Hot Plate: Cherry Blossom pop-up bar, chili at Swallow, Opening Day at Peabody and more
Baltimore Fish Bowl / March 24, 2023
Banditos Tacos & Tequila is opening a new Columbia outpost, just outside Merriweather Post Pavilion. The restaurant, which started with a Federal Hill spot, has expanded quickly over the past several years.
Spring is here and with it, a flurry of fun events celebrating everything from cherry blossoms to the Yellow Brick Road. Here’s a look at what’s coming in Baltimore’s restaurant scene:
Openings and announcements
There’s good news for people living or shopping in The Village at Cross Keys: Easy Like Sunday, a new breakfast, lunch and brunch restaurant, opens on Wednesday.
Banditos Tacos & Tequila is opening a new Columbia outpost, just outside Merriweather Post Pavilion. The restaurant, which started with a Federal Hill spot, has expanded quickly over the past several years. The Columbia location will be its seventh and the owners have plans for their first Bandito’s outside of Maryland – in Sarasota, Florida – to open later this year.
In a reversal of news reported earlier this year, the owner of One-Eyed Mike’s announced this week that the iconic Fells Point bar will not be changing ownership or closing. Instead, the bar will be open Tuesday to Saturday with possible Sunday and Monday hours in the future.
Chili at Swallow
On Saturday, Swallow at the Hollow hosts its 10th Annual Chili Cookoff, in partnership with Monument City Brewing. The crowd has the chance to taste all the chili entries and vote for favorites; there are prizes for the top three chilis – plus yearlong bragging rights for the big winner.
The Wizard of Oz + Pink Floyd + ice creamThis week, The Charmery presents another Full Sensory Movie experience when it screens “The Wizard of Oz” alongside Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Screenings are Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (Saturday night’s adults only screening is sold out) and include a popcorn bar, themed drinks and other treats that go with the film.
Your Trip around the Motherland brunch
On Sunday, head to Posis Kitchen in Mount Vernon for a prix fixe brunch celebrating the cuisine of Nigeria. The brunch includes intriguing dishes like a fried bean cake on challah and waffles served with chicken seasoned with the Africa spice suya.
Final Four at Explorer’s
Explorer’s Gastropub in the Royal Sonesta is getting into the Final Four spirit with a handful of specials in honor of the games, available from now through the end of the month: meal deals including wings, a pizza or sandwich and fries plus a local beer.
Wine at Walker’s
On Tuesday, Walker’s Tap & Table hosts a five course wine dinner with a focus on Cuban dishes. Pairings include marinated shrimp with peppers and mango alongside a Terras Gauda Albarino, and pulled smoked chicken with chorizo paired with Substance Pinot Noir.
Beer, wine & whiskey Thursday
This Thursday is a big one for pairing dinners – no matter what your drink of choice is.
That evening, Silver Queen Café is teaming up with Catoctin Creek Distilling to close out Women’s History Month with a special whiskey dinner. The four-course meal includes dishes like a whiskey-smoked rockfish spread with trout caviar and crostini and a whiskey-brined duck breast with fennel, duck fat confit potatoes and blood orange gastrique.
At The Elkridge Furnace Inn, beer is the focus, as the restaurant hosts a five-course Celebrate Poland Beer dinner with a special menu stacked with Polish treats.
Also on Thursday, The Valley Inn hosts a special dinner featuring wines from Caymus, which are always spectacular.
Opening Day with Peabody
The Oriole’s start their season with an away game this year, playing the Red Sox at 2:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. Peabody Heights Brewery, which is located at the same site as the original O’s stadium, Terrapin Park, is going big for the first game of the season, throwing an Opening Day party starting at 1 p.m. that afternoon.
The party includes a new beer drop, drink specials, a sporsgear and chainstitching vendor, plus burgers and hot dogs from Fuzzies Burgers and ice cream by Taharka Bros.
The cherry blossom trees are at their peak right about now and as every Baltimorean knows, there is no need to travel to D.C. to see the blooms – Charm City has plenty of its own gorgeous trees.
In honor of the season, there’s a fun new downtown pop-up, the Cherry Blossom Bar, which is opening at 1 E. Baltimore St. for three weekends, starting March 31. The bar, which is operated by the owner of the board game bar No Land Beyond, features themed cocktails and local brews and spirits, and is decorated by wood and paper blossoms designed by local artist Anna Platis.
Magdalena is also getting in on the cherry blossom action with a drink inspired by the blooms, the Mizuki, a mix of Japanese whiskeys, yuzu, sake, salted plum, tea and clarified kefir.
Going green in April
In honor of Earth Day, McClintock Distillery is running a monthlong initiative to raise awareness and funds for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Tree-Mendous program, which plants trees on public lands throughout the state.
Through the program, which is called Gimlets for Green Month, McClintock and its distributor Bacchus Importers will donate money to Tree-Mendous for every bottle of their spirits and featured cocktail sold during April.
Tons of restaurants in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. have already signed on to participate, including Gunther & Co., Huck’s American Craft, Walker’s Tap & Table, and Manor Hill Tavern.