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.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A fictitious restaurant reaches number one status in London

Did you know you can buy fake reviews for TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc; you can buy followers/comments/shares for your social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  In fact, one fellow who wrote fake reviews decided to create a fake restaurant in London, The Shed at Dulwich.  You know what; it became London’s number one restaurant on TripAdvisor.  How could that be? Curiously, this scam was well documented and you can watch the video.

It makes you think twice about what you are reading  and those “influencers” who have created a persona online that has grown overnight by the thousands.  Being a senior influencer whose followers are all organic, it is interesting to watch this phenomenon as it grows.  Every day there are more food influencers turning up, asking for free meals --- they are like the Tribbles from the original Star Trek series multiplying exponentially. Many with large numbers are truly organic, but how do you tell what’s real and what’s fake?

Take this as a reminder that not everything is as it seems.      


Monday, January 22, 2018

Natural Sins - all natural crispy snack food

Yearning for a healthy, tasty and flavorful snack, healthier than that potato chip, consider Natural Sins ( Just two ingredients the fruit/vegetable and raw cane sugar: all products from Costa Rica.  Natural Sins tagged the product the Un Potato Chip because they are extremely crispy.  The packaging leaves no doubt what is inside the re-sealable bag, though more than likely you will eat all of the fruit or vegetable chips all at once. 

Fruits and vegetable sliced paper thin, so thin you can almost see through it, blended with raw cane sugar baked low and slow for an all natural crispy snack that is Natural Sins. This Non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, vegan treat won me over after attaining samples at the Fancy Food Show.  Four selections are available:  Beet, Coconut, Mango and Pineapple, each 100 calories (with the exception of the coconut – 168).  The one ounce bag is addictive as all get out.  I practically inhaled the pineapple, leaving a little for the snapshots for this story. There are other dried fruits on the market, but nothing like this.  

Natural Sins are “a full-sensory snacking sensation that crunches like a chip without a crumb of regret.” Find a store near you

Friday, January 12, 2018

Baltimore Restaurant Week choice for beer lovers

Baltimore City Restaurant Week starts today, Friday, January 12rh and runs through Sunday, January 21st – great dining deals abound.  If you are a beer lover, then the choice must be Heavy Seas Ale House’s three course dinner for $35 which includes their brand new release,  AmeriCannon. 

Not only are the desserts accompanied by Heavy Seas Peg Leg, each dessert in some way is infused with one of their liquid libations.

First Course / Choice of:
Beer Pairing: Accompanied by 10oz Cutlass
*Cup of Crab Soup- Traditional Maryland Crab Soup
*Cilantro Lime Salad - Mixed greens, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, black beans, corn, cilantro, cilantro lime vinaigrette, with cheddar cheese, avocado, crispy tortilla strips
*Beer Battered Crab Dip - House crab dip beer battered and deep fried served with tortilla chips
*Loaded Tots - Choice of: Bacon & Cheddar, BBQ “Tot-Chos”, Old Bay Crab Dip

Second Course / Choice of:
Beer Pairing: Accompanied by 10oz AmeriCannon
Served with your choice of house made chips, fries, or field greens
*Alehouse Burger - Marinated in Powder Monkey and topped with house smoked cheddar, crumbled bacon, house made pickle, lettuce and tomato
*The Portobello Burger -Grilled Portobello mushroom cap topped with roasted red pepper, honey grilled onion, avocado, Swiss cheese, arugula, and red pepper aioli on brioche roll
*Crab Cake - Traditional jumbo lump crab cake
*Blackened Salmon -Wild caught Atlantic salmon, blackened and wood grilled

Third Course / Choice of:
Beer Pairing: Accompanied by 10oz Peg Leg
*Tropicannon Bread Pudding - Peg Leg and Tropicannon infused bread pudding with a Tropicannon infused vanilla cream sauce
*Golden Ale Mouse - An airy chocolate and Gold Ale Mousse
*Peg Leg Chocolate Lave Cake -with Peg Leg whipped cream and Peg Leg ice cream

Heavy Seas Ale House – 1300 Bank Street on the corner of Central Avenue – Baltimore
410-522-0850 Reservations

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Baltmore chef takes on celebrity chef Bobby Flay

I don’t have an answer to the question if Baltimore Marriot Waterfront’s Executive Sous Chef Kiran Patnam beat Chef Bobby Flay, but we all can watch Thursday, January 11 at 10 pm ET/PT on the Food Network. Flay, who flourishes in competitions, so much so, they created a television show just on that, Beat Bobby Flay. Known as one of the original Iron Chefs in America, there are few who have gotten the best of the chef during a culinary competition.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Stratford University's culinary department opens restaurant

Yes, Baltimore, you can indulge in either a three course lunch or dinner for $12 per person.  The culinary students at Stratford University – Baltimore Campus prepare these lunches and dinners. The dining options are cycled with the daytime students’ curriculum for lunches for five weeks and then rotating to the evening students preparing dinner for five weeks.

Lunches are at noon, Tuesday and Wednesdays and the new five week cycle starts Tuesday, January 9th and Wednesday, January 10th. Email reservations required

Friday, January 05, 2018

Links to Winter Restaurant Weeks in the mid-Atlantic: New York, Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia

Restaurant Weeks have taken on their own life with so many variations on the initial theme of the three course dinner, prix fixe menu, reflective of the year. Prices and offerings vary in each municipality – breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, all dining deals along with optional specialty alcohol pairings of beer and wine.

Links to Winter Restaurant Weeks in the mid-Atlantic region from Alexandria, Virginia to the Big Apple - read more at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner. 


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