Fall is Old Bay caramel season, Aida Bistro to close in January and Maryland Restaurant Week arrives – Baltimore Sun

I’m old enough to remember TV commercials where folks were upset that you got Peanut butter and chocolate togetherPeanut butter and chocolate. This is a wonderful combination! It’s called Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and today, it’s by far one of the most popular candies and absolutely no one is mad at that, especially on Halloween.

But caramel in crab and crab in caramel hits is a little bit different.

The spice girls at McCormick & Co. Want you to take deep breathes now. The company has created a new flavor mix for fall that combines its popular crab seasoning with the sweetness of caramel. It neatly packs it into a jar. Old Bay Caramel Seasoning.

Old Bay can be sprinkled on popcorn and poured into vodka. You can also eat it as a topping in ice cream. There’s chocolate with Old Bay and Goldfish crackers swimming in Old Bay and of course, those “crabby”David Simon, a local filmmaker loves to tweet about potato chips.

McCormick makes it easy to transition from summer and fall while still having all of your favorite foods close at hand. It can be used to flavor caramel apple cider, caramel-blondies, or as a rub for salmon.

The Hunt Valley-based company claims that the spice mix is made in small batches. Exclusively online, available for $5.95

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Aida Bistro & Wine BarColumbia’s favorite perennial,, announced this week it would close its doors after twenty years.

Mary and Joe Barbera, the owners of the Italian restaurant, announced that they will be retiring at the end January.

“We look at it less like closing doors and more like retiring,”Joe Barbera (68), spoke with The Sun in an interview along with Mary Barbera, his wife, and business partner.

The couple said after making it through the pandemic with the business intact and their team strong — the restaurant never closed during the crisis — they figured it was a good time to go out on top, so to speak.

They remained focused on each other, as they have for decades.

“We’ve been very intentional and that’s why we’re giving everyone a five-month notice to take care of our employees and our customers. … To take care of the things we nurtured over 20 years,”Mary Barbera.

However “everything has to do with the pandemic,”Joe noticed that Joe and his wife had been contemplating retirement for a while.

“But during the time of COVID, we really had a good chance to reflect and say what do we want to do,” said Mary, 65, adding that the couple has five children and five grandchildren, including a granddaughter born in 2019 that they haven’t seen as much as they would like.

“We work every weekend except Sunday, which is family day,”She said. “But our kids always have to come to us.”

The restaurant opened in 2002 and is named for Joe Barbera’s mother, 96-year-old Lillian Aida Barbera, who has often greeted the bistro’s guests as if they were family.

It was moved from a strip-center to an expansive 4,500 square foot free-standing building in 2010. The owners were able to add a wine bar area with tables, and a large enough kitchen to feed a lunchtime crowd.

Dish Baltimore

Dish Baltimore


Find out the latest news about a new restaurant, discover chef changes and discover your favorite recipe. All your Baltimore food news can be found here.

Aida was among the top Italian restaurants in Howard Magazine’s 2022 Best Restaurants Contest. Hundreds posted fond memories and congratulations to the couple on the restaurant’s social media post announcing their retirement. Many have already called to book holiday reservations so they don’t miss a last chance to dine there.

Mary Barbera said it’s the customers and staff members the couple has connected with who have grown alongside the business that they will long remember.

“We’ve seen these people grow and now they have their own kids,”She said. “Those will be the things that I will miss.”

The couple plans on celebrating and enjoying the New Year before closing in January. There’s even a chance a buyer might be found to continue their legacy or to start something new in the same space.

“It would be nice if we could find someone who could carry on what we’ve built,” said Joe Barbera. “Anything is possible.”

For its third year, it is back Maryland Restaurant WeekThe event starts on September 19 and continues through September 25. Participants can enjoy diners in all 10 counties of the state during the 10-day event. Discounts, special menus and moreYou can order take-out, curbside, or in-house. “This week is not only an opportunity for the community to try out new spots, but it also allows them to support their local restaurants that are continuing to recover from the pandemic,”Marshall Weston Jr., president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, stated this in a press release. Baltimore City restaurants will join the effort. ForagedA three-course meal is available for $40 at. Miss Shirley’sThe restaurant offers a two-course meal at $22.

Two chefs from Baltimore have been selected to take part in the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. Keyia YalcinThis is Fishnet Tonya ThomasThis is H3 Catering, H3 Products, Nostalgia Baking CompanyParticipation in the educational and networking program is open to all women restaurant owners. The fellows will learn advanced business concepts over a period of 10 weeks that will assist them in expanding their businesses. Fishnet is already making waves with its line of fish-based pet treats. Thomas, along with her husband, opened Ida B’s in downtown Baltimore in 2017. The restaurant was closed last year. Thomas has been busy in the meantime. The H3irloom Food Group, the couple’s new venture where she is a partner and the executive pastry chef.

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