Hot Plate: Showroom Opens, The Smoke Show, Moet Oyster Ball & More

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Showroom opens today in Station North’s Motor House space.

Mid-October is prime time for food lovers in Baltimore. This week offers all sorts of options for people who love to eat and drink, from openings and anniversary celebrations to collaborations and fundraisers = all that plus this weekend is the 51st Fell’s Point Fun Festival.

Here’s a look at what the city’s food scene has on tap this week:

Showroom Opens

Station North’s new café/bar/performance venue, Showroom, officially opens today! The new spot, which is located inside non-profit arts hub Motor House, will celebrate this evening with a party that’s open to the public, featuring food and drink specials plus great music.

Showroom will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; during the evenings, the menu will feature “cross-cultural street food” to pair with cocktails and local beers.

The Local Oyster Turns Two

The Local Oyster will celebrate its second birthday on Saturday, October 7, with a party at its Mt. Vernon Marketplace digs. The party starts at 7 p.m. and will include live music from The Swingin’ Swamis and, naturally, a ton of great oysters.

Hammers & Ales

Baltimore Community ToolBank celebrates five years this year and to celebrate, they’re hosting Hammers & Ales, a fundraising party featuring a throwdown between some of Baltimore’s best restaurants. Chefs from Gertrude’s, The Brewer’s Art, The Outpost American Tavern, Ejji Ramen and Culinary Architecture will each use a tool to create a dish – then the crowd will vote for their favorites. (La Cakerie will also be there, taking care of dessert.)

Beer in Baltimore

Baltimore Beer Week starts next Friday, which means it’s time for the city to gear up for a lot of great brew and beer-focused events, including the Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame Luncheon, taking place at Heavy Seas Alehouse on Friday.

If you’re interested in getting in the mood for beer even earlier, head to the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, hosted by the Brewers Association of Maryland, which takes place tomorrow at Canton Waterfront Park. The festival will feature over 40 local craft breweries, plus food, live music, games and more.

Manor Hill Tavern is also feeling the brew this weekend: on Saturday, they’re hosting Beer & Brunch, a multicourse brunch with creative beer pairings.

Weekend Tacos

Saturday and Sunday, Power Plant LIVE will be the site of Baltimore’s first annual Taco Festival, featuring tacos and drinks from 20 local food makers, plus live entertainment, contests and a giant nacho bar.

Sunday Smoke Show

For fans of both smoky foods and Hampden, Sunday is a big day. That afternoon at Whitehall Mill, The Food Market teams up with Smoke, the popular Cockeysville barbecue restaurant, for The Smoke Show. The menu looks killer, including everything from standard smoked wings to pig parts and a fish picking bar.

Tarot & Cocktails

Also on Sunday, Golden West Café will get a little mystical with a Cocktails & Tarot event, featuring a Tarot-inspired drinks menu and $10 10-minute Tarot readings.

Pierogies for Everyone

Sunday is also National Pierogi Day, making it a great time to enjoy everyone’s favorite Polish dumplings. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate locally, you might try Sophia’s Place in Broadway Market. Owner Sophia Para makes some of the best pierogies around.

Casa Silva Wine Dinner at Bar Vasquez

Most of this week’s events are beer or cocktail-centric, so Wednesday will be a great night to take a break from both to focus on wine. That evening, Bar Vasquez will host a dinner featuring the wines of Casa Silva, a Chilean winery that has been run by the same family for five generations.

The four-course meal includes dishes like lamb leg steak and Uraguayan strip steak. Throughout the meal, guests will taste seven different wines from Casa Silva.

Joint Venture at Sandlot

Wednesday night will also be a fun one at Sandlot, where Danny Newburg, of NYC’s Joint Venture pop-up, will partner with Spike Gjerde and Opie Crooks to dish up fried fish sandwiches, blue crab, rockfish collars and ceviche alongside the regular Sandlot menu.

Chefs Behind Bars

Chefs Behind Bars, Wit & Wisdom’s fun annual fundraiser for No Kid Hungry, returns to the waterfront on Thursday, October 12.

The event tests the cocktail-making prowess of some of Baltimore’s best chefs, pitting them against one another in a no holds barred drinks making contest. The drinks are rated by a panel of expert judges as well as by the crowd, who crown a “people’s choice” winner.

Oyster Weekend Kickoff

Next weekend is Ryleigh’s annual Oysterfest in Federal Hill – and the multi-day event starts on Thursday with the Moet Oyster Ball. The Oyster Ball is an all-you-can-eat oyster fest that showcases the best in bivalves and bubbles, with proceeds benefiting the restoration of the 1901 Skipjack Sigsbee through the Living Classrooms Foundation and Oyster Recovery Project.

World Food Day at Gunther & Co.

Next Friday, October 13, is World Food Day. The team at Gunther & Co. will recognize the day by donating 10% of dinner proceeds to World Central Kitchen’s Smart Solutions to Hunger and Poverty.

World Central Kitchen is a non-profit that aims to help end hunger and poverty; the organization has worked all over the world, from Cambodia and Brazil to Zambia and here in the U.S.

A Seat at the Table

Also on Friday, October 13, Morgan State kicks off its 150th Homecoming weekend with a four-course dinner held at Oxygen Ultra Lounge on South Calvert Street. The event is hosted by A Dash of This & The Dinner Club and is dubbed “A Seat at the Table.”

The meal, created and prepared by Chef Raymond Lee of Truffle Butta Bistro, includes three savory courses and dessert, with dishes like shrimp and grits and spiced lamb chops.

Farmers’ Market Fundraising

Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 19 and the second annual Feast for Farms and Families organized by the Maryland Farmers Market Association. Feast for Farms and Families is a fundraiser supporting Maryland Market Money, a program that assists shoppers using federal food assistance at certain farmers markets.

The event raises funds by working with restaurants, which donate a portion of their October 19 proceeds to Maryland Market Money. A bunch of local restaurants are participating, including Artifact Coffee, R. Bar, The Charmery and Cardinal Tavern (a complete, and regularly updated, list can be found here).

Travel to India

Looking for plans for the new year? Martha Lucius, former owner of the now shuttered Boheme Café, is putting together a fabulous, food-focused trip to southern India in January 2018. This is the first in a series of proposed gastronomic tours, which Lucius has dubbed The Spice Circuit.

Martha has spent years traveling in India and, for this trip, she’s partnered with Chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma, who was born in India and works in the UK, and Wilson Rajan, who worked with Lucius to identify and coordinate lodging and other plans.

Planning Ahead

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

October 17: Minnow and Ekiben “Gettin’ Fresh” collaboration 

October 25: Bread & Butter Opening Reception at Silver Queen Café 

November 4: Vino in Vogue in Harbor East 

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