Hot Plate: Hope Floats Fundraiser for Ellicott City, Center Cut Doughnuts at The Charmery, JFX Block Party

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Doughnut and ice cream goodness from The Charmery and Center Cut Doughnuts (photo courtesy of The Charmery)
Doughnut and ice cream goodness from The Charmery and Center Cut Doughnuts (photo courtesy of The Charmery)

Summer comes to an unofficial close this week, so it’s time to enjoy the last few days before Labor Day. Fortunately, Baltimore’s restaurants are obliging, with events – taking place both indoors and out – and announcements that will help you go out on a high note.

Here’s what’s happening in and around Baltimore this week:

Growing Up & Out

This week came with good news about several local companies’ plans for growth and expansion.

Hamilton-Lauraville restaurant Maggie’s Farm has big plans in the works. The popular restaurant is in the process of raising money for a second location. They have already secured most of the financing for the product and are working with the fundraising startup EquityEats to raise the rest of the money they need to move the project forward.

The new restaurant will also be located in Hamilton-Lauraville, in a 4,000 square foot space in Soha Union. The concept will be similar, but not identical, to Maggie’s Farm – a combination of American comfort food and international cuisine. Investors will receive “priority memberships” that come with perks like reserved seating, priority walk-ins and one-on-one contact with the GM and owners.

At B&O American Brasserie, the changes are happening inside the building. This week, the restaurant announced a $250,000 upgrade that will add a new private dining space to the restaurant, update the floor plan and refresh the look of the space. Renovations begin in September and are expected to be completed by mid-October. The restaurant will be open for nearly all of that time and the work should not have an impact on guests.

Fast casual Baltimore Soup Co. announced it will open three locations in the region later this year and early next year – two in the city and one in Timonium.

For Canela Caffe, the expansion isn’t physical, but it’s still very real. The Upper Fells restaurant, owned by Michele Mavias (formerly of Sotto Café) and Christa Bruno-Rossi (formerly of Pazza Luna), opened earlier this summer. Just recently, they expanded their hours – they’re now open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends – and is offering a full, diverse menu. 

Hope Floats

This Saturday, Union Craft Brewing will host Hope Floats, a fundraiser benefiting Union’s neighboring businesses that were damaged in the July 30 flood of the Jones Falls Valley.

The event will include food from Woodberry Kitchen and Well Crafted Pizza, live music and a DJ and, of course, Union beer. 

Decadent Sunday

There’s nothing quite like closing out a weekend with some serious food.

Start this Sunday, August 28, in Hampden, at The Charmery. The ice cream shop and Center Cut Doughnuts are teaming up for Sando for Your Hando, recreating the doughnut-and-ice cream sandwich the Travel Channel named one of the most unique sandwiches in the country.

The sammy combines a Center Cut Challah-nut with malty chip ice cream, balsamic glazed strawberries and hot fudge. Yum. But be warned: The Charmery opens at noon and will only be creating 75 of the treat. So get there early, or you risk missing out.

Then, spend a little time with your favorite pup at the JFX Block Party. The party will feature games, a best-dressed dog contest, beer from Union and Evolution and food from Birroteca and The Nickel Taphouse. Here’s something that’s not overly decadent: a portion of sales will benefit The Baltimore Bully Crew and the Hampden SPCA. 

Finally, head to Harbor East for Whisky & Wagyu at Azumi. Chef Taka will prepare a five-course meal centered around A-5 Wagyu, the world’s best cut of meat. Each course will be paired with Japanese whisky – and Azumi has an impressive selection.

Celebrating Chesapeake Cuisine

On Wednesday, August 31, local authors Kathy and Neal Patterson will celebrate the launch of their most recent cookbook, Maryland’s Chesapeake: How the Bay and its Bounty Shaped a Cuisine. The book is fantastic, with funny asides and recipes from tons of excellent local chefs. The book release party, which takes place at B&O American Brasserie, will feature extended happy hour specials and bar snacks. 

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Wit & Wisdom is celebrating the last day of August – Wednesday – with an end of summer patio party featuring home-style barbecue not just from the Wit team, but also from Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola, Cyrus Keefer of Alewife and Chris Becker of The Bagby Group.

The party, called Rye and Roast, will show off each chef’s take on barbecue, plus a Sagamore Spirit rye cocktail created by Wit’s lead bartender Jonathan Levy. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit MADE: In America. 

Sagamore at Stanford

Also on Wednesday, Sagamore Spirit will host a three-course dinner with cocktail pairings at Stanford Grill in Columbia. The meal focuses on seasonal dishes like caprese napoleon and grilled local rockfish – and, of course, local spirits, too!

Prix Fixe Fun

In a refreshing twist on the usual up-up-up trajectory of restaurant pricing, Aromes, the charming and astoundingly creative French spot in Hampden, has reduced the cost of its three-course prix fixe, dropping from $45 to $35. The six-course option will remain $65. (Though if you go, you should probably go for the six courses. They’re worth it.)

Plus, the restaurant is adding Sunday brunch to its lineup, providing even more reason to head to Hampden for the weekends.

La Cuchara is also getting in on the prix fixe action, with a $35 three-course pre-theater menu available from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. The idea is to let theater-goers enjoy a full Basque meal, but still have more than enough time to find their seats before their shows begin. 

History + Drinking

Unfortunately, the Drinking Our Way Through History talk, taking place Thursday, September 1 at The Walters Art Gallery, has sold out. But the good news is that a) there’s a wait list and b) Union Craft Brewing’s post-talk cash bar, featuring beers inspired by the talk, is open to everyone.

 Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

September 8: CFF Passion for Food & Wine

September 15: Dining Out for Life

September 19: Spike Gjerde at the Smithsonian 


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