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Hot Plate: How to support Baltimore’s restaurant industry during coronavirus

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The Capital Grille is one of many local restaurants offering carryout options right now; the downtown restaurant is also selling uncooked steaks to take home.

For the second week in a row, this is not the usual, lighthearted installment of Hot Plate, sharing information about wine dinners and seafood festivals, as events are canceled and restaurants are no longer open in their traditional capacity, in an effort to flatten the curve and stem the transmission of coronavirus.

This is a challenging time around the world and in every industry. The restaurant business, with low margins and reliance on tipping and on customers gathering in one place to generate income, has been hit especially hard (though it is by no means the only industry suffering).

To understand some of what restaurants are dealing with right now, read this Facebook post from Clavel owner Lane Harlan.

So as lovers of Baltimore and lovers of restaurants, what can we do to help? There are a few things.

Q&A with Laura Bogart, Goucher grad and local author of ‘Don’t You Know I Love You’

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“The best thing that ever happened to my writing life was breaking my ankle,” Baltimore author Laura Bogart proclaimed in 2015. At the time of the accident, Bogart, now 37, was writing mainly nonfiction, and she’d already met with success as an essayist. Her personal reflections on a range of hot-button topics—sizeism and feminism, politics and pop culture—often went viral on Salon. (She’s now a featured writer at The Week and a contributing editor at DAME).

Hot Plate: Supporting local restaurants during challenging times and other Baltimore restaurant news

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St. Patrick’s Day festivities will feel anything but typical this year – though local restaurants are working hard to continue to stay open.

While coronavirus concerns have led to school closures, events being cancelled and other cautionary measures, restaurants and bars are generally staying open–so far–and they need patrons now more than ever. It is definitely not business as usual out there.

Given the rapidly moving disease landscape, it makes sense to check with restaurants and other venues before heading out for specific events or even just to dine out. As we’ve all learned over the past few days, nothing is set in stone, and doing a little extra research is always helpful.

Hot House: 7,000 sq. ft. 1920’s manor house in Lutherville

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312 Meadowcroft Lane, Lutherville.

Hot House: The original Meadowcroft manor house located in Lutherville. Six bedrooms and 4.5 baths; garage; carriage house/barn with additional living quarters; central heating and cooling; lots of Old World charm and details; 2+ acres; fireplaces; pool. 7,300 square feet. Asking price: $1.399 million.

Hot Plate: International Women’s Day at Topside, Stags’ Leap Winery dinner and more

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On Wednesday night, The Milton Inn showcases the wines of California’s famous Stags’ Leap Winery.

Crabs, oysters, mac and cheese: This week, the Baltimore food scene has a little something for everyone, including tons of ways to raise money for good causes while eating and drinking. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Some Pretty Bad Things I Did A Long Time Ago

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In the late 1980s, after struggling for years to write fiction and poetry, I stumbled on the possibilities of the personal essay. I was inspired and energized by the possibility of telling the truth about my life and experiences. It was a challenge to see how honest I could really be – how far I would go. There were things it seemed impossible to discuss in public. What the hell, I thought, and did it anyway. And once I did, I experienced the redemptive and sometimes thrilling powers of confession, which is what this essay celebrates. Later, after “Telling” became the title essay of my first collection from Random House, I experienced some of the less fun aspects of baring one’s life and soul, like being criticized for being exhibitionistic and seeking only to shock. Reading this essay 30-plus years later, I think I may in fact have gone a little overboard. Welcome to the “Oy Vey” edition of Telling, with illustrations.

Hot Plate: Cocktail competition at The AB, St. Leo’s ravioli dinner, Polish pop-up at Salt and more

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St. Leo’s ravioli dinner is this Sunday, starting at noon.

This week is a relatively quiet one on the Baltimore restaurant scene but the events that are taking place offer a little something for everyone, from cocktail lovers to serious carnivores.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Baltimost: Maria Gabriela Aldana, founder of Neighborhood Voices and Queer Stories

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Credit: Scarlett Aldana

Baltimost is a Baltimore Fishbowl feature series that asks locals what they love about their city. The idea is to celebrate Baltimore and the people who make it so unique.

So what makes Baltimore the Baltimost to you? It could be a favorite place, a great meal, a memorable interaction or something else entirely. Email suggestions to Karen at [email protected]

Maria Gabriela Aldana, 39, founder of Neighborhood Voices and Queer Stories

In her words: “I haven’t really been officially out of the closet as a bisexual woman. I have multiple identities and it’s a lot to juggle. That’s why I focus on intersections of race and sexual orientation.

Hot Plate: National Margarita Day celebrations, wine dinners, whiskey tastings and more

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Wine and whiskey lovers have a lot of options this week; there are tasting events and pairing dinners scheduled all week long.

Buckle up, Baltimore food lovers. This week is a big one in the restaurant world, featuring several terrific wine and spirits dinners, lots of margaritas, and even a little Harry Potter. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Baltimore Writers’ Club: A Q&A with Jessica Anya Blau and Tracy Walder about ‘The Unexpected Spy’

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In 2015, popular Baltimore novelist Jessica Anya Blau (The Trouble With Lexie, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, etc.) decided to try her hand at something completely different — ghostwriting. After working behind-the-scenes on a few books, including a bestselling memoir of child abuse and dysfunction, she was offered the opportunity to collaborate on a very different project – the memoir of a sorority girl from the University of Southern California who ended up working for the CIA and the FBI. An ex-spy named Tracy Walder, then a high school teacher in Dallas, was ready to tell her story.

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