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Sadly, today was Larder's last day of operations in Old Goucher. This wonderful little cafe and shop was such a welcome addition to the culinary scene in Baltimore and was completely unique. Helena and Joseph del Pesco announced the news on their Instagram this week and the comments on the post shows how much people really loved this place. They are shifting from the physical location (where they shared a courtyard with Fadensonnen) to a new model called Larder at Home. Stay tuned.

One of my favorite food experiences ever was a meal I enjoyed at Helena and Joseph's house called Avant Brunch. (See pics above.) It was served dim sum style and featured the most creative menu. I can't put my hands on the menu (you know I saved it!) but I distinctly remember mushroom Chawanmushi (kinda like steamed eggs with various things mixed in) and a cherry meringue cookie made with cherry blossoms from a tree in Helena and Joseph's front yard. That little dessert stayed in my head for weeks. And Kris Fulton was there pouring coffee, just as he was getting set to open Sophomore Coffee, which is in the same building as Larder. Those kinds of events are just one of the reasons I love the food scene in Baltimore. This word gets overused a lot but it is spot on here: authentic. This meal was real and warm and felt so special. Thank you, Helena, Joseph and the entire Larder crew. Can't wait for what's next. 
Rejoice, Baltimore, rejoice. Roggenart is coming back to the City. The Baltimore Business Journal reported this week that Roggenart – which started on Falls Road in Mt. Washington (and closed) and also has cafes in Ellicott City and Columbia – will be opening in Mt. Vernon. They will be part of City House Charles, which is replacing longtime favorite Central Station at the corner of Charles and Eager Streets. The BBJ article states that Roggenart is hoping for a February opening. 

THE CROISSANTS ARE AMAZING. (all caps Ekiben-style on purpose.)
(Hi, South Baltimore.)
Hey, South Baltimore. Pretty sure you've heard people screaming around Riverside and Locust Point but...EKIBEN is opening their third location at 801 E. Fort Avenue. This is the former location of Bar Licorice and there's no firm word on when they're opening. Between the shortages of construction materials and the uncertainty of city permits, who really knows.

The tempura broccoli is my favorite thing at Ekiben. You need to eat it as soon as you get it! A very close second would be Shrimp Snacks. And now that I can't really tolerate eggs, I am working on making my own vegan sambal mayo so I can fully enjoy the Neighborhood Bird Bowl. It is not only incredibly tasty, but it's also two meals in one! 

Also, check out their ridiculous memes on Instagram

Congrats, Steve and Ephrem. Keep the hits coming. And the good deeds
Another great business is opening in Hampden! After two years of baking in a shared space at Bmore Kitchen, Caitlin Kiehl of Maillard Pastries is opening her own bake shop on Chestnut Avenue. This is the former location of several doughnut shops including Full Circle, Center Cut and b.doughnut.

I have been following Caitlin on
Instagram for a while and her work looks amazing. For real. She's a former pastry chef at Charleston Restaurant.

Can't wait to stop in. Looks to be set to open early 2022. The croissants are calling me. 

Greg's Bagels is moving to Fell's Point. Their new location is in what I always refer to as the Morgan Stanley Building, it's actually called Thames Street Wharf and it's right on the edge of Harbor Point. 

HERE are a few more details from the BBJ. It's definitely strange to think of Belvedere Square without Greg's Bagels – it was there for 30+ years  –  even in those sad years when the market was nearly empty. Greg and Kathy stayed. And stayed. And they supported pretty much any charity that asked them for a donation. They were cash-only for the longest time – I totally remember when I saw the debit machine next to the register. Greg just shook his head and laughed. "Yep, we take plastic now, can you believe it?" Boy, he was the best.
I love classic beef stew. I've used recipes from The New York Times, Martha Stewart, among others over the years. This time I went with Once Upon a Chef – I have found that her recipes usually work really well – and this one totally did. No matter what, when you look at the ingredients list on a beef stew recipe, it can seem daunting...but it's actually very easy. HERE is the recipe I used. Highly rec.

Note: I always add frozen peas. The potatoes in this recipe make it not really a great candidate for freezing leftovers, so only make as much as you can eat over the course of about three days max.

                                                                                                          Photo cred: The Spruce Eats
I've been on a banana kick lately. I find that they are the best "energy bar" for me and keep me satisfied before lunch or dinner or when I'm on a long drive.

WHY? Why am I telling you this? Well, for me to enjoy a banana, it has to be *just* right, not overripe at all. So, when I received 25 bananas in my online grocery order by mistake recently, I first gave a couple of bunches to friends. Then, I looked online for ways to use them that were not banana bread. (Not my fave.) I found a recipe for brownies that uses mashed bananas in place of eggs. And I gotta say, when I looked at them before putting them into the oven, I had my doubts. They looked unappetizing, kind of dry and sad. But, when they came out they were good, darn near fudgy inside. I used carob chips because I had them from another cooking experiment, but next time I will use dairy-free chocolate chips, I am sure they will be even better. Even with what felt like a lot of sugar in the recipe, they were not overly sweet and the banana flavor was there, but mellow. 

HERE is the recipe from The Spruce Eats.

Try them over the holidays! 
As always, thank you for reading my newsletter and remember to do this one favor for me: FORWARD this onto your friends. I don't make any profit off of the newsletter. It just feels good having the chance to be creative and also to inspire you to cook and dine out!

Thank you!

xo - 


Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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