Eater Explores Horse-and-Cart Vendor World in ‘Last of the Arabbers’

The Arabbers. These guys have been around Baltimore City for 150+ years. Some have said that it’s cruel. One friend said to me, “Oh, they must be selling drugs,” but whatever your take on them, they are part of Baltimore’s history.

This article “The Last of the Arabbers” by Eater’s David Frey was eye-opening for me. I’ve seen this very guy, BJ, walking alongside his horse many times. When you hear that sound, the booming voice shouting “Canta…LOPE!” And, the jingling of the chains dangling from the horse, and when you see the colors draping the horse, and the cart, it definitely catches your eye.


Read More

Starbright Farm…a destination, indeed

The year was 1995. I was out of a job and waiting tables at Ladew Topiary Gardens. Not a bad gig. Not great tips…but I did learn to make …
Read More

Foodie Phone Cases

There’s an iPhone case for just about every person under the sun. Mine’s a Mophie Juice Pack, because…well, I run parts of  my business off of my phone and when it dies…I want to cry. But before I became so phone-dependent, my phone case was very basic, but the brightest color I could find – you know, so I could fish it out of the bottom of my handbag. I am practical. I am my mother’s daughter.

Photo: iMore

Courtesy of Huffington Post, check out this article on iPhone cases for the food-obsessed. (and here are a few of my favorites….)


Read More

In Memoriam: Nelson Carey, Grand Cru Owner and Friend to Many

I’ve been having a hard time writing this post. It’s not a eulogy. It’s not an obituary. Fred Rasmussen has written a quite lovely one. Have you read it? Here you go.  Nelson Carey, Grand Cru wine bar owner, dies at 50.

This is just a thank you.

Many considered Nelson a friend, mentor and touchstone and for me he was a little bit of all of those things. I’ve worked at Friends School for about 13 years, so over the years, I’ve visited Grand Cru it feels like hundreds of times after school. I always thought that Nelson was super smart having his bar open before 5:00pm… as a person working in education, I can tell you that many friends of mine who are teachers could use a cocktail around 3:30pm.
Read More

Local Vendors on Display at Union Graze Happy Hour

10409331_530176540428151_6816438784504047764_n This is one fun little party. The best of both worlds: a super low-key, family-friendly happy hour held every other Friday behind Artifact Coffee in Hampden/Woodberry.

Each week local vendors — some just starting out, others are more experienced — gather in the courtyard behind Union Mill. Last year, it was held every Friday and had a farmers market/CSA component. This year, it’s mainly local food and beverage producers selling their wares. You can also enjoy adult beverages. The event runs from 5:00-8:00pm (thus, the happy hour aspect.)

This week’s musical entertainment will be provided by Brad Kolodner and Luke Chohany playing, Appalachian Old-Time music.

Read More

Charm City Cook: Out of a Rut and Into B&O American Brasserie

You know how you get into ruts with restaurants? You stick close to home, stay with safe bets on dishes or go to the same places over and over. I sometimes joke that I never leave Hampden, but…I’m really lucky. Since moving to my ‘hood 13 years ago, it has become better and better, especially where food is concerned. We have some pretty great places like The Food MarketCorner BYOBArtifact CoffeeBirroteca and more. But everyone has to branch out and I’ve been doing lots of that lately.

Last month I did a piece on spring cocktails around town and for it, I went out for drinks six nights in a row. I honestly was exhausted. But really glad I did it. I met some great people and had incredibly creative cocktails. On my tour, I visited B&O American Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco (Baltimore & Charles).  It’s in a ‘hood I don’t visit often since I don’t live or work downtown, which is part of the reason I hadn’t been there in about two years. I’d forgotten how gorgeous the 1906 Beaux Arts building is – it’s the former headquarters for the B&O Railroad. After valeting your car, make sure you walk through the hotel’s lobby to take it all in.

B&O Brasserie

Here are the cocktails my friend and I had that first night – they were fantastic. Read More

Charm City Cook: Spring is Here — Get Cooking!


Spring. It gives you a feeling of hopefulness, no? Me, I’m hopeful for asparagus. And peas. And oh yeah, rhubarb! (And tulips, peonies, hydrangeas…)

This post is a super simple one: a few of my favorite spring recipes. If you make these once, they will be in the rotation. Promise.


Asparagus Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart Read More

Charm City Cook: Eating at the bar at Vino Rosina

I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about Vino Rosina lately and I visited the restaurant to check it out for myself. I had been once before for dinner and loved it. I went with a group of great friends and we shared cocktails, wine and a bunch of small plates to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time. Lately, it seemed like some people had forgotten about this place – maybe because so many new restaurants have opened in Harbor East. A few friends have said, “Oh, I love that place…let’s go back!” So, I did.

Ah, dinner at the bar. I like it a lot. It’s casual, you get to really know the person waiting on you and the people around you…and you can also get a fabulous meal. When I go to faves like The Food MarketBirrotecaThe Wine MarketPABU, I love to eat at the bar.

One of things I like best about Vino Rosina is that it’s a really approachable place. You walk in, grab a seat at the open square bar (get there early) and can take in the entire place. The people are friendly, the decor is modern yet warm and it’s not too big. And, wow, the kitchen is tiny, tiny…just ask Jesse Sandlin, the former executive chef who’s just returned. When she left in early 2011, her sous chef Sajin Renae took the reigns and ran the kitchen very successfully until she left  to open Fork & Wrench in Canton. Then, owner Jim Lancaster recruited his former chef Jesse back – and she’s creating great things in that little kitchen once again. Read More

Charm City Cook: A Visit to Wit & Wisdom


The wood-fired lamb at Wit & Wisdom.

That’s me. Taking it all in.

I’ve never been one for fancy restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love great food and service but I can do without the formality. I suppose I’m more of a Peter’s Inn or Corner BYOB kind of girl. So, this was my first time at Wit & Wisdom and I wondered…what would a girl from a tiny town with two traffic lights who now lives in the land of hipsters and pink flamingos identify with there? I figured that out pretty quickly when I visited for dinner a few weeks ago. It was pretty eye-opening actually. Read More

Charm City Cook: Market Fresh

By  •  Culture


I love Waverly Farmers Market. It’s year round and I shop there just about every Saturday morning, buying everything from milk and cheese to meat, bread, eggs, potatoes, greens and more.

But…when spring rolls around, it’s lots more fun. You see more familiar faces and you can tell which month it is based on the farmers’ inventory. Here in Maryland, shortly (okay, not next week but I’m dreaming about it…) we’ll start seeing asparagus, strawberries, peas, radishes. blueberries.Then later, squash, corn, tomatoes, melons and so much more in between. Cannot wait. I can taste the freshly shelled peas now. Just the thought of fresh Maryland corn and tomatoes makes a grey winter day a whole lot better.

Right now is the time to join a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. That means you “buy in” now for a share of produce each week during the main growing season, supporting a local farm. I’ve written about my friends at One Straw Farm before – they do the CSA thing really well and this is my fifth year of membership with them. But, you should do your research and choose whichever one seems best for you. You can find CSAs near you by searching on Local Harvest. Then, each week from June through November, you’ll get fresh local produce and you will know exactly where your food comes from – it doesn’t get any better or fresher than that. Read More