Food & Drink

Small Bites: Farmstead Shack opens, Mekong Delta closes temporarily and more

Small Bites is a round-up of news and tidbits from Baltimore's dining scene:

Farmstead Shack, the "companion kiosk" to the full-service restaurant Farmstead Grill, has opened at The Shops at Canton Crossing. Service at the kiosk started quietly last week. The kiosk has its own menu of breakfast biscuits, gourmet hot dogs, brats and fresh juices, opens daily at 7:30 a.m. and stays open until dusk. 

This is a carry-out only operation, but there is seating for 30 on the patio just outside the kiosk. It's located at the Shops at Canton Crossing, 3721 Boston St. For information call 410-762-2100 or go to


The popular Vietnamese restaurant Mekong Delta is closed until Sept. 3. A sign posted to the restaurant's front door on Saratoga Street says that the closing is "due to unexpected events in our family."

Bistro Rx owner Wayne Mahaffey wrote in to tell us about some changes at his restaurant near Patterson Park. The biggest change, Mahaffey said, is the recent hiring of Darren Maas, formerly of Cafe Troia, as the new executive chef. Mahaffey said that Maas is transforming the kitchen at Bistro Rx into a "scratch" kitchen.
"We are now baking our own bread, curing and aging our charcuterie and using only fresh ingredients," wrote Mahaffey, who also owns the popular Mahaffey's Pub in Canton. Maas' first Bistro Rx menu is rolling out now, he said. 

The Olive Room, the rooftop restaurant at the Inn at the Black Olive, has a new menu, a mostly new staff and a new air-conditioning system, according to Dimitris Spiliadis, whose family operates the eco-friendly Fells Point boutique hotel. The Spiliadis family sold the inn earlier this year to actor Woody Harrelson and entrepreneur Jack Dwyer. Spiliadis characterized the changes as “tightening up.” He said the family didn’t make sweeping changes to the Olive Room, because the new owners didn’t want them. “They are our partners because they want us to continue exactly what we’re doing,” he said. Harrelson and Dwyer will join Spiliadis at a charity dinner on Sunday to unveil progress at the hotel and restaurant. 

Aida Bistro & Wine Bar, which has gradually added in non-Italian menu items to its repertoire, has recently introduced what it says is a more streamlined, easier-to-read menu. Divided into starters, Italian classics, small entrees and large entrees, the new menu also includes lower pricing, the restaurant said in an emailed message. The Columbia restaurant has also introduced a chef’s tasting menu, available on Thursday through Saturday nights. Nina Swartz has recently taken over the restaurant’s main chef duties from longtime employee Sean Riggs, who left Aida on June 30.