5 Things to do in August in Baltimore

Every month I find myself saying “I can’t believe it’s [insert month] yet,” but I really mean it this August. Where did the time go? While it may be the usual hot & humid Maryland summer, it is still sweet, sweet summertime. I’m not quite burnt out enough to be craving the fall weather (until I just mentioned it….) and I still want to enjoy the long days filled with sunshine. If you are looking to fully embrace your summer and try some new adventures, here are a few events happening around Baltimore in August:

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WTMD First Thursdays – Photo Credit: Will Cocks Photography

August 4th

Check out one of my personal favorite summer events, the WTMD First Thursday Concert featuring the Revivalists, Brooks Long & the Mad Dog No Good, and the Saint Johns. As the event continues to grow, you can find me heading over early to grab my spot in Canton Waterfront Park.

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Photo from Knits, Soy and Metal Facebook Page

August 10th

Are you interested in candle making but have no idea where to start? Check out Candle Making with Knits, Soy, and Metal at The Room in Mt. Vernon. They will bring the supplies, you bring your creative spirit.

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Photo from Mt. Vernon Marketplace Facebook Page

August 13th

Baltimore’s newest marketplace is expanding to the outdoors for ParkFest, Mt. Vernon Marketplace’s first block party. You can’t get much more summer than a block party.

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Photo from Baltimore Magazine Facebook Page

August 18th

Join the finest our city has to offer at Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore Party. They will have tastings, cocktails, and live music at the Hippodrome, complete with a swinging 60s theme.

August 21st

Come together with many of Baltimore’s yogis and yoginis at the Baltimore Free to Breathe Yogathon. Be a part of a one-of-a-kind team yoga experience, all while raising funds to change the future of lung cancer. You can participate in up to 8 hours of yoga with varied intensities and instructors from studios all around the city, while also enjoying acupuncture, hair braiding, metallic tattoos, reiki, henna, foam rolling, cupping, PT, clothing, mala, and tons of healthy foods and drinks. Also, a big thank you to Annie Truax of BmoreToned for hosting a very inspiring sneak peek of the Yogathon at Core Power Yoga. If our morning yoga class is any indication of how the Yogathon will be, I am confident everyone is in for an energizing and motivating day.

 

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their August and summer!

Mac + Cheese = Baltimore Love

As the day comes to an end, I think it is never too late to say happy National Mac n Cheese Day to all my cheese loving friends! I have always been enamored with this cheesy dish. Growing up, my father’s baked Mac n Cheese was always my favorite meal… actually it still is. My coworkers and I were discussing this delicious holiday at work and started listing all of the great places to get the tasty dish around town. I thought it would be best to share some of the best places to grab Mac n Cheese around Baltimore:

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Photo taken by @brian_weiner on Instagram

Alexander’s Tavern in Fells Point has two amazing Mac n Cheese dishes. If you are there for brunch, try out the Breakfast Mac n Cheese with scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage.

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Or you could order the Mac n Cheese pizza, complete with bacon and jalapeños. This was the very first meal I ate in Baltimore after signing my first Baltimore City lease 8 years ago. This picture is literally from that day (for real, check out the Mr’s sliding phone in the background). Still a favorite dish of mine to date!

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Photo taken by @linggdongg on Instagram

You could also head across the street to Stuggy’s for a Crab Mac dog topped with Old Bay. It’s like America’s favorite past time had a baby with the state of Maryland and topped it with Mac n Cheese. Not nearly the best way to describe it, so let the photo do the talking.

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Photo taken by @cardinaltav on Instagram

Over in Canton, many of my neighbors’ favorite corner bar boasts a very creamy Mac n Cheese. Don’t miss out on the rest of the true southern food at Cardinal Tavern.

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Photo taken by @roliepolieolgie on Instagram

Head up to Highlandtown to taste Snake Hill‘s flavorful Mac n Cheese. Best when paired with one of their sausages.

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Photo taken by liketheteaeats.com

Across the harbor, you can carry on to Wayward Southern Bar & Grill for their Brisket Mac n Cheese. Hello 14 hour brisket, smoked gouda, and I don’t care if mason jars are over used because that is simply adorable. I just want to eat it right up…oh wait, yeah, that is the point.

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Photo taken by @fbjackson on Instagram

While I have never had it myself, this photo of the Mac n Cheese at Brewer’s Art is making my mouth water. Must. Go. ASAP.

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Photo taken by George T. on Yelp

I am not going to lie, while looking for photos of the Mac + Cheese + Chocolate from Jack’s Bistro, it was hard to find one that looked appetizing. Most photos do not do it justice and it is a must try. That is coming from a girl who severely dislikes mixing her sweets and savories.

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Photo on TheFoodNetwork.com

Something would be amiss if I did not include the Gypsy Queen’s Mac n Cheese Cone with Bacon Bling. Yes, you heard me, Mac n Cheese in a CONE with BACON. It was even featured on Food Network with a recipe, but I would recommend going right to the source.

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Photo taken by @dmcgphotography, posted on @thefoodmarket Instagram

Last, but you know the saying, not least, head on up to Hampden to sample The Food Market‘s Lobster Mac n Cheese.

Now I am off to have noodly dreams with all of my favorite cheeses. Goodnight, Bmore!

With Love & Cheese,

BS

Hello, March. Looking for something to do around Baltimore?

March is here and Spring is just around the corner. Until then, we will alternate between snow and 65 degree days, in typical Maryland fashion. It also means it is the month of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, like it or hate it, it happens. Beyond the bar crawls (the Canton Irish Stroll, the Fed Hill Irish Stroll, Canton Square’s Meet in the Street, or St. Natty’s Day Pub Crawl), there is still a lot to check out in Baltimore:

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Photo Credit: Birroteca’s Facebook Page

Thursday, March 10th

Grab some Flights & Bites with Burley Oak at Birroteca. They will have multiple beers and food pairings that you can sample. Get yourself a beer flight for $14 or the beer & food pairing for $24.

Thursday, March 17th

Looking to do something a little different on St. Patrick’s Day? Join CorePower Yoga for a special St. Patrick’s Day class at Little Havana. The class is FREE and Little Havana is offering drink and food specials after the class. Namaste and slainte. 

 

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Photo Credit: Creative Mornings

Friday, March 18th

Start your day off with Creative Mornings Baltimore. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community across the world. Their free events feature a short talk and breakfast at a new venue every month. This month’s theme: Change.

 

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Photo Credit: Baltimore Museum of Art Facebook Page

Friday March 18th

End your day with Art After Hours at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The event provides after hours access to their new exhibit, signature Van Gogh cocktails, food from Clementine, and some Friday night dancing. The first one in January sold out in a matter of days, so don’t wait to buy your tickets.

Thursday March 24th

Check out the new Pulse concert series at the Meyerhoff. This month they are bringing together the classical sounds of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra paired with the indie rock tunes of Dr. Dog. Get there early for happy hour and lobby activities with great local restaurants and vendors.

 

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Photo Credit: Light City Facebook Page

March 28th- April 3rd

The inaugural Light City Baltimore is almost here, featuring a 1.5 mile Light Art Walk with illuminated visual artworks, street theater, musical performances, and concerts. This includes (but not nearly limited to) a ferris wheel, a 20′ tall by 40′ wide animatronic peacock, a labyrinth, 300 “paper boats” in the harbor, the sounds of Bosley, the beats of Dunson, and Dan Deacon (who is known for his interactive shows), all of these with LIGHTS. Did we mention it is FREE?

During the day, you can also get tickets to Light City U, which has daily innovation conferences dedicated to powering social change. You can see engaging speakers from all over, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, MICA, UMBC, Center Stage, OrderUp, Mindgrub, the National Aquarium, BGE, Betamore, Revolution, Johns Hopkins, Girls Who Code, and don’t forget, Ray Lewis.  

I’m incredibly excited for this celebration of ideas and creativity through art, music, and innovation. Hope you can join!

8 Ways to Have a Fabulous February in Baltimore

The ground hog did not retreat back into his burrow this morning and I suggest you follow his lead because hey, spring might be here soon. Either way, there are a lot of fun events happening this month that you do not want to miss.

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Photo Credit: brewmorebaltimore.com

February 4th

The local documentary, Brewmore Baltimore, will be shown at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Thursday. There is no better way to enjoy some popcorn and a beer than learning about beer brewing history and its reemergence in Baltimore at the same time.

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Photo Credit: The Charmery Facebook Page

February 6th

The best part about being an adult is choosing how you handle big life decisions, like is it okay to eat ice cream for breakfast? The Charmery says yes, especially on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. There will be a full lineup of special flavors (think French Toast and Cinnamon Roll), served alongside fresh Belgian Waffles and Spro coffee. To top it off, it is not only socially acceptable but highly encouraged to wear your PJs.

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Photo credit: baltimoremagazine.net

February 11th

Single and hoping to meet a new sweetheart? Check out Baltimore Magazine’s Top Singles Party at the newly renovated Baltimore Museum of Art.

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Photo Credit: mpoweryogastudio.com

February 12th

Thanks to the blizzard, M. Power’s Rock N’ Flow yoga class was rescheduled to this month. Head over to Ram’s Head Live to enjoy the perfect pairing of music and yoga.

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Photo Credit: Bmore Musical

February 12th & 13th

If you are looking for a way to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s Day, head up to Hampden to check out BMore Musical’s Red Velvet Evening at the Ideal Arts Space. It will feature love songs from Broadway shows, movies, and recent pop songs. And bonus… the event is BYOB!

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Photo Credit: Mother’s Grille

February 14th

Forget getting dressed up and attempting to get a reservation for Valentine’s Day, stay in your PJs and head over to Mother’s Federal Hill Grill for their bi-annual Pajama Brunch. You may be noticing a PJ theme in this blog post, but this time you get 1/2 off your ENTIRE check (including booze) if you’re wearing your PJs. (P.S. no joking, real PJs, no sweats)

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Photo Credit: BlackTieBaltimore.com

February 27th

Okay, fine, by now you are looking to get out of those PJs. Get dressed up to the nines for the Black Tie Baltimore party at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. All net proceeds go to support three education-related non-profits in the Baltimore area – Carson Scholars Fund, Midtown Academy, and Teach for America.

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Photo Credit: Union Craft Brewing

February 28th

Union Craft Brewing is hosting a Pinewood Derby at the end of the month. Head over to their website for official rules & regs, but be ready to design based on speed and style.

 

Meat Baltimore’s New Favorite Sausage Joint

The owner and bartender of Johnny Rads, Rich and Randy, have teamed up to open a new restaurant in the Baltimore neighborhood of Highlandtown. I recently reached out to Rich to hear more about what inspired Snake Hill Tavern and all the delicious details.

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Over the past few years, Rich and Randy have often visited friends in other cities, always looking to taste the best local eats. The restaurants that stood out were the ones that had no equivalent in Baltimore and they noticed that there were no sausage-centric restaurants here at home. Many of the places they visited had common thread of great beer, sausages grilled to order, and simple side dishes. Rich and Randy thought “Baltimore doesn’t have anything like this… let’s change that.” With that, they set forward and opened Snake Hill Tavern this past November.

Snakehill Tavern Highlandtown Canton Baltimore

Yes, Snake Hill. Why the name, you ask? Apparently, the area now known as Highlandtown was once farmland (weird to think) and was called Snake Hill (how lovely). As business grew around the harbor, there became a need for more housing, and a community was developed in the area around 1866. Rich informed me that “the residents decided that Snake Hill wasn’t the most inviting name for a neighborhood, so around 1870 it was changed to Highland Town because of the expansive views it offered of growing Baltimore City.”

Rich and Randy were attracted to Highlandtown for this project because to them it is home. They foresee Highlandtown becoming more desirable, and not just for it’s close proximity to Canton and lower real estate prices.

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“Highlandtown is one of three dedicated Arts Districts in the city … It is FULL of progressive thinking, ambitious, and creative residents. We see Highlandtown quickly becoming one of the hipper, more in-touch neighborhoods in Baltimore … Why not give something back to the community we decided to live in?”

As for the restaurant itself, a majority the “gourmet” sausages are sourced from local distributors, like the Rabbit & Rattlesnake and the Lamb Merguez. Other sausages like the Chicken Apple are from local makers like Logan’s Sausage. Snake Hill also has an in-house butcher who makes the “FatCityMeats” sausages such as the Pho-Q and the Pig Newton.

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I asked Rich which has been the most popular sausage so far. It has been a dead even tie between the ‘Pho-Real’ signature sandwich (the Pho-Q sausage topped with fresh chopped basil, sprouts, sliced jalapeño, and hoisin sauce like a traditional Pho soup) and the ‘Rico Suave’ signature sandwich (pictured above – the ‘Rico’ Peruvian chicken sausage topped with the popular “green” and “yellow” sauce found at popular Peruvian chicken restaurants around town). The Rico Suave has been my favorite so far, until I met their DiPasquale (pictured below) that was a special on the day I visited, but hopefully soon to be served every day. 

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For the adventurous eater, Rich would recommend the Rabbit & Rattlesnack or the Alligator Andouille, paired with spicy peppers and one of their house made whole grain mustards like the Old Bay Mustard or Duckpin IPA mustard.  “Most people get scared of the Rabbit & Rattlesnake simply because they have never even had the option to taste it.” 

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Rich & Randy have plans to open future locations around the Baltimore area and possibly expand out into surrounding local cities like Annapolis, Frederick, Ellicott City, and Ocean City. Before that though, they plan to fine tune the Highlandtown location and make it part of the conversation. Rich and Randy’s goal is to create a place that when friends visit Baltimore, locals say “Oh man, you gotta come to Snake Hill while you’re in town!”

Check Out Charm City: November Guide, Part 1!

With so much happening in November, I am splitting this month’s guide into two! Read on for some cool shit to do around Baltimore in the next 2 weeks.

Photo Credit: CharmCityCook.com
Photo Credit: CharmCityCook.com

Wednesday, November 4th Light Up LexingtonThis recurring free event shows off Lexington Market in a way you’ve never seen it, with live music, art & restaurant mash-ups. This Wednesday will feature special guest chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen at Faidley’s.

Wednesday, November 4th – Go check out the future location of Baltimore’s FIRST Food Truck Park at the Hollywood Diner. They need your help during their Kickstarter Gathering on Wednesday to support the renovation of The Diner.

Photo Credit: Sugarvale Facebook Page
Photo Credit: Sugarvale Facebook Page

Wednesday, November 4th – What is with this Wednesday?!? So many food events! We can’t forget Sugarvale’s pop-up cocktail and doughnut shop featuring Center Cut Doughnuts. Um, hello.

Saturday, November 7th – Vino in Vogue – I personally believe there is no better way to shop than while drinking wine. You can do that very thing this Saturday throughout Harbor East. Might make for some bad decisions for your wallet, but you’ll feel super fancy doing it.

Saturday, November 7th – Head over to the new Oliver Brewery for an Open House. Tour the brewery, taste some beers, and listen to some live music. Cheers!

Saturday November 7th Heavy Seas Chili & Cheese Festival – It is the perfect time of year to celebrate some of my favorite things… chili, cheese & BEER!

I Bike I Vote R House Baltimore

Sunday, November 8th – Join Bikemore at R House as they launch their “I Bike, I Vote” campaign to get people who bike to the polls this election year with the goal to make livable streets a key campaign issue for Baltimore.

Photo Credit: BSOPulse.org
Photo Credit: BSOPulse.org

Thursday, November 12th – Head over to the Meyerhoff for another evening of the Pulse Series, this month featuring Wye Oak. The evening includes happy hour, pre-show entertainment, music from the BSO, Wye Oak, then a collaboration of both. Yes please.

Friday, November 13th – The Inner Harbor ice rink is back this year with a new location and a new name. The PANDORA Ice Rink will be on top of the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and will be even bigger than last years!

Saturday, November 14th – Besides it being the day that yours truly was born, there will also be a 90s bar crawl in Fells Point. No better time to drink with some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and day dream about Zack Morris.

Enjoy, Baltimore!

Huck Yea, This Place is Great

When moving back to Canton, I was a bit disappointed that one of my favorite bars In Brewer’s Hill, Elliott’s Pour House, had closed. That disappointment quickly disappeared when I heard that the same owners of Alexander’s Tavern and Papi’s Tacos were opening a bar in that location. These are 2 of my favorite spots in Fells Point and I love that they are expanding to new neighborhoods. After checking it out on their opening night, I emailed with one of the partners, Lori Gjerde, to get an inside scoop on what else to expect from Huck’s American Craft.

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BS: What was the inspiration for opening Huck’s?

LG: Our broker showed us the place on a whim while we were searching for a second Papi’s. Charlie and Carrie were immediately smitten but I was a bit more hesitant to even have a look. However as soon as I actually saw the spot I fell in love with it. It’s a true neighborhood bar and the neighborhood is truly great. We wanted to create a casual and comfortable but fun space for everyone.

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BS: Tell me about the existing snack menu.

LG: We have no kitchen right now but wanted to offer up snacks for people to nibble on while drinking. Our chef, Faith, had to be very creative to come up with a menu due to our ‘non-kitchen’ restrictions. It will constantly be changing as we play around with new ideas. Faith prepares everything out of Alexander’s Tavern and caters it to Huck’s.

BS: I’ve heard there are plans for a full kitchen and menu, what will this entail?

LG: I’m working with our architect on the zoning and planning phases now. Our zoning hearing is scheduled for the end of August which pushes our opening date out to, hopefully, right around October 1st. It’s a lot of hoops to jump through but, knock on wood, the end product will be great.

BS: What menu item are you most excited about?

LG: Personally, the Maine Lobster Roll and the Minnesota Juicy Lucy. Faith is still tweaking the menu so I’m not even sure what all of my choices will be. But I love lobster rolls so being able to get one out of our own kitchen just makes me happy!

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BS: Looks like there is a large beer menu, how are you deciding what to bring to the taps? Should we expect to see something new every time we come back?

LG: I deferred this question to Justin since he’s our bar manager-he, Carrie and Charlie created the bar menu.

JL: There were a few contributing factors in deciding what would end up on the starting draft and bottle list. The first is the season. It’s summer time and I definitely wanted to have some light easy drinking beers available. The second factor is region. We are going to keep rotating beers in and out from different states. The third reason is a bit selfish but there are some beers I just had to have.

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BS: Your go-to cocktail from the menu, go:

LG: Again, I have deferred this to Justin. He makes all of the house-made syrups and sours himself–he really went full on with the craft idea.

JL: My favorite cocktail is the Summer Julep. It’s made with House made Peach Infused Burbon, simple syrup, fresh house made sour mix, muddled mint leaves and a splash of club soda. It’s just a great refreshing summer drink.

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BS: Where can I get myself a license plate US map like the one that is proudly displayed behind the bar?

LG: My sister found that on Etsy and we love it. So we are very excited that other people love it too. Oddly it touches people…for instance, my husband’s Aunt Carole from Iowa saw it on Facebook and was excited that the license plate used for Iowa is one that she hadn’t seen in a very long time. That sort of nostalgia is just great.

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BS: Anything else you would like to add?

LG: That this was a full on team effort; Executive chef Faith Paulick (she’s the exec chef at AT & Papi’s, too), bar manager Justin Lehman, partner Carrie Podles, Charlie and myself. We had many, many meetings discussing all aspects of the new bar. All of our strengths are in different areas so it all came together out of a great collaboration.

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Thanks to the Huck’s team for taking time to answer a few of my questions! I am excited to get back soon to have my personal favorite: the Huckleberry Lemonade Crush. Yum!