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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Julie & Julia Trailer - Meryl Streep as Julia Child

I have been waiting 2 years to get a sneak peak at the movie about Julia Child and the young lady, Julie, for over the course of 365 days cooked every recipe from Julia Child's first cookbook. Gotta love my facebook friend, Amanda Hesser, who posted the link to the trailer. You have got to watch this, Streep is fabulous as Julia. Nora Ephron's screenplay.

Create it, name it and enjoy it - outside the cereal box

I have found the perfect cereal for everyone because everyone designs what they want in their own cereal. [me]andgoji is where 3 clever and wise founders are thinking outside the cereal box. The company’s website, [me]andgoji, allows the consumer, you or [me] to choose which ingredients you want in your cereal offering the most healthful and flavor bursting super foods from around the world. Design your cereal from 50 plus all natural and organic ingredients, something for everyone even those with specific dietary needs.

I was fascinated as I designed my cereal to watch the nutritional facts immediately update itself with each ingredient addition. A very clever and technically advanced site it is apparent that the 3 young owners are having fun and offering out a product that enhances life and our earth. On Earth Day they planted a tree for each cereal purchased that day.

So the fun isn’t only in creating your own cereal, it is in naming it. In fact, each week the owners list their top cereal names. Here are recent winners:

Gojilla Attacks Tokyo
Heartbreak Hill Helper
T.G.I.M. (Thank God It’s Mornin’)
this cereal is bananas

Let me not forget that 5% of the profits are going to charity.

What’s keeping you….go to

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Restaurant reviewer disguises ala Ruth Reichl

Nope, I'm not writing about FREE food today but I am sharing a very clever video how one restaurant reviewer disguises herself to do restaurant reviews. I'm not sure our local Baltimore Grand Dame. Elizabeth Large has ever disguised herself, we'll send a link and maybe she'll let us know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Local culinary high school places in national competition

I’m like the proud auntie, no direct connection to the success of the Carver Center for the Arts and Technology management team though I co-mentored the culinary team to 2nd place statewide – it makes me meshpokha (extended family). For my loyal readers, all three of you, here is a link to the story ‘does your child like to cook’, about the state competition but do read on about the first Maryland ProStart team to place in the national competition.

The Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation (RAMEF) announced today that the high school hospitality management team from the Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Baltimore County took 4th place at the National ProStart Invitational in San Diego, CA this past weekend.

The National ProStart Invitational provided the stage for 31 high school teams from across the country to compete against one another in a hospitality management competition. Teams were given a “case study” that involved several problems and situations that might arise in the hospitality industry on any given day. After 30 minutes of preparation, the team then had to make a presentation to judges on how they would handle those situations. Judges then scored their presentations based on how the team addressed customer relations, inter-departmental communications, staffing and labor, sanitation, safety and organization. Teams also competed against one another in a knowledge bowl, answering questions about hospitality management, culinary arts and food safety. Judges included hospitality industry professionals and instructors from post secondary schools with hospitality management programs. Over 1 million dollars in scholarship money and national bragging rights were on the line for the top finishing teams in the competition.

This was the second year in a row that the Carver Center and instructor Bette Mullins had won the Maryland ProStart Student Invitational and earned the right to represent Maryland in the national competition. Team members Brina Furman, Rachel Sherman, Brenna Hoffman, Tara Lewis, and Thomas Burch each earned a $500 scholarship from both McCormick and Whole Foods Market for winning the state competition, along with several scholarship awards from numerous post secondary institutions. “These students put in hours and hours of work to prepare for the national competition”, stated Mullins, “I am extremely proud of their 4th place finish and they exceeded all my expectations”.

For placing 4th in the nation, each student on the team will receive a $500 scholarship from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the Coca Cola Company along with a gift bag worth over $200 in culinary tools and materials. This is in addition to the scholarships awarded to them for finishing first at the state competition.

“This is the best finish for any Maryland team in the National ProStart Invitational” commented Marshall Weston Jr., Executive Vice President of RAMEF. “Having the highest score in the knowledge bowl competition is what propelled this team to 4th in the nation. This group highlights the caliber of students we have in the ProStart program in Maryland.”

The ProStart program is a high school culinary and hospitality management curriculum that also requires 400 hours of paid industry work experience in order to receive a ProStart National Certificate of Achievement. Students completing the ProStart program are qualified to enter the workforce in positions above entry level and are on a fast track to management careers. ProStart is endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education and also prepares students for post secondary education at culinary schools and hospitality management programs.

Weston added that “It is the partnerships between the industry and education that has helped these students achieve nationally recognized success. The financial support and mentoring of those in the industry are what enabled the Carver Center for the Arts to perform at the highest level.”

The bay, the shrimp and you - a seafood dining trilogy

In 1993, Chef Nancy Longo, Baltimore’s Pierpoint Restaurant created a national event, “Save the Bay”, at the National Aquarium. Celebrity chefs came to Baltimore for this amazing gathering: chefs Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, Jimmy Sneed, Jan Birnbaum, Roberto Donna, Mark Miller, Jasper White, Larry Forgione, Stephan Pyles, Marty Cosgrove and the 2nd year add Barbara Tropp, Susan Spicer – a stellar cast. All came, all here to make the world aware of what was happening on our planet and in our waterways.

What incited this event was Chef Longo’s experience with shrimp; shrimp that she noticed were glowing one evening at service under her counter. These shrimp were from Texas and after investigation Longo determined that there had been nuclear testing in the area. Good reason to always rinse your shrimp very well before cooking with them.

The second reason for her commitment to bring the ills of the bay to national and world attention was having a lymph gland in her arm removed after being punctured and infected by a fish fin. Chef Longo was invited to speak before congress and ABC Prime Time.

Yes, 1993 was a long time ago but

Is our bay cleaner? What fish are endangered? Are our shrimp still glowing? The pollution of our waterways is not new problem and complete resolution has not come. The National Aquarium has created a three part program for the environmental, sustainable caring public - Fresh Thoughts: A Seafood Dining Trilogy to help enlighten and engage all with what is happening with seafood today.

THIS WEEK: Wednesday, April 29: Shrimp – Getting the Best, Preserving the Environment

Enjoy a prepared shrimp dish that can be easily duplicated at home. Dredging the bottom of the sea using destructive trawl nets has depleted shrimp populations and endangered others. However, today there are ways to enjoy local, farm-raised shrimp that taste spectacular and are eco-friendly. Meet the founders of Marvesta Shrimp, a successful, local business, and hear their story, plus see Marvesta shrimp prepared during an engaging cooking demonstration.

Featured Entrée: Grilled Marvesta Shrimp

Time: 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Cost: $65 for members, $75 for non-members
Reservations: 410 576 3869

I’ll be there because the subject is important to me in many ways. I hope you’ll come, look for me and come say hello.

Third in the series is:

Tuesday, June 23: Tilapia – Fish & Family Fun

This fun-filled outdoor food-fest partners our popular "Beyond the Boardwalk" with a good old-fashioned family grilled fish feast. Sample local micro-brewed beers and enjoy fresh catches that kids will love. Plus, participate in exciting activities on the pier!

Featured Entrée:

Tilapia Tacos
Grilled fillets of farm-raised tilapia marinated in olive oil, lime juice, chili, and garlic. Served with soft tortillas from Lilly's Market, lime-cilantro cream, pickled red onions and jalapenos, tomatillo salsa verde, salsa roja, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and queso Chihuahua.

Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $45 for members; $55 for non-members; $25 for child
Reservations: 410 576 3869


The first installment of these dinners was on March 4: Rockfish – A Tale of Replenishment. The story of how we have helped but not yet finished bring the Chesapeake Bay back.

I love rockfish, I used to fish with my father, and rockfish and yellow perch were the fruits of labor. I guess it is unusual for a girl to become her dad’s fishing pal but it was something he loved and I loved our time together. I could bait a hook as well as the next fellow. There is nothing like fresh rockfish, just out of the Chesapeake Bay. They say spend more time with your children, may I suggest you take them fishing-enjoy the glee and excitement at their first catch. Real Kodak moments.

Feel free to reach out with questions, comments or an invite to go fishing. The photograph is of my mother fishing on the Susquehanna River in Loch Haven, Pennsylvania.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Check out what is in the closet

This is just one of those cute commercials

New Epicenter for recipes

I just read about a new website that is a central source for recipes from Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Garden, Food and Wine, Chow, Eating Well, Food Network and many other recipe sites. I had to go check the site out and have committed myself to this new endeavor by downloading their toolbar for my browser. From what I can tell it started in December 08 and is still stating it is Beta. The website is and the owners are Scripps Howard owners of the Food Network.

You have the capability of storing the recipes in the site’s recipe box and uploading your own recipes there as well. Maybe I can stop wearing black, I was morning the loss of a feature on my MasterCook program that allowed me to highlight and paste recipes I found on the net into my own web-cookbooks very simply. seems to be your one-stop shop for recipes, the epicenter to a numerous recipes from the major recipe sites and store them in one central location. So if you love recipes go now and test drive and be sure to give us your personal feedback. You can sort your recipes even to gluten-free…CHECK IT OUT.

Don't forget - check out and come back with a review. Is it good, not sure, found a great recipe? Come share your thoughts.
P. S. This in no way has diminished my love of and collecting of cookbooks.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Five Tastes from Around the World

As you can see, I've been busy. Hoping to see daylight the next couple of days to directly post here at Dining Dish. Hope you enjoy the stories, feed back would be good. Next are some upcoming cooking classes.

Baltimore Dining Examiner: Five Tastes from Around the World

Posted using ShareThis

Baltimore Dining Examiner: Baltimore has the top rated bar nationally

Baltimore Dining Examiner: Baltimore has the top rated bar nationally

Posted using ShareThis

New restaurants coming to Charles Street

Tuaca Body Art Ball – Recipe and Video

I apologize that sometimes I don't have time to reformat my stories for both blogs and I just give you the link to my Dining Examiner site.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are you wine curious?

We tend to think the Maryland Science Center is for the children but on Thursday, April 30th starting at 6:30 p.m. it is for adults (21 years if age) with their Science Uncorked: Wineology 101. The informal discussion lead by the experts from The Wine Market will delve into scent and taste, even colors and the roles that they play. Participants will sample a selection of wine with food pairings and actually learn about taste zones, clarity and bouquet.

Don't be shy, come with your questions like what does the terminology buttery mean? When someone says the wine has legs-what is that? Do you only drink white wine with fish?

The wine curious and the wine knowledgeable are both invited, to be part of this event. The class/tasting/lecture is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets to Science Uncorked are $35 for Maryland Science Center members and $40 for non-members. Attendees must be 21 or older. RSVP by calling 410.545.5960.

Maryland Science Center
601 Light Street
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Sunday, April 12, 2009

BabyCakes Video - another earworm

BabyCakes is a bakery in New York City that focuses on gluten free, vegan and mostly sugar free pastry, similar to Baltimore’s Tenzo Artisan Bakery and Vegetarian Desserts. Their cookbook is coming out May 5th. The video makes you want to get up and dance and leaves you humming when it is finished. I will be back to you about another contest as I approach my 200th post and their cookbook will be one of the prizes.

BabyCakes, the Book of Recipes: It's Here (Almost)! from BabyCakes NYC on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have you eaten a White House Sub

No, not the Obama White House, I mean the White House Sub Shop on the corner of Mississippi and Artic Avenue in Atlantic City. In the days of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band it was the thing to travel to Atlantic City, New Jersey rather than Ocean City, Maryland. Back then many a night was spent getting subs from the White House Sub Shop, it was our late night go-to place after our drinking, dancing and assorted crimes of our youth.

When my roadie food trip pal, Jeff, invited me to go to the candy show in AC (Atlantic City) I was game – how can you go wrong with chocolate and a White House Sub. Please note that I am not calling them hoagies as they do in Philly (Philadelphia), they are called subs.

The candy show was a bust, some chocolate yes, but we were through it in an hour. Time to kill before we hit the famous White House Sub Shop (established in 1946) we looked for Orient Avenue, the street I used to live on that one great summer at the shore. Couldn’t even find the street there was a hotel where it used to be. That summer has a million stories but they aren’t fit to write about here.

So, needless to say the place was jamming with people, the staff had this down to a science – after 63 years in business they should. We grabbed one of the few tables next to the celebrity and horseracing photographed-lined wall. We placed our orders: Jeff the cheesesteak – me, Italian cold cut, my fave. The anticipation was killing me. The submarine rolls are the key. Not the soft mush we get here in Baltimore, they are crispy on the outside. The sandwiches were HUGE and as much as I ate there still seemed to be so much more to eat. We shared and decided the cold cut was the better of the two.

It was great going back; the memories of that summer flooded my brain and I shared stories with Jeff I don’t think my husband knows. The whole experience of being back in AC made the subs taste that much better. Enjoy the photos but once you see the final pics you will be heading out for a sub.

Dara’s tips for a great cold cut sub - if you are making it:

Good roll, slightly crusty on the outside
Mayonnaise (Helmans is always good)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Red Wine Vinegar
Sweet or Hot Peppers (or combo of both)
slice onion (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (not the stuff in the green canister)
Dried Oregano
Black Pepper
Quality Italian Cold Cuts: i.e. capicola ham, aged salami, mortedella
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Sliced Tomato


1. Slice your roll horizontally
2. Put the mayonnaise on the inside of the roll
3. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and sweet/hot peppers on the roll
4. Put on the Parmesan Cheese (to taste)
5. Rub some dried oregano in your hands and then sprinkle on the roll
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. Add your cold cuts
8. Top your cold cuts with lettuce and tomatoes
9. Let it sit a minute or two so the flavors meld
10. Unhinge your jaw to get everything in one bite – enjoy and make note who is your “food mama” now.

If you are ordering a cold cut out ask for these key ingredients:

Mayo, Parmesan Cheese, oil & vinegar, oregano, (optional sweet or hot peppers), lettuce & tomato, onions (optional)….trust me!

White House Sub Shop
2301 Arctic AveAtlantic City, NJ, 08401
Mon - Thurs:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

There is a fan page for the White House Sub Shop on Facebook if you would like to join. Your thoughts and comments welcomed. Follow me on

Friday, April 03, 2009

O’s roll debuts Orioles’ opening day

There might be some contention as to who the candy bar, Babe Ruth, was named after - the granddaughter of the Williamson Candy Company or the famous ball player Babe Ruth. Let there be no confusion that the O’s Roll at Ra Sushi is honor of the Oriole's first Japanese-born player Koji Uehara.

The O’s Roll – an eight-piece spicy lobster roll topped with fresh salmon and avocado drizzled with an orange spicy mayo sauce ($11.00) – will be available at RA Sushi beginning with the season opener on April 6, 2009 against the New York Yankees and throughout the 2009 baseball season. Guests will be able to order the O’s Roll during lunch, happy hour and dinner hours seven days a week and will be able to receive $2 off the roll when they come in the day of a game with their ticket stub from that game.

“We were excited to hear that the Orioles signed Koji and we had him in mind when we conceptualized the O’s Roll,” said Scott Bernas, manager of RA Sushi in Baltimore and a devoted Orioles fan. “His pitching skills are on fire so we made sure the roll had some spice to it. And, to really top it off in Orioles-style, we added a splash of orange.”

For more info:
RA Sushi is located at 1390 Lancaster Street in Harbor East’s The Eden. Open seven days a week beginning at 11 a.m., the sushi bar and kitchen close at 11 p.m. and the bar is open until 1 a.m. or later every night. For more information, visit RA Sushi online at or call (410) 522-3200.

Yummy dinner at Mari Luna – now serving brunch.

Yes, I know yummy is a not a very professional word for a restaurant review although it describes it well. It is no secret that my husband and I dine regularly at both Mari Luna Mexican and Mari Luna Latin and are pleased to live close to both locations.

So let me tell you what was so yummy. It was one of Mari Luna Latin's house specials, Skate Wine Cangrejo which comes with lump crab meat in a citrus butter ($24). The portion was generous. I had eaten 1/3 of it when I decided to photograph it for this commentary. Every once in awhile your choice of food really hits the spot and this was this evening and this was the dish. I opted for a side Caesar salad and the garlic mashed potatoes which comes with the entrée


It was three weeks ago that I notice an appetizer on the Mari Luna Latin menu, crab claws in a tomato, lime, garlic sauce with toasted bread and lump crab meat ($10). I asked my husband if he want to share and he had no interest. Off course, when the dish arrived the husband ate half the appetizer and has ordered it every Friday night since. Does your significant other do this to you as mine does, or am I the only one?

Brunch at Mari Luna Latin starting this coming Sunday

Here is what the brochure says about their Brunch:

Sunday Brunch Buffet at Mari Luna Latin Grille
featuring a true brunch experience.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The buffet includes over 30 items ranging from:

Omelets & Waffle Station, with all the trimmings, to Eggs Benedict, Soups & Quiche.

From Carving Stations to plenty of seafood, salads and grilled vegetables

Plus many of your favorite entrees and sides created by Chef Jaime Luna. Don’t miss out on our delicious dessert station. All this for $24.95 plus receive a complimentary Mimosa. Children 12 or under dine for $14.95.

Mari Luna Latin
1010 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Follow my escapades on Twitter - and also a gentle reminder to think of those less fortunate during the holidays and give to local food banks and shelters.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Power hours drawing at Morton's the Steakhouse

I could barely bring myself to get my business and personal papers in order for the accountant this year, the detail work needed is gruesome. I don't believe I'm alone in that feeling and hats off to these financial warriors we hire to keep us straight with the IRS. So what does this have to do with dining you ask? Well our good friends at Morton's The Steakhouse is looking to reward one lucky CPA firm to celebrate the end of tax season with a complimentary Power Hour Reception for up to 15 employees. “With millions of Americans rushing to file tax returns by the April 15th tax deadline, we at Morton’s wanted to do something special for the unsung heroes of the tax season -- certified public accounts,” said Judi DiGioia.

The deadline to enter is Tuesday, April 14, and the winning CPA firm will be notified on Tax Day (Wednesday, April 15). Certified Public Accountants interested in submitting their firms should contact Judi DiGioia, Morton’s Sales & Marketing Manager, at 410-547-8255 or by April 14

Power Hours

Morton’s new Power Hours provides select wines by the glass, beers, and cocktails starting at $4 along with Morton’s Bar Bites priced at $5 per plate everyday from 5 – 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – close (Monday – Saturday until 11 p.m. and Sunday until 10 p.m.).

For more info: .Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 300 South Charles Street in Baltimore. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Valet parking is available. For more information or to make reservations, call 410-547-8255 or visit

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Still Tasty? - Guide to Food

How many times have you looked at the expiration date on the sour cream and wondered if it is still tasty? You found a great piece of leftover prime rib stuck back in the caverns of your freezer, wondering if it has been there for a year—can it still be salvaged? You left pizza out on the counter overnight, should it be tossed? Do you have to refrigerate mustard and ketchup once the jars have been opened?

We all have had these questions but I have a one-stop resource for the answers for you. The website is Their tag line is: you’ll save money, eat better and help the environment. Just remember when you realize that the leftover Asian food in the fridge is still safe to eat whose your food mama!

P.S. Recently I found a canned of condensed milk best used by 1998 in my cupboard. Do tell the oldest food item you found in your fridge or cabinets.

What's in your fridge? Check out an earlier rant HERE! If you like what I write add me to your favorite Examiners or subscribe and a notice will come directly to your e-mail. You can follow my Tweets at


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