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With each newsletter, I like to share a favorite photo I've taken. This photo is of a really great bartender at Parc in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Parc is a real favorite. I've been to Philly four times in the last 5-6 years and I stopped in at Parc for a drink, lunch or brunch on three of those occasions. Sitting solo outside at a little cafe table along Locust Street having a martini and escargot feels downright civilized. Stephen Starr knows what he is doing, that's for sure. And this bartender was about as pro as I have ever experienced. Just enough chatting, made me an excellent drink, my water glass always full, very tidy backbar. Love.
Now Located in Canton
Schola is the best. I took several of their hands-on cooking classes over the years at their two locations in Mt. Vernon. They're always fun and social (you could even go solo and have a great time) and no matter the cuisine or subject, I always learn something! Just a few weeks ago, Schola moved from Mt. Vernon to Canton (2744 Lighthouse Point).

Check out their upcoming classes and get yourself down to the Canton Waterfront. Plenty of parking, haha!
New Coffee Shop in Bolton Hill
Llamas' Corner has opened on McMechen Street (just off Mt. Royal Avenue) in Bolton Hill in the former home of Park Cafe. Follow them on Instagram to find out more about their menu, hours and more. I liked it – I had a very tasty iced latte!
Fried Chicken and Champs in Fell's Point
This is an exciting one. When I heard Fell's Point's historic Wharf Rat was for sale last year, I (really, really) hoped someone great would buy it – and, that actually happened! Thank goodness for Chef Jesse Sandlin, her business partner Brian Aquavella and their team, who are total pros. You may know that in addition to this new spot, Bunny's, they also own and operate the fantastic Sally's O's in Highlandtown and The Dive in Canton. 

Side story: Years ago, my friends Sue-Jean and Paul hosted a blind fried chicken tasting at their home. Each guest was assigned a fried chicken place to buy several pieces. We did Royal Farms, KFC, Hip Hop, Popeye's and a Korean place in Ellicott City. To go with the chicken, Sue-Jean bought some very nice champagne. Usually, I don't love champs, but I don't hate it, either. That said, I've had it with raw oysters and liked it a lot. If you don't know this, drinking champagne with fried chicken was the most amazing pairing – it was just stunning. If you don't believe me, go to Bunny's, as their concept is "buckets and bubbles". Make sure you get a biscuit, too. Very, very good. And try some of Jake's cocktails, both alcoholic and non. 

Also if you want to hear a funny story told by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, give this interview a listen. 

p.s. Royal Farms was the blind tasting winner!
Shoe Series (This is So Cool)
I hope you know about Blacksauce Kitchen by now. The best food by the best people. Their Remington storefront is open Thursdays and Saturdays and they are also at Waverly Market on Saturdays and JFX Market on Sundays. They post their weekly menus on Instagram.

In my new series, Baker's Dozen, Damien Moseley of Blacksauce was my first interview. Pretty stoked about that, as he is someone I admire very much. 

Blacksauce has been doing this new feature on their Instagram called WORK SHOES. They talk about various kinds of work shoes worn by the team and they share photos by the fab Laura Ferrara and share the good and bad aspects of the footwear – and who rocked them. It's so cool. And it really makes you think about the restaurant industry and how hard these folks work. 
A Different Kind of Drink 
The beverage world sure is changing. People are looking for healthier alternatives in everything from juices to coffee and cocktails. I've been drinking kombucha for many years now, and lately I've been trying lots of non-alcoholic spirits, booze-free versions of things like tequila, gin and lots more. (Love Ritual's NA Aperitif for making non-alcoholic Aperol Spritzes.)

Bennu is a new brand – and type – of beverage which was created here in Baltimore by three friends, Sam, Paul and Robert. Robert also owns and runs John Brown Butchery, JBGB's and new Butcher & the Wich, the butcher shop and lunch spot inside JBGB's.

The idea for Bennu came as a result of Bennu co-founder Sam, a mom to young'ns with husband Robert, waking up one morning and realizing that alcohol was no longer serving her. She decided to stop drinking that day.

Then came lots of discussion and thought about why people drink alcohol. Two big reasons are decompression and socialization, so there are two directions you can go with Bennu: Uplift and Unwind. This was also around the time when ready-to-drink beverages were flooding the market and most of them were loaded with sugar and tons of artificial flavors. The Bennu team wanted to create something different and with kava as their main ingredient, they did just that. 

They were nice enough to send me a sample 4-pack of the drinks and I have tried one so far and liked it a lot, Passionfruit and Green Tea (Uplift). I liked the flavor and the carbonation gave it a nice little zip. The feeling I got from it was not like coffee, in that it didn't make me jittery or hyper, rather I felt like I was "on" and focused, ready for the day.

My main takeaway from my sit down with Robert: "Bennu is not about becoming purely sober. It's about becoming better". They are marketing it primarily to parents, folks like them with kids and busy lives where they need to be focused and on their game. I see this as a really good thing. Life is all about balance, right?

You can learn more about Bennu HERE.
New Greek Restaurant and Bakery in Highlandtown
There's a beautiful new Greek restaurant in Highlandtown – Plaka. There's a bakery there, too. Everything looks delicious. 

Check it out! (I plan to soon.)

DC Ramen Fave Now Has a Bmore Location
                                                                                                                                   Food pics by Toki
The new Toki Underground Baltimore location opened at 2731 Greenmount Avenue this past weekend. I got a little look-see the week before and it's so, so cool. Very casual, skate vibe, of course (like the OG location in DC) and I can't wait to go back to eat and drink. I always try to wait a few weeks.

Make reservations HERE.

Nicole Foster of Cajou Creamery
Baker's Dozen number SIX features Nicole Foster of Cajou Creamery. I sent this one out last week but in case you missed it, I wanted to share it again. Thank you, again, Nicole – I loved your answers!
REMINDER: All past newsletters are available on my website HERE and also in a link in my Instagram bio.

As always, please do forward this onto your friends who love Baltimore and food. Baltimore City restaurants still need our support very much.

Thank you so much,

xo - 


Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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