The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Horseshoe Casino Lucky Food Truck Festival

On Thursday, August 4th from 4PM - 9PM bite into the delicious flavors of nine of Baltimore's most delicious food trucks. Partake of this culinary adventure at Horseshoe Casino’s Entertainament Plaza.This gathering is sure to exceed your expectations with nine insanely delicious mobile eateries and drink specials all night!

The Food Truck Lineup:
-Bistro Lunchbox
-Deja Roux
-Greek On The Street
-Jimmy's Seafood
-Koco Korean Fusion
-Pasta La Vista Baby
-Pizza Di Joey
-T&J Waffles
-The Smoking Swine

All Total Rewards members will also have a chance to win a 4 NIGHT STAY at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas and new members can win up to $250 in Free Play!

Horseshoe Casino – 1525 Russell Street – Baltimore, MD 21230

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It’s a party – Hampden’s The Charmery turns 3

A 3 year old would have ice cream at their birthday party, but this 3 year old, Baltimore’s most creative ice cream parlor, the Charmery, will be rocking out their specialty ice cream flavors on Saturday, July 23rd from noon until 11 p.m.  This year’s theme is 90’s R&B and hip-hop complete with a performance by the Team Squad Up Baltimore Dance Crew and a 90’s invasion at the dipping cabinet. 

Owner and master flavor mixer, David Alima has stated, “There are at least eight brand new flavors based off the lyrics of our favorite 90’s R&B songs. We’ve based the flavors on song lyrics and there is a contest for who can identify the most songs. As we believe in fair play, this means we can’t tell you the flavors just yet, but some of the new flavors include a Sourdough & Jam, Fresh Mint and Honeydew, and one based off of a Philly Cheesesteak.“

Thursday, July 14, 2016

14th Silver Diner opens in Frederick

The Maryland owned Silver Diner chain has opened their 14th diner in Frederick Maryland.  All shiny and new, the Silver Diner will have all the bells, whistle and replica 1956 Seeburg jukeboxes. Updated since starting 27 years ago, the diner offers a number of items that are locally sourced, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items. Unlike some Silver Diner locations, the bar at the Frederick location will be expanded with handcrafted cocktails, local beers and wines and spiked shakes.    

This latest Silver Diner is located 5120 Buckeystown Pike, located at the Westview Promenade, has a whopping 230 seats.  If you are heading to the Frederick Wine Festival, Saturday, August 6th, might be a great time to pop in and grab a bite going to or from the festival.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

And the winner is Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey

Baltimore’s newly based rye whiskey company, Sagamore Spirit, won two SIP Awards for their flavor profile and packaging; the Platinum Best in Class Award in the American Straight Rye whiskey category and a Gold Award in the Individual Bottle Design category.  Sagamore Spirit was one of 462 international brands presented to consumers in a double blind tasting.

The new rye whiskey born, where rye whiskey distillers had their home since the mid 1800’s, Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey brings back the American rye whiskey tradition.  From the pure naturally filtered spring waters, fed from a limestone aquifer, Maryland’s Sagamore Farm/ Sagamore Spirit has risen to wow whiskey drinkers

Impressive kitchen creds for new chef/owner of Coho Grill

Coho Grill, overlooking Hobbit’s Glen Golf Course in Columbia, Maryland welcomed a new chef owner, Thomas Zippelli on  July 1st.  Chef Zippeli  has a very impressive CV: Bachelor of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales, worked 3 years, not a week’s stagiaire, 3 years  under 3 Michelin Star chef Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park in New York and 2 ½ years under Chef Thomas Keller, another 3 Michelin Star chef of the world renowned The French Laundry. I did say impressive and I don’t lie.

My food curiosity is up and a trip to Coho Grill is on my itinerary and probably should be on yours. A look at their regular dinner menu lends insight into a moderately priced bistro, casual dining operation.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dinner guests with food allergies


When entertaining these days, how do you cope with people's food allergies and/or dislikes. What used to be simple has become fixing a different meal for each guest? Your thoughts?

You don't want to go to the trouble of fixing a meal and finding out your guest can't eat half of what you have fixed BUT between food allergies, specialty diets your window of what to fix has narrowed or you become a short order cook meeting everyone's needs. What do you do?

Talk amongst yourselves and then share!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Frederick Wine Festival inaugural event – can you say “Day Trip”


Frederick, Maryland, a city with a rich history, is having their first ever Wine Festival on Saturday, August 6th at  Carroll Creek Linear Park.  A visit last year to Frederick reminded me how much I like the quaint Main Street feel and embraced the new Carroll Creek Linear Park along the water – centerpiece of the city’s revival. 

No more than an hour away from Baltimore and Washington DC, located in the rolling hills for Frederick County – come get your wine on!

Twenty local wineries are participating – enjoy complimentary tastes and take advantage of the Wine Check for your bottles of wine  purchased:

Tentative chefs/restaurants and offerings are:

Langermann's expands

pan roasted Alaskan Halibut
Langermann’s, the Southern, Lowcountry inspired restaurant located in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood, at the Can Company, has grown, adding additional seating for outdoor dining plus, get this…a bocce ball court. Be sure to grab one of those new extra seats for live entertainment on Wednesday evenings located on the patio and indulge in the ½ price wine special for that evening.  

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Madame BBQ and Bistro Lunch Box food trucks partnering in Share Kitchen


Hot off Facebook! Friend and talented chef Nikki Mcgowan, owner of the Madame BBQ (@MadameBBQ) food truck has partnered with the folks at Bistro Lunch Box (@bistrolunchbox) food truck and signed a lease on a 2400 square foot kitchen in Locust Point.  It is to be called Share Kitchen and it will be a commissary space for like minded food lovers. They will be in the same building including Diamondback Brewery which will be right next door.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament in full swing - Year 6

In what is the Mid-Atlantic’s biggest culinary competition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Competition is in full swing vying chef against chef from restaurants in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia). 

The initial field of 16 chef teams has begun their tiered competitions. Each chef team will have 30 minutes of cold prep time, and just one hour of cooking time to create original appetizer, entrée and dessert courses for the expert judging panel of three, and up to 36 audience guest judges. Dishes are scored on presentation, creativity, difficulty and taste, and at the end of each evening only one chef team will advance to the next round.

The public is invited to the Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore to watch, and possibly judge the competition. Guests gathering around the two kitchens watching the chefs and their assistants take on a themed challenged.  Matches are held Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the summer with the championship for the title of Mason Dixon Master Chef 2016 taking place on Sunday, August 14th.
Tournament Details

Tickets for  the remaining matches of this summer-long single-elimination chef competition are available for purchase at: http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com. Tickets for most matches are $25 for general admission and $45 for judging experience (including all taxes). In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (http://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org).

 Competition Dates (5:30pm – 9:00pm):
June 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 -- July 11, 12, 18, 19  -- August 1, 2, 14
 Event Timeline:
·         5:30 p.m. – Happy Hour with Complementary Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink Specials
·         6:30 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition
·         7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition
·         8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament 2016 – Colonnade Baltimore - www.masondixonmasterchef.com  -Facebook   Twitter 

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Lord Baltimore Hotel's The French Kitchen new seasonal menu kicks off.


Seasons change and so do the menus, with that, new menu tasting invitations start to arrive as did the one from the French Kitchen Restaurant in the Lord Baltimore Hotel.  This was a great opportunity at the same time to visit the LB Skybar on the 19th floor of the Lord Baltimore Hotel. LB Skybar seats 60 people and is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-11:00 p.m., on Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to midnight. Pick your libation from the specialty cocktail list created by the hotel’s bar team exclusively for LB Skybar or choose from their beer and wine selections. Have a lite bite of sushi or antipasti before you head out to dinner.  We went before our dinner, so we were too early to enjoy the sunset and had headed home after our meal, missing downtown  all lit up against the night sky. 

Read the full story and watch the slideshow at Examiner.com / Dining

Coming soon to store shelves near you - Thomas' salted caramel English muffins and bagels

From the company that made the phrase, “nooks and crannies” iconic, Thomas’ English Muffins, comes a limited time offering of salted caramel English Muffins and bagels. These sweet, salty combo flavored muffins and bagels will arrive on your local store shelves starting June 27th through mid-October.

My food curiosity had to taste and upon request, samples arrived the next day.  A taste of the Salted Caramel  English muffin and the bagel proved that it is good for those with a sweet tooth whether for a breakfast item, on the go or just a plain sweet treat as a dessert or nosh.  The aroma of caramel is undeniable with both the bagel and the muffin.  My dilemma, what to put on the English muffin and the bagel, so I went traditional, butter on the English muffin and cream cheese on the bagel. My aha moment was thinking that a chocolate spread would be a good topping– chocolate, caramel and salt, unfortunately there was none in the house. Come the fall months, I would think sliced apple might be a nice topper.

Look for the Thomas’ Salted Caramel English Muffins and Bagels on your local store shelves in the next couple weeks.

Thomas’ Salted Caramel English Muffins - Available sizes: 6-pack -150 calories - 0g trans fat - 1 grams of fat - SRP $4.49 /  Thomas’ Salted Caramel Bagels - Available sizes: 6-pack-260 calories- 0g trans fat - 1.5 grams of fat - SRP $4.79
https://www.thomasbreads.com/products    Facebook   Instagram: @thomasbreakfast


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant opens in Annapolis


Nation’s Restaurant News in 2014 labeled Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants a ‘Breakout Brand’ and ‘Hot Concept’ – a fast casual concept that is first and foremost a winery then a restaurant and artisanal retail market.  The winery is based in Illinois, the grapes from California, Oregon and Washington and the winery/restaurants are in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, home state of Illinois and now the first Maryland location in the Annapolis Towne Centre.

The Annapolis Cooper’s Hawk restaurant is on the second floor with numerous areas to dine al fresco or partake of your food and wine in the climate controlled dining rooms.  The Napa-style tasting room and retail market is ground level with sauces, pastas, and freshly made confections: chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, cheesecake pops and other assorted chocolate temptations. 


What is different about the menu at a Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is that the food doesn’t dictate the wine, the wine, The Cooper’s Hawk wines, are at the beginning of the recipe/menu development. You can order by the glass, bottle and the Winemaker’s Barrel Reserve from a decanter and you are encouraged to taste before you order a glass so you aren’t concerned about trying something new.  Not sure what wine goes with what dish, there is a suggested wine for each dish.

Read the full story, watch the video and slideshow at Examiner.com / Dining

Saturday, June 11, 2016

And the winners are

Being a big supporter of my hometown Baltimore it was a joy to see recognition for jobs well done recently handed out by the MADE: In America organization.  The city’s leading chefs created tasty morsels and Wit and Wisdom’s lead bartender created cocktails all reflective of the Foodways Award winners:

The American Treasures 2016 awardees in the Culinary Arts/Foodways:
·         Bourbon Barrel Foods, Louisville, Kentucky
·         J.M Clayton - Seafood, Cambridge, Maryland
·         Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey Distillery, Baltimore, Maryland

The 2016 American Treasures Awards were presented to the Nation’s top farmers, foragers and craft producers who were featured in a tasting created by the All American Chefs, chaired by Zach Mills, Executive Chef at Wit and Wisdom.

The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Mayor of the City of Baltimore presented the inaugural Baltimore’s American Treasures Awards to individuals in recognition of their meritorious contributions to the city.

The Baltimore’s American Treasures Awardees are:
·         The Honorable Barbara Mikulski, United States Senate, Maryland
·         Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress elect

Also presented at the event was the prestigious American Benefactor Award to the Paterakis Family of Baltimore, Maryland for their support of the All American Chefs:

·         Zach Mills (Chair) Executive Chef, Wit &Wisdom, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
·         Chris Amendola, Executive Chef, Waterfront Kitchen
·         Chris Becker, Corporate Executive Chef, The Bagby Group
·         Jerry Edwards, CPCE, Pres. and Corp Chef, Chef's Expressions
·         Chad Gauss, Chef/Owner at Food Market
·         Cyrus Keefer, Executive Chef
·         Jerry Pelligrino, Chef at Schola
·         Nicholas Sharpe, Executive Chef, Birch and Barley
·         Jonathan Levy, Lead Bartender, Wit and Wisdom, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore


MADE: In America’s mission is to create and foster a business climate conducive to the free exchange of ideas and information to revitalize and sustain the competitiveness of American commerce and industry in a global economy. A non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, MADE: In America serves businesses throughout the United States. The organization presents the American Treasures awards to individuals and organizations for significant and singular contributions that are shaping and transforming our Nation’s cultural heritage. Learn more at http://madeinamerica-usa.org/

Monday, June 06, 2016

6 course French Asian pop up dinner by Chef Cyrus Keefer

Baltimore’s highly acclaimed Chef Cyrus Keefer is back, cooking up his unique French Asian fusion cuisine under the name of Défie Moi, his former late night dining hot spot in 13.5% Wine Bar & Food basement.  Chef Keefer’s first pop up dinner on Wednesday June 15th will be six courses and adult libations in the Private Kitchen at the Food Market. Keefer has cooked three times at the James Beard House in New York and recognized for his culinary creativity at www.StarChefs.com

There are only 12 seats and at last conversation 8 tickets were already sold, so you are still in play to grab  these limited seat tickets to what will be a fun, tantalizing, tasty evening of communal dining and lively conversation.

Keefer will be doing other pop-ups in the near future but they will be ala carte dishes-first come first served -  July 1st at Union Craft Brewing Co and July 17th at Ekiben. 

The Menu for June 15th seated multi course dinner:

Burrata Croustade -sunflower shoots, Iberico ham and red miso
Escargot Gyoza-gruyere, baby leek, black garlic, nori & pistou
Duck Dog-merquez chili, lentil, marmalade, and black truffle butter
Stir Fried Calamari-broccoli rabe, pine nuts, Calabrian chili, and thai basil
Oil Poached Shrimp-shishito pepper, romesco, nduja and barley congee
French Dip Roll-steak tartare, brioche, horseradish, furikake, and dashi crema

What:  Défie Moi Multi Course Dinner by Chef Cyrus Keefer
When: Wednesday, June 15th – 7 p.m.
Where: The Food Market – Private Kitchen/Basement
                1017 W. 36th Street – Baltimore, MD  21211
Seat Tickets:  $100 per guest includes six courses – adult libations
Ticket Sales:  410-908-1978

                  


Surprisingly good - Nando's PERi-PERi


My perception of the restaurant chain Nando’s PERi-PERi  restaurants was thinking it was another fast casual chicken restaurant, corporate designed, lacking personality and flavorful food for my curious palate. A visit to one of numerous 31 locations in the United States proved my perception, incorrect both in the matter of taste and eye appeal –--- it was a terrific find and looking forward to going back. 


This South African-Portuguese restaurant that originated in Johannesburg is known for its spicy flame-grilled chicken. Nando’s chicken is marinated for 24 hours and then flamed grilled with your choice of full flavored and spicy sauces that are reflective of the of African Bird’s Eye Chili, otherwise known as PERi-PERi.  Since their start in 1987, Nando’s PERi-PERi restaurants can be found on 5 continents and 23 countries.



For the full story and slideshow go to Examiner.com / Dining

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Tapas in the City: small plates and new tastes.


When you go out to dine, do you like it when your companions share a taste of their food? Are you food curious? Always wanting to indulge in the flavors and textures of numerous food offerings? If you said yes, then the newly formed Tapas in the City based Baltimore is just for you.


Tapas in the City is the brainchild of three of Baltimore’s food documentarians on Instagram.  Jordan Zelesnick @JZeats explained, “Rachel Lipton @LikeTheTeaEats, Andrea Samlin @Bmore_Hungry, and I had dinner one night and decided we wanted to bring affordable dining to the people of Baltimore. It's so hard to choose just one dish at a restaurant when there are so many delicious options to pick from. Some of our favorite restaurants serve tapas style (small plates) so we thought that might be a good route to go.”

Read the full story at Examiner.com/Dining 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grand opening of &pizza: Free pizza all day


Mark your calendars to check out &pizza’s grand opening on Thursday, May 26th at their first Baltimore location, 1201 South Charles Street in Federal Hill – free pizza all day long for everyone.  The first five guests to request the shop’s signature ampersand tattoo will receive a complimentary one at the nearby Brightside Tattoo Shop and, get this….. free pizza for a year (one pizza per week for 52 weeks) once they receive the tattoo.

What a great opportunity to taste their pizza … an elongated version or the typical round pizza, think flatbread. Create your own or dive into one of their numerous signature pizzas.

Read all the details and watch the video at Examiner.com / Dining


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