Hot Plate: Ice Cream Everywhere, Farm Festivals, Wonders of Damascus at Hersh’s & More

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Johnny’s Ice Cream Cart has taken up residence on Roland Avenue.

Summer has officially begun and the local food scene is ready to celebrate the season. This week brings ice cream news, farm festivals, outdoor parties and more. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

We All Scream

It must be summertime, because much of this week’s big news comes on a cone.

In Roland Park, the Johnny’s Ice Cream Cart has launched. Located in front the Roland Park Shopping Center, near Johnny’s and Petit Louis, the cart is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offers a variety of ice cream and sorbet flavors for $2 a scoop. 

Earlier this week, fans of The Charmery were delighted to learn that the Hampden ice cream shop has plans to expand. Next spring, the shop will expand to Union Collective, the Medfield space where Union Craft Brewing is relocating its operations.

The new Charmery space will be called “The Ice Cream Factory.” It will include production facilities, an event space and a retail operation. But don’t worry, Hampdenites: the original location will stay put.

This week, The Charmery’s Hampden neighbor, Charm City Chocolate, announced that on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, they will be offering www.charmcitychocolate.com – a terrific summer treat.

Weekend Festivals

Saturday, June 24, the Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival rolls into the Inner Harbor. The party includes all-you-can-eat crabs (plus other non-crab options), live music and over 50 beers and wines. It sounds like an ideal Maryland summer Saturday!

This Saturday is also a big day for local farm festivals. In White Marsh, Richardson Farms is hosting its first Sunflower Fest, featuring foods fresh from the farm.

The same day, Manor Hill Farm in Ellicott City is hosting Farm Fest, including farm education activities and a tour of the Manor Hill Brewing production brewery, locally sourced food and live, local music.

Happy Birthday, El Bufalo!

All weekend long, El Bufalo Tequila Bar & Kitchen in Canton will be celebrating five years in business! Tonight’s party will include drink specials, live music and raffle prizes, and tomorrow will feature live music all day and a drag brunch at noon.

Spirits on Sunday

On Sunday, the Maryland Distillers Guild will host Spirits of Maryland: Baltimore at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The afternoon event will feature tastings of a variety of locally made craft spirits, plus music and hors d’oeuvres.

Also on Sunday, Gunther & Co. is launching a monthly event on the pretty patio outside the restaurant. Every month, the Sunday Social will showcase a particular spirit and beer. This month, the spotlight falls on Old Line Spirits and Monument City Brewing. Gunther’s Shaun Stewart, who makes some of the best, most interesting drinks in the city, has developed a handful of cocktails that promise to be delicious.

Wonders of Damascus at Hersh’s

On Tuesday, June 27, Mera Kitchen Collective will pop-up at Hersh’s for a special dinner raising funds for the International Rescue Committee and the Refugee Youth Project. The dinner, dubbed Wonders of Damascus, will be prepared by Iman Ashab, a refugee from Syria who was a chef at the Damascus Four Seasons before the Syrian War.

The dinner, which has been sponsored by Klein’s ShopRite Grocery Store and Hersh’s, includes three courses with wine and beer, all for two excellent causes.

Union Celebrates 5 Years at Max’s

Thursday, June 29, is a special day for Union Craft Brewing: it marks five years since Union’s beer was first made available to the public at a launch party at Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point. This Thursday, Union and Max’s – both now Baltimore institutions – will once again join forces, this time to celebrate the anniversary of that launch. Starting at 5 p.m., the Union crew will be at Max’s with five casks and 23 draft beers, including both the classics and newer stuff.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

July 13: Crabaret at Gertrude’s

July 28: Baltimore Restaurant Week 

July 29: Trifecta Food Festival