Farmer’s market and CSA season is upon us – and this year, Hersh’s will be a pickup spot for the Richfield Farm CSA. © Lindsay Hite /
Farmer’s market and CSA season is upon us – and this year, Hersh’s will be a pickup spot for the Richfield Farm CSA. © Lindsay Hite /

We’re now a full year since Baltimore’s restaurants initially closed their doors in an effort to curb the spread of COVID – and things are (finally) looking up. This week’s news includes reopenings, anniversaries, and fun events. Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the Baltimore restaurant world:

COVID-related updates
Baltimore City restaurant restrictions relax more next week: starting March 26, restaurant capacity will increase to 75% outdoors and 50% indoors.* Individual restaurants may still adopt different guidelines for their own operations, so continue to check in with spots before heading out.

In related news, as they ramp up capacity, dozens of local restaurants are hiring staff – both front of house and kitchen positions. If you’re interested in a restaurant world job, now is the time to nab a good position.

Openings & announcements
Have you heard about Mez, the new vegan and gluten-free taco spot in Locust Point? It opened earlier this year in the space next to Diamondback Brewing and just won “best dish” during Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week. They have some fun new plans in the works for April – keep an eye on their social media.

Water Song Yunnan Kitchen celebrates its first anniversary on Wednesday. What a year! The restaurant is celebrating with a contest to offer a group of diners a chance to try new dishes not yet on the menu.

Jinji Pure Chocolate – the chocolatier in Belvedere Squarecelebrated its seventh anniversary last week. Congratulations to Jinji and her team!

The Charmery’s Federal Hill walk-up window opens on Monday – just in time for spring.

The Alma Cocina Latina bar will officially open on Tuesday, March 23.

Congratulations to teams at Charleston and Johnny’s, who have received STAR Accreditations from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). This distinction is awarded to restaurants who have adopted the highest level of safety and sanitation measures and protocols to combat infectious diseases.

In case you missed it
If you read one story about the Baltimore restaurant world this year, make it the one about EKIBEN owners Steve Chu and Ephrem Abebe traveling to Vermont to prepare their beloved tempura broccoli for a customer with advanced lung cancer. It’s a heartwarming story – and one that doesn’t come as a surprise to Baltimoreans who have interacted with the EKIBEN team. They make great food- but they’re even better people.

Lexington Market news
Lexington Market has extended its deadline for vendor applications. The application process is still open to any type of vendor but the management team is especially interested in a few specific categories: bakeries, candy/snack makers, fresh produce, Indian and/or Latin American foods, pizza, sushi and vegetarian/vegan options.

This final round of applications is now due Friday, March 26 at 11:59 p.m.

Burgers & Bonfires at Prigel
On Saturday, head to Prigel Family Creamery for an outdoor evening of burgers and bonfires. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., you can purchase grass-fed burgers in the market and enjoy them outside by a bonfire. There will also be live music and other items available for purchase.

Dueling Bartenders for Weekend Backpacks
On Sunday afternoon, two top beverage directors – Jason Austin of Linwood’s and Steven Wecker of Cured and 18th & 21st – will go head to head during a zoom class featuring four signature cocktails. The event, dubbed Mixology 101 – Dueling Bartenders, is a fundraiser for Weekend Backpacks, an organization that helps fight hunger among Baltimore City kids.

Busy at The Point
The Point in Towson has had one of the busiest lineups around lately – and this week is no exception.

Saturday, the restaurant hosts a pair of drag brunches, hosted by Robyn Yu Men. The shows are fundraisers, with a portion of proceeds covering meals for local healthcare workers.

On Monday, Chef Jonny Lease will pop up in the kitchen for a BBQ night.

Farmer’s Market season
Farmer’s markets are starting to pop back up, including the weekly Farm to Fork Farmer’s Market at The Elkridge Furnace Inn, which kicks off its weekly appearance on Wednesday.

Now is also the time to sign up for community supported agriculture (CSA) memberships. This year, a few restaurants are getting in on the action: Hersh’s is a pickup spot for the Richfield Farms CSA and Atlas Farms (the farm owned by the Atlas Restaurant Group) has CSA of its own.*

Tio in Towson
Tio Pepe has put together a robust network of delivery spots in surrounding counties. On Saturday, March 27, the iconic Spanish restaurant will have a pickup spot at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Towson. Other recent pickup locations include the Greene Tree neighborhood in Pikesville and Sacred Heart Parish in Glyndon. Organizations and neighborhoods interested in hosting a pickup location can contact the restaurant to organize one.

Celebrating Maryland Day
Thursday, March 25 is Maryland Day – and in honor of the occasion, Towson Hot Bagel is bringing back its Maryland flag-themed bagels.

In addition, on the 25th, THB will host a “Feed the Industry” event with the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund, providing meals to unemployed or underemployed Baltimore restaurant employees (who register vi the BRRF website).

Cheers to Aldo’s 23rd
Aldo’s is still “hibernating” but the Little Italy restaurant will celebrate its 23rd anniversary with an online concert featuring Cat McTigue, who will be broadcasting live from the UK. The concert, which takes place Friday, March 26, is a fundraiser, as well – raising money to benefit The Famous Fund, which is supporting local restaurants (including Aldo’s) with grants to help them weather the COVID storm.

Springtime at Boordy
With warmer weather on the horizon, festivities at Boordy Vineyards will heat up. Starting in April, weekend reservations will be required for tables on the patio but tables on the hill and lawn will be first come, first serve without reservations required. There will be live music and food vendors each weekend, as well.

The vineyard will still only be open to guests 21 and older and some additional safety guidelines are in place.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
March 27: Make Your Own Mixers with CaNe Collective at Sagamore Spirit 
April 16: Baltimore County Restaurant Week 
April 24: OMGFood Benefiting The League for People with Disabilities 

*Note: an earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that Baltimore City restaurant restrictions would be 25% indoors, rather than 50%, and referred to the CSA pickup at Hersh’s as the Richardson Farms CSA; it is the Richfield Farm CSA.

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.

2 replies on “Hot Plate: burgers and bonfires at Prigel, Tio in Towson, Maryland bagels at THB and more”

  1. Hey Kit
    Thanks for the pick of Hersh’s
    We are actually a pickup for Richfield Farm, not Richardson


    1. Hi Josh, thanks for the comment – I’ll fix that right now! Apparently my fingers just like typing the wrong thing sometimes!

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