I created this very simple newsletter as a way to keep people in Baltimore informed on ways we all can support our favorite local restaurants.
Here, I will share links to menus, articles, round-ups (from great local media resources) and other ideas. But really this is not just about restaurants. Restaurants closing for on-site dining will also impact other key folks like farmers, food producers, wine, beer and spirit sellers, just to name a few.
So, I will share many of my favorite places to shop for ingredients and local people I like to support.
Reminder, here are some basic things you can do as a consumer:
- 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 meals via the restaurant directly, please 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
Here are some of my favorite places offering for pantry shopping, holiday dinners, great takeout, etc. I will continue to update this!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 soon for Rey's incredible chicken adobo and crab & coconut soup (pictured above.) They are also offering a New Year's Eve takeout dinner. Check out their menu on Facebook. 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 I'm mostly here to tell you 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.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. They are also doing a Christmas Eve dinner that includes ham, sides and a beautiful Buche de Noel cake.
Hersh's - They're doing holiday roasts with sides and cocktails. 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 so good.
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. Feels good to keep on supporting local farmers.
The Food Market - The Holiday List includes many of their most loved items and feeds four. You can even get the best thing ever, the half-baked blondie. And now they are running a weekend "Fast Food Market" menu featuring burgers, cheesesteaks, fried chicken sandwiches, those insane crinkle fries with my favorite thing: fountain soda!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. For the holidays, get your friend who loves to cook their Pantry Gift Tote, filled with lots of wonderful and unique ingredients. The tote itself is my idea of the perfect gift!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. I'm planning to interview the owner for my blog. He's got the nicest crew there, too. 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 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.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!
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. If you ever get the chance to stay at The Ivy, it is incredible.
Dylan's - I love you, Dylan's. The kale salad is my favorite thing, oysters shucked to go (or you can DIY) and lots more. And the best cocktails! Until I can sit at your bar or outside watching Hampden roll by, I will be ordering takeout from you, Dylan and Irene. Very, very good burgers, soups, classic Baltimore coddies (cod fish cakes on saltines), salads and more. Follow on IG for 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 - The best butcher shop in Baltimore, supporting local farms and foods. I love that I can buy meats raised by my friends right up the road, that feels so good. Some of the most talented butchers and cooks are here and that drive out Falls Road is probably my favorite in all of the land. They also stock a lot (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 treat!
Golden West Cafe - Burritos, salads, burgers, 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 beloved espresso martinis! Seriously, this market has a lot: you gotta check it out. Plus, Nino is the best.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 this 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, 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. 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 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 (one of my favorite places) 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 Carlos (and his tuna ceviche) and Lane 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 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 butter, sugar, flour, olive oil, ramp vinegar, coffee, etc? Their holiday menu (get your order in by Monday, 12/21) includes their garlic spread, the incredible trout pâté, rack of lamb, prime rib, bacon, boozy eggnog. I love the description on the bacon, "five whole pounds of this fine pig fruit." Oh my gah, I love you, Bud and Karin!Dutch Courage - They've been doing Sunday BBQ nights and now you can carry out. They have an excellent bottle shop, too! I love this place so much. More on Instagram.
Orto - First, the best Caesar. Also, they have a weekly pasta club (I just did this last week and it was fantastic...you get fresh pasta, sauce, etc along with cooking instructions), a Sunday roast menu and their takeout has been stellar. Even a ribeye traveled well. 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. Such good vibes there.
Woodberry Kitchen - They offer tons of great pantry items, prepared meals (like brisket, porchetta, rockfish, oysters, crab cakes...) and lots more. More...like their new Mint Julep Cocktail Kit.
|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 latest round up is incredible! Sign up for both of their weekly food & dining newsletters.
Chris from Eat More Baltimore has a lot of helpful info on his site, including the Baltimore Virtual Tip Jar, lists of his favorite food and drinks in the City and lots, lots more. His food IG has the biggest local following so I'd recommend you check him out.
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.
That's it for issue #2. Stay tuned for more.
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I love you, Baltimore.Amy