For last year's 20th anniversary season at Camden Yards, the Orioles and its concessionaire, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, brought in local favorites Gino's Burgers and Chicken and Stuggy's to the yard along with Dempsey's Brew Pub and Restaurant, a year-round restaurant located in the stadium's warehouse, and the Roof Top Deck in centerfield, an instant fan favorite.
And then the Orioles did what they did.
This year is more about tweaking, upgrading and responding to requests from fans — including, the Orioles acknowledge, vegetarians who were still making do with french fries and pizza.
Still, a few new additions have potential to generate the kind of excitement Oriole fans got used to last season, on and off the field.
One big addition is Tako, which will sell Korean-style beef and chicken tacos dressed to order with Asian slaw or kimchi. There are steamed buns here, too, one filled with barbecue pork, the other with edamame.
The stand will also sell a pad Thai noodle salad with Napa cabbage, carrots and cashews, which is both vegetarian and gluten-free. You'll find Tako on the lower concourse, near section 34.
Look for new crab waffle fries at two locations, on the lower concourse at the french fry kiosk across from Section 110 and on the upper level behind home plate. The Triple Crown, a piled-up Esskay hot dog, pulled pork and the stadium's signature bacon-on-a-stick, will be sold at the Jack Daniel's stand on the Eutaw Street concourse (the bacon will be taken off the stick before it's put on the sandwich).
Dempsey's is introducing a new menu, with entrees like maple-glazed cedar-plank salmon, cheddar ale soup and the Walkoff, a braided pretzel topped with Roma sausage and crab dip.
But this year's best acquisition is on the dessert menu: Dempsey's will serve an exclusive Orioles Smith Island Cake.
The orange-flavored 10-layer cake is being supplied by Smith Island Baking Co., the only maker of Maryland's official dessert that is located on Smith Island itself.
A closing in Glyndon Mia Carolina has closed.
"We couldn't sell it, and we couldn't sustain it," owner Jay Cohen told The Baltimore Sun. "I'm grateful to everyone who was involved — from the landlord to the last busboy. The customers made the restaurant what it was, and I thank every one of them."
The last day of service was March 24.
Cohen opened Mia Carolina in 2005, taking over the old Mezzanotte Bistro space on Butler Road. He thoroughly renovated the space in 2007, changing the atmosphere from trattoria to semiformal dining. "It's a likable restaurant with good food," Sun restaurant critic Elizabeth Large wrote in her 2007 post-renovation review.
The restaurant had its following, but it struggled. "The economy did its damage over the years," Cohen said. "We attempted to recover and we couldn't."
Johnny's loves whiskey On Wednesday night, Johnny's is starting a biweekly series of whiskey tastings. Whiskey Wednesday will feature a flight of four, half-ounce pours along with a few snacks.
The first tasting will explore the major "mashbills" used to make American whiskey — corn, rye, wheat and barley. The tasting includes two snacks as an accompaniment, and a percentage of the proceeds from the whiskey events will go to Helping Up Mission.
The first Whiskey Wednesday is on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Johnny's, 4800 Roland Ave. The cost is $25. For information call 410-773-0777 or go to johnnysdownstairs.com.