Sunday, October 26, 2014

Joe Squared ranks among America's fastest growing urban businesses

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that Joe Squared has been selected for the 2014 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America. 

Joe Squared is an award-winning, family-owned, Baltimore-grown restaurant and bar that offers community-oriented live music and art shows. It ranked third in the Entertainment and Recreation category and 52nd overall on the list of 100.    

The restaurants, with locations in Station North Arts and Entertainment District and Power Plant Live! in the Inner Harbor, are owned by the mother and son team of Joe Edwardsen, chef and founder, and Kathy Palokoff, an entrepreneur and business consultant.

“This is a tremendous honor for us,” said Edwardsen.  “It validates our community-centric business model.  We strongly believe that welcoming venues that give back to the community and celebrate diversity foster neighborhood pride and transform urban landscapes.”

The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities.  For the 2014 list, ICIC looked at total revenue growth from 2009 to 2013 and the specific rankings were based on these growth rates.  The full list of winners can be viewed at

The rankings were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The 2014 Inner City 100 winners represent a wide span of geography, hailing from 53 cities and 23 states.  The winners grew at an average compound annual growth rate of 39 percent and an average gross growth rate of 336 percent between 2009 and 2013.  Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 8,276 people and have created 5,119 new jobs between 2009 and 2013.

“It’s important to recognize businesses like Joe Squared that are truly driving economic growth and job creation and America’s urban cores,” said Matt Camp, President, ICIC. “We believe that inner cities hold unique competitive advantages for business and the success of these firms underscores that market opportunity.”


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore to Host PINKTOBER events to benefit The Tyanna Foundation

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore is uniting fans, musicians and survivors in honor of the brand’s 15th annual PINKTOBER® campaign! Throughout the month of October, Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore will host several events benefiting The Tyanna Foundation, a volunteer organization that has raised more than $1.2 million for the Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy Medical Center and other worthy organizations.

Hard Rock’s 15th Annual PINKTOBER program continues throughout September and October with breast cancer awareness walks, pink fashion shows, high-energy concerts, PINK menu offerings, “PINK Sheets Rooms” and more. Guests are invited to join the fight against breast cancer at Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos worldwide by raising awareness and funds for a cause that affects millions. Proceeds from the campaign will support research and awareness-driving efforts for various breast cancer charities around the world.

Shop to Show Your Support
Hard Rock’s PINKTOBER campaign allows fans to dress up and give back to the cause with the 2014 PINKTOBER merchandise line, including a women’s and men’s T-shirt ($26 each) and a collector’s edition PINKTOBER pin ($12). The women’s PINKTOBER V-neck T-shirt is blue to symbolize strength in mind and body and features a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon embellished with roses. The men’s PINKTOBER T-shirt is navy blue and features a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon wrapped around two guitars to symbolize support and strength. Hard Rock’s collectable PINKTOBER pin features a pink butterfly shaped guitar, which symbolizes rebirth, evolution and beauty.

Hard Rock’s PINKTOBER women’s T-shirt is available at Hard Rock properties worldwide, including Cafes, Hotels and Casinos and the men’s T-shirt is available at Hard Rock Hotels. All PINKTOBER products, including the women’s and men’s T-shirt, are sold exclusively online at Proceeds from the sale of PINKTOBER merchandise benefits various breast cancer charities with 15 percent of the retail price going directly to research and awareness-driving efforts around the world.

Flight for the Cure
Hard Rock is also “raising the bar” for the cause with special limited-time beverage offerings, including “Flight for the Cure,” a flight of Hard Rock’s pink margaritas – Watermelon, Pomegranate and Wildberry – served with pink tortilla chips and house-made salsa. Other featured PINKTOBER drinks include Hard Rock’s new Red Berry Press, a sweet fruit cocktail served in a coffee-press style vessel that infuses fruit into the cocktail throughout the drinking process and a fresh, non-alcoholic Wildberry Smoothie.

Get Into Bed for the Cause
Hard Rock Hotel locations are inviting guests to “get into bed for the cause” as part of Hard Rock Hotel’s Pink Sheets Rooms. Hard Rock Hotels in the United States and Latin America are supporting this year’s PINKTOBER campaign by offering special rooms dressed with Hard Rock’s pink sheets. Guests can support breast cancer awareness and enjoy pink sheets, pink robes, commemorative pins and more with a portion of the room rate benefitting various breast cancer charities.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore Fights Breast Cancer Through PINKTOBER®

Shake It Up – Cocktails For The Cause 10/28 at 6 pm
Learn how to make some of our signature pink cocktails directly from Hard Rock Cafe mixologists
Admission: $25 – Includes light appetizers and three beverages that you create yourself! Email to register.

Sweating for the Sisters: Bokwa on the Pier
Three Saturdays in October (Oct. 4, 11, 25) at 9:30 am
Join Eddie from the MAC on the outdoor pier to sweat for a cause rocking the latest workout craze – BOKWA! Bokwa® participants draw letters and numbers with their feet while performing an energizing and addictive cardio workout routine to today’s most popular music.
Admission: FREE; a donation to the Tyanna Foundation is encouraged

PINK-O-WEEN  10/31 at 8 pm
Get spooky with us at the Hard Rock Cafe on Halloween – All for the cause! Join us for a live performance from Leather & Lace, a Stevie Nicks Tribute Band, a costume contest with great prizes and an all-around rocking time!
Admission: $5 suggested donation at the door to benefit The Tyanna Foundation

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore
601 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore Hosts Bartending Battle "BARocker"

Hard Rock International is taking the show behind the bar in honor of the 2014 global BARocker competition, the brand’s second annual bartending battle which calls on Hard Rock’s top bartenders to showcase their unparalleled bartending skills for the chance to be crowned as Hard Rock’s best BARocker of 2014. On Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore will host its local round of this rock-star bar battle, featuring the cafe’s talented bartenders who will be judged by a panel of industry experts including, Diane Macklin i.e. “Downtown Diane,” a local entertainment, food, and travel writer; Sarah Conlin, General Manager of Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore; and “Dollar Bill,” a former Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore bartender. Competitors will be evaluated on several key components, including recipe knowledge, pour testing, accuracy, speed, flair and showmanship. Guests will also enjoy Hard Rock Cafe’s extended happy hour specials, which will be available during the event until 8:00 pm.

The first place winner of Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore’s BARocker competition will move onto the next round for a chance to win the ultimate rock star getaway to one of Hard Rock’s resort locations. Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore’s first place winner will also receive a copper 2014 BARocker pin with red stones along with a special prize package.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore’s BARocker winner will move on to represent Baltimore in a regional BARocker competition with other Hard Rock Cafe bartenders in their area, where a regional champion will be chosen. Regional champions from around the world will then be flown to Riviera Maya, Mexico for Hard Rock’s annual Global Conference in January 2015 for the worldwide finals. The grand prize winner will receive a Global BARocker pin, trophy, apparel and an all-expenses-paid trip for two to their choice of one of Hard Rock’s beautiful all-inclusive resort properties! The Global BARocker champion will also have their winning drink featured on Hard Rock’s beverage menu for a limited time.

Guests are encouraged to attend and cheer on their favorite Hard Rock bartenders as they flip, twirl, pour and spin their way to the global finals in Riviera Maya, Mexico where they’ll compete for the title of best bartender!
For more information, visit

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore Hosts BARocker Competition

Wednesday, October 22
6 p.m. – Event begins

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore
601 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Free, All ages welcome!


Seasonal Menu Items & Fall-Inspired Cocktails Available at RA Sushi for a Limited Time

Trendy sushi bar and Japanese-fusion restaurant, RA Sushi, embraces the flavors of fall with a seasonal menu offered for a limited time. Four brand new menu options and three unique drink offerings are available during the fall and winter months from October 6 – January 31.

“We wanted to really spice things up with our new fall menu,” said Tai Obata, head chef of RA Sushi. “Between the delicious menu items and inventive new drinks, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy.”

To capture the spice of the season, RA Sushi has made available a Lobster Ceviche ($12.75), served on a bed of guacamole and fresh sliced avocado, and topped with chili garlic salt. The Spicy Asian Chicken Wings ($9.50) are tossed in a spicy Asian sauce and are the perfect menu item for kicking things up a notch as the weather cools down.

RA Sushi is also offering unique takes on the flavorful meals often enjoyed throughout the fall and winter. Guests can indulge in Lobster Nigiri ($9.25) topped with a dill and lobster cream sauce, or the Salmon Kinoko ($13.25), which includes grilled salmon and asparagus both finished off with a mushroom cream sauce.

Also available as part of the limited time offering are three flavorful cocktails that utilize seasonal ingredients to provide guests with unique tastes. The Blackberry Crush ($8), a sweet and sour combination, carefully mixes Hendrick’s gin with blackberries and fresh sours, while the Red Bellini ($8), made complete with Fizz 56 Sparkling Red, is shaken with strawberry puree and orange juice. The third addition to the menu is a seasonal favorite with a twist – the Spiced Mule ($8), made with Russian Standard Vodka, Gosling’s Ginger Beer and apple cider. Guests also have the opportunity to purchase the signature copper mug the Spiced Mule is served in ($15).

RA Sushi Baltimore is located at 1390 Lancaster Street in Harbor East’s The Eden. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner is served until 11 p.m. daily. The bar is open until 1 a.m. or later. Happy Hour food and beverage specials are offered Monday through Saturday, 3 to 7 p.m. Reservations are available through OpenTable

Blackberry Crush

Lobster Ceviche

Lobster Nigiri

Red Bellini

Salmon Kinoko

Spiced Mule
Photo Credit:  RA Sushi


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview with Roy's bartender Bobby Kerfoot plus cocktail recipe

Bobby Kerfoot
Roy's Baltimore always has some great libations and some great specials to go along with them.  For instance, every Monday, Roy’s guests can enjoy a specialty cocktail and appetizer for $6 each all night long.   You can also stop by the bar for Alhoa Hour until 7 pm and enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, wines, beers and our Bar Bites specially priced.  

While your there be sure to say hello to my featured Bartender, Bobby Kerfoot.  Check out an interview with Bobby about some of his favorite things and behind the bar secrets.

JL:  What made you decide you would become a bartender?

Bobby Kerfoot:  "I knew bartending would be a challenge, but I was up for it! I love meeting new people and this seemed like the perfect job to meet lots of interesting people with stories and backgrounds I wouldn’t have learned about otherwise."

JL:  What is the best part about the job?

BK:  "I meet fascinating people every day, so that’s something I’ve always loved about bartending. Besides that, learning the art of craft cocktails is really fun and makes my job enjoyable every day."

JL:  Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

BK:  "It’s easy to get swept up in the latest, coolest bartending tricks and drink trends but my best advice for those starting out is to learn the basics first. There’s nothing wrong with mastering the art of the basic, most well-known drinks before moving on to more advanced drinks and styles."

JL:  Best tip for a novice?

BK:  "Make sure to actually drink what you’re making! Would you enjoy the drink if you had ordered it? Also, ask your friends and family to be taste testers to nail down your signature drink and see where you can make improvements."

JL:  Favorite bar gadget?

BK:  "It’s got to be the muddler. A must-have for mojitos, old fashioneds and mint juleps."

JL:  Funniest bar incident?

BK:  "Well, I did have a customer once drink soy sauce on accident thinking it was sake!"

JL:Favorite mixed drink?

BK:  "The margarita!"

JL:  When at home, what do you like to drink?

BK:  "I love to drink wine or I’ll make myself a vodka-based drink."

JL:  In your opinion, what are the most important elements when creating a recipe from scratch?

BK:  "Always keep in mind three things when creating a new drink recipe: smell, taste and texture."

JL:  What’s your favorite music to play when behind the bar?

BK:  "I have to admit, during bar set up and before the rush, I listen to Lady Gaga! During service, we play Top 40 in the bar area, which is fun as well."

Try your hand at one of the featured Monday specialty cocktails that have been featured withe the following recipe.

Credit:  Roy's

720 Aliceanna St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 659-0099

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eddie’s of Roland Park Celebrates 70 Years as Baltimore’s Neighborhood Grocer

Eddie’s of Roland Park, a neighborhood grocer to three generations of Baltimoreans, will celebrate its 70th anniversary October 12 - 18, 2014.  Since 1944, Eddie’s has been Baltimore’s go-to gourmet grocer, delighting taste buds with prepared foods, custom-cut meats, the freshest produce and seafood, everyday staples, special occasion gifts and catering. 

This October, Eddie’s will celebrate its deep-rooted history in Baltimore with a week of special events and in-store promotions.  These include culinary demonstrations, a meet and greet with local vendors, free birthday cake, one-day sales throughout the week, in-store surprises and more.  The 70th anniversary celebration will be capped by an in-store food festival at the Charles Street location on Saturday, October 18.

“Our 70th Anniversary celebrates the Eddie’s family -- our customers, our staff and the greater Baltimore community that we are proud to serve each and every day,” said Nancy Cohen, owner of Eddie’s of Roland Park.  “We are privileged to have made our mark in Baltimore over the past 70 years, and we look forward to continuing to serve generations to come. ”

While celebrating the past, this event will give a nod to the future as Eddie’s will unveil plans for upcoming store renovations.  The renovations are expected to begin in 2015, with the Charles Street location.  

Founded by Victor Cohen in 1944, Eddie’s opened its flagship store at 5113 Roland Avenue in Roland Park, and 48 years later, 6213 North Charles Street was opened to cater to northern Baltimore City and Baltimore County. With a large selection of unique grocery items, meats, delicatessen, gourmet-to-go offerings, catering, baked goods and gift items, Eddie’s is Baltimore’s premier local grocery store. 

Stop by the Charles Street store is offering FREE CAKE today

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


With nine stops over the course of 43 days, the second official Four Seasons Food Truck tour hit the American East Coast beginning on September 15, 2014. The mobile feast will call Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore its home from Monday, October 6 to Saturday, October 11, providing a fun opportunity for the Hotel’s chefs to serve their favourite street-food offerings while connecting with the Baltimore community.
“After a great run down the West Coast last year, we are thrilled to kick off our East Coast tour,” says Guy Rigby,Vice President of Food and Beverage, Americas. “The food truck concept allows us to pair our commitment to innovation and quality with a dynamic setting that provides Four Seasons chefs an opportunity to share their creativity, craft and passion for food with the local community.”
When the Four Seasons Food Truck rolls into Baltimore, locals and Hotel guests will be able to savour street-food menu items created by Executive Chef Oliver Beckert of Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Executive Chef Zack Mills ofWit & Wisdom, and Pastry Chef Dyan Ng. The exciting, mouth-watering events will feature a variety of regional favourites such as a crab burger with fennel slaw and mango mayo; corn and crab hush puppies with Old Bay dip; and pit beef tacos with charred beef, caramelized onions, and horseradish sauce.  Happy Hour and late night revellers at the pop-up parking lot parties will enjoy a selection of “fried stuff” including disco fries with gravy, cheddar and crispy bacon; and crispy mac & cheese with bacon aioli, along with “not fried stuff” such as Wit & Wisdom’s popular meatballs with Sunday gravy and whipped polenta; pig face tacos with braised pork cheeks, crispy pig’s ear, and pickled radish; and a half-smoke with chili and cheese sauce. Healthier street-food options and sweet treats will also be available. All items are priced at USD 10.00 and under.
“We’re excited to be a part of this roving national culinary campaign,” says Beckert. “Food is our passion, and we’re always seeking new and inspiring ways to provide memorable culinary experiences to our valued guests and friends in the community. We’re looking forward to sharing items from our menus that diners may not have tried yet, as well as signature items we’ve created just for the Food Truck.”
Beyond providing a diverse culinary experience, the Food Truck is a charitable endeavour. At the “Think Pink” lunch on Wednesday, October 8, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to benefit the John Hopkins Breast Cancer Center, while children of the SEED School of Maryland will enjoy a complimentary event just for them on Thursday, October 9.
Visit the #FSFoodTruck at the following locations in Baltimore:
  • Tuesday, October 7: Lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm -100 E Pratt Street 2day from 11:30 - 2 
  • Wednesday, October 8: Think Pink Charity Lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm outside of Johns Hopkins Hospital; 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center
  • Thursday, October 9: Private event for students and faculty at the SEED School of Maryland
  • Friday, October 10: Purple Friday Lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm in Harbor East on the front drive of the Hotel at 200 International Drive
  • Friday, October 10: Purple Friday Happy Hour from 5:00 to 7:30 pm in Federal Hill - follow @FSBaltimore and hashtag #FSFoodTruck for more details coming soon
  • Saturday, October 11: Lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm near MOM's Organic Market - 20 Ridgely Road, Lutherville, Maryland
  • Saturday, October 11: Late Night in Fells Point - 1647 Thames Street
Connect with the #FSFoodTruck and Win Prizes with Social Media Contests:
Food Photo Contest
  • Like @FSBaltimore on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook
  • Upload best food shots in front of the Four Seasons Food Truck to one of those channels
  • Tag @FSBaltimore and include hashtag #FSFoodTruck for a chance to win brunch for two, dinner for two and Spa experiences
  • This contest is valid at every event that's open to the public; Four Seasonss will be giving away a few gift certificates at each event
Hometown Team Selfie Photo Contest
  • Like @FSBaltimore on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook
  • Upload a best selfie dressed in purple or orange in front of the Four Seasons Food Truck to Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook
  • Tag @FSBaltimore and include hashtag #FSFoodTruck to receive a sweet treat from the FS Food Truck
  • Valid Friday, October 10 only
The Four Seasons Food Truck will roll on to the following East Coast cities throughout the fall:
  • October 13-18: Washington, DC
  • October 20-25: Atlanta, Georgia
  • October 27-28: Orlando, Florida
  • October 30 – November 4: Palm Beach, Florida
  • November 6-11: Miami, Florida
Follow the Four Seasons Food Truck on Taste by Four Seasons showcasing highlights from the nine featured destinations and street food–inspired recipes from Four Seasons chefs. For an interactive tour map and other delicious details, visit Four Seasons Magazine or follow the hashtag #FSFoodTruck on Twitter and Instagram.

Ananda offers delightful food and atmosphere

Year-round Terrace
The visionaries behind Baltimore’s acclaimed Ambassador Dining Room have opened a new restaurant in Howard County called Ananda Restaurant in Maple Lawn (7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton, Md. 20759).

When you arrive you notice that the outside resembles a medieval castle and inside Ananda portrays a royal Indian and British style.  The atmosphere brings both the feel of a neighborhood restaurant and special occasion destination all rolled up into one.  You will sureley feel the romance being emulated as you take in the eight fireplaces, rich colors, wood paneling, wood moldings, vintage mirrors, and stained glass windows.  The charming year-round terrace with glass garage-style doors, relaxed seating, ceiling fans, lighted garlands and its own fireplaces offers even more to the appealing ambience.  Be sure to take in the view and even watch as a rabbit dines in the grassy knoll next to the tables.

The Polo Bar is a relaxing, lavish lounge where guests can enjoy small plates, wine and signature cocktails during “Bliss Hour” or later in the evening. Bliss Hour takes place Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.  The Bliss Hour menu offers $5 cocktails wines, $4 beers and $4 - $5 small plates.

Brothers, Keir and Binda Singh, grew up tending the crops and livestock on a farm in India’s Punjab region recognize that fresh ingredients are the foundation of incredible flavor. They continue to draw on their farming background when sourcing and preparing dishes.

Using traditional Indian methods of cooking, Ananda features herbs and vegetables grown on its private farm located within walking distance of the restaurant. The brothers also vow to keep the menu as sustainable as possible, with all natural ingredients and no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“Our menu is refreshing and welcoming to anyone who is reluctant to try Indian food for the first time,” Binda said. “We put an emphasis on raw flavor by integrating lighter, healthier cooking techniques.”

From the naans and other breads, to the sauces, to the ice cream and seasonal tartseverything is made in house under the direction of a Punjabi chef with 17 years of restaurant experience.

Seasonal specials offer fresh and comforting dishes like the Hindvana which is locally grown watermelon, organic baby watercress, Breezy Willow’s Farm fresh feta, and sweet onions, adorned with roasted pistachios and Ananda’s lime chili dressing.  This dish is not only appealing to the eye but is fresh and full of seasonal flavors.  Another delightful seasonal special is the Chilled Summer Squash & Carrot Soup with local, farm fresh summer squash with homegrown carrots and Granny Smith apples, and then complemented by a spiced pear chutney.

The dinner menu is sure to please offering the well-known dish Chicken Tikka Masala with boneless medallions of chicken marinated, grilled and sautéed in an aromatic masala sauce.  The meat was tender; the sauce was full of flavor making this one the best Chicken Tikka Masala dishes we have tried.  The robust and flavorful dish Shahi Korma with lamb braised in an exquisite cream sauce with nuts and raisins is not only comforting but also very pleasing on the palate.  Both dishes will have you cleaning the plate with the Garlic Nann bread.

For dessert you finish off you meal with Flourless Chocolate Torte with Cardamom Ice Cream or the  Gulab Jamun which is a dumpling made from thickened milk and then soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup. 

Ananda bay not be in exactly located in Baltimore, but I foresee it becoming a popular dining destination like its sister restaurant the Ambassador Dining Room – its worth the short drive!

Ananda Restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Bliss Hour takes place Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.  Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Sunday Brunch/Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There is ample complimentary on-site parking and take-out service is available. 

Ananda on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Free delivery from Farmstead & Heavy Seas thru 10/5

Here is a quick tid bit for you!

Farmstead Grill and Heavy Seas Alehouse are new additions to OrderUp's list of restaurants that we deliver for, and starting today, we're adding FREE delivery through October 5The delivery area is Canton, Fells Point, Harbor East, and Hopkins Hospital. 

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