The Baltimore Food Scene – The House of Cards Version

By  •  Culture


Last summer, I received a comment on my blog that was so fun. A crew member of House of Cards wrote to say that lots of people on set follow my blog and Instagram. Wait, WHAT DID YOU SAY? I looked the message again. Read it out loud. To myself. Yep, that’s what it says. They know who I am. Well, not exactly, but the writer said he’d been following me and noticed that I spend a lot of time in his neighborhood, Hampden. I wrote back and said that, yes, I have lived in Hampden since 2000 (pre-super coolness, thank you very much) and thanked him for writing me. Since he seemed to not be a total weirdo, we actually made plans to meet up for dinner during summer Restaurant Week. My friend said to me, “You’re breaking the wall? Huh? Why?” I said this person seemed perfectly nice and why not. And um, hellouuu. He does Kevin Spacey’s hair. So, yeah for some reason I thought that made it okay. And funny…this guy, Sean, has become one of my best friends. And as crazy as it sounds, he literally lives around the corner from me in The Hampdens. Read More

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

By  •  Culture

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

By  •  Culture

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

By  •  Culture

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

By  •  Culture

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

By  •  Culture

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: Irish Roots

My Mom (um, hello…Peg Fitzpatrick) is Irish. Her great-grandmother Catherine Buckley arrived in Baltimore on a ship from County Cork in 1850 at the age of 16. And…when you see my Mom, you say…yep, she’s Irish.

And, while my Irish Mom is a big part of who I am (and my Dad, too…of course), my love of food and cooking and feeding people seems to come from my maternal grandmother, Mary Fitzpatrick. She and my grandfather Clark lived on a working farm in Harford County and I’ve written a little about them before. They were extremely hard working people – raising lambs, pigs, chickens and steer, churning their own butter, smoking and curing meats and so much more. Mary was a fabulous cook and if you stopped by their house, you ate. Like, really, ate. One of my Mom’s most vivid food memories was her mother frying chicken in bacon fat – she said the skin was perfectly crispy. I’ve tried it and yes, it is amazing. Another reason to love bacon. 

A camp for grown ups – it’s all about the beer

So, maybe you’ve been to camp. Sleep away camp, sports camp or science camp, perhaps. When I was a kid, I went to a bunch of lacrosse and field …
Read More

What’s your story? Here’s mine…

Branding. Creating your ‘you’ – telling the world what you’re all about. Big companies create taglines like “Just do it” or “We love to fly and it shows.” In today’s …
Read More

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

By  •  Culture

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