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Yesterday, I hit publish on a blog post I've been thinking about for a long time. And I've been editing it for months, stepping away every so often to let it steep. Big thanks to my friend for helping me finish it.

Social media toxicity is something that has really hit me lately. Yes, because of the pandemic, but also because I've been out of the food influencer scene for a few years. Looking back isn't something I do a lot of but this past year+ has made me reflect, as many of you have been doing, too. As clichéd as it sounds, life's too short to do things simply to make other people happy.

As for Instagram, follow people who make you feel good. The rest, no. Not worth it. You have to take care of you first and foremost. Anxiety and depression have been hanging over me for a long time. Thanks to doctors, friends, family, work, routine, self care, etc, things are improving. Maybe it's part of getting older but I now am able to see more clearly what is important.

Please take care of you, you are very important!

Read the post HERE.
I have making an effort to get to my favorite places lately and Dylan's is a very, very favorite. It's the place I have been to the most during COVID. They have new outdoor seating and indoor distanced tables. On this week's visit, we sat in a booth and it felt really good. Cocktails, rosé, oysters, fried fish nuggets and a proper face-to-face human interaction!

I met up there with my friend Eddie Lucas. He is someone I met via social media who's an actual real-life friend now. He donated a meetup (and one of his uniforms from Below Deck) to my school's auction and it went for a LOT of money. Thanks to everyone who donated and placed bids. We are still delivering prizes...there were about 125 of them. We made $15,000 to support the students and faculty at The GreenMount School. This city is surely generous. Feeling very thankful for something positive after this terribly challenging year.

Thanks for a fun dinner E + Y!
Here is a little more food and drinks I've been able to enjoy outside over the last little while. Highly recommend all of these!
Sitting out on the patio at La Cuchara was a very last minute decision but a VERY good one! This perfect food, an excellent rosé and supporting your friends' restaurant -- good for the soul. I love this place so much. 
Sugarvale has some of the best cocktails in the city. Never disappointed here. Outdoor only. But you're outdoors in Mt. Vernon, one of Baltimore's most charming neighborhoods, so it's just lovely. (And you will be able to watch people and gawk at their dogs!) Even if you decide to get cocktails to go vs in-person, you're in for such a treat. 
Governor Hogan has signed legislation that will allow to-go alcoholic beverages to continue to be sold for two more years. Yay, feels a little like New Orleans! I highly recommend the spicy pineapple margaritas from La Food Marketa (among many others, but this a big fave and was the first booze to-go order of confinement for me!) 
I was a lucky girl this week, getting a sneak peek and hearing more about plans for John Brown Butchery's new place opening in Remington. Big thanks to Robert and Tyler.

A few things you need to know...

Pizza will be a focus. A new oven is scheduled to be delivered soon.
Entrance will be changing to the 26th Street side.

I've been thinking about their smash burger and it's been like two months since I ate it. 
No steaks on the menu. This will help to ensure that the butcher shop is stocked. 

Butcher shop will have lots of kinds of housemade sausage.
They are planning to sell beef, pork, chicken, lamb and fish in the shop.
Fresh, seasonal produce will be provided to the shop by One Straw Farm.
Soft serve ice cream will be a part of the dessert menu.
They will have an outdoor area with a kiosk for self-ordering if you just want to hang outside and not do a full dinner or table service.
Beverage menu will have draft beers, cocktails, wine, etc.
If all goes well, they are planning to open around July.  

Follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop on the opening. 

Boy, it felt good to be standing in this space again. 
If you haven't been yet, you need to check out Cafe Los Suenos for some really delicious coffee served up in a bright little space by the nicest people. It's near the corner of 28th and Huntington in Remington. I wish I could get there more often...but for now, I think it's gonna be my Sunday morning jam. Getting out a couple of times a day on the weekends is my new intention. Keeps me from feeling down. In my latest blog post, this quote really sticks with me and my visit to Cafe Los Suenos this morning proved this one for me.

“Human beings need face-to-face contact to be mentally healthy. Nothing reduces stress and boosts your mood faster or more effectively than eye-to-eye contact with someone who cares about you. The more you prioritize social media interaction over in-person relationships, the more you’re at risk for developing or exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.”
Thank you for reading -- please forward it onto your friends who love food! 

And please be sure to check out my newly designed website. I am pretty in love with it. 

xo -

Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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