Hot Plate: weekend festivals, Mindpub Cafe opens, Union turns nine and more

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The Corner Pantry’s Neill Howell has joined forces with the team from The Charmery on a new ice cream flavor.

From wine festivals and beer releases to locally-sourced pizza, this week is a fun one in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s coming up in the Charm City culinary scene:

Openings & announcements
Mindpub Café is now open in Riverside – and early reports are terrific. The café serves everything from coffee to sandwiches to desserts (and is waiting on its liquor license, too).

Pitamore reopened on Light St. earlier this week. The shop is open for weekday lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Keep your eye on Dulaney Plaza in Towson. Papi’s Tacos new location is set to open there any day. 

Smokin Joe’s Smokehouse is bringing North Carolina BBQ to Federal Hill. SouthBmore.com reports the spot will be open on Light St. this week.

Sally O’s celebrated one (wild) year in business on July 31. Congratulations to their team! 

Union turns 9
Union Craft Brewing marks its ninth year in business this month. They throw a big birthday bash every year (though last year was, of course, a little different).

This year, the party starts Friday, Aug. 6 and lasts through the weekend, with beer releases, food trucks, artisan pop-ups and live music at Union Collective all weekend long. Food vendors include Union’s neighbor Well Crafted Kitchen along with local faves like Snake Hill, The Local Oyster, Big Softy and JC Burritos.

Max’s Hopfest
Hops are king at Max’s this weekend, as the Fells Point beer bar hosts its annual Hopfest Friday though Sunday.

The bar will open at 11:30 a.m. each day, pouring over 60 super-hoppy beers from the taps and from few casks (Max’s regular offerings will also be available – so even if hops aren’t your thing, you’ll have choices).

Weekend festivities also include a Saturday Brews Cruise on the Baltimore Water Taxi, which includes a flight of hoppy brews at Max’s and a beer to enjoy during a one-hour cruise around the harbor.

Changes at Magdalena
Later this month, Chef Mark Levy will step down from his post as Executive Chef at Magdalena in the Ivy Hotel, handing over responsibilities to Chefs Scott Bacon and Devin Slimmer. The new chefs at the helm are experienced and excellent – but Chef Levy’s creativity and thoughtful execution, as well as his great personality, will be missed.

Oysters all weekend
National Oyster Day was last Thursday but local organizations and restaurants are extending the celebration throughout the weekend.

At Thames Street Oyster House, a portion of this weekend’s proceeds will be donated to Oyster Recovery Partnership. At Gunther & Co., oyster purchases will also support ORP.

Also in support of ORP, in White Marsh, The Curious Oyster and Wayward Smokehouse are hosting a Saturday afternoon bull & oyster roast.

Chef Jasmine Norton of The Urban Oyster will serve crab imperial-stuffed oysters (and lobster rolls) at the Baltimore Farmers Market on Sunday.

Guinness keeps on celebrating
Guinness Open Gate Brewery’s third anniversary celebrations continue this weekend, with beer releases, live music and prizes all weekend long.

Festivals are back!
One of the most fun parts of summer in the Baltimore region is the plethora of festivals. Last year, most were canceled due to the pandemic but this year, they’re back. And this weekend is a big one.

On Saturday, the Havre de Grace Colored School Museum hosts an Arts, Wine & Jazz Fest, outside, along the water. The festival features tons of products from local wineries, distilleries and artisans, plus live jazz performances.

If drinking in the city is more your speed, you can head to Central Plaza in Harbor Point on Saturday for a wine and food festival featuring over 100 international wines, among other things.

At the same time, Harbor Point will also be hosting the Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival – so you can hit both if you’re in the mood for crabs.

The Charmery + The Corner Pantry
Two fun local companies – The Charmery and The Corner Pantry – are working together these days. They have created a new ice cream flavor, drawing on The Corner Pantry’s British roots: Salt & Vinegar Crisps.

A portion of proceeds from the ice cream will be donated to the Josie King Foundation, an organization that promotes patient safety and minimizing medical errors.

Cocktails at the Bierhalle
On Tuesday, Das Bierhalle goes beyond the brews for an evening cocktail class featuring drinks made with Grey Goose vodka. The class includes instruction and drinks and each attendee will leave with two bottles of Grey Goose Essences plus fun swag.

Beijing Opera at Red Pepper
On Wednesday, Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro will host an evening of Beijing Opera performances, including vocal and instrumental music and a demonstration of the “water sleeve technique,” an element of Chinese opera in which performers use sleeve extensions to mimic water.

Learn about locavore pizza with John Shields
On Thursday, Gertrude’s chef/owner John Shields takes to the airwaves for another installment of “Farm & Bay to Table,” the series he’s hosting in conjunction with Harford County Public Library.

This week’s show focuses on locavore pizza and includes guest appearances from the folks at Binkert’s German Meat Products and Charlottetown Farm – two of the regions best producers of meat and cheese.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
August 21: Wanderland at the Shrine of St. Anthony
September 23: Dining Out for Life benefiting Moveable Feast 
September 25: Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival 



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