Shop & Eat

Fishbowl’s Finest: March Madness Pizza Survey! UPDATE



Originally posted March 22, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m. – Do you like pizza as much as we do? We like it a lot. So remember a few weeks ago when Travel + Leisure named Baltimore one of the top 20 cities for pizza? Well, we thought the entries were a little thin, so with March Madness upon us (as good a reason as any to stuff our faces with pizza), with thought we’d conduct our own survey and hold the first Baltimore Fishbowl best pizza contest. Doesn’t that sound cheesy? In the best way!

We’re calling it Fishbowl’s Finest – Best Pizza.

It’s simple, especially for pizza experts. We ask you: Out of our favorite pizza places, which do you love the most?

Then you show your love by voting as many times as you like! May the odds be in your favorite flavorful pizza place’s favor.

UPDATE 3/25/2013: You asked, we listened. :] Three Wild Card entries have been added. The support has been tremendous. Let’s keep it up!

UPDATE 3/27/2013: If you haven’t voted, go ahead and vote.  If you have, do so again. And again. And again. But only until Friday because that’s when we take the choices down to eight (just like March Madness, get it?) and allow only one vote a day.  The contest ends on April 8, the date of the March Madness final.  

[poll id=”2″]

The Happy Hatter of Waverly

Clyde on Main Street Hats
Clyde Davis-El of Main Street Hats

Courtesy What Weekly – In the world of fashion there are many different pieces to the wardrobe and most people of style have the basics covered.  Casual, formal, and professional looks each have their place. There is always room to improve the quality of your ensemble, however, with the tasteful addition of a timeless, functional and fashionable hat.

For hat expertise, I turn to Clyde M. Davis-El, Jr. of Main Street Hats at Greenmount Ave. and Thirty-First Street in Waverly. Clyde provided dozens of hats (an entire van full, to be exact) to complete the looks at the Delta Sigma Theta centennial celebration fashion show at the DC convention center a few months back. He makes sure that anyone in need of a hat for any occasion is well equipped.


I paid Clyde a visit to learn a little more about hats. My knowledge extended to only a few types like the Fedora, the Porkpie, and the Hamburg. At his shop, he met me with a genuine smile and the kind of laugh that could easily defuse a bad day.

Catching up with Past Little Characters



The 2013 Little Characters Search is still on. And we’re still having a blast keeping up with the adorable photos that roll in each day. Some shots are so precious that they remain memorable well past the search itself. In 2011, Carolyn Barlow was selected for the Little Characters campaign– and when you look at the hilarious photo submitted by her mom, Jennifer, you can see why.

Baltimore Fishbowl: So Jennifer,  How was it to be part of Little Characters last year?  Did friends recognize Carolyn in the ads? What was your favorite part or moment of the experience?

Jennifer Barlow: It has been a blast working with Bridget and wearing fabulous clothes! I can’t take my daughter into the store anymore because she just thinks she can try on anything and everything!  The best part, of course, was having these pictures of my daughter at her photo shoot.  The shoot was so well run and quick!  The photographer did an amazing job working with the children.  Yes, many people did recognize Carolyn.  My favorite part was watching her ‘work’ the runway during the fashion show at Baltimore Country Club.  I just wanted to know: “where did she learn this stuff?”!!  I was blown away.

Carolyn: Favorite part: trying on the clothes!
BFB: Any words of advice for parents submitting photos of their children this year?

JB: Submit candid shots, silly shots

BFB: That certainly seems to have worked for Carolyn. What caused you to participate in the Little Characters search last year?

JB: My father really pushed me to enter Carolyn.  Glad I did!

BFB: Carolyn, what’s one of your favorite local places to go for a special treat or event that you would recommend to other kids and their parents?

CB: Dunkin Donuts and Ladew Gardens!!

The Wee Chic Little Characters Search continues through April 7th. For more information, and to submit a photo, visit

Swinging into Spring Trends at Local Boutiques


Ah, spring. Sunshine, flowers, warm weather. We’ve been waiting for this for too long, right? And yet, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that lately, whenever there’s a warm, sunny day, I actually have a moment of being terrified—upset, even. I’m so used to my winter wardrobe (my uniform, I’ve taken to calling it) that I’m actually not ready for something that doesn’t involve my well-worn layers of drab-colored wool. So consider this as much a self-help (as in, help for myself) mission as a public service announcement. Spring is here, and it’s time to re-boot the wardrobe, and it’s been so long that we should probably seek the help of a professional. Or several.  That’s why we checked in with some of the boutiques at Green Spring Station and asked them each for their one top pick for Spring 2013.


For those who want to go Easter egg hunting in style (warning: this may have to mean avoiding grass stains, mud, and using one’s shirt as a napkin), the PGA Official kids line arrives at Wee Chic! The line is spot on with one of 2013’s biggest trends in kids’ clothing. According to, this season is all about “pretty patterns, hipster formal and lots of yellow!” And getting the little ones into these formal looking duds doesn’t have to be a chore. Wee Chic’s dedication to carrying only comfortable cuts in high quality fabrics means that this collection can satisfy both you and your child’s fashion standards. Created in collaboration with design genius Paul Nguyen, the collection is described by Nguyen himself as “country club meets California cool.” Now available for boys and girls at Wee Chic.


Well, there’s always one rule-breaker in every crowd. When asked for their one (we repeat, one) top spring item, the enthusiasts at FRESH! Boutique just couldn’t whittle it down. Well, the more the merrier, we say. FRESH’s take:

“First, we are really excited to showcase Max & Cleo’s strapless print dress this season. Prints are extremely in, as well as the high-low cut of the dress; This dress is sure to be a hot item.”

Indeed, Fashion Week 2013 could have easily been renamed “Prints on Parade Week,” as far as we could tell. Everyone from Paul & Joe to Moschino had gorgeous, colorful prints going up and down the runway. Other pieces FRESH just happens to be excited about:

Bailey 44‘s black and nude Madrid Dress is heading the leather and lace theme that is expected to take off for Spring. With its leather bust and black lace and nude bottom, Bailey 44 has created one of our favorite items for this trend. “

The dress combines the luxe lace that NY Mag’s cites as a big trend this year, along with the luxe leather that names among the most wearable trends for Spring 2013.

“Finally, pastels have become more saturated for this Spring and Black Halo does a beautiful job with their ice colored Dallas Dress; it is definitely a classic Spring look with a twist.”

The cool, seafoam shade is exactly the color The Cut reports to be the “in” color of the season.


This spring, fashion website Refinery 29 has been pushing espadrilles, and who are we to argue? Meanwhile, the folks at Matava Shoes tell us that vibrant colors will be all the rage for spring; so how to get the best of both worlds? With the Vidoretta “Gita,” an espardrille wedge with an orange suede upper and adorned with a matching flower accent for $135 that puts you on trend for spring and summer. Though your toes might shiver to think of these right now, in a few weeks, you’ll be glad you’ve got them.

How to Dress Like a Gentleman? In Baltimore, Ken Himmelstein of Samuel Parker Clothier Knows Best…



John Locke once said, “education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” Sure, John. We can dig it. But we must admit it, seems something’s been left out of that equation. After all, the man who shows up well-dressed and impeccably groomed can usually coast a bit longer than his untailored, unshaven counterpart (and if he can recite Dylan Thomas or hold forth on the natural physics of 19th century tidal-powered mills, so much the better).

And yet, dressing like a gentleman can seem daunting. What does it mean to be—and dress like—a gentleman? And how can this be achieved by the average man? We went Kenneth Himmelstein, owner of Samuel Parker Clothier, to find the answers to these questions. After all, if anyone around town would know, it’s him. When walking into Samuel Parker (named for Himmelstein’s fashion-forward grandfather—a clothier himself) one is immediately struck by the smell and feel of those traditionally masculine elements of cedar, leather, and that certain je ne sais quoi that says “a clean shaved man was here.” And— like a well-dressed gentleman—that’s no accident; it’s thanks to excellent taste, a keen eye for detail, and a willingness to go the extra mile for perfection.

“We are especially proud of our fine English Heritage Brands, including hand made neckwear by Drakes London and Seaward & Stearn and premium shirts by Turnbull & Asser and Hilditch & Key,” says Himmelstein.

Baltimore Fishbowl: So, how did you get into this business? Where did your interest in men’s clothing start?

Kenneth Himmelstein:  I grew up loving clothes, took a high school job at Frank Leonard University Shop, a Baltimore icon at the time, went on to manage Stonehenge Ltd., one of the first upscale boutiques in town, then spent the next 32 years on the wholesale side of the business. I made a good living, and I loved what I did. I enjoyed the travel, seeing the best shops in America, and meeting many wonderful people. By the way, today I own the Frank Leonard trademark, and I use it as a private label vehicle in my shop!


BFB: So, in order to dress like a gentleman, we should probably know what that means. Sometimes those traditional values seem like they’re being lost. What defines a gentleman? What kind of values or style does he embody?

KH: I sell my shop as a proper British/American haberdashery. I cater to men who enjoy dressing, and, of course, share my passion for fine fabrics and quality. Dressing well can mean a great suit, a sport coat, a cashmere sweater, a fabulous pair of flannels, or a well-fitting pair of jeans with a pair of bench-made chukka boots. I embrace style. I am fortunate, at this level, to deal with businessmen and professionals who appreciate what I do and look to me for a little guidance with their wardrobes. It’s true, many younger men have taken casual a little too far. There’s no shame in wearing a nice sport coat to a restaurant on Saturday night!

BFB: We’ll drink to that! But what are the basic necessities? If someone isn’t ready for a complete overhaul yet, what should they prioritize? 

KH: A well-tailored navy blazer, a pair of gray trousers, a nice pair of khakis, one great navy or gray suit, and a half-dozen well-fitting shirts that can be dressed up or down is a great start to building a wardrobe. I’m all about adding a piece or two a season to extend the wardrobe. Of course, a well-fitting pair of jeans is a nice weekend alternative. Dress them up with a nice cashmere sweater and a good-looking sports jacket. I’m a bit of a shoe-freak, so don’t get me started…My style is natural shoulder, but even if you dress more forward-fashion, find a line that suits your image, and always buy quality over quantity.


BFB: Got it. But how do we know quality when we see it? What sort of things should we be looking for? And can the average man afford to prioritize quality?

KH: Quality and style don’t have to break the bank. In my world, quality equals longevity equals good value. I have wonderful shirts that were $125 and I have fine bespoke shirts that sell for $350. A nicely tailored garment, or a great sweater, or a well-made pair of loafers will never embarrass you. You’ll get great return on the investment because you’ll want to wear them often, and they’ll last for many years.


BFB: Who are some of your favorite gentleman fashion icons? Who can we look to for inspiration? And how can women gently encourage the men in our lives to strive more for that?

KH: Clearly, my favorite was Fred Astaire. The man just had style! Cary Grant, Gary Copper, Clark Gable, Bogart. Those guys had their own tailors, and wore their own clothes! Today? Lucianno Barbera, Ralph Lauren, who I’ve known since he sold furnishings at Brook Brothers! I bought his first neckwear collection when I managed Stonehenge! Women play a large part in how men dress. I often see a beautiful woman, hair and nails perfect, great dress , stunning heels…the guy looks like he just came from his kid’s lacrosse game. I wonder why she doesn’t tell him to tuck in his shirt and put on a nice sports jacket?

BFB: Maybe it’s time for us to start demanding that men raise the bar a bit. Any final words of wisdom or advice on how to dress like– and be– a gentleman?

KH: Find a style that makes you comfortable and embrace it. Treat people with respect. Always remember to say “thank you for your business.”

Samuel Parker is located at 6080 Falls Rd. For more information, visit

Catching Up with Last Year’s Little Characters



As Wee Chic’s 2013 Little Character’s search continues, we thought we’d catch up with another of last year’s kids (and his mom) for advice and encouragement for those submitting photos this year. Meet Ian, one of 2012’s Little Characters– a charming kid from Pikesville, MD, and his mom, Jill.

BFB: So how was it to be part of Little Characters last year?

Jill Dannenfelser: The photo shoot was really fun! Ian had a ball modeling the clothes and enjoyed making new friends…We were invited to be part of a couple fashion shows and he really liked doing that.  He was able to dance to the music and wear some pretty cool clothes.

BFB: Any words of advice for parents submitting photos of their children this year?

Jill: Just good luck!  The experience is a blast!

BFB: What caused you to participate in the Little Characters search last year?

Jill: One of our friends was a Little Character the year before and we decided to give it a try this year!

BFB: Ian, can you tell us  one of your favorite local places to go for a special treat or event? Something you’d recommend to other kids?

Ian: M and T Bank Stadium.
Jill: We are diehard RAVENS fans and Ian loves going to the stadium.  He is also a big fan of Port Discovery and the zoo!

For more information about the Little Characters Search, or to submit photos of your child, click here.

Charm City Cook: Eating at the bar at Vino Rosina


I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about Vino Rosina lately and I visited the restaurant to check it out for myself. I had been once before for dinner and loved it. I went with a group of great friends and we shared cocktails, wine and a bunch of small plates to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time. Lately, it seemed like some people had forgotten about this place – maybe because so many new restaurants have opened in Harbor East. A few friends have said, “Oh, I love that place…let’s go back!” So, I did.

Ah, dinner at the bar. I like it a lot. It’s casual, you get to really know the person waiting on you and the people around you…and you can also get a fabulous meal. When I go to faves like The Food MarketBirrotecaThe Wine MarketPABU, I love to eat at the bar.

One of things I like best about Vino Rosina is that it’s a really approachable place. You walk in, grab a seat at the open square bar (get there early) and can take in the entire place. The people are friendly, the decor is modern yet warm and it’s not too big. And, wow, the kitchen is tiny, tiny…just ask Jesse Sandlin, the former executive chef who’s just returned. When she left in early 2011, her sous chef Sajin Renae took the reigns and ran the kitchen very successfully until she left  to open Fork & Wrench in Canton. Then, owner Jim Lancaster recruited his former chef Jesse back – and she’s creating great things in that little kitchen once again.