Food & Drink

Support One Love at the Valley Inn’s Charity Bartender Event

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Join supporters of the One Love Foundation next Wednesday, June 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. for the Valley Inn‘s Charity Bartending Competition. The night will feature custom cocktails, great food, live music, guest bartenders and WBAL’s Keith Mills. Guests bartenders include Sharon Love, Alicia Matthai, Courtney Mullin, Erin Rothwell, Steele Stanwick, and Bill Sinclair.

Village Square Cafe Celebrates 10 years of Casual Dining and Comfort Food

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Most restaurant owners wouldn’t consider opening during a recession, but that’s exactly what Robert and Roseann Glick did when they debuted their 130-seat neighborhood café in the Village of Cross Keys December 2008.

Robert’s mother, Ruth Shaw  — of the upscale women’s boutique of the same name that was in Cross Keys for decades — had lamented the lack of a casual café at the suburban shopping center and suggested that someone should open an eatery there, Roseann said.

“It couldn’t have been a worse time to launch a new business, but fortunately for us, we succeeded,” she said. The business caught on quickly and, luckily, the husband-and-wife duo picked the right concept for those lean times: a casual restaurant that serves comfort food. “I think it was to our advantage that we weren’t fine dining,” Roseann said.

Bluebird Pub in Hampden has reopened after flooding

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Photo by Ethan McLeod

You may have already noticed if you were wandering Hampden over Memorial Day weekend, but just to keep everyone in the loop: Bluebird Pub is back open.

Hot Plate: Party at Sandlot, Market at Montebello debuts, Raw & Refined opens and more

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This week offers opportunities to eat and drink outdoors, including at a party at the Sandlot on Sunday.

The unofficial start of summer is upon us and the Baltimore restaurant scene is in celebration mode this week, with tons of al fresco dining options, a handful of fun new openings and several strong incentives to raise a glass. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Hot Plate: Fat Tiger, El Tigre and Old Boy open in Broadway Market, Preakness specials, Mac and Cheese Festival and more

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Topside celebrates Preakness Friday and Saturday with a “raising the steaks” special.

This week is full of great restaurant news, including multiple openings and new offerings, Preakness-related specials and an opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest women in the Baltimore restaurant scene.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening and what’s on tap:

Flooding ruins the party at Bluebird’s new Hampden pub on opening weekend

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The Pub Hampden
The Bluebird Pub’s discreet sign. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

Maintenance issues have promptly put a damper on the party at Hampden’s newest bar, The Bluebird Pub, which opened just this past Friday on the basement level of the building housing Bluebird Cocktail Room and Belgian beer hall De Kleine Duivel.

Pop’s Tavern, a bastion of country music, heads to auction later this month

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The neon signs of Pop’s Tavern light up the night. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

Since 1928, Pop’s Tavern has served as a country music beacon in Sparrows Point, sitting at the corner of Wise Avenue and North Point Boulevard with multiple neon signs glowing late into the night.

The same lights could soon go out forever, as “Baltimore County’s Oldest Bar” heads to the auction block on May 28.

“It’s time,” said Deb Maxwell, manager and the daughter of the current owner, Patricia “Mom” Gawlik. “I can’t keep doing this seven days a week with no vacations.”

Hot Plate: Weekend festivals, a long list of Mother’s Day brunch specials, celebrating Mr. Trash Wheel with a new beer and more

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RemFest returns to Remington this weekend with food from tons of local favorites, plus live music and more.

This week includes Saturday festivals, lots of specials for Sunday brunch with mom and events celebrating wine, beer and entertaining. Here’s what’s coming up:

Restaurant Review: Even with service hiccups, Station North hotspot Orto deserves its popularity

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Orto is hot right now, and with good reason.

The Station North restaurant isn’t perfect; during a Saturday night visit about two months after it opened, we experienced some service hiccups. But even with room to improve, Orto is very good.

Orto, which opened in February, is the baby of Elan Kotz, whose previous restaurant experience includes opening The Food Market with Chad Gauss back in 2012. Kotz is a front-of-house and behind-the-scenes guy; Orto’s kitchen is helmed by Chef Stefano Porcile, who has recently cooked at erstwhile Station North favorites Colette and Bottega.

Chesapeake Bay blue crab population sees big gains

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Just as Marylanders prepare to steam them up and eat them by the bushel, blue crabs are on the rise in the Chesapeake Bay, according to an annual population report.

Scientists from Maryland and Virginia estimate there are 594 million crabs in the estuary, up from 371 million when they conducted a count last year.

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