Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun
When Naijha Wright talks about what she does, her face lights up with a broad smile and her enthusiasm is palpable. For Wright, the co-owner of the vegan soul food restaurant Land of Kush and organizer of the Vegan Soulfest, food is more than fuel — it's a tool that brings people together and builds community. "The people who come in here — we get all types, all cultures, all backgrounds," she says. "I'm a person who loves diversity and its energy. We love what we do because we're doing something good for the environment overall."
840 N. Eutaw St., Seton Hill, 410-225-5874,
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Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Though Elaine Stevens is no longer owner of The Dizz, she certainly is its heart. For over 25 years, perpetually clad in her unofficial uniform of blue jeans and ponytail, Stevens has served up beer, burgers, homemade soups and hot turkey and fries to a faithful crowd of Remingtonians, Hopkins students and hipsters. No holiday is too minor for her dining room treatment of colored lights and decorations. No child is too cranky to be soothed by a gift of crayons and coloring paper. No regulars are ever forgotten or not made to feel like family. She may not be the restaurant's namesake — Dizzy Issie — but to us, she'll always be The Dizz.
300 W. 30th St., Remington, 443-869-5864,
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A great restaurant experience is as much about the people as it is about the food. Here in Baltimore, we are lucky to have more than our fair share of memorable characters and consummate restaurant professionals.
By Kit Waskom Pollard and Mary Zajac, For The Baltimore Sun