Shop & Eat

The Art of Bread


Baking bread can be a peaceful meditation, or a flour induced nightmare. Either way, it’s art.

 Video Courtesy of

Event of the Day: Mambo Combo Tonight at Belvedere Square!


Belvedere Square flyer_500x600

Mambo Combo was named best Latin music group in 2007 by WAMA (the Washington Area Music Association) and “Best Party Band” in 1999 by Baltimore Magazine. For more than twenty-five years, the band has been entertaining in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond, from the Caribbean to New England.Few people can resist dancing to the infectious soca and samba on Mambo Combo.  As Baltimore Magazine put it, “… crowds moving to the seductive rhythms of Island sound are a pretty good tip-off that the group is nearby.”
Belvedere Square will be open throughout the night for shopping and eating.  It’s the perfect night for Summer Sounds at the Square!

Rick Dempsey Ties at Christopher Schafer Clothier



It’s often said that women have innumerable options when it’s time to dress up, but men have a decidedly more limited palette from which to choose. The necktie, of course, is the one article of clothing where men can really go all out. With this narrow strip of a fabric, men can express their personal style, and transform what might be an otherwise unremarkable outfit into a memorable ensemble.

Of course, the men at award-winning haberdashery Christopher Schafer Clothier would probably argue that men have plenty of choices when looking to dress up. It’s true, the bespoke options at Christopher Schaefer exude good taste and style, but for a small wardrobe pick-me-up, drop in for a look at the new collection of Rick Dempsey ties they’re carrying.

Event of the Day: Fruitful Brews at Homewood House


From the Baltimore Fishbowl events page…

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
6:00pm – 8:00pm | $45

Homewood House Museum
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street

Reservations are requested: online through Brown Paper Tickets or by calling the museum at 410.516.5589. Free event parking is available at the University Baptist Church at 3501 N. Charles Street (use Greenway entrance, accessible from St. Paul Street at University Parkway), with pedestrian access to campus from N. Charles Street at 34th Street. The museum lot is reserved for handicapped parking (accessible from the North Gate on University Parkway). For maps and directions call 410.516.5589.

Fruit beer and cider makers are crafting a comeback, reviving Americas orchard heritage, revisiting traditional styles, and bringing new sophistication to these age-old farmhouse beverages. Enjoy some of the best fruit-powered artisanal brews and ciders, including a fruited cask ale with local rhubarb made especially for the evening by Union Craft Brewing, and locally-sourced snacks by Woodberry Kitchen.

Charm City Cook: Macarons vs. Macaroons


This Friday, May 31,  is National Macaroon Day. To honor the day, Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Pastry Chef of 2012” and the Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Chris Ford is setting out to set the record straight and clarify the differences between the often confused confections: The macaroon and the French macaron.

While both are meringue-based confections, they hardly share any other similarities. A macaroon is Italian in origin, usually made of egg whites whipped to stuff peaks, sugar, almonds, coconut or nuts, and often dipped in chocolate. It’s much looser and does not take much discipline to make. To make the French macaron, on the other hand, is a much more intricate art, and it is a dessert that takes time and practice to perfect. A sandwich-like meringue-based confection, the French macaron is filled with a layer of buttercream, jam or ganache. It is often available in a variety of color and flavor combinations. My favorite ever is Chris’ PBJ macarons. They are perfection.

 Coconut macaroons. Photo credit: Pastry Studio

macarons PBJ
 French macaron. Photo credit: LAMILL Baltimore

After hearing about how hard macarons were to make, Chris Ford saw it as a challenge to begin not only making macarons, but perfecting them over the span of seven years. Today, Chris is held in high regard for pushing the envelope with his whimsical twists on classic French macarons like his Oreo macaron served at LAMILL Café Baltimore featured in The Wall Street Journal.

In honor of Macaroon Day, Chris will be offering a coconut macaroon-inspired French macaron at LAMILL Café, in the Four Seasons Baltimore.

And here is Chris Ford’s recipe for macarons:

Rotunda Cinema Owner to Take Over Pikes Diner, Will Open Movie Theater and Restaurant


Courtesy Bmore Media – The historic Pikes Diner & Crab House is one step closer to showing movies once again for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Ira Miller, the owner and operator of the Rotunda Cinemas in Hampden, will operate the new Pikesville theater and show films by the end of July. That’s according to Pikes Diner Owner Wil Reich, who says he is spending about $200,000 to renovate the building for theater use. The Cinema Bar and Grill is the name of the future combination movie theater and restaurant.

Introducing 2013’s Little Characters!



Well, we’re sad that what seemed like an endless stream of adorable pictures of local kids looking their best has now come to an end. But it was bound to happen. This year’s Little Characters search has concluded. And while we’ll now have to go back to searching YouTube and our own family albums for our daily dose of adorability, we’re pleased to announce the selected kids this year, and to introduce a few of them to the Baltimore Fishbowl community. While there’s no way we could possibly catch up with all of them (trying to sit down and get serious with that many tiny people this late in the school year would be a Herculean task) we did manage to snag some mini-interviews with some of the kids selected for this year’s Little Characters campaign. It wasn’t easy getting to the bottom of such hot button issues as why cheetahs are the best animal and the proper way to eat ramen noodles; but serious journalism requires serious work. And we’re proud to give you the full report below.

In Our Baltimore Pizza Paradise, Who Needs Domino’s Cheesy “Theater”?



Baltimore is a pizza lovers’ paradise, as our “best of” March Madness contest illustrated this spring. You’ll remember that Birroteca in Hampden won the most praise – after more than 20,000 contest votes were cast. Other crusty local legends – who topped the tasty competition – were Joe Squared in Station North, Johnny Rad’s on Eastern Ave., Tooloulou of East Baltimore, Iggie’s in Mount Vernon, and Matthew’s in Highlandtown. I personally pine for the pie at Two Boots next door to MICA and the slim, steaming slices at BOP (Brick Oven Pizza) in Fells Point.

Which brings me to my pizza-relevant point. With the new Domino’s walk-in shop opening in Hamilton this week, a stone’s throw from my Belair-Edison hood, I’m wondering how many of us true pie enthusiasts will bother to bite. Please weigh in below. Is Domino’s a processed-food guilty/nostalgic pleasure you still indulge in, when time is super short?

New Weekday Farmers Market to Open Downtown



If, like me, you hate running errands on the weekends but love wandering around in the rain chanting “Is this organic? Is this organic?” get happy. A new weekday farmers market will be coming to 100 Light Street on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.