Hot Plate: book benefiting Baltimore restaurant workers, Ocean Pride turns 50, new fall cocktails at Dutch Courage and more

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Alma Cocina Latina is a great spot to hit for National Arepa Day, which happens to be this Saturday.

September is a gorgeous time in Baltimore, when crabs are still running but the humidity is starting to disappear. This week, local restaurants make the most of the weather and the flavors, with fun events and new menu items. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & announcements
Guilford Hall Brewery will open on September 25 – keep an eye out for more about their grand opening celebration in next week’s Hot Plate.

The La Cuchara crew is going on vacation for a couple weeks. The restaurant is temporarily closed so the staff can have a break, but it will reopen Sept. 21.

The Wharf Rat in Fells Point is going up for auction next month. The bar has been owned by the Oliver family since 1987; the auction is happening as Jen Oliver, the current majority owner, is planning to retire.

Supporting the community, one page at a time
As all fans of dining out know, the pandemic has taken a significant toll on restaurants here in Baltimore and all over the world.

But one bright spot has been the initiatives restaurant-lovers have developed to help support the places and people in the hospitality industry. This past week, local food writer Jess Mayhugh and photographer J.M. Giordano released Back of House, a book of recipes and photos from Baltimore restaurants, as their contribution to the community.

All proceeds from the book go to the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund, which has been an invaluable resource for hospitality industry workers since it was founded in the early weeks of COVID.

Dog city
Baltimore is a great city for dogs – and it’s getting even better. Dogs of Charm City, a pet care company, has put together a quick and easy way to tell if a local spot is dog-friendly (and that includes restaurants). Look for sea green stickers with a red crab marking spots as dog-friendly outside or inside – and you’ll know.

Tons of city restaurants have already been identified, so you’ll see stickers all over Canton, Fells Point and Federal Hill. For inspiration, check out this list of dog-friendly spots around town. 

Fall in the air…and in the glass
Dutch Courage has revamped its cocktail menu for fall. The new menu, which debuted earlier this week, includes 33 autumnal cocktails and five flights.

Ocean Pride turns 50
On Saturday, help Ocean Pride with an all-day party featuring a pig roast, oysters, live music and more.

Fifty years in any industry is a major milestone – and in the restaurant industry, where so many places don’t make it past their first or second anniversary, it is especially impressive. Congratulations to the Ocean Pride team today and to everyone who has been a part of the restaurant’s community over the years.

Das Bierhalle turns three
On Saturday, Das Bierhalle celebrates three years in business with a tented party featuring live music, a beer truck, tons of food and lots of prizes.

Crabby Guinness
On Saturday and Sunday, Guinness Open Gate Brewery hosts its third annual Baltimore Blonde and Blue Crabs crab feast. The party includes live bluegrass music and a fun outdoor crab feast.

Pumpkin season
Autumn pumpkin picking starts this weekend at Falling Branch Brewery. Every weekend from now through Halloween, the brewery has fun food, live music and pumpkins for the picking – plus plenty of beer, of course.

This Sunday, the brewery will also be raising funds for Living Water, an organization that supports clean and safe water wells in Tanzania.

National Arepa Day
Saturday is also National Arepa Day – and Baltimore is lucky enough to be home to Alma Cocina Latina, which has a wide variety of arepas (including vegan options) to celebrate the day.

Speaking of Alma – its sister company Cielo Verde, located in the great space on the top floor of the American Visionary Arts Museum, is back up and running. The company is available for catering and for parties in the event space, which is one of the cooler spots around town.

Crabs & Crushes at Phillips
On Sunday – and again on Sept. 26 – Phillips Crab Deck hosts its third annual Crabs & Crushes, an outdoor crab feast featuring the city’s favorite food alongside one of its favorite drinks.

Baltimore Mimosa Crawl
Love mimosas? If so, head to Power Plant Live! on Sunday for a Sunday Funday mimosa crawl featuring live music, t-shirts and lots of champagne.

Hidden Gems at Whitehall Market
Whitehall Market celebrates its first anniversary this week with a multi-day celebration including opportunities to win a bunch of different prizes, just by eating, drinking and shopping around the market.

Winners of this “find the hidden gem” celebration will be announced during Whitehall’s Thursday evening anniversary party, which will also include cocktails and a DJ.

Supporting education at Café Troia
On Thursday, Café Troia will host a Kenyan-Italian fusion dinner – certainly an intriguing combination – benefiting Change Destiny Life Africa, an organization that supports the education of Kenyan children. Tickets to the event are available now.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
September 23: Dining Out for Life benefiting Moveable Feast 
September 25: Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival 
October 10: Feastival benefiting Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 

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