Welcome to my end of the year, favorite things column! For you newbies out there – this is the one column a year that I write about whatever I want. And – it’s all about me. My opinions. What I like. What I think is cool. ME, ME, ME. And yes – I know I’ll leave some things and people out – and y’all will remind me – so – mea culpa in advance.
Lil’ Gifts from Jesus … or Moses … or your personal choice as the case may be:
- Creekstone Farms burgers at Langermann’s in Canton. And scallops. And shrimp and grits. The grits are flown in every month from the mountains of Georgia. And not just ANY ole grits – Hoppin’ John grits –he’s the foremost authority on lowcountry cuisine.
- Crab cakes and pork belly from Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville.
- One Dish Cuisine pizza. Attention gluten free peeps – Run, do not walk … RUN! The idea behind this Ellicott City restaurant is fabulous food for people with food allergies – which are more prevalent than ever and are linked to a host of medical problems including autism, thyroid conditions, gastrointestinal, etc. They should have them across the country. Maureen Burke – are ya listening?
- Seafood cocktail at The c. 1740 Lounge at The Milton Inn in Sparks. SO yum.
- French fries at Iron Bridge Wine Company. Au revoir Thrashers. Oh – yeah – they have an awful lot of really special wine, courtesy of the brothers Wecker.
- Haute Dog Cart’s gourmet hot dogs and tomato/onion jam. Thank you Daniel Raffel.
- Sweet 27 Bakery. (Formerly Sweet Sin)
- Roast chicken at Whole Foods Market.
I’m Thankful for:
- Sydney Norman Rom #puppylove
- Real Housewives and People’s Couch. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m not ashamed.
- Mom Rom, Ricky, Robin, Ryan, Regan. Jeff, Thrish, Lindsey, Ally, Pedro and Caspy
- How do people walk dogs WITHOUT them?
- Amazing clients – I work with some of THE best people. Shout outs: Neal, David, Mark & Jini, Stewart, Chris, Dustin and Jaymes, Brian and Kim (my new BFF) and Denisa
- Continued good health for my editor and friend, Michael Birchenall
- The CBC Club
- Neal Langermann and Dustin Heflin
- Jackson Browne #groupie
- How ‘bout dem O’s Hon?
My new happy place:
My Go-To happy place:
The Patio at Baldwin’s Station – overlooking the Patapsco. Sigh …
- A flaky, sugary slice of heaven. My father used to take me to Eastern Avenue as a kid and always bought me one. I found them AGAIN! At Goldman’s Kosher Bakery in The Fallstaff Shopping Center.
- Oxtail soup – Chameleon Café
- Buddles and Sammie Jo
- Carvel’s Ice Cream
- Mick Kipp. Oogy Wawa pirate boy
- Sheelers Restaurant. Fried chicken and mashed potato sandwiches
- Marconi’s cheese bread
- I have my grandmother’s recipe but I gotta figure out how to make decent gluten free dough
- Pazza Luna. Crab ravioli and risotto
Best Restaurant Promotion:
Langermann’s in Canton joined forces with The Red Devils Breast Cancer charity, creating a special Red Devils menu, with a significant percentage going to the charity. People were talkin’ ‘bout the Ta-ta-tini’s and Mammo-Grahams. Shout out to Sloop Betty vodka for sponsoring this amazing fundraiser.
Marketing Pats on the Back:
- Farm to Chef Culinary Competition for … well … it just gets better every year!
- The Boathouse in Canton for introducing a cold weather Yappy Hour on Thursday nights from 5 – 7 in their enclosed and heated waterfront patio! LOVE this!
Best Media/Restaurant Promo:
The Baltimore Sun’s – Sun Insider program.
Once again, the world’s best loyalty program offers an opportunity to showcase restaurants with a full-page ad in their special magazine in The Baltimore Sun. Biggest bang for your buck. Massive kudos to Sun Insider manager Denisa. No need for a last name. There’s only one Denisa. Kinda like Cher. Need to boost your bottom line? Shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up. Shout out to Katlyn Wolinski – graphic designer/photographer extraordinaire.
Shelly, Nate, Tom and Garth at The Milton Inn. Personable, professional … just outstanding!
Feeling Generous? Here are some of my fave charities:
- The Red Devils (TRD) – This is a Baltimore-based breast cancer support charity. TRD helps with medical costs, food and transportation and even house cleaning. Big round of applause for Executive Director Jan Wilson – creative, dedicated –you do a great job and it’s a pleasure to work with you. The-Red-Devils.org
- For 25 years, Moveable Feast has been providing healthy food for people in Maryland with AIDS, cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Kudos to Tom Bonderenko and Ted Blankenship. Feed people. Fight disease. Foster hope. Nuff said. org
- In today’s tough economy, families often find that they’re unable to provide life-saving medical care for their dogs because they just don’t have the money–and they are faced with the heart wrenching decision to put down their 4-legged family member. The Buddy Foundation can help. I’ve seen first hand the joy that their work brings to families. High paws to The Buddy Team – Jay Dackman, Virginia Mathias, Sam Segal and my very good friend – Buddy Dackman. com
- And a big, fat WOO HOO to all the restaurateurs that continuously donate food, gift certs and more to SO many charities. Hospitality industry people are THE most generous group of all.
Happy and safe holidays. Wishing you all good health and happiness …