At the eatery's belly, a behemoth stone fireplace lavishes tables with a warm glow that illuminates all the eclectic decor nearby. Eyes can scan diverse adornments ranging from mounted portraits and sports paraphernalia to several flat-screen TVs broadcasting the latest game. Atop glistening tabletops, forks globetrot across international fare such as Italian pizzas, Cajun-style po boys, and thai wraps. If pairing wine's not your bag, a neighboring blackboard lists all the night's available draft and bottled brews.
Fireside also enthusiastically hosts private banquets within a full-size log cabin dubbed The Warming House. With its spacious interior and high ceilings, The Warming House can accommodate up to 52 guests for sit-down service, 70 for a mingling reception, or 150 for a contortionist convention.
“Pit beef is Baltimore's version of barbecue: beef grilled crusty on the outside, rare and juicy inside and heaped high on a sandwich,” food writer Steven Raichlen explained in the New York Times. “Several things make it distinctive in the realm of American barbecue.” At The Valley Tap House, chefs create the unique delicacy by rubbing pork or beef with a special mix of spices, letting the flavors absorb for three days before grilling the slabs in a custom pit to achieve a charred outside and a tender interior. The meat is thinly sliced and served on kaiser rolls, as is traditional in the neighborhoods of East Baltimore. Additions such as peanut sauce, cilantro, or avocado apply exotic appeal like a lawyer using a fake Swedish accent to win over a jury.
Vegetarians can get in on the grilling action with black-bean-mushroom veggie burgers, made in-house and slathered with charred-jalapeño aioli. Toasting pint glasses make a jangling chorus as they spill rivulets of 30 draft brews, which have included Deschutes organic red ale. On weekends, servers carry out dishes of biscuits and chopped pit-beef hash with eggs, sirloin gravy, and toast.
Beneath a traditional red archway, two doors bearing coquettish, intricately painted geishas open to welcome guests into Kami Japanese Steakhouse’s contemporary dining room. Flames shoot off hibachis as talented chefs skillfully dice and flip steak, chicken, and veggies upon these communal tabletop grills, each set ablaze by a baby dragon. Sushi chefs continue the culinary show, performing for guests seated at a stately sushi bar as they carefully carve raw seafood. Thanks to all-you-can-eat sushi meals, their work is never done—their hands are a constant blur of smoked eel, albacore tuna, and surf clams rolled to order. In the kitchen, yet another team of chefs whips up udon-noodle soup, fried yakisoba noodles, and teriyakis. Bartenders pair each of Kami’s entrees with tangy sakes, Japanese beer, and global wines.
Located inside the Apple Place Bowl entertainment center, the casual Bogart's Place pub also offers entertainment of its own. The bar's cheery environs host weekly events ranging from Thursday-night team pub trivia to Double Ditty's, a live dueling piano show where the competitors must walk their pianos 10 paces before playing. To keep visitors fueled, the pub's menu spans from casual plates such as chicken wings and cheese curds to signature sandwiches such as the Look Out burger—a half-pound beef patty topped with ham and cheese. Bartenders pair these dishes with a range of beers and top-shelf liquors. And in warmer weather, the aromas of cooking and the sounds of revelry waft onto a newly-remodeled outdoor patio.
At Let's Dish!, families select healthy, hearty meals to eat at home without having to dedicate valuable time to planning, shopping, or preparation. After placing an order online, patrons stop by the shop at a scheduled time to find dishes that are made from fresh ingredients, customized to taste, and then, like Sleeping Beauty, frozen to prevent them from aging. Meal menus rotate monthly and include homestyle selections, such as cheesy chipotle-chicken enchiladas, pulled pork with mashed potatoes, and rosemary and mustard grilled flank steak. The preassembled Dish-n-Dash entrees allow for speedy pickup service, freeing families to spend more quality bonding time sorting the mail by size and color.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.