passionate, bad food.
MeltWorks – Flay told him to make “signature” (ugh) dipping sauces and he didn’t. Uh oh. For the third time they repeat that his sandwiches don’t have enough cheese. Stony Curtis wails on him like it’s a gang initiation. Oh, I think he’s crumping now. Flay actually shakes his fist at the sky and shouts, “We want grilled cheese!”
Saucy Balls (Oh, ay, oh, aaaaaaay) – Meatballs are not a concept, Joey. The Philosophy of Joey: “The only shots you miss are the ones you don’t take.” Well ...
The revolution is over. Alex is kicked off.
Peter Angelos purchased Boccaccio at auction on February 17, 2010.
466 days later and not barely peep has been heard about it.
But look what's on the docket at next Thursday's meeting of the Baltimore City board of liquor license commisioners:
► Peter Angelos, Esquire, Contract Purchaser, 923 Eastern Avenue - Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License – Request for a hardship extension under the provisions of Article 2B §10-504(d)
Opening date for Chazz, A Bronx Original is June 10, watch Dining@Large for details
I got this nice note from Michael Tabrizi, and I asked him if it was okay to re-post it here. He said yes, so here it is. He's right, the best measure of success is succeeding.
Perhaps it is time now to consider Tabrizi's as a success after being in business for the fourth year and becoming the number 1 spot as a wedding venue.
Your article 3 years ago had the opinion that it was a deadly Triangle for businesses, and allegedly it had a bad spell. It seems to me that hard work, proper marketing and planning, supported by a great product and atmosphere have broken the magic spell and have proven that CNN and Baltimore Sun have not taken in consideration the spirit of entrepreneurship and determination to succeed. Failure was never an option despite the odds.
Tabrizi's has recently secured a 20 year lease of the premises and added another 8,000 square feet of the triangle to its domain, catering to Baltimore brides and corporate America.
Perhaps you want to consider sharing the fact with your readers.
►Miss Shirley's is headed to Annapolis. The new 160-seat location will open this fall in a restaurant space adjacent to the Westin Hotel at 1 Park Place and will include a private dining room, seated bar and outdoor seating. This will be the third Miss Shirley's, joining the original in Keswick (actually, the original Miss Shirley's was across the street from the present restaurant) and the second in the Inner Harbor.
Named for Shirley McDowell, a longtime employee of the restaurant's ownership group, Miss Shirley's has established itself as a Baltimore brunch institution in just 10 years. Pictured here - the benne seed chicken and waffles.
►The original Sofi's Crepes, next to the Charles theater, is going on 10 years, too. In late June, a new Sofi's will open in the Valley Village Shopping Center in Owings Mills. Ann Costlow tells met that this new creperie will be owned by Nina Knoche, a longtime Sofi's customer. Scheduled for a late-June opening, this will be the fourth Sofi's, joining the original and ones at Woman's Industrial Exchange and in Annapolis.
►Is Jerry Pellegrino headed for Fells Point?
A reader told me that the chef/owner of Corks presented plans for a new restaurant on the Living Classrooms campus to a recent meeting of the Fell's Point Residents Association (Neither the association's website nor its Facebook page provides a single phone number for information that I could find.)
The source didn't know if the new restaurant was in addition to or replacement for Pellegrino's Federal Hill restaurant, which is "closed indefinitely" due to "mechanical problems."Baltimore Sun photo/Algerina Perna
It's an obvious post, and I feel a little compromised for doing it.
But as my grandmother used to say, oh, why the hell not.
Here's a fun Esquire post on 20 top chef's last meals to get you started.
What would your last meal be, in or out of a restaurant, in or out of Baltimore?
►Well, the 136th running of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course is this Saturday. The winner will receive a replica of the Woodlawn Vase, which is kept at the Baltimore Museum of Art and brought to the track on race day. Preakness InfieldFest 2011 features all sorts of fun activities, including a competitive eating contest they're calling the Great Pony Pig Out.
►The Preakness Hot Air Balloon Festival concludes tomorrow at Turf Valley in Ellicott City. Who has a good place to take the family nearby?
► Also in Howard County, and actually appropriate to this blog - the Wine in the Woods festival (pictured) in Columbia, on Saturday and Sunday. My one regret in life is that I can't drink wine outside during the daytime without wanting to pass out. Here's a look at the food you can expect at the event.
►There's the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival in Sandy Point State Park on Saturday and Sunday. Chris Isaak is playing on Saturday (they should make him recreate the Wicked Game video).
What else you got?
Who's getting started on the (not really) millenarian dining list of off-the-radar culinary wonders?
The new Hampden eatery is from Anisha Jagtap of Puffs & Pastries, and the burger joint will be an expansion of, not a replacement for, her sweets shop on the Avenue.
That's Jagtap's rose-infused rice pudding in the photograph.
I'm giving you a link to look at.
Jagtap's burger joint opens next week, giving it a head start on the forthcoming burger restaurant that the owners of Woodberry Kitchen have announced for a fall opening a few blocks away.
Baltimore Sun photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor
Serious Eats has this post today: In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: The First Bi-Coastal Side-By-Side Taste Test. There are Five Guys nearby and now there's a Shake Shack in D.C. Here's Eater DC's coverage of the frenzyette at Tuesday's opening of the area's first Shake Shack, on Dupont Circle.
Whose had which ones?
Dine Downtown Baltimore is running a Soft Shell Crab Celebration, beginning next Monday and running through the following Monday. Click on the link for details, and I'll get around to re-posting the information here with links to individual restaurants.
I declare next week Whales Week on Dining@Large, too.
I'll be posting recipes, too. Please post yours or send them to email@example.com
The beauties in the photo, with local asparagus and fennel, are from The Dogwood, whose owner and chef, Galen Sampson, will be honored this Saturday for his philanthropic work by the Baltimore International College. (Note: The Dogwood is not participating in the Soft Shell Crab celebration, but it was the nicest photo I could find.)
Baltimore Sun photo/Lloyd Fox
This is JUST like that Ray Bradbury story where they lock that girl in a closet on Venus and she misses the two hours of sun that the planet gets every seven years.
Except with pork!
A friend who keeps pork from passing her lips all year allows herself one day each year for a Day of Treif, one day to eat patently not-kosher food.
Her pork day is this Sunday and she's asked me for some help. One early suggestion was rebuffed: "That place doesn't sound very clean."
So, we're looking here for very very (make that exceptionally) good pork, barbecue preferably, in a very clean setting.
If you could only eat pork one day a year, where it would be?
Corks in Federal Hill is closed indefinitely. An outgoing phone message, stamped with yesterday's date, attributes the closing due to "mechanical problems and waiting for parts" Corks has been closed since at least May 1.
Abacrombie Fine Foods in Mt. Vernon has been closed since at least April 15. An outgoing message stamped with that date attributes the closing to "extensive water damage."
The restaurants have overlapping ownership.
Anybody know of any?
Post here, or send information about cooking classes (for teens or not) to:
Here's the clarifying information she digged up:
The City Solicitor determined, a few months ago, that food trucks should fall under the purview of the Street Vendors Board.
That Downtown prohibition will not go into effect until after the upcoming June 1 meeting of Street Vendors Board. That's when food trucks will learn whether they've been approved for their new Street Vendors License.
Coming Thursday, June 2, the Petit Louis French Cocktail Hour.
I'm turning you over to press release:
"More than 15,000 people will be celebrating French cocktails and hors d'oeuvre across the country. This collaborative effort was stimulated by the French government 6 years ago and is being embraced by several states, multiple homes, and Petit Louis Bistro."
Okay, back to me. The celebration at Petit Louis on June 2 will include a selection of classic $5 French cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvre (Belgium endive, Roquefort mousse and toasted walnuts;
zucchini and shrimp beignet with espelette aioli; pâté maison, cornichon and baguette; and gougère).
17 p - 19 p
This message popped up on its Facebook page:
WE ARE TAKING THE QUEEN OUT 7 DAYS AND WE ARE SCOUTING NEW SPOTS<HELP US FIND 2 NEW LOCATIONS. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE GYPSY QUEEN ????????????LET US KNOW BALTIMORE!
Go tell the Gypsy Queen folks where you want them to park, but be specific.
Not sure, but the scouting trip might be related to the possible loss of the Gypsy Queen's regular weekly spots near the University of Maryland and near Market Place.
UPDATE (4:43 p.m.): Au contraire, mes frères. Gypsy Queen in not scouting for replacement spots; the truck is expanding from 5 to 7 days a week.
It's called Sixth and Rye (it's a project of the Sixth and I synagogue), and it's being billed as "DC's first kosher deli on wheels"
I know there's a joke here somewhere, and I think it begins like this:
Did you hear about the new Kosher food truck?
Next Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., the Wine Market in Locust Point will turn over its patio to a Brooklyn Brewery Courtyard Cookout. The cost for the four-course dinner is $59, and Chris Becker's menu is below.
More information on the Wine Market's Facebook page.
The world isn't going anywhere, but your favorite restaurant might close tomorrow. Even worse, a place you've never even heard of with a great hamburger might close today. Or, you could get hit by a Streetcar named Kenahora. You never know.
Charlie Brown had this comment on a post about the closing of Angelo's pizza:
Please don't take this as preachy, as that's not my intent: This may be a good time to remind all of us that if there's an under-the-radar food joint out there that provides something you find valuable, please speak out and let everyone know. I was never pointed to Angelo's Big Slice or cannolis from Philly, and, while I was aware of the apparent oddity of a bar atop a senior living high-rise, I had no idea that the view was truly "grand", as advertised. This blog provides an opportunity for sharing info about Baltimore establishments that don't often get mentioned in print media. Let's all try to speak up more often about those places that mean the most to us. I'll start: The fiery red sauce & tortellini at Giovanna's should be saluted every time one drives by on Harford Road. You'll get the equivalent of two delicious homemade meals for the price of a Lean Cuisine.
What off-the-radar places and dishes would you want folks to know about today?
It's true but it's not news.
You cannot legally order a rare hamburger in North Carolina, but you haven't been able to since the mid 1990s, "when an outbreak of E. coli from Jack in the Box hamburgers called national attention to the potential dangers of under-cooked ground beef."
Here's John Lindner's Monday review of Cafe Einstein. Find out what German "sushi" is all about. The owners of Cafe Einstein are Christa Seiler and Claudia Phillips, who ran into some really bad luck last year with their partnership in the Diner, an utter fiasco that came and went quickly on the corner of Eastern Avenue and High Street in Little Italy.
Things work out much better for them in their new Fells Point home, the original location of Teavolve. Anybody been?
Dinner? At the Club Charles?
Yes. If you liked the menu at the old Zodiac, the bygone adjacent restaurant, you should like what they're serving at the Club Charles.
Fun fact about the blogger: When someone calls this place "Club Chuck," I want to scream.
Beginning today and running through the fall, the Feast @ 4 East Madison will serve lunch in its Mt. Vernon garden Wednesday through Friday.
Sandy Lawlor and co. will be preparing $9 entree salads (greens and white balsamic vinaigrette topped with things like a crab cake or Italian tuna with white beans and red onion) and $8 sandwiches (e.g., bison burger with homemade tomato chutney or fresh mozzerella with basil and olive oil).
Also, $6 ready-made sandwiches to go.
The lunch menu (pdf.) is here.
Baltimore Sun photo/Algerina Perna
The Corner BYOB is now taking reservations. Business picked up at the Hampden restaurant after a few positive reviews, and folks were being turned away disappointed.
Because The Corner has received such intense interest in its off-the-menu exotic meats (e.g., kangaroo) the restaurant is planning an Exotic Meats club, which will take the form initially of subscribed fixed-price dinners.
Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org, with Exotic Meats Club in the subject line (that was my idea), and the Corner will get back to you when the club is ready to debut.
I heard from a few diners who were less than taken with the buffet-only option that Mari Luna Bistro was running on Friday and Saturday nights, presumably as a way to get the symphony crowd to their seats on time.The buffet has been discontinued, I've learned.
A BGR The Burger Joint is now open in Columbia. This is the second BGR in Maryland; the first is in Bethesda. The new 40-seat, no-reservations, order-at-the-counter restaurant is located at 6250 Columbia Crossing Circle. The phone number is 4430-319-5542.
Anybody been to a BGR? It definitely has a following.
The post says it's being pitched as a "'higher end Asian' casual grill."
There's a photo on the post of a banner hanging outside the building. You can see the logo for the new place. The logo makes Manchurian Rice Company Asian Grill look like which of the following:
a) a surprising and ambitious chef-driven restaurant that will capture the imagination of foodies and regular folk alike with its freshly considered takes on Asian-American cuisine
b) a hyper-stylish yet accessible neighborhood joint built on the premise that flirty fun is not incompatible with freshly made if formulaic Asian favorites
c) some anonymous place at the mall where someone is forever standing and passing out little bits of chicken on a toothpick to passersby.
Estabrook authors the Politics of the Plate blog and wrote the James Beard Award-winning article for Gourmet, "The Price of Tomatoes," which suggested, "if you have eaten a tomato this winter, chances are very good that it was picked by a person who lives in virtual slavery."
The article is a great read, but sometimes books that have been expanded from great articles suffer from padding. I'm curious enough about this one to give it a try, though.
The Dogwood's Galen Sampson will be honored on Saturday with an honorary doctorate from the Baltimore International College (BIC).
Soon after opening the Dogwood in 2006, with the help of an Open Society Institute-Baltimore Community Fellowship, Sampson created created the Dogwood Apprenticeship program, a "long-term, hands-on culinary training model to give people who were transitioning from rough periods in life a second chance."
Before opening his Hampden restaurant, Sampson was the executive chef at the Harbor Court hotel for ten years.
From the press release:
The Dogwood Apprenticeship program provides paid employment and training to individuals transitioning from underemployment, addiction, incarceration and/or homelessness. The goal of the program is to provide real-world practical training in a busy, high-quality restaurant and then to place apprentices in industry jobs that provide a living wage, benefits and a future.
Baltimore Sun photo of Bridget and Galen Sampson/Lloyd Fox
There's a cookie truck on the loose?
Anyone seen it?
Still time for you to reserve a space at the Admiral Fell Inn's Triple Crown Dinner, part of the 2011 Harbor Magic culinary events series. The evening will begin with passed hors d'œuvre, local beers and "signature State drinks (Kentucky's mint juleps, Maryland's Black Eyed Susans and New York's Belmont Breezes)
Tickets are $75 per person (all-inclusive) and can be purchased by calling 410-951-1667 or emailing hmspecialist@HarborMagic.com.
Other details, including Bryan Sullivan's multi-course dinner menu, are here.
Take a look at this photo gallery featuring original Preakness-related cocktails conjured up by area bartenders. Here's the Idle Hour's own Randal Etheridge with his version of the Black-Eyed Susan, which he's calling the Pikesville Palomino.
Baltimore Sun photo/Amy Davis
Gus G. Sentementes has a story in today's paper about the introduction of new bill-payment methods in restaurants.
With Near Field Technology (NFC), "mobile phones would come equipped with a new chip, which would allow consumers to simply wave their phones in front of an NFC wireless reader. The consumer's credit card would then automatically be charged."
I think that's what they have at Starbucks, right? The technology is there, but will customers accept it?
Baltimore Sun photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor
(At Victoria Gastro Pub, customers are offered an iPad for browsing the beer and wine menus.)
I walk out on movies. All the time. I've walked out as soon as five minutes in and as late as five minutes from the end. I'll try to come up with a list. Who else walks out of movie before they're finished?
I bring it up because I walked out of a restaurant last night. I won't say which one, not to spare the establishment's feelings, but because I don't want to be identified.
It was a service issue. We were seated at one of the high tables in the bar area of a stylish restaurant. The young woman waiting on us was a bad combination of dour and unhelpful. Partly it was her absence of empathy and enthusiasm (bad enough, but I can work with it) and partly it was the presence of negativity (I can't deal with that).
Fortunately, the three of us were in sync. We decided quickly to finish our drinks and get out of there. We hadn't invested much time in getting to this restaurant or in parking; that might have made a difference. Plus, it was a Monday night, and we didn't think we'd have too much trouble finding an empty table elsewhere.
Logistically, too, it was easier to leave a bar area after a round of drinks than it would have been if we had been seated in the dining room.
The server's behavior wasn't egregious enough to complain about (although I might send a note to the restaurant). We paid for the drinks, and tipped her; I'm glad we did; otherwise the narrative of the evening would have become our bad experience with a random server. That's giving her too much power. This way, our departure was cut-and-dried.
Then we headed down to Fells Point, to One-Eyed Mike's, where we had a happy, well-served and satisfying meal. (I'm recognized at One-Eyed Mike's anyway, and I don't think I'm treated any better there than anybody else.)
But, I wanted to know, when do you walk out?
Confirmed: Dizz at the Grandview has closed. The last day there was April 29.
But The Dizz (né Dizzy Issie's) in Remington is absolutely still open.
Angelo's Carry Out on Keswick and 36th Street has closed, too, according to reports from Hampdenites. There is a poster board in the window saying "Thanks for 21 years of business." The phone number has been apparently disconnected.
Jacques Kelly told me about a promotion he saw being run by the Prime Rib in Philadelphia: BYOB (with no corkage fee) on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
That's a sweet incentive for off-night dining but the Prime Rib in Baltimore can't offer it.
It's too late for this year; legislation that would have allowed customers to bring their own wine into restaurants never made it out of their respective Senate and House committees in this year's legislative session.
I'd hate to think that there are stupider laws on the books than than the prohibition against corkage.
Eli reviews Ann's Dari Creme in Glen Burnie. He says that the only "kid-friendly food was hot dogs," but mentions that the menu includes hamburgers, french fries and milk shakes. Don't kids love burgers, fries and shakes anymore? (Adventures of a Koodie)
Robot waiters are showing up in Asian restaurants. They are basically glorified conveyor belts at this point, one critic says. But a more interactive robot waiter is a possibility, a Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor says: “That idea will come and it will fail,” he said. “People will assume it has more intelligence than it does. But it won’t be able to answer a lot of your questions. And it’ll be very boring.”
Mary K. Zajac reviews Parkville's Pappas in the City Paper
After almost 10 years on York Road, Saigon Remembered served its last meal yesterday. Michael Sragow has this post about the changes in the neighborhood around the Senator theater.
Its fans were absolutely devoted to the Nguyen family, and word is that the Nguyens might resurface soon with another, smaller version of Saigon Remembered.
What do you remember about Saigon Remembered?
Who remembers the original location in Belair-Edison?
Baltimore Sun photo/Amy Davis
What did you all do this weekend. The weather wasn't so bad, after all. I haven't posted yet about dining with graduate; I've missed some (most?) of the college graduations, but there's still high school.
Who dined out this weekend, and what did you have?
The sleeping pets of the week are Betty and Sophie Rutheiser.
photo by Christina Gimbel Rutheiser
American Craft Beer Week is May 16-22.
I'll be adding in more local events as I hear about them (or as I find them in the Outlook folders I created for losing things more systematically).
►Punk's Backyard Grill in Annapolis is kicking the week off on Monday, May 16, with the release of its own collaboration beer, Draft Punk, brewed with Oliver Ales. The celebration will include $3 pints, souvenir glassware, and 20% off of all food from 6 to 10 p.m. on Monday, May 16th.
Punk’s and brewmaster Steve Jones from Oliver Ales will be tapping traditional kegs as well as a firkin for this event.
There's more on Punk's website, including a neat video and this description of Draft Punk:
"The final product is a 7.0% ABV American IPA that was bittered with Chinook hops and finished with whole leaf Cascade hops. It was then dry hopped in the conditioning tank with additional whole leaf Cascades."
Tomorrow's wedding of Mr. Boh and Sallie Utz will go on rain or shine.
The wedding is a promotional event for a new Smyth commercial debuting on May 16, which you can preview on You Tube.
The Naptown BarBAYq is going on today and tomorrow at the Naval Academy’s Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis
Naptown = Annapolis
The barbeque contest is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) and presented by the Rotary Club of Parole, Maryland.
Just finding out about this. Sounds like fun if the weather holds out.
Two more events this weekend if you're looking for something to do:
► Belvedere Square kicks off its eighth season of Summer Sounds at the Square, a free, weekly outdoor concert series. The Crawdaddies play tonight. It's a good way to get to enjoy food from the square's restaurants and market tenants. This might be your last chance to be outside for a long time without getting rained on. Have you seen the insane weather forecast?
► Tomorrow, Let's Eat Charles Street showcases some of the restaurants on Charles Street. This event will take place on the 300 block of Charles Street (between Saratoga and Mulberry streets) from noon-5 p.m.
Baltimore Sun photo
It's a mixed review, but this detail got my attention:
"While patrons at the bar sit comfortably, dining in the middle area can be challenging because the high-top tables measure about the size of a large dinner plate. When covered with glasses and plates, there isn't much room left."
I hate those tables!
Baltimore Sun photo/Karl Merton Ferron
►Let's see, it's the closing weekend for the Baltimore Museum of Art's smart photography exhibition Seeing Now: Photography since 1960. (Hey, why did throw threw a big party last week, on film festival weekend) instead of this one?).
So, Gertrude's is the obvious lunch or dinner choice, but also consider dropping in on the new Meet 127, which last I heard was still being harassed, thousand-pinprick-style, by the Remington Neighborhood Alliance. Also nearby, Donna's and Carma's Cafe.
More weekend stuff here.
Baltimore Sun photo/Jed Kirschbaum
And here's Sam Sessa's video take on this weekend's highlights.
Don't worry, Weber's Farm up on Proctor Lane in Parkville will still be open for "fall family fun" - hayrides, giant hillside slide, the whole autumn works. But springtime visit to Weber's Farm Market has been a longstanding tradition for area residents.,
This year, the Weber's Farm Market won't be opening until July 21. The owners, Steve and Jo-Anne Weber will be spending more time with their grandchildren and traveling, according to a notice posted on the farm's website.
The new, shorter market season will begin with the Red Haven Peach harvest (so, still the famous Weber's peach pie) and continue through Christmas (so, still pumpkins, fresh turkeys and the farm's famous cider). The good news on the website - pick-your-own berries coming sometime in early June.
Still, a springtime visit to Weber's Farm Market will be missed by many. The reader who alerted to me the shorter season wrote in his email, "This is going to be a major disappointment to the thousands who shopped at Weber's each spring and early summer...this is just another example of a Baltimore area tradition that is passing away from us. "
Ah, but the Webers will be starting some new traditions of their own.
Baltimore Sun photo
It looks that way.
Chowhound Burger Wagon, Souper Freak, Iced Gems and the Gypsy Queen all made weekly stops near the corner of Baltimore and Greene streets to vend for to the university and hospital crowd.
But if food trucks are no longer allowed to operate Downtown (and it looks that way), the U of M stop will have to stop.
"Downtown Area" begins
the area beginning at a point of intersection at the northwest corner of W. Pratt Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard; binding on the west of said Martin Luther Kind, Jr. Boulevard and running in a northerly direction to a point of intersection with the north side of W. Franklin Street, thence running easterly along W. Franklin and N. Paca Streets; binding on the northern right-of-way line of Druid Hill Avenue running easterly crossing N. Eutaw Street in a straight line and continuing along the northern right-of-way line of Centre Street easterly to intersect the eastern right-of-way line of the Fallsway; thence binding on the eastern right-of-way line of the Fallsway running southerly to intersect the southern curbline of E. Fayette Street following the southern right-of-way of E. Fayette Street to the westerly right-of-way of the Jones Falls Boulevard to intersect the southern right-of-way of Pratt Street thence westerly to the point of beginning.
I got kind of lost at the southern curbline of E. Fayette Street but the way I read this, the popular food truck stop at Pratt and Commerce streets is now off limits, too.
The Board comprises the following 9 members:
(1) 4 members appointed by the Mayor
(2) 2 members appointed by the President of the City Council; and
(3) the following or their respective designees:
(i) is Alvin O. Gillard
(ii) I'm taking to be Edward J. Gallagher, Jr.
(iii) I'm taking this to be Paul T. Graziano
No idea about who the other six members but I'll find out. But it looks like this board needs a public component.
UPDATE (5/18/2011, 5:32 p.m.):
Here are the members of the Street Vendors Board, per Alvin O. Gillard
Bob Dengler - Downtown Partnership
Janice Simmons - Dept. of Finance
Eric Booker - Housing and Community Development
Linda Frangioni - citizen
William Bishop-el - citizen
Alvin O. Gillard - Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement
It's unclear if Dengler, Frangioni and Bishop-el are the Mayor's appointees or the City Council President's. Also unclear whether the Board will be up to its full 9-member complement by the time of the June board meeting.