I created this newsletter as a way to keep people in Baltimore informed on ways we all can support our favorite local restaurants and food & beverage businesses.
No ads, no memberships, just info.
TAKEOUT, FOOD SHOPPING, NYE AND MORE
|Idle Hour - One of the absolute best bars in Baltimore, known all over the world (literally!) for Chartreuse. They are selling bottles to go: wine, specialty whiskey and Chartreuse! Spirits professionals over and over sing the praises on this wonderful corner bar on Fort Avenue.The Heritage Kitchen - Baltimore's first Filipino restaurant! Chef Rey Eugenio cooks very comforting food that makes people really happy. The menu changes every so often...make sure to get there for Rey's incredible chicken adobo and crab & coconut soup. They are also offering a New Year's Eve takeout dinner. Check out their menu on Facebook, plus updates and easy ordering on Instagram. Heritage is open inside Whitehall Market Thurs-Sun. The Capital Grille - Yes, a chain. But the one here in Baltimore employs some of the best people I've met in the business. They are selling steaks, burgers and more that you can cook at home. Their burger is one of the very, very best, they are made with Pat LaFrieda short rib, chuck and brisket and come with brioche buns ($50 for six.) I got all of my sides for Thanksgiving at Capital Grille and it was a really great call!Cookhouse Baltimore - This is in Bolton Hill (the old b bistro space.) They are doing takeout and pantry items - and their house-smoked salmon is incredible. Order online, pickup from a shelf in the front. Plus you get to drive around one of Baltimore's most charming neighborhoods. Win-win.Ekiben - Something new. Not just their new Borrego (braised lamb) Rice Bowl, but they're offering to buy a meal at Ekiben to any food/bev/hospitality industry folks who are currently out of work. Just email them for info. They have been offering their "Buy a Hero a Bun" thing for a while now, where people can pay it forward with delicious food for Baltimore area healthcare workers. Good people!Little Havana in South Baltimore is offering their delicious, approachable and fun Cuban-inspired food for takeout. Killer margaritas, too. They're been down there on Key Highway for over 20 years, that's like 100 years in restaurant years. In addition to carryout and delivery, they have several NYE packages with everything from champagne and flutes to prime rib to dulce de leche cake.
La Cuchara - I love shopping online at their Marketplace for everything from flour and lemons to prepared dishes. I often buy basic vegetables here so that I don't have to go to the grocery store. They are selling a beautiful Beef Wellington with cooking instructions for $29. It's delicious!
Hersh's - They're doing holiday roasts with sides and cocktails. One of the sides you can (and should) order are the Fontina biscuits. As you may know, Hersh's has some of the very best pizza and pasta in the city, plus always fantastic salads. My last meal out before COVID was Hersh's and my first outdoor meal out during COVID was Hersh's. It's that good. And, when you order takeout, it comes with reheating instructions.
Chesapeake Farm to Table - I've ordered from them multiple times, vegetables and meat via local farms, honey, eggs, herbs and tons more. Easy delivery. It feels really good to keep on supporting local farmers. They are the ones who feed us!
The Food Market - The Food Market has been doing takeout for a while now, I've ordered twice — drinks, too! Now they are running a weekends-only "Fast Food Market" menu featuring burgers, cheesesteaks, fried chicken sandwiches, those crinkle fries with my favorite thing: fountain soda! I can personally attest to the deliciousness of the cheesesteak. (pictured above.) Man, I love that I live in Hampden. Le Comptoir du Vin - Sandwiches, wine, sake, cider, cheeses (Camembert + Quince combo is my favorite), get the French lentils and chicken liver pâté. The glazed ham caught my eye (pretty hard) on their most recent email update. This place was a Bon Appetit Hot 10 — one of the ten best new restaurants in the country — and it was well-deserved.Ovenbird Bakery - If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a major crush on this place. I don't usually love baked goods, but really bagels and croissants are a whole different thing. GO. Everything here is good, I mean it. Magnolia and I go down on weekends and she always makes friends with the staff, the customers and of course, the doggos walking around Little Italy. God, I love this neighborhood.
Larder - A place to shop for the cook you love (or yourself, duh.) Owners Helena and Joseph are the nicest. Also, super seasonal cooking and fermented foods. It is sold out, but they are doing a weekly dinner share. Maybe check-in to see what else they offer in the near future. Follow on IG for the latest. Wonderful people. Plus Sophomore Coffee is right on the same corner. Angels Ate Lemons - Wine shop by Lane Harlan of Fadensonnen, Clavel, WC Harlan. Let Lane choose for you (that's what I like to do, give her ideas as to what you like in wine) or go and shop in person. They specialize in natural wines and they also deliver, too. Liberty Delight Farms - Beef, pork, chicken raised in Reisterstown. Go shop at their farm store, via online/delivery or at the 32nd Street Market (year-round.) They stock everything from their own farm-raised meats, eggs, their own dog treats and more, and also great local brands like Cane Collective drink mixers, snacks, chocolate, desserts, salad dressings, etc. It's lovely — and you can see the cows!The Prime Rib - I never thought I'd ever, ever order takeout from The Prime Rib, it is a place to be experienced in person. However, they are doing takeout and I highly recommend every single thing I already love from there...potato skins, martinis, prime rib, Caesar, mushrooms, etc... All packed perfectly. I think this will need to happen again for me. BIG treat! (Getting martinis served in pouches is worth the whole meal.)
18-8 Sushi - I have ordered a lot from here. It's in Hampden (The Rotunda), always very fresh and delicious. Even the basic rolls satisfy my sushi cravings. Food is presented and packed very nicely. Order online, easy. Magdalena at The Ivy Hotel - Chef Mark Levy has created a takeout menu that looks amazing. You may have heard that before the shutdown, Magdalena opened after a pretty major redo and rebrand to a more casual, yet very nice, bistro-style menu. Side note: if you ever get the chance to stay at The Ivy, it is absolutely wonderful.
Dylan's - They're doing a fun, fancy menu for New Year's Eve with things like shuck-at-home oysters, caviar, Caesar salad, whole lobsters, pot de creme, Jell-o shots (omg!) and of course, champs. As for their regular takeout, the kale salad is my favorite thing, plus the burger, soups, classic Baltimore coddies (cod fish cakes on saltines) and tons more. And, the best cocktails! Follow on IG for updates on daily specials. Little Italy Delivers - One place where you can find many of the classic restaurants in Little Italy in one place online and order takeout, buy gift cards and more. It's a wonderful resource! Thanks for sharing this, Eat More Baltimore and Like The Tea Eats.
John Brown Butchery - Hands down, the best butcher shop in Baltimore. They consistently support local farms and food producers. I love that I can buy meats raised by my friends right up the road, that feels so good. Also, the drive out Falls Road is probably my favorite in all of the land. They also stock a lot of locally produced things like Wild Kombucha, HEX Ferments, lots of local beers, etc. Their coffee shop next door is very good - I love their seasonal lattes like maple, lavender or lemon verbena. Such a huge treat!
Golden West Cafe - Burritos, salads, burgers, lots and lots of vegan fare, excellent house margaritas, breakfast, insane desserts. This is quickly becoming a neighborhood fave. The owner, Sam, is a wonderful human! Mental salad, kitchen sink cookies, it's all so good. La Scala Market - You can buy everything from cookies made by owner Nino Germano's mother, to housemade pastas and sauces, meats and seafood, cigars, prepared meals, tons of cheese, desserts and even their much-loved espresso martinis. Seriously, this market has a lot: you gotta check it out. Order online. Plus, Nino is the best. He really is. Culinary Architecture - A very cool little food paradise in Pigtown. They do lots of catering, carry high-quality cooking ingredients and snacks, meat, seafood, cheeses, meal kits, gift baskets, house baked treats and much more. Go check it out.
Foreman Wolf - Even classic fine dining destination Charleston is offering a to go menu. The New Year's Day brunch menu at Cindy Lou's Fish House sounds fun, too. Also, a new venture they just started this weekend is a little Cinghiale Italian market inside Johnny's in Roland Park. With the success of the Sunday market outside this fall, they thought they'd continue and just move it inside with distanced (you may have to wait a few minutes) shopping. From the look of things when I was there last weekend, it's already a great success. Fresh pasta and sauces, oils, wine, cheese and more. Open Tues-Sun 11-6pm. Tapas Teatro - Sangria! And, you get a whole quart of it on Tuesdays for $10. I also love eating lots of different things for dinner, like, you know...tapas style. Not quite as much fun as sitting outside along Charles Street with friends, but still. I ordered takeout last week and got the shrimp with garlic, poached octopus and lump crab and spinach. Getting to see my friend Helmand Karzai when I picked up was an extra treat. He is one of my absolute favorite people in the world. Plus, the man knows his wine. The Bluebird Cocktail Room - I love, love, love their smashburger. Bottled cocktails, cocktail gift sets, warm chocolate chip cookies. (Yum.) And, by far, my favorite Old Fashioned in Bmore. They were in the process of redoing the adjacent De Kleine Duivel beer bar space late this fall, too, so hopefully that'll open up once we can be outside again. Alma Cocina Latina - So, maybe you heard that Alma has moved from the Can Company in Canton to the former Pen & Quill in Station North? Well, they are ready to open whenever city dining does and in the meantime, order yourself a lovely NYE meal (the Papa Hemingway cocktail is on the menu, hellooou) and when you go to pick it up, you can totally GAWK at what Irena and Mark have done with the space. All the plants. And you may also know that they have been working during COVID with the wonderful folks at Mera Kitchen Collective creating over 70,000 meals for those in need here in Baltimore. That important work will continue at the new space in Station North, too. Clavel - The best burritos, taco kits, ceviches, other essentials like ripe avocados, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, etc. Plus all the drinks you love! Did you see Lane and Carlos (and his tuna ceviche) featured in Saveur magazine?? Order food and drinks online or from their truck out front. Merch like t-shirts and tote bags, etc, too. The absolute best.
Whitehall Market - Literally IN the building where I live, I love the vendors. Not just food, shop for gifts, too. Lots of pop-ups, too. And my favorite, caffeine! You can order online from many of the vendors from the Whitehall Mill Instagram account. Newest vendor is Jasmine Norton's Urban Burger Bar. Also, Ceremony Coffee, Gundalow Gourmet, Crust by Mack, Wight Tea, Heritage Kitchen, Homebody (the best gifts!), Firefly Market and Suspended Brewing. Be sure to follow them on IG for the latest happenings. Peter's Inn - This is the restaurant in Baltimore I have been going to for the longest time. It is in my top 3 (along with The Prime Rib and Petit Louis) and it is like no other place. I mean, you probably know to get the house salad and garlic bread. But did you know that these days, you can also get provisions like butter, sugar, flour, olive oil, ramp vinegar, coffee, bacon, etc? I love the online description of the bacon, "five whole pounds of this fine pig fruit." My Christmas dinner included their lamb chops and garlic bread — thank you, Bud and Karin!Dutch Courage - They've been doing Sunday BBQ nights for a while and now you can carry out. They are also currently selling their housemade egg nog! They have an excellent bottle shop, too. I love this place so much. More on Instagram.
Orto - First, the best Caesar. They have a very popular weekly pasta club — I just did this two weeks ago and it was fantastic — you get fresh pasta, sauce, etc along with cooking instructions. Plus there's a Sunday roast menu and their regular takeout has been stellar. I love that Orto has both excellent food and a casual vibe that still feels special. I can't wait to go back and sit outside with friends. Preferably with their housemade Pompelmocello. (Me: "wait, no, I don't do shots! Oh, wait...")
Woodberry Kitchen - They offer tons of great pantry items, prepared meals (like brisket, porchetta, rockfish, oysters, crab cakes (fully cooked, just reheat at home...) and lots more. I just saw on IG that they are doing weekend brunch takeout now, too. Cinnamon rolls, Shakshouka, Motzi (Charles Village) bread and tons more.
(I wrote this blog post in April. And it is still true.)
I've been trying to wrap my head around this whole quarantine thing. Trying to write something meaningful or helpful. But I just keep writing sappy notes about the places and people I miss. So, I'm going with that.
I miss Old Fashioneds at Lobo and Manhattans at Peter's Inn. Negronis at Sugarvale and Orto. Martinis at La Cuchara and The Prime Rib.
I miss driving by Dylan's and scoping out a parking spot and miraculously snagging the last seat at the bar. Then, a cocktail, kale salad and whatever else sounds good that night.
I miss watching people on first dates and dressed-up kids sitting patiently, having their first real restaurant experience.
I miss walking downstairs in my building to True Chesapeake for a bowl of oyster stew and glass of white wine.
I miss walking on the Avenue and seeing twenty-somethings out with their parents visiting from out of town, taking them for a grown-up night out at the Bluebird or The Food Market.
I miss everything about Petit Louis.
I miss sitting at the Long Bar at Golden West in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. Same goes for Grand Cru.
I miss family-style dinners at The Helmand and practically throwing elbows for the last spoonful of pumpkin.
I miss watching cooks and chefs on the line when they're in the zone. Zen masters of the flat top, sauté, cold side. Theater.
I miss sitting at a bar on a busy night, there's tickets for days, and the bartender keeping it all straight and yet, "How are you over here? Need anything?" Refilling the water. All the while smiling.
I miss walking into Hoehn's Bakery early on a Saturday when I am craving a honey dipped doughnut. The red and white twine on white boxes.
I miss coffee at Sophomore.
I miss meeting friends at Clavel for margs and queso. And sitting at the mezcal bar, listening to Dre tell me about his adventures in Oaxaca.
I miss laughing with Naomi at Pen & Quill as she makes me the best happy hour martini for $6. And, talking baseball and vermouth with Helmand.
I miss sitting at a friend's bar and having them say, "Hey, wanna try something I've been working on?
I miss the dining room at Le Comptoir du Vin. I will never forget the first time I had the chicken liver pâté. Close your eyes, smile, quiet applause.
I miss tourist and day date watching over lobster rolls and ice cold Narragansetts at Thames Street.
I miss sitting outside at Hersh's and having my friend try his first taste of Josh's wonderful food. You know, it's the best watching people flip over the food you have loved for years.
I miss steamed crabs and cheap beers on the rooftop deck at LP Steamers. It's just so Baltimore to eat crabs in a rowhouse.
Mostly, I miss my people. Food people, old friends, new friends. Sending a quick text to a friend, "Hey, what are you doing right now...let's meet up." To me, an impromptu meal or drink is the greatest pick-me-up.
I miss lunch with my Mom.
There are like 50 more "I miss" statements I could write. They're all in my head. Let's support our restaurants as much as we can. If you possibly can, order takeout directly from the restaurant and pick up your order curbside. This way, the restaurant makes all the profit.
Hospitality is not meant to be curbside. It's meant to be all in. Hopefully, we can all get back to the places we love, the way we are used to loving them. Til then, please stay safe, Baltimore.
Note: Pen & Quill closed permanently in July. Lobo, in September.
- order holiday dinners (lots of New Year's Eve options!)
- give positive reviews on dining sites and social media
- share your favorite takeout meals you've had during COVID on your social media channels
- order your meals via the restaurant directly, avoid apps that charge the restaurant
up to 40%
- tip as much as you can on your takeout
- buy merch, gift cards, etc
- Venmo your favorite server
|Make sure you are checking out every week:Baltimore Magazine online, Lauren Cohen does an amazing job keeping us all informed. Kit Pollard and Baltimore Fishbowl. Kit's round ups are incredible!
Also, Will Drink For Travel has an excellent list of Black-owned businesses to support here in Baltimore. For all of you who've not yet joined Instagram, now is the time. Most chefs and restaurants are much more active on Instagram than Facebook, so you will see more timely content on IG. (p.s. It's way better than Facebook!)If you check out the story highlights on my Instagram, I've added photos of menus from some of my favorite places. It's quite a walk down memory lane.
Lastly, will you please share this newsletter with your friends? The more people who order take out and shop locally for food, etc...the better!
I love you, Baltimore.Amy