Hot Plate: La Food Marketa Arrives, Red Emma’s Opening The Greenmount Coffee Lab, Last Call at Pazo

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Fish & Chip Fridays are back at The Corner Pantry
Fish & Chip Fridays are back at The Corner Pantry

This week has been short, but hot, as fall weather continues to skip the mid-Atlantic region. Fortunately, both this weekend and throughout the week, there are plenty of food events, both indoors and out, to keep our minds off the heat.

Openings & Changes

There’s big news out of Quarry Lake this week, with the opening of La Food Marketa, the hotly anticipated new spot from Food Market chef/owner Chad Gauss. The menu at the new restaurant will incorporate Central and South American influences; Chef John Bedingfield, a longtime Food Market alum, will helm the kitchen.

Red Emma’s, the cooperative with a café in Station North, will expand this November, with a new worker-owned café opening in Open Works, a makerspace on Greenmount Avenue. Called The Greenmount Coffee Lab, the coop will focus on craft coffee drinks and will use part of the Open Works space as a dedicated roasting facility for Thread Coffee.

Washington, D.C.-based Food Network Star chef Malcom Mitchell will open his second Baltimore restaurant in Butchers Hill later this fall. Mitchell is also attached to Ryder’s Bistro, an Upper Fells spot that opened last spring. 

Johnny’s has a new Executive Chef, Ryan Shaffner. Shaffner has worked as a line cook at Charleston and, most recently, was the Sous Chef at Pazo. He is a 2013 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

If you’re feeling a little less than motivated to actually get up and go to a restaurant, you’re in luck. Uber Eats Baltimore launched this week. Between Uber Eats and Order Up, you may never have to change out of your jammies for dinner again. 

Pazo’s Swan Song

This is the last week to enjoy a meal at Pazo! The Harbor East restaurant will close on Saturday, September 17 and reopen in October as the Argentinine Bar Vasquez.

During this last week as an Italian restaurant, Pazo will offer all Italian wines at half price. Visit early, before the best bottles are gone.

Changing of the Seasons at Corner Pantry

Sadly, Lobster Roll Fridays have ended at The Corner Pantry, but in their place, Fish ‘n Chip Fridays have returned. The restaurant shows off its British roots with its classic take on the dish, which makes losing the lobster roll a little less painful. 


Saturday, September 10 is a great day for local meat lovers, with two big, meat-oriented events happening in the city.

Que at the Zoo takes place – unsurprisingly – at the Maryland Zoo. The festival will feature several bands and a barbecue competition pitting some of the best local BBQ trucks and joints in town against one another. Who comes out on top of the competition remains to be seen, but the real winners are definitely the guests, who get to sample their ribs, pulled pork and chicken. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Maryland Zoo. 

Heavy Seas, in Halethorpe, will also be dishing up some serious protein on Saturday, during the brewery’s Sausage Festival. The party includes beer, of course, over ten types of sausage and a bunch of other German favorites, plus polka music and finger wrestling, all to kick off Oktoberfest a little early. 

Lunching in Fells

Two new Baltimore City favorites – The Local Fry and Ekiben – are teaming up on Monday, September 12, to serve a killer lunch at Ekiben. If you can make it, you should go. Both restaurants focus on casual food and both really do it right. This is sure to be a killer menu.

El Garaje

La Food Marketa isn’t the only restaurant getting in on the south of the border action this week. For one night only – September 14 – Hampden’s Le Garage will become El Garaje, serving Mexican food, custom margaritas and special cocktails and beer. 

Wine All Around

Wine lovers have a lot to look forward to this week.

On September 11, Old Westminster Winery is teaming up with the Schooner Woodwind (the Annapolis-kept boat featured in “Wedding Crashers”) for a casual dinner cruise. The meal will pair Old Westminster Wines (which are delicious!) with three savory courses, plus dessert. The food is sure to be terrific and the view of the Chesapeake will be just as special.

On Wednesday, September 14, The Milton Inn will host an Italian wine dinner, featuring three savory courses, plus hors d’oeuvres and dessert. The meal will be paired with five different wines, all hailing from Italy.

On September 15, Ouzo Bay will host a Greek wine dinner featuring six courses and eight (!) different Greek wines. The meal starts with ceviche and meatballs and ends with the restaurant’s incomparable honey mousse baklava. 

Secret Supper Returns

The Baltimore Sun’s Secret Supper dining series returns this week, with an event on Monday, September 12. The meal, which will be held at an as-of-yet undisclosed location, will include four courses with wine pairings and a specialty cocktail. 

Charles Street Curbside Café

Downtown/Mount Vernon dwellers and office workers have something to look forward to this fall, with the Downtown Partnership’s Curbside Café. Starting Tuesday, September 13, Charles Street restaurants will take turns taking over the street’s parking space corridor, turning the parking areas into outdoor seating spaces.

First up: Sotto Sopra! 

The Shake Off

On Thursday, September 15, Argosy Café will host The Shake Off, a cocktail competition benefiting Pacing 4 Parkinson’s, a charity team that raises awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease. Some of Baltimore’s best bartenders will participate in the event, including Amie Ward from Bad Decisions, Shaun Stewart from Gunther & Co, Cortland Leggio from Boiler Room, Omar Dupree from Huck’s American Craft and Anthony Nastasi, Jr. from Argosy.

Dining Out for Life

Last, but certainly not least, don’t miss Dining Out for Life on Thursday, September 15. This annual fundraiser benefits Moveable Feast, an organization that helps Marylanders with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other illnesses put food on the table.

Here’s how it works: diners go out to dinner that evening, just like they normally would. Participating restaurants then donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds – anywhere from 25% to 100% – to Moveable Feast. It’s that easy to do something good for the community.

Planning Ahead

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

September 17: Harvest Moon ShinDig 

September 19: Spike Gjerde at the Smithsonian 

September 26: Farm to Chef Maryland


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