Friday, March 28, 2014

Tastes of Baltimore I

Entrance to
The Brewer's Art

One of my favorite things about living in Baltimore used to be searching out the perfect restaurant for a special event. Of course, you can never go home again. Canton's Pearl (The Pearl in Canton?), where we celebrated my parent's 25th wedding anniversary with a surprise party has closed. El Loco Hombre [sic] is still going strong but goes by the name Alonso's now. Under new ownership, The Chameleon has become Maggi's Farm, the Dragon BBQ place is now Big Bad Wolf BBQ, and the Greek place whose name I can't remember has a new name I can't remember. Nevertheless, over Spring Break I got to enjoy some excellent food in Charm City in one familiar place and three new ones. This is the first installment; the second is here.

Artisanal Beer and Gourmet Food~
One night we went out to celebrate successfully defending my dissertation and my father's raise. We decided on The Brewer's Art, a hopping place just outside downtown. Not only do they brew some of their own Belgian-style beers, but they offer food so fancy that we didn't know what all of the words on the menu meant. My parents each had a micro-brew with their duck "ham," while I tried a South African white wine with a duo of appetizers, the celery soup and the fried oysters. (The wine actually paired better with the oysters than the soup.) As for decor, you can see that the dark-wood paneling imparts a refined ambiance.

Charm City + (Ice) Creamery = The Charmery
The blue plastic spoons turn
purple in the cold ice cream.
The next night--after Thursday night dinner at church--I went out with a friend from high school for ice cream at The Charmery. Opened less than a year ago in the gentrifying neighborhood of Hampden, this little shop makes and sells its own cold treats. Regular flavors like Old Bay Caramel, Berger Cookies & Cream, and Maryland Mud (dark chocolate with Oreos and chocolate chips) are supplemented by short-term flavors like Duckpin Ale Chocolate, Fresh Mint with a Figgy Lime Swirl, and Chinese Food & a Movie (buttered popcorn with chocolate-covered fortune cookies). I was in the mood for chocolate, but the Dark Knight (red velvet with fudge) didn't look fudgy enough for me, so I ordered a scoop of Old Bay Caramel with a baby scoop of MD Mud, while LE chose the Nutty Buddy (with bits of waffle cone) and a baby scoop of Tiramisu (lady's fingers included). The Old Bay got spicy after a while, so I was glad to be able to cut it with the triple chocolate. It was nice to see a locally-owned business doing so well, even on an unseasonably cold night.

There's neat artwork on the walls, including a glass sculpture,
old pharmacy sign, and surrealist paintings by Matt Muirhead.

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