Facial Recognition Software Meets Fast Casual Dining

Open for Biz
UFood Grill, a fast/casual restaurant specializing in healthy food, opened at the Owings Mills Metro Centre. The menu features a nutritious and delicious (that’s the company tagline) menu that includes lots o’ organic ingredients in its breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes as well as vegan and gluten-free options. The restaurant doesn’t serve any fried foods, most dishes are under $10, and none of the menu items exceed 700 calories. Cool Tech Alert: You can order at the counter or through a self-serve kiosk — where you have the option to have your photo taken and stored so that facial recognition software can recognize you — and store your previous orders — so the next time you visit you can get in and out quickly. This is the first UFood in Maryland, and Dr. Stephen Goldberg, a Howard County forensic psychiatrist and food aficionado, owns it. UFood is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
And since sandwiches seem to be “the thang” for 2017, ya might wanna check out Regionale, which opened in Ellicott City. The restaurant highlights regionally famous American sandwiches, craft beers and house made soups and salads. The sandwiches originate from across the country, including faves such as the Maryland crab cake, Philly cheesesteak, Florida Cubano and New York Italian Hero—and vegetarian dishes too.
If you’re a fan of the local farmers’ market slow-cooked, soul food biscuit sandwiches from Blacksauce Kitchen, they now have a brick and mortar shop at 401 West 29th Street.
The Helmand Kabobi — an Afghan restaurant — opened on Wolfe Street near Johns Hopkins Hospital. It’s from the same folks who run The Helmand on Charles Street, B Bistro, Pen & Quill and Tapas Teatro. Check their facebook page for more info: The HelmandKabobi.
The fast-casual noodlebar/restaurant — Mi & Yu Noodle Bar — plans to open a third location in Hampden at the Rotunda shopping center on 40th Street. The first property opened on South Charles Street in Federal Hill. Last May, a second location opened in South B-more at a stall in Mt. Vernon Marketplace. The restaurant features made-to-order ramen bowls such as spiced barbecue pork belly, fried thai curry shrimp and buttermilk fried chicken.
Coming Soon
Attention beer connoisseurs! Modeled after the famous tourist attraction in Ireland — the Open Gate Brewery in Dublin — Guinness is opening a brewery in South Baltimore on Washington Avenue. This is the first Guinness brewery to open in the U.S. in 63 years and will offer new beers, a tasting taproom and tours.
Tagliata (which means ‘to cut or slice’), an Italian chophouse, will open in the spot where Fleet Street Kitchen was in Harbor East. Executive Chef Julian Marucci ‘s (previously a sous chef at Charleston and Executive Chef at Cinghale) menu will offer an extensive list of steaks and chops, house-made pasta and charcuterie and a wine list with over 1,000 different labels. The restaurant will showcase a rustic Italian look, live piano music 7 days a week, a re-designed courtyard and the restaurant windows lining the courtyard will be retractable for an indoor/outdoor feel. Brought to you by the folks who also own Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar, Tagliata will be open 7 days a week and is slated to open in early Summer 2017. Check out their Facebook page at TagliataBaltimore.
Highlandtown’s DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace is opening a waterfront location at the foot-of-the-pier spot where Sorso Café was located in the Harborview community. Scheduled to open in June, look for overstuffed sandwiches, a brick oven pizza and a small grocery section.

About the Author

RANDI ROM is a Baltimore special events planner, marketing and public relations maven, freelance writer and head of R.J. Rom & Associates. Have a hot scoop? Contact Randi via e-mail at or by phone at 443-691-9671.

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