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For this issue, I chose a photo from Fadensonnen as a favorite to share. I don't get to Lane and Matthew's upstairs sake bar as often as I'd like, but it is a place that always makes me feel relaxed and happy. If I had to choose, I'd say sake is my favorite thing to drink alcohol-wise. (My friends know that my real true love is Fresca.) When Pabu was down in the Four Seasons, I used to go quite often and even took a few sake classes in order to learn more about this beverage that was very new to me at the time. I feel like all of my knowledge is in serious need of a 2.0, and maybe one day I will find a good place to do that. One thing I remember being drilled into my head "NO hot sake ever". Hahaha. All that said, there's always Fadensonnen. Go sometime and sit at the bar. The folks there will guide you to find one that you like. It's a really nice little casual experience.  
Chocolate Maker Has Her Very Own Storefront
                                                                                                                         Photos by Colin Marshall / Whyald Card
You know Jinji Chocolatelong-time vendor at Belvedere Square. It's a local chocolate business started by Jinji Fraser and her dad, Guy, in that tiny, tiny space in the back of the market. They have just moved to 3100 Greenmount Avenue (their very own shop!) just about a block south of the Waverly Farmers Market. 

Hopefully you have experienced the amazing truffles, the housemade hazelnut spread, the sipping chocolate. All of which is beloved by Baltimore – even me as someone who does not really go for chocolate too often. Why? I love what Jinji makes. I'm especially a fan of the Friday specials (and their Instagram videos where they talk about the inspo behind them) and I completely freaked out over the Concord Grape one. It was incredible, please make that a regular, Jinji!

One thing I've always admired about Jinji and her business is that is so much more than just that. She is a warrior. She is outspoken. She cares deeply. Jinji has always made me really THINK about how I spend and shop. So much more matters than just the thing you are buying, you know?

From a press release: The new shop will expand on their beloved rotating menu of handcrafted chocolate pieces and also carry textiles, toys, and other goods sourced from cacao growing regions around the world. To start, the drinks on the new menu will include:

Signature Drinking Chocolate – served hot –  A smaller portion gently sweetened, and served warm. A super full bodied experience, inspired by the cacao meccas of Mesoamerica & Caribbean with a total richness in both flavor and aroma

Hot Chocolate – served hot – Giving full nostalgia of chilly snow days, perfect for everyday. Steamy, sweet, and deeply chocolate topped with a scorched housemade marshmallow

Cocochata – served cold – Hand blended almond and rice milk with panela and cinnamon, shaken over ice with a fun pop of ground cacao nibs. A refreshing combination of the Mexican & Spanish style traditional horchata

Egg Cream – served cold – Brooklyn in da house! An ode to Guy’s native New York City and memories of egg creams on the stoop, updated in our Baltimore way. House chocolate syrup, oat milk, seltzer water - so, eggless, creamless, and just right

Chocolate Milk - served cold - Sip it or chug it! Either way, it’s icy cold and easy to love.

Along with the new drinks menu, the shop will have Jinji’s tried and true selection of dairy-free, gluten-free treats including (but never limited to) pots de creme, seasonal truffles, classic fudge (hazelnut, peanut butter, salted caramel), peanut butter stuffed Turkish figs, and date poppers!

As well, they will carry their stone ground chocolate spreads, liquid dark chocolate, and chocolate covered coffee beans. They will partner with local bakeries Doppio Pasticceria, Motzi Bread, and Wow Vegan Treats to provide daily cookies. Lastly, their bean to bar chocolate bars will make a new and improved triumphant return post-Covid in all new flavors, starting with horchata and hibiscus. 

Congratulations, Jinji – I'm so proud to call you my friend. 
Fell's Point Restaurant Named to NYT Top 50 of 2023
                                                                                                 Photo credit: Jennifer Chase, New York Times
Fell's Point's new little darling, Little Donna's has just been named one of the best restaurants in the country by the New York Times. As you can imagine, this is a huge and often complicated honor. Restaurants are deluged by new diners with high expectations, locals and regulars can't get their regular walk-in spots and it can just be a lot to take, especially because the effects are felt pretty quickly. Read this article from the Banner about how the owners of Little Donna's reacted to the news that the New York Times was coming to take photos. 

All that said, it's very exciting indeed. Always so nice to see Baltimore represented on a prominent list like this. Congrats to Robbie and Kaleigh. Go, try Little Donna's. You may know the location, it's in the former home of Henninger's. Make sure you get the pickle plate, a pizza pie and the piergoies. I can't wait to go back and sit at the bar. 

See the full NYT list HERE.

Hampden Bake Shop Opening a Second Spot
                                                                                                                     Photo credit: Maillard Pastries
From day one, Maillard Pastries in Hampden has been a hit. For real, it's SO GOOD. The morning buns at Maillard are my favorite baked treat in all of the land. Their location on Chestnut is kinda like "the bakery spot", as it's been home to several doughnut shops over the years. Well, now they are expanding to another neighborhood that will absolutely embrace and support them, Hamilton. Maillard is opening the former home of the much beloved Bramble Bakes on Harford Road.

When this news dropped, I received a few frantic texts from friends saying WHAT, WAIT? MAILLARD IS MOVING? WHY? NO! Everyone can just calm down. Hampden will still have easy access to morning buns, croissants, tarts and all the rest of the small-batch baking goodness. And, starting November 1, you can order Thanksgiving desserts!

Check them out on Instagram. 
Let Eddie's Do the Heavy Lifting 
For me, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I have some really, really special memories of huge dinners with my folks, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles at my childhood home in Kingsville. Sometimes we'd switch it up and celebrate at my Aunt Joan and Uncle Don's log cabin, just about a mile away in Upper Falls. Aunt Joan made the best onion dip – the onion soup mix kind. Wherever it was, Thanksgiving was loud and fun. Delicious, of course. Food memories are very big for me. For that very reason, give me Stove Top Stuffing any day of the week. And, even though I don't really love sauerkraut, I must have a little bit on my Thanksgiving plate. That's for my Dad and German side of the family, and Baltimore. 

A few years ago, I partnered with Eddie's of Roland Park to write about holiday entertaining. I'm not sure what they've got planned for this year's Thanksgiving catering options, I'm sure they will be out soon. But if they do anything like the "Dinner for Six" box I served in 2018, I say you gotta do it. It was a whole turkey, gravy, three sides and a pie. I think it was $175 back then. (I was gifted the box as part of a trade for our work.) Even if you love cooking on Thanksgiving, this dinner package was really fantastic. You could even just have Eddie's take care of a few sides (get the mashed potatoes!).

So, follow Eddie's on IG to see that they're doing this year. Whatever you do, order early. ps. That Eddie's pumpkin pie with my homemade whipped cream was perfect. 
Squash and Caramelized Onion Dip 
Simply said: Make this dip for your next shindig – Oh My Veggies – it will disappear quickly. 
True Chesapeake, Schola, Star Bright, Oyfest
Don't forget that all past newsletters (today's is #73!!) are available on my website: HERE.

Two more Baker's Dozen features coming soon: Jaime Windon of Lyon Distilling and Tae Strain of ggoma supper club. 

On a personal (and happy) note, I've just moved into a beautiful, sun-filled new place in Cross Keys and started a new job at Art with a Heart. Feeling extremely thankful. 

xo - 

Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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