The Floral Studio is a custom floral studio with expertise in weddings and special events. Their blooms are conditioned to last longer and bloom brighter than others. This Groupon is strictly for seasonal bouquets, ensuring you'll always get the freshest flowers, and can be applied to larger arrangements (customers must pay amount over $50 value). Usher in balmier temperatures, Easter bunnies, and puppy love with a springtime cluster of tulips, iris, and daffodils. Come summer, sample arrangements could include groupings of antique hydrangea, dahlia, and sunflower. Although the selection is seasonally changing, currently you can get a simple, classy dozen premium roses in your choice of color ($66). If the fear of fleeting flora leaves you wanting more, invest in life that will stick around a little longer. The blooming topiary lasts up to three weeks (your choice of color, $70), and a double-stem orchid plant for $55 is an exotic way to breathe life into your life.
John Lindner of the The Baltimore Sun left Banksy’s Café raving about one item in particular: the roast-beef sandwich. After eating the sandwich, which he describes as “stacked so high that, with the curved roll, [it’s] nearly round,” Lindear seemed anxious to try more of what the quaint café had to offer, calling the roast beef “a convincing ambassador for Banksy’s.” Brimming with culinary creativity, the menu of gourmet fare lives up to the hype. Chefs Will and Rob dollop chilled beet soup with tangy greek yogurt, and turn up the heat on a classic caesar salad by first grilling the romaine. Heartier appetites tuck into wild-caught-salmon burgers, turkey sandwiches blanketed by melted muenster, and the SuperNova flatbread pizza, piled with red onions, tomatoes, and capers. A full espresso bar energizes meals with organic and fair-trade coffee drinks from Baltimore Coffee & Tea, while glass display cases stage homemade cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream. As the chefs build meals in the kitchen, the restaurant’s diner-style décor invites visitors to relax and wax nostalgic about a bygone era. In addition to hosting framed art prints, the café’s wall showcases eight clocks to remind enraptured diners of the existence of time.
Pastry chef Ruby blends up batches of vegan organic batter and swirls fluffy vegan buttercream frosting to create cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and cakes. Classic flavors enliven a menu of animal-friendly delights including carrot, apple, and chocolate cake paired with buttercream flavors such as cool mint, vanilla, and peanut butter. Ruby's also offers catering for any special occasion, from weddings to baby showers to July-o-ween, brightening up dessert tables with a colorful range of sugary peaks and icing-filled valleys.
The pastry chefs at Gone Cupcaking Across America share a wealth of gourmet cupcake experience with aspiring dessert artisans, in flavors that include whisked buttercream atop classic vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet cake bases, and more exotic choices such as Grand Marnier or peaches 'n' cream. At lessons, students learn piping techniques, how to make frosting, and how to make iced flowers without the hassle of fertilizing regular flowers with milk and butter.
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.
Finger fare dominates the appetizer menu, including meaty chipotle-barbecue shrimp hugged in grilled bacon strips and kissed with cheddar grits ($12), local and New England artisanal cheeses served with fruit and blueberry honey ($14), and southwestern eggrolls ($8.95). Those in search of greener grub will appreciate the fresh nine salad offerings. The farm salad ($11) features chilled hunks of chicken tossed with crumbled goat cheese, sliced green apples, grape tomatoes, and dried cranberries. For lunch, grilled cheese grows up with Tavern's farm-fresh take on the classic ($8.25) in three different styles. Main dinner courses include aged-USDA-beef selections, such as the brandy-flamed New York strip tavern steak ($27), and jumbo day-boat scallops pan seared and coated in decadent lobster butter ($25). Vegetarians can take solace in the vegetarian sauté, a garden blend bedded atop wild-mushroom risotto ($20).