Gathered around Shaquille O’Neal in front of the chalkboard scribbled with the day’s ice cream flavors, the staff of Taharka Bros. is positively beaming. While the visit from a basketball legend brings a crowd of admirers into their shop, Taharka’s ice cream wizards have no problem attracting throngs of fans sans the help of Shaq’s presence. Voted one of Baltimore's "Great Milkshakes" by The Baltimore Sun in 2011, and crowned "Best Ice Cream" by Baltimore Magazine in its Best of Baltimore 2010 edition, devotees are drawn in by the eatery's "irresistible ice-cream menu," which includes decadent flavors such as honey graham and salty caramel. Adding to the draw is its ability to "satisfy [your] ravenous social conscience" with its management training program that "offers the chance for urban youth to get a foothold in the workplace." Throughout the day, the entrepreneurial young staffers hone business skills as they hand-make batches of frozen confections using fresh ingredients such as fruits and magic beanstalk beans plucked from local farms. The sense of community and teamwork that goes into the creation of every scoop reflects Taharka Bros.' support of initiatives that uphold civic involvement, social justice, and cultural exchange through the arts.
The Thai cuisine at Cha Ya Asian Bistro is accented by creative sushi rolls. Playful flourishes characterize the bistro’s dining room, from retro sci-fi hanging lamps to mod chairs that encircle the bar and tables along the curved wall of windows. The colors, both in the décor and sushi, compliment the culinary traditions of Thailand, which emphasizes spices in a range of brilliant reds, greens, and yellows. Patrons settle down near a sun-drenched yellow wall, sampling those flavors in curries, bowls of lemongrass seafood or chicken, and crispy duck. The sushi chefs show off their artistic inclinations in rolls packed with or broiled salmon or other maki folded into the shape of a heart like a poet’s tax returns.
On Wednesday, April 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the luxurious St. Regis Hotel's ballroom will provide an elegant backdrop to taste more than 100 different Scotches. These malted marvels include venerable kings of the whisky world, such as Glenlivet, Macallan, and Glenfiddich, as well as rare liquid jewels forged in peat-smoky fires. Distillers such as Compass Box, Balevine, and Balcones round out the warm, taste-bud-tantalizing procession before gullets get carried to digestive safety by an arc of hearty appetizers. Cigars will also be available for purchase and can be puffed on the St. Regis terrace. The hotel offers valet parking and is an easy walk or difficult bear crawl from the McPherson Square Metro.
Since opening their first location in 1996, Robeks' associates and franchise owners across the country have been passionate about the benefits of healthier eating, and what they can do to help guests maintain active and healthy lifestyles, all through portable smoothies. Customers can step up to the counter and order from a menu of fresh, premium ingredients in unique, made-to-order combinations. Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies aims to create innovative ways to reach the daily recommended 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables without compromising on flavor. Each Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies location makes a concerted effort to support the neighborhood it resides in, through local organizations, such as Save the Children.
Having earned Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge the headline of Best New Restaurant in Annapolis in The Travel Bite in 2011, chef David Thomas beckons diners to taste his blend of American fusion fare steeped in a farm-to-table philosophy. Sidestepping culinary school, Thomas honed his craft in kitchens throughout New York City and the mid-Atlantic, developing his passion for French cooking techniques and fresh, organic ingredients. Gourmands feast upon Thomas' creations—made with mostly local products including grass-fed beef and marine-certified seafood—within a three-level dining space that opens to a sidewalk patio refreshingly free of dive-bombing parakeets. Barkeeps pour a selection of craft beers and wines, mix specialty cocktails, and serve a selection of liquors, including short-run spirits. On select dates, live entertainment ranging from local musicians to sock-puppet renditions of Shakespeare regales diners.
At Fresh Bakery, it's hip to be square: the trendsetting confectionists eschew antiquated circles for quadrilateral cakes and cupcakes abounding in all-natural ingredients. Nine types of large cakes, including amaretto raspberry and coconut variations, preside over their pintsized brethren, who, beneath carefully arranged decorations, bear creative flavors such as bubblegum and chocolate mocha.:m]]