|Meme by Baltimore Humor|
I created this newsletter as a way to keep people in Baltimore informed on ways we all can support our favorite local restaurants and food & beverage businesses.
No ads, no memberships, just info.
All I ask is this: forward it onto a few of your friends in Baltimore who love food.
UNICORNS, VALENTINES AND MOVEABLE FEAST
In years past, the Rebels with a Cause would be gearing up right now for the annual Ride for the Feast by hosting large in-person fundraisers supported by local restaurants. Because they can’t do that this year — and restaurants need our help more than ever — the Rebels (100+ riders strong) are rallying in a new way to raise funds for Moveable Feast and spreading some cheer in the process. Unicorns with a Cause will be partnering with local restaurants and businesses through the spring to make special deliveries.
This Valentine’s Day, they’re partnering with Gertrude’s, Charlottetown Farm and Flowers & Fancies to provide the following:
1) Gertrude’s Valentine’s Day Menu for Two. Add a bouquet for $35 (with $15 going to Moveable Feast), or opt for Unicorn delivery for $100 which includes delivery by unicorns and a bouquet. ($80 to Moveable Feast)
2) Charlottetown Farm Flowers & Fudge ($80). Special unicorn goat cheese fudge and flower arrangement delivered by unicorns.
3) Cheese and chocolate gift basket ($100) – A selection of goat cheeses and goat cheesecake and goat cheese fudges and truffles delivered by unicorns or available for pickup at the Waverly Market for $100.
Follow the Unicorns on Instagram or Facebook!
VALENTINE’S POP-UP AT ALDO’S
Aldo’s has been quiet this winter…they are not open for in-person dining at the moment. From Sergio Vitale: “We intend to reopen soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can order many Aldo’s Restaurant favorite dishes at our one-day only pop-up on Saturday, 2/13.”
Get your order in by Wednesday, 2/10. The kits serve 2-4 people, are ready to reheat and on the table in 10-15 minutes. They can be kept refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen up to 8 weeks.
Menu along with ordering and pickup details are here: AldosMealKits.com!
A VALENTINE’S FEAST FROM NEOPOL
If you know me well, you know I am way, way more into savory foods. I mean, yeah, sometimes I crave a sweet (Hoehn’s doughnuts come to mind…) but for the most part, I’m team savory. So, ALL THE YES to this Valentine’s basket from my friends at Neopol. Not only does it come with beet-cured gravlax, herbed goat cheese (a longtime market fave of mine) and lots of other delicious housemade things, it also includes other locally made goods. You get a bottle of Cane Collective‘s Passionfruit Jalapeño Mixer (I definitely enjoy this on its own, booze-free), a candle from Letta at KSM Candle and chocolate truffles from my friend (and new momma) Jinji of Pure Chocolate by Jinji. I really like what they’ve put into this one!
MONA’S SUPER NOODLE
I am officially a fan of Mona’s Super Noodle in Hampden. I love soups of all kinds — classic chicken noodle, miso, chili, ramen, etc….and I especially love pho. Mona is friend of a friend of a friend (so Baltimore) and I saw a post about her opening in February so I was pretty much ready to hit ORDER on my phone. She is in the space were Nori sushi was and her Instagram is here. I don’t know much, but I do know that everyone who knows Mona LOVES her. She worked at Atwater’s in Belvedere for a long time and was always a talented home cook. From my immediate love for her pho and Tom-Kha (soup made with creamy coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, mushroom, cilantro and lime juice – omg the mushrooms in it, amazing) it is safe to say I have a new neighborhood fave. I can’t wait to order again. Many friends ordered from Mona’s this weekend after seeing my IG post and they loved it, too! Small detail that’s a big detail: everything is packed perfectly. And they are so nice!
Congratulations, Mona. You have so many friends and fans in Charm City. And your food allowed me to put the world on pause for a few minutes. And (pic #3) I loved the pho broth the next day on its own for my lunch. Thank you.
LA CUCHARA MARKET
I feel like I need to give another BIG shout out to my friends at La Cuchara. Jake, Ben and Amy Lefenfeld and their team have done the pivot of all pivots. They have fully transitioned a lovely Basque restaurant turning out incredible food, pouring some of the most creative cocktails and YES, that incredible happy hour into an extensive market with both delicious and practical items. I’ve gotten everything from flour and sour cream to Beef Wellington and falafel to time savers like rosemary pesto (so good), Carrie’s breads and much more. Marcona almonds! Plus, the market website has gorgeous photos of all of the items, which makes me want to order even more things.
They’re also doing a Valentine’s Dinner for two for only $99 + tip. (Truly a bargain from the looks of the menu.)
KN95 MASK FUNDRAISER FOR TEACHERS
Join restaurants in supporting Baltimore City School Teachers.
We all know the pandemic is taking a toll on our teachers and kids. Now that many more teachers are returning to in-person school, a group of restaurants wants to help ensure they go back safely. Participating restaurants will be donating 20% of all sales from 4pm-9pm on February 18 to purchase KN95 Masks from The Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund. The Fund has been selling masks to help support furloughed industry workers, providing assistance with unemployment, buying meals and arranging food drops to communities throughout Baltimore. All funds raised will go to these endeavors as well as providing FREE, Certified KN95 masks for Teachers!
Restaurants participating are:
Golden West Cafe
The Local Fry
If you prefer to donate directly to the fund, please designate your donation for “Teachers” in the space provided at www.bmorerestaurantrelief.org.
More info here. Hope you will order takeout this night. Big thanks to Sam at Golden West. She is truly a rock star in my eyes, working tirelessly to do all she can to help folks in the hospitality industry!
DESSERTS TO GO
For the last few weeks, I’ve been asking friends and folks on IG for takeout recommendations. I asked for specific dishes, too!
Last week, I asked for restaurant dessert suggestions and specifically asked for things that people ordered along with their dinner that traveled particularly well. Here are some:
Daniela’s — tiramisu
The Food Market — Heath Bar bread pudding
Cookhouse — Nutella doughnuts
El Trovador — tres leches cake
La Scala — tiramisu
Orto — chocolate hazelnut pave, pistachio cake
Dutch Courage — banana bread pudding
Sotto Sopra —crème brûlée
Clavel — flan, tres leches cake (pictured above)
Dylan’s — Basque cheesecake
Nihao — cookie boxes
1157 Bar + Kitchen — chocolate peanut butter tart
La Cuchara — chocolate mousse, vanilla pear tart, butterscotch pot de crème
Souvlaki — baklava
Silver Queen Cafe — peanut butter pie (multiple mentions!)
Cocina Luchadoras — flan
Thai Arroy — mango sticky rice
Petit Louis — pot de crème, crème brûlée
Here are some takeout suggestions (a few new ones have been added!)
Please email me or message me via IG with more suggestions!
29th Street Tavern — Great simple burger, chicken cheesesteak, wings
Chiyo — “All the rolls.”
Heritage Kitchen — Arroz Caldo, Chicken and Short Rib Adobo, Shrimp & Pork Belly Laing, Coconut + Crab soup, Butternut Squash Soup (or really, ANY soup Chef Rey makes.)
Cindy Lou’s Fish House — Biscuits, fried green tomatoes, rockfish bites, shrimp and grits (pictured above), fried chicken. Very nice cocktails.
The Food Market — “Amish soft pretzels always, always”, Fast Food Market (weekend special), spaghetti and crab meatballs, lamb chops and crispy lobster fingers. “I love ordering from The Food Market because we all can use some comfort right now.”
Chuck’s Trading Post — Wednesday burger special, “every burger is fantastic.”
Nihao — Peking duck, Grand Marnier shrimp, fried rice, cocktails (non-alc, too!)
La Cuchara — Soft pretzels (pictured), mussels, salmon niçoise, rockfish, cinnamon buns
Orto – Friday pasta club, chicken parm for two “and make sure you get an extra Caesar”, “just order the whole menu.” The Cacio e Pepe is my go to.
Dylan’s — “The menu is so tight that everything on it is really, really good.” Burger and fries, Caesar salad, kale salad, shucked raw oysters, fried oyster sandwich, killer drinks.
Ethel’s Creole Kitchen — “Consistently my favorite.”
Foraged — “We order everything.” “I mean, just order anything on the menu, it’s that good.”
Mizu Sushi — “The 3-roll lunch special is such a good deal.”
The Helmand — Kaddo Borwani (pumpkin), Banjan Borwani (eggplant), chicken kabobs, Dwopiaza lamb
The Prime Rib — “The best takeout, what a treat. Get prime rib (obviously), potato skins, mashed potatoes and you have to get martinis.They come in pouches like Capri Suns!” Also, I have to add that their cheeseburger is one of the best I’ve ever had and it’s on the takeout menu.
Petit Louis — Cucumber salad, friseé salad, whole roasted chicken, eggplant napoleon, steak frites, steak au poivre, extra fries always. The whole menu.
Papermoon Diner — “I love the Spring Egg: potato cake, prosciutto and spinach tossed in olive oil served with 2 over-medium eggs and hollandaise.” (omg, that sounds good!)
Thai Street — Soups, noodles, Khai Soi, spring rolls, crab fried rice
Annabel Lee Tavern — Grilled tuna panini
Mt. Everest — Saag Paneer, Chana Masala with naan
Snake Hill — Three mentions of their wings!
Bullseye — Scallion pancakes, Szechuan pork, “OMG, any dumplings they make”
The Local Fry — “Tofu Bahn Mi, Asada fries. So good.” I also LOVE their dry rubbed wings in a many flavors and I love that you can order all flats! (team flats over here.)
Isabella’s — “Best Italian Cold Cut in the City!”
Souvlaki — Pantzarokeftedes (beet wrap), Bifteki with Greek fries
Hersh’s — Crispy chicken sandwich, Caesar salad, Americano pie, crostini, wings, carbonara — “Literally everything is good here.”
Sobo Cafe — Ranch garden salad, short rib, salmon, mussels, spicy feta, mac ‘n cheese
Well Crafted Kitchen — “We love all of their pizzas and the family style salads. Best people, too.”
Clavel — Margaritas, all the tacos, burritos. “For real, everything is good here.”
Sushi Sizka — Pingpong roll, spicy salmon roll, Caribbean roll
Fuisine — “Get the short rib toast!”
Koko’s — Crab cakes and wings
Alma Cocina Latina — “The arepas are the best.”
Jasa Kabob — Curry and vegetable samosas
Paulie Gee’s — “Their Wednesday wood-fired special is great. It’s 2 pizzas for $22 or 4 pizzas for $44.”
The Tilted Row — “Pasta dishes and Andy’s Mac ‘n cheese, a carryover from his days at Donna’s in Charles Village”
Wet City — “The Bahn Mi Dog, Ribeye Cheesesteak, Hot Chicken Sandwich — plus amazing beers in crowlers.”
Kitsch Cafe — “Incredible breakfast sandwiches. Plus, when you order a ‘Givewich, it goes to someone who needs a meal.”
Ekiben — Neighborhood Bird, tempura broccoli (now GF), tofu brah, shrimp snacks, tons of creative and delicious collaborations. And you can also “Buy a Hero a Bun” for a healthcare worker if you’d like to help folks on the front lines.
Ramen Utsuke — “Consistently excellent ramen.”
BRD — “Such a good lunch!”
Le Comptoir Du Vin — “We love their sandwiches and the lentils.” I have to add that I could absolutely eat their chicken liver pâté on sourdough once a week.
This week’s recipe is more of a “how to” and it’s all about reverse searing a steak. If you follow me on IG, you will know that I have been talking about this a lot over the last year or two. This method just requires a little extra time and patience. But the end result (and easy technique) makes it worth just thinking ahead a bit. I first saw this several years ago via Tasting Table and Serious Eat and I just figured the way I was cooking steaks was fine. No, this way is a LOT better. It cooks the steak more evenly and pretty much the exact temp you want. It takes a few times to get it down, but you will get it. Do this.
Steak Game Changer: The Reverse Sear
SOMETHING NOT FOOD-RELATED
My employer — The GreenMount School in Remington — is hiring! Our k-8 students have been learning from home since last March and we are bringing the kids back to campus soon — so, we are in need of teaching help! The positions are listed on our site HERE and I wonder if you might know of someone great. Think about recent college grads, retired teachers, parents re-entering the job market, etc. Not all positions require certified teachers (some are helpers and classroom proctors) and we are considering all kinds of hours (PT/FT) so think about it, will you? Thank you!
RESTAURANTS NEED US.
I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO SAY IT AGAIN.
Please take a few minutes to read this article by Christina Tkacik of the Baltimore Sun about The Helmand. The Karzais are a perfect example of people we need to support. Now. Right now. The Helmand is in my top five favorite restaurants. I’m sure many of you feel similarly about this iconic place. I will be ordering takeout this week. (Thank you, Christina!)
Thank you for capturing such a beautiful dinner, Justin Tsucalas!
• order takeout for yourself (or even as thank yous for your friends who are healthcare workers and in other key frontline services, or for friends who welcome babies, etc
• give positive reviews on dining sites and social media
• share your favorite takeout meals you’ve had during COVID on your social media channels (it really helps!)
• order your meals via the restaurant directly, please avoid apps that charge the restaurant up to 40%. And, picking up your food in person gives you a chance to say hello and thank the owner and staff in person. We all can use a lift., huh?
• tip as much as you can on your takeout
• buy merch, gift cards, etc
• Venmo your favorite server
Will you please share this to three people?
THE MORE PEOPLE ORDERING TAKEOUT, THE BETTER!
ps. If you are receiving this newsletter via a forward from a friend, here is how to signup.
I LOVE YOU, BALTIMORE.