Hot Plate: National Oyster Weekend, Chuck’s Annual Luau, The Charmery turns nine, and more

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So Beachy is one of several food vendors popping up at the weekly Pratt Street Market. Photo courtesy of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

From oysters to tomatoes to a suckling pig, this week offers a little bit of everything Baltimore food-lovers could want. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & announcements

The Pratt Street Market is going strong, now through Sept. 29. The market, which is run by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and takes place each Thursday at the corner of Light and Pratt Streets, features a bunch of great vendors, like Sobeachy Haitian Cuisine, Vegan Soul Bakery and Craving Potato Factor.

Magdalena’s summertime music series kicked off last week with a performance from classical guitarist Andrew Oswinkle. The Ivy Hotel restaurant has also debuted a new summer menu available indoors or in the restaurant’s small courtyard.

The Charmery turns nine on Saturday, Aug. 13 and is celebrating with a killer lineup of anniversary flavors several of which were created as collaborations with local celebs and benefit worthy causes. Flavors include “The GOATstachio #9,” a pistachio, raspberry and white chocolate combo created with Justin Tucker and benefiting the Baltimore School for the Arts; “Head Like a Mole,” a mole ice cream benefiting Clavel chef/owner Carlos Raba’s Guardian Gym jiu-jitsu organization; and “Dressed to the Nines,” a cheesecake, chocolate chip and red velvet cake ice cream developed with clothier Christopher Shafer and benefiting Sharp Dressed Man.

CookHouse has a revised, limited menu this month, while some of the staff are on vacation. The menu focuses on quality pub classics, including a “proper cheeseburger” and steak frites.

More about Restaurant Week

Baltimore City’s Restaurant Week and Black Restaurant Week have both ended, and normally this would signal the start of Baltimore County’s own promotion. This summer, the county is not running a restaurant week of its own, but a few restaurants are taking matters into their own hands, offering deals anyway.

From Aug. 8 through Aug. 14, La Food Marketa will offer a three-course meal for $28, with a bunch of fun choices and the option to add a pitcher of margaritas for $20.

Towson Tavern has been running its own “Restaurant Week” promo weekly, offering a $35 three-course prix fixe menu every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Also, Maryland Vegan Restaurant Month kicks off on Friday and will continue throughout the month.

National Oyster Weekend

National Oyster Weekend is here, which means specials all over the city (and beyond) from Friday through Sunday. In Baltimore, you’ll find deals and promotions at a bunch of different spots, including Faidley’s Seafood, Federal House, Gertrude’s, Gunther & Co., Guinness, The Local Oyster, Mama’s on the Half Shell, Mt. Washington Tavern, True Chesapeake Oyster Co., Ryleigh’s Oyster, The Urban Oyster and more.

Participating restaurants also support the Oyster Recovery Partnership via its Shell Recycling Alliance, so when you visit these spots, you’re doing something good for the Bay and the oyster population that helps it stay healthy.

Baltimore by Baltimore Festival

On Saturday, head to the Inner Harbor for the Baltimore by Baltimore music and maker festival featuring tons of local musicians, makers – and food businesses. The festival will feature a variety of visual artists and performers, as well as food and drinks from Bar Movement, The Baltimore Crab Company, BuckNGrill, Sweet Mazzinas and Crazy Puddings.

Suckling Pig Luau at Union Collective

On Saturday, Chuck’s Trading Post teams up with Baltimore Spirit Company at BSC’s Union Collective location for Chuck’s annual luau party. The party will feature a short menu with a suckling pig at its center plus cocktails and more.

Purple specials

Football is back in Baltimore – and with it, gameday specials. The Ravens kick off their preseason on Thursday against the Titans and to celebrate, Mt. Washington Tavern kicks off its own season of gameday deals.

During every game, the Tavern will offer $4 16-ounce Natty Boh cans and a variety of appetizers for $7 and during Monday Night Football, burgers will be half price at the bar and Miller Lites are $2. On Purple Fridays, there will be lunch and drink specials plus a “guess the score of the next game” contest with a $25 gift certificate going to the player with the closest score each week.

High summer

Early to mid-August might be the best time of year to be a food-loving Marylander. From tomatoes to corn to peaches, late-summer Maryland meals are glorious – and current menus prove it.

La Cuchara’s escalivada, a roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomato, red pepper and basil dish, makes the most of everything in the garden.

Johnny’s recent specials include a bright salad of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and parmesan.

At The Corner Pantry, a pork chop is paired with corn pudding and grilled peaches.

Café Gia’s summer flavors are on the plate and in the glass, including cocktails made with the restaurant’s homemade watermelon mint ‘cello.

JBGB’s nods to the season include a dry-aged pork loin with summer corn and tomatoes and a beautiful bread salad with peaches, onions and tomatoes.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

Aug. 18: Judgement of Paris Wine Dinner with Chef’s Expressions

Aug. 31: Summer Food Series Pairings with Sagamore Spirit and Lib’s Grill

Sept. 30: Passion for Food and Wine benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland



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