FlowerMart — a time-honored rite of spring — takes place on May 5 and 6 from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm at Mount Vernon Square in downtown B’more. This year’s event is “not your mother’s FlowerMart,” b’cuz it combines old traditions with a new twist. Enjoy grand hats, original arts and crafts, a kid’s camp, and flowers, flowers, and more beautiful flowers. FlowerMart 2017 will feature live entertainment from local, regional, and national recording artists. New this year is a craft beer garden, a wine bar, and Blossoms Food Hall — an open-air restaurant and outdoor café — that offers traditional Baltimore festival fare as well as options for the more discerning palate. Among the options: a raw bar with oysters, clams, and mussels, crab cakes, soft shell crabs, fruit smoothies, root beer floats, gourmet chocolates, and FlowerMart’s signature lemon peppermint sticks. And for four-legged festival guests, The Dog Chef will offer delicious/nutritious treats for your fur babies.

Don’t Forget …
… to mark your calendars for ALS BITES! As part of ALS awareness month, The Brigance Brigade Foundation will team up with participating restaurants that will feature specific menu items throughout May — with proceeds going to the foundation. Great idea alert! The Milton Inn’s exec chef/owner, Brian Boston, has joined forces with Spaulding Goetze from Goetze’s candy, to create a special drink — the Goetze’s Caramel Apple Martini. So yum! #ALSBites.
Goetze’s Caramel Apple Martini
Ice 2 oz
vodka 1½ oz
sour apple liqueur 1½ teaspoon
sour mix
Fill shaker ¾ with ice, add vodka, apple liqueur, and sour mix. Cover and shake for 15 seconds and strain into chilled glass. Garnish with apple slice bruleed with sugar and Goetze’s caramel candy. If desired, garnish the inside of the glass with caramel sauce before pouring the drink.

Name Change
One of my all-time fave restaurants, Crepe du Jour, has changed its name. The restaurant offers so much more than crepes, and owner (I love me some) Mustapha Snoussi, felt that the name should be changed to better reflect the menu options. The “new” Le Bistro Du Village offers authentic French cuisine in a charming, casual atmosphere in the heart of Mt. Washington Village. BTW, they also have gluten-free crepes.

New Look
One of Baltimore’s most iconic seafood restaurants got a $400,000 facelift. Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar in Cockeysville added a fireplace lounge with seating for 20, a new carryout entrance, and an upgraded sports bar. But the biggest change is the addition of a wine tasting room, with 7,500 bottles, that features white oak tables and floor-to-ceiling cabinets. It was designed by Hough Woodworks to look like a big wine cellar. The Cockeysville restaurant opened in September 2014, while the legendary original spot in Parkville debuted in 1972. There’s also a location in Glen Burnie. The restaurant’s most famous product is its crab cake, which has the Oprah Winfrey seal of approval.

Open for Biz
Bon Fresco, a locally owned sandwich shop and bakery, opened its first location in Baltimore County at Boulevard College Center in Owings Mills. This is its fifth. The fast-casual restaurant is looking for expansion sites in Fells Point, Montgomery County, and near BWI. Sandwiches include London broil, grilled chicken breast, and corned beef on breads that are made from scratch.
Brian Bogard is a former officer in the United States Army who commanded a foodservice unit at Ft. Jackson, SC. He and his wife Beth, the past owner of a local catering company, have opened Marco’s Pizza — a fast-casual and delivery concept at Lakeshore Plaza in Pasadena. The couple has franchise rights to Central Maryland and plans to open six locations throughout Anne Arundel County and Howard County within the next several years.

Coming Soon
Iron Rooster, the popular restaurant that focuses on serving “breakfast all day,” lunch, supper, and drinks will open a fourth location this summer at McHenry Row, a mixed-use project located off Key Highway in Baltimore City.

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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