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 29, 2013

Fork & Wrench – Canton’s dining gem

Executive Chef Sajin Renae recently left Fork & Wrench for a turn at motherhood and to live in the Big Apple. That is when Executive Chef Cyrus Keefer, former chef at Birroteca, came in to put his personal touch to their farm-to-table cuisine.

Chef Keefer invited me to taste a selection of his offerings on the Fork & Wrench Summer 2013 menu. I had a preconceived notion of the restaurants and bars along Boston Street and what they look like, and they were all pretty pub-like with a push for happy hour drinkers.  I was totally surprised, in a very good way, as to the appearance of this restaurant. Think retro businesses of the past; a factory, library, pharmacy - each room stylishly appointed in its theme. 

Read the full review, watch the slideshow HERE

Fork & Wrench on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 26, 2013

More news from Hampden restaurants

Here’s the scoop from Baltimore’s growing Hampden neighborhood, or I like to call it Baltimore’s Restaurant Row.  

Today kicks off Summer Restaurant Week where one can dine on a two course lunch for $15.13 and a three course dinner for $30.13. Both Alchemy and The Food Market are participating.  Speaking of the Food Market, they now have their own food truck that delivers their ever fresh, tasty and innovative cuisine to your venue of choice.  

Read all the news HERE

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Win a Food Lion $100 gift card

Well I had to work hard for my $100 gift card, I was one of 12 food related bloggers  that competed in Food Lion’s “Frugal Cook-Off” at Talara Restaurant in Baltimore.  We were paired in teams; my teammates were Laura Harders of BeltwayBargainMom and  John Thomas of Our challenge was to create and cook a wholesome, low-cost meal for a family of four using Food Lion’s Essentials brand products for less than $15.

You can win the $100 gift card to Food Lion by sending me an e-mail, darasgiveaway @ answering the following questions that can be answered by reading my stories.   

  1.   What are the two top items stolen from restaurants?
  2.     Shrubs are a trend at the Summer Fancy Food show, what is a shrub and what is the main ingredient?
  3.    A gallon of BBQ sauce sold for how much?

Those entries with the correct answers will be put into a drawing.  Contest ends Sunday, July 28, 2001 at 5 p.m. Winner will be notified via email.  

Watch the slideshow, video and read the full story HERE

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day

If you are in Baltimore, where should you celebrate National Ice Cream Day. Top of my list is The Charmery, on the corner of Chestnut and W. 36th Street which just opened their doors yesterday.

The brightly colored ice cream parlor features sixteen flavors of ice cream, some traditional and some Baltimore themed like Zeke’s Coffee ice cream, Lemon Stick sorbet and even an Old Bay Caramel ice cream. All the ice creams, froyo and sorbets use only the freshest ingredients, sourced from local farms and producers. As the seasons change so will the flavors and offerings. The cooler months will have hot chocolates and house-made marshmallows.

Check out the slideshow and read the full story HERE

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Idaho Potato Commission’s Recipe Photo Contest - $5000 in prizes

[photograph by Steve Adams -Steve Adams Studio)

Do you photograph food? Do your photographs of food get ooooohs and aaaaahs? Are you the next Kyle Dreier, Stephen Hamilton or Steve Adams of food photography? Well, do I have a food photography contest just suited for you. There are going to be ten winners, each with a $500 prize. Sounding more interesting?

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is now hosting a bigger and better-than-ever recipe photo contest and they are calling enthusiastic home cooks and shutterbugs!

Read the details how your digital photo can win the prize money HERE.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hailing a cab with Streit's Matzo

Eddie Applefeld and Downtown Diane both forwarded a link to a video on Streit’s Matzo, it is a teaser for a full length documentary , , being done on this old world business still operating from the lower east side of Manhattan.  It brought back a very fond memory, one stored in my 4 meg RAM brain and by a small miracle avoided the many bad sectors. 

It was this time of year, 10 years ago that friends and I were on our sojourn to New York City for the Fancy Food Show.  It was always our goal to try out the newest, hottest places to eat on all our trips.  Chef Wylie Dufresne had opened WD50 that April to rave reviews.  In fact, Chef Dufresne just won the James Beard Award for 2013 Best Chef in New York City.  

Watch the video and read the full story HERE.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer International Fancy Food Show sets trends for your table

It was just the beginning of July when the 2013 Summer International Fancy Food Show was held in New York City’s Jacob Javits Center. The show was the largest in their history, with 2400 plus specialty food and beverage exhibitors from the United States and around the world with first time exhibitors from Bulgaria, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Switzerland. Italy had the largest international presence, followed by Turkey, France and Spain.

Over the years, the way the nation wants or needs to eat becomes prominent, usually starting in the restaurants, specialty stores and on line. The ever changing landscape of educated consumers, wanting to know the who, what, where, why and when of the foods and products that impact their lives and their families.Non- GMO verified seems to be in the forefront.  Ten years ago, certified organic food was the nation’s cry, seven years ago gluten-free became prominent and this year

Check out the slideshow and read the full story on the trends HERE

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Date night Italian cooking class

Chef Simone Martini is cooking up the perfect date night cooking class for Italian food lovers.  Martini, a personal chef, cooking instructor is inviting you to enjoy a demonstration cooking class focusing on summer entertaining, Saturday, August 3rd at 6 p.m. but cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. 

The Penthouse Condominium at 28 Allegheny Avenue – 7th floor in Towson will be the place to be to not only watch the preparation but enjoy the food itself along with paired wines.  

Check out the menu for the evening and contact information HERE

Staycation pick of the week: Ryleigh’s summer oyster voyage

With this week predicted to be the hottest of the summer so far doesn’t a sunset sail on the Chesapeake sound too good to miss? On Thursday, July 18th, enjoy your two hour sail on the historic 1901 Skipjack Sigsbee, which for 88 years was part of the oystering fleet.  Sigsbee is one of the 35 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States.

Ryleigh’s Oyster kicks off the sail with a cocktail reception at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park dock at 6 p.m. and the sail begins at 6:30 p.m.  Along with taking in the beauty of the harbor and the bay, enjoy unlimited oysters, fresh fruit crushes, beer, and wine. 

Watch a video on oyster farming and get more details HERE.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dining 1988 Italian style

In 1988 it was Hustler versus Falwell, the Iran-Contra affair conviction of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, The Last Emperor won 9 Oscars, Microsoft released Windows 2.1, Haley Joe Osmond of “I see dead people” fame was born and Liberatore’s Ristorante opened its first Italian eatery in Eldersburg, Maryland. That was the start of this five location restaurant family. The second Liberatore’s opened in Timonium in 1993, and then in 2002 in Westminster, 2005 Liberatore’s opened in Perry Hall and their fifth location for their Italian-American cuisine opened in Bel Air in 2007.

Check out the cooking video and the 1988 menu HERE.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dry scallops on sale at Whole Foods Markets - Lobster at ShopRite Markets

Friday, July 12 only, 10 to 20 count dry scallops are on sale as supplies last.  Normally $20.99 a pound the sale price is $14.99 saving you $6 a pound. The sale is valid in the Whole Foods Markets in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Ohio stores.

Get all the details HERE and watch the video on how to sear scallops. 

Howard County's Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks

“Savor It” is what Howard County Restaurant Week’s website states and that is what you can do for twenty days of culinary savings from Wednesday, July 17th to Monday, August 5th. Your farm fresh menus offer up lunch and dinner options from $10.13 to $40.13.

There are 19 participating restaurants from A (Aida Bistro) to V (Victoria’s Gastropub). One of my favorites, Baldwin Station’s, located in an 1883 historic landmark building on Sykesville’s Main Street. Recently their Executive Chef Darrack Granai left to help run his family’s business. He passed the top toque hat off to one of his protégés, Dustin Heflin. Heflin, who has been working at Baldwin’s Station since high school and has garnered an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts for Professional Cooking from Anne Arundel Community College, an Associate in Arts Degree in Professional Cooking and Baking as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management from Baltimore International College. I love a man who can bake!

Watch the video, get the full list of participating restaurants HERE.

Monday, July 08, 2013

2013 Summer Fancy Food Show - Caramel

After two years of renovations at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York the Summer International Fancy Food Show returned to the Big Apple, filling every nook and cranny of this mammoth facility even the additional new hall with candies, sauces, jams, cheeses, chips, ice cream, salts, spices etc. It is virtually impossible to see everything and make it through to all the booths. It took me two days and I couldn't taste and see every food item.

I’ve always loved caramel, whether on popcorn, an apple, a chewy candy or chocolate covered – it is one of my favorite sweet profiles. Maryland’s own Fisher’s Caramel Popcorn exhibited at the Fancy Food Show. A staple at Maryland and Delaware shores, Fisher's have expanded beyond their tubs and tins and now have stand up packaging for retail shelves.

Check out the video, slideshow and complete story HERE

Sunday, July 07, 2013

I scream for Graeter's Black Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Oh my goodness, I’m in ice cream heaven and I’m not a huge ice cream fan but Graeter’s ice cream has won me over.  Graeter’s small batch, French pot Black Cherry Chocolate Chip is ADDICTIVE.

It all started when their public relations person asked if I would be interested in sampling and writing about Graeter’s newest flavor in three years, Black Cherry Chocolate Chip. Being a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia fan I was curious to see how this stacked up.  

Six pints arrive, all Black Cherry Chocolate Chip and immediately go into my freezer. Their label states “irresistible” and like the Borg in Star Trek, my resistance was futile and I grabbed a spoon and dug into a container, just for a taste. The creaminess, rich bold flavors and textures had me hooked. Before I knew it that one spoonful turned into almost half the pint and by the evening’s end, I had finished the whole container.. 

Read my review and check out the snaps HERE.


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