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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Patrón Secret Dining Society speeds into Baltimore’s Grand Prix

   Patrón Tequila, considered the world’s ultra premium tequila, created the Patrón Social Club and any person of legal drinking age can join. It is through the Patrón Social Club one has an opportunity to vie for a seat at their pop-up Patrón Secret Dining Society events. Trust me when I say they are well worth vying for a spot.  If you are lucky enough to be one of 20 plus people chosen, you’ll be enjoy an evening of creative food styling from a regional chef to one of the city’s leading mixologist who will create cocktails with any one of the Patrón top shelf tequilas. Price of admission - FREE.

Prior to the green flag being waived to kick off Baltimore’s Grand Prix racing, Patrón sent out emails notifying members of their Social Club advising of a Secret Dining Society dinner to be held the night prior to the Grand Prix races. Those whose itineraries worked with the date and time answered a question to be in que for the coveted spaces.  They know not where the evening’s festivities will be held, where to meet, who the chef and mixologist will be. It becomes a treasure hunt atmosphere with clues along the way.    

Watch the video, enjoy slideshow with additional photographs and read the full story HERE.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament 2013 finale

This is the third year that the Mason Dixon Master Chef competition has pitted local chef against local chef in a bracketed competition to find out who is the best chef/team in “Maryland” land.  Last night the finale was held at Jaime Luna’s downtown Mari Luna Bistro.  

Attendees arrived to watch the competition, some extra paying for judging experience, enjoy wine tastings, sample hors d’oeuvres from Chef Luna and/or order dinner from the Mexican bistro.  Husband and wife Karen and Eric Folkart are the team who has put this completion together. It isn’t an easy feat creating a cooking arena in the middle of a restaurant but that is what was done every week during this summer competition.

How did the evening play out? Who won? How did the plates look? Enjoy the slideshow and full story HERE

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cake decorating class at Charm City Cakes

photograph courtesy of Charm City Cakes
Duff Goldman and his crew at Charm City Cakes who have been seen on the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes are ever so clever.  What amazing cakes have been produced out of their Remington neighborhood facility.

Oh, to learn at the cake decorating master’s feet, what an opportunity. Mary Smith of Charm City Cakes is teaching a cake decorating class with a Labor Day – outdoor grilling theme.

Watch video and get complete details HERE

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Finale

Iron Bridge Wine Company versus Bond Street are battling it out for the title and bragging rights in the Mason Dixon Master Chef competition.

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, a live, local, interactive culinary competition is down to two finalists in its summer-long single-elimination tournament. The competition started with 16 top area chefs in June, and after seven weeks of head-to-head competition two have emerged as the top in the field. These two teams, Iron Bridge Wine Company (Columbia), and Bond Street Social (Baltimore), will compete in the final Championship match Tuesday, August 27th at Mari Luna Bistro 1225 Cathedral Street.

Get all the details HERE

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bringing "down the ocean" home

Where do the days go, the summer is just about to wrap up and it was just Memorial Day. Numerous folks who vacation in Ocean City, Maryland or as we Baltimoreans call it “down the ocean” and have enjoyed dining at Seacrets. And if you have dined at Seacrets, you have enjoyed their Honey Mustard dressing and dipping sauce.

Now you can have that taste of “down the ocean” in the convenience of your own home. Seacrets has bottled its must-have honey mustard sauce to bring a taste of an Ocean City summer to Giant grocery stores throughout Delaware, Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. For 25 years, Seacrets Honey Mustard has been a staple at the Eastern Shore hot spot, and now it’s available at more than 150 locations across the region. In stores now, the gluten-free product is made with 100 percent pure clover honey produced from the nectar of clover blossoms, giving the dipping sauce a mild and sweet flavor.

While originally concocted by Seacrets founder Leighton Moore as a topping for the restaurant’s famous Jerk Chicken dishes, Seacrets Honey Mustard goes well with chicken, as a salad topping, with French fries, on soft pretzels and more. The 16 oz. bottle retails for $5.99.

“Seacrets Honey Mustard started off as a flavor combination that I developed in my kitchen by mixing together some of my favorite ingredients,” said Leighton Moore, Seacrets owner and CEO. “When patrons started walking off with the product, I knew we needed to get it on grocery store shelves so our Ocean City customers could enjoy its

For more information about Seacrets Honey Mustard, visit

Monday night 2 course prix fixe is back at Roy’s Restaurants

You can leave your muu muus, grass skirts, leis and orchids at home but bring your Hawaiian spirit to Roy’s Restaurant that features Hawaiian fusion cuisine. The My Prix Fixe Mondays  2 course $29.95 appetizer and entrée special is back and running through to the end of 2013.

Popular demand has brought this promotion back and it is available during normal hours in all the Roy’s with the exception Hawaii, San Diego Waterfront, La Jolla and Pebble Beach locations.

Patrons can try their favorites or explore new, innovative flavors. One appetizer and one entrée, maybe the Crunchy Golden Lobster Pot Stickers paired with the Roy’s Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi – all for $29.95.  This offer excludes sushi/sashimi, surf and turf, shellfish sampler and the canoe appetizer for two.

There 31 Roy’s Restaurants worldwide, including 23 on the mainland, 6 in Hawaii and 2 international locations in Tokyo and Guam. To find the location nearest you and make reservations please visit Roy’s website  A footnote of sorts, there is a nice selection gluten free appetizers and entrées. 

Dunkin' Donuts will honor 10 heroes serving the Greater Baltimore Region

Patti Neumann -  & Edie Brown
Dunkin' Donuts of the Greater Baltimore region today announced it is accepting nominations for the third annual Dunkin' Donuts Community Hero Award, now through October 18th.

"The Dunkin' Donuts Community Hero Award is a celebration of those who keep our communities running," said Colleen Krygiel, Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin' Brands. "The Dunkin' Donuts Community Hero Award gives our loyal guests in the greater Baltimore area a chance to recognize the everyday heroes who inspire and energize our communities."

Dunkin' Donuts will honor heroes selected from nominations submitted by community members. The top 10 heroes from the Greater Baltimore region will receive the Dunkin' Donuts Community Hero Award, free coffee and donuts each week for a year and $500. An additional 100 local heroes will be recognized for their service with free coffee and donuts each week for a year at Dunkin' Donuts. To nominate an individual for the Community Hero Award, visit:

The winners will be selected based on the nominees' contributions to the residents of their local community, the nominees' community-driven activities and accomplishments within their local area, and the creativity and originality of the nomination submission. Nominations must be made for "community heroes" serving the Greater Baltimore region (specifically MD counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot.)

In 2012, Dunkin' Donuts of the Greater Baltimore region honored 10 extraordinary individuals in its second year of its Community Hero Program.  Those recognized served their communities with purpose and passion in roles ranging from teachers to nonprofit activists. Entering the third year of the program, Dunkin' Donuts of the Greater Baltimore region looks to continue honoring unsung heroes and celebrating the work they do.

In addition, through the Community Hero Award Program, Dunkin' Donuts will be honoring heroes through Hero Club Cards. From September through December, Dunkin' Donuts will recognize a variety of local hero group each month for the work they do to support the community. As part of this program, these groups can receive Club Cards that are valid for four free Medium (14 oz.) Hot Coffees at participating greater Baltimore region and Metropolitan Washington DC Dunkin' Donuts. Teachers will be honored in September, Police Officers and Firefighters will be honored in October, Nurses will be honored in November, and Military personnel will be honored in December. To request a Hero Club Card for yourself or someone else, please visit

Happy Birthday Aida Barbera

Howard County’s leading Italian Restaurant, AIDA Bistro and Wine Bar is celebrating their matriarch’s 87th birthday. The birthday girl, Aida Barbera, is at the restaurant on Saturday nights to meet and greet their guests. Tonight, August 24th is no exception but what is special, in honor of her 87th birthday; there will be a donation by the Barbera family to Gilcrest Hospice of Howard County for each guest that dines with them between Saturday, August 24th and Tuesday, August 27th – Aida’s birthday.
Dine inside, sit at AIDA’s extensive wine bar or enjoy their newly redesigned al fresco dining. AIDA is open for lunch-Monday through Friday, dinner-Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays.

AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar
6741 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
(410) 953-0500
Twitter: AIDABistro

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hampden’s The Food Market kicks off a new unique dining promotion


You’ve all heard about the early bird specials for people who dine early usually between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., those are the ones who catch the proverbial worm or in this case the dining deal. But have you heard about a dining deal for those who dine late? Chad Gauss and Elan Kotz, partners in Hampden’s the Food Market have created such a dining deal.

Find out the new dining deal HERE.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fun for the family - Little Italy’s Feast of St. Gabriel Festival

Pack the family and friends in the car, Charm City Circulator or subway and head to Little Italy for the two day celebration of the Feast of St.Gabriel. A small admission price of one dollar per person opens the door to Little Italy’s street celebration benefiting St. Leo’s Catholic Church.
Choose between Saturday, August 17th or Sunday, August 18th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to come and enjoy plenty of food, wine, games, carnival games for the children, beer, music, Italian ice and some “dancing in the streets.” The festival takes place at Stiles and Exeter Streets.
View the slideshow and read the full story HERE.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lobsterama, lobster stack, lobster sale and lobster roll

photograph by Dara Bunjon©
Tis the season here in Baltimore to partake of our Chesapeake Bay bounty of blue crabs, steamed up heavy with Maryland seafood seasoning on newspaper covered tables with wooden mallets ready to do the nasty to the claws. I love Maryland crabs; in fact they recently came in 2nd in the most iconic foods in USA Today’s- 10Best travel website. I pay homage to our Maryland crustacean BUT lobster is my real indulgence.

If lobster is in your culinary repertoire; part of your seafood agenda then do I have some lobster news for you.

Read the full story and watch the video HERE. 


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