Columns

Hot Plate: LB Speakeasy Opens, Dutch Courage Announced, New Chef at The Elephant

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LB Speakeasy’s menu will include drinks like the 12 Mile and Southside.

November is a big month for food in Baltimore – when the month closes with a holiday like Thanksgiving, how couldn’t it be? This week, Baltimore’s restaurants have a lot to offer, including tons of great news about the launch of new spots and a handful of charity-related events that sound delicious.

Here’s a look at what’s happening around town this week:

Greenlaurel: Free Eco-Film Screening at Senator Theater Nov. 14:

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It’s not often that best-in-class environmental movies are screened in Baltimore — and, for free. Hopefully you were able to watch “Merchants of Doubt” on Nov 5, but if not, check out the documentary “Plastic Ocean” on Nov. 14. Learn who’s behind today’s climate change silence, and why our oceans are more abuzz with pollution than sea life. Both films will be followed by expert panel discussions.

How to Celebrate the Day of the Dead

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It seems to have become a tradition to re-post this 2013 column on November 1. At my house, Day of the Dead season opened a couple of weeks ago when I started a new book project: a sequel to The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. It will be called The Baltimore Book of the Dead, again named after the place it was written, again containing very short lyric essays, each a portrait of someone who has died. The first one is my mother, The Golfer, who left us right after I finished the first book, and I’ve got a handful of others already. I can picture the two little books standing next to each other, so maybe it will actually happen and you will read it someday. If I continue to be swept up in the writing, you might be reading essays from the archive for a couple of months, but I’ve been digging around and there are some very ancient ones that I bet most BFB readers have never seen. Happy Day of the Dead, shots of tequila all around. 

Drape a small table with a cloth in the favorite color of the person you loved who has died. Adorn it with candles, flowers (marigolds are traditional) and framed photographs. Set out some favorite foods: a slice of pie, a bottle of beer, a Milky Way. Add the instruments of their hobbies and vices: a pack of Newports, a deck of cards, a banjo. A People magazine, a racquet, a Terrible Towel. A copy of Peter Pan, of The Joy of Cooking, of the Bible.

With Small-Time Appeal, Baltimore-Born Wild Kombucha is Poised for Expansion

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From left to right: Adam Bufano, Sergio Malarin and Sid Sharma. Photo via Mobtown Fermentation.

Mobtown Fermentation’s Wild Kombucha is on a growth spree, one that co-founder Sid Sharma says might have never happened if it weren’t for Baltimore.

Hot Plate: Guinness Test Taproom & The Point Open, Themed Dinners at Modern Cook Shop, New Fall Menus Debut

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White Envelope, the arepa bar in R. House, has updated its menu for the fall season.

Happy Halloween week, Baltimore! This week is sure to be a wild, sugar-soaked one with the spooky holiday on Tuesday. But there are a handful of other events to keep you entertained, even if trick-or-treating isn’t on your list. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week:

Greenlaurel: Solving Baltimore’s Vacant Lot Problem, One Wildflower Meadow at a Time

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Before: This Sandtown vacant lot was a patch of dirt. After: It’s a native plant meadow.

Baltimore City faces a vexing, decades-old question: How do you transform 14,000 vacant lots and properties into healthy neighborhoods? It may just start with a flower meadow.

Candyland, A Retrospective

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We eat to comfort, to numb, to escape, to block, to reward, to punish, or maybe to return to some place of sweetness we once knew, home sweet home.  Geneen Roth, in her book Women Food and God, writes, “Our personality and its defenses, one of which is our emotionally charged relationship to food, are a direct link to our spirituality.  They are the breadcrumbs leading us home.”

Big Fish: Gubernatorial Candidate and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

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County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s race for Maryland governor is fueled by his experience as a Baltimore County public servant and an open disdain for the state’s current leadership.

Baltimore Writers Club #8: Four UB Alums Take Flight

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A couple of years ago, my colleagues and I at the University of Baltimore Creative Writing MFA program watched with pride as D Watkins published The Cook Up and The Beast Side, a memoir and a collection of essays from two major publishing houses, and quickly became recognized as a major voice of his generation of African-American writers. D had just graduated from our relatively young program, and his level of success was a first for us.

Hot Plate: New Fall Cocktails, BBQs over the Weekend, Charm City Cook at Everyman Theater

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R. Bar is one of several local spots that has recently launched a new fall cocktail menu.

This week has a little bit of everything for Baltimore food lovers, from good news about new spots opening to a long list of boozy dinners. Here’s a look at what will keep you entertained all week long: