Hot Plate: Order & Chaos Opens, Nacho Mama’s Is Hiring in Towson, Ryleigh’s Oysterfest 10

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The Slayer espresso machine at Planit's new Order & Chaos is the only one of its kind in Baltimore
The Slayer espresso machine at Planit’s new Order & Chaos is the only one of its kind in Baltimore

Welcome to October, Baltimore, when the weather is crisp and the restaurants are busy.

This week is Fleet Week, which means sailors everywhere, and it’s Baltimore Beer Week, which means beer everywhere, too. Even if beer isn’t your thing, restaurants have planned plenty to keep you busy in Baltimore this week.

Coffee with a Side of Copy

On Monday, October 10, Baltimore communications, marketing and interactive agency Planit will enter a brave new world of restaurant ownership, with the opening of its long-awaited coffee shop Order & Chaos.

The shop is located in Planit’s new Key Highway office space; the agency took over the new space last spring, after years downtown. The shop is open to employees and the public and will serve food, including Liege waffles, and a variety of coffee and tea drinks, some of which will be prepared using a Slayer espresso maker – the only Slayer in Baltimore. 

Towson Rising

Baltimore County folks got a flurry of welcome news this week, with several announcements about upcoming openings in the Towson area.

Canton favorite Nacho Mama’s announced it would add a Towson location last fall; the spot was originally slated to open in the summer. But as those who follow restaurants know, delays are common. This week, the Tex-Mex eatery announced a three-day hiring fair, starting Monday, October 10, and a tentative opening sometime in November.

Nacho Mama’s isn’t the only popular local brand about to take Towson by storm. Full Tilt Brewing, a four-year old beer company, has signed a letter of intent to occupy the former police station space on Washington Avenue. Full Tilt’s owners plan to open a brew pub in the new space – though they are still in the financing stage. 

Change in the Air at Tark’s

Last summer, the team behind Tarks’ Grill announced an upcoming change in ownership, with the owners of City Café in Mount Vernon taking over the popular Green Spring Station spot.

The baton officially passed this past week; the restaurant opened under new ownership yesterday. Last summer, the restaurant’s new owners said they had plans for an interior renovation sometime early next year. 

Celebrating the Season

With autumn in full swing, local restaurants are busy updating their menus to reflect the season.

This week, that means venison is back on the menu at Cinghiale. Grilled venison leg, prepared with potato puree, matsutake mushrooms and concord grape sauce, is a seasonal treat that is always a favorite.

At Cinghiale’s sister restaurant, Johnny’s, fall comes in liquid form. The spiced apple and pear cider is sweet and spicy from ginger – autumn in a glass.

At Corner Pantry, Thursday night roast dinners are back. Every Thursday, the restaurant will serve a traditional English roast dinner, including roast, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and sticky toffee pudding. It’s available for takeaway (as they say in London) or for dining in (and BYOB is welcome).

The menu at La Cuchara changes on a constant basis. The new season means the introduction of dishes like wild Scottish game terrines and pork shank with roasted macoun apples, caramelized onions and Calvados jus. At the bar, fall means the introduction of seasonal cocktails like a butternut squash Old Fashioned and concoctions featuring Calvados and warming spices.

 Oysterfest 10

This weekend, October 8 and 9, marks Ryleigh’s tenth annual Oysterfest in Federal Hill. The event is a big one, with over 10 raw bars, tons of different types of oysters plus other seafood, lots of beer and other drinks, live music, and – a highlight – the Baltimore Oyster Shucking Championship.

The shucking happens at 3 p.m. on Saturday on the stage on Cross Street. The winner goes home with a cash prize and also a sponsorship to the National Oyster Shucking Championship. 

Sake & Pocky

On Saturday, October 8, get to know Japanese cuisine and culture at the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Sake & Pocky. The event is the first in new series, called BMA Salon, designed to bring together people interested in the arts.

The evening will feature a gallery talk, music, a kimono-dressing demonstration and the Japanese snack pocky. There will also be sake and Japanese whiskey tastings lead by Master Sake Sommelier Tiffany Soto, a woman with impressive knowledge of sake, whiskey and all things Japan.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – and Body

On Sunday, October 9, the Jewish Museum of Maryland hosts The Great Chicken Soup Cook Off – a day celebrating all the great things about chicken soup and featuring entries vying for the traditional, alternative and free form prizes.

The event is inspired by the museum’s current exhibit, “Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America,” and thought it sounds like a perfect day for anyone with the sniffles, it also sounds like a good time for the perfectly healthy! 


The Wine Market is celebrating Baltimore Beer Week on October 10, with an RAR and German-themed three-course meal, including dishes like pork schnitzel with beer-braised kale or pumpkin gnocchi with sweet and sour red cabbage, paired with the brewery’s Groove City Hefeweizen.

On Thursday, October 13, Birroteca will host its third annual Beer vs. Beer Dinner, pitting the beers of Evolution Craft Brewing Company against Birroteca’s neighbor, Union Craft. The four course meal will be paired with eight different beers – one from EVO and one from Union for each course. Throughout the meal, guests vote on which beer pairs best with each course and at the end, one brewery walks away with bragging rights. 

Happy One Year to Mount Vernon Marketplace

Food hub Mount Vernon Marketplace turns one this month and is celebrating with a big party on Friday, October 14. The market has grown significantly since it opened last year. It had a strong collection of vendors when it opened, including favorites like The Local Oyster, Cultured and Pinch, and since then, it has added a bunch of terrific new spots, including Mi & Yu Noodle Bar, Brown Rice Korean Grill and Juniper Culinary Apothecary.

Planning Ahead

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

October 16: 15th Anniversary Opera Night at Sotto Sopra

October 16: Bangkok Beer Dinner at Ten Ten

November 5: Vino in Vogue at Harbor East 

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