Bits & Bites: Maryland marks ‘Kimchi Day,’ chocolate-and-shoe shop returns to Hampden and diner plans to open in White Marsh

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It’s Thanksgiving week, that one time of the year where the whole nation is focused on the dinner plate.

I’ve always preferred the sides to the main dish. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy a traditional roasted turkey and gravy. But there’s something special about creamy mashed potatoes, aromatic stuffing, sweet corn pudding and broccoli topped with decadent hollandaise sauce. They’re even more satisfying when you combine them all in one bite.


Apparently, a lot of Americans agree with me. In a survey of 5,000 people commissioned by Campbell’s Soup, 66% of the respondents said they prefer side dishes to the main entree at Thanksgiving dinner. Half said they would be happy to have just the sides on their holiday plate.

Marylanders are especially enthusiastic about stuffing, according to the “State of the Sides” report, which claims it’s the most popular side dish in the Old Line State.


Do you agree? I’d love to hear what’s on your plate this holiday season. Send me your favorites (and pictures!) at

Kudos for kimchi

Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan mixes green onion kimchi.

Speaking of state favorites, a popular Korean dish is in the spotlight this month in Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan has proclaimed Nov. 22 “Kimchi Day” in the state, in honor of the dish’s significance to Maryland’s growing Korean American community.

Kimchi, traditionally made from fermented cabbage, radishes and other vegetables, is a staple of Korean cuisine. The spicy specialty is often made in late fall; Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan is known to make her own batches of kimchi to have on hand all winter.

If you want to celebrate Kimchi Day by sampling some kimchi, you can pick it up at local markets like H Mart and Lotte Plaza. Or try your hand at making your own with this recipe shared in the Sun last year.

An iconic pairing returns

Susannah Siger’s Hampden boutique was born from an off-the-cuff idea to start a business combining her two obsessions: shoes and chocolate.

Ma Petite Shoe was a fixture on the Avenue for 18 years before Siger moved her inventory online and closed the brick-and-mortar store in 2020 due to the pandemic. Now she’s ready to resurrect the concept in a new location.

Ma Petite Shoe will return to Hampden this weekend, with a grand opening on Black Friday, Nov. 25. This time around, there’s an even bigger footprint to fill with footwear and sweets. Siger is taking over a storefront at the corner of West 36th Street and Roland Avenue that was once home to Sugar, a sex toy shop. The space is roomier than Ma Petite Shoe’s old home a few blocks down the street.


“I don’t know if we can legitimately call ourselves ‘petite’ anymore,” she said.

The reopening marks Siger’s return after over two years away, during which she sold shoes online for a time and moved to the Ozarks. Ma Petite Shoe’s focus will be the same as it was before, with shelves of boots, flats and heels in styles both classic and eclectic, as well as a wide selection of chocolate bars and truffles.

The shop was always known for its selection of 100% cacao dark chocolate, and Siger will once again have those bars on hand, including a pistachio-and-date chocolate from England. For the sweeter-toothed, there are boxes of truffles in flavors like raspberry and praline, a cannoli truffle bar and peppermint bark in white and dark chocolate varieties. The shop will host hot cocoa nights every Saturday in December to promote holiday shopping in Hampden.

Siger’s personal favorite, a pink peppercorn chocolate bar, will also be in stock.

“We kind of go from sublime to ridiculous with the flavors,” she said.

Diner eats in White Marsh

All-day breakfast and classic diner fare from a “Chopped” winner are coming to White Marsh.


Silver Diner has plans to open a new location at The Avenue at White Marsh in 2024, the shopping center announced last week. The diner will move into more than 8,000 square feet of space next to Barnes & Noble.

This will be the 23rd location for the Rockville-based Silver Diner chain, which has eight restaurants in Maryland and others in Washington, D.C., Virginia and New Jersey. In addition to diner staples like meatloaf, buttermilk pancakes and chicken pot pie, executive chef and co-founder Ype von Hengst, a winner of the Food Network show “Chopped,” also incorporates “flexitarian” options into the menu to meet gluten-free, meatless and heart-healthy diets.

The White Marsh restaurant will have 320 seats indoors and another 36 on an outdoor patio when it opens sometime in 2024.

‘Docks’ at the Inner Harbor

Docks on the Harbor will take the place of Dick's Last Resort at the Inner Harbor's Power Plant development.

A new restaurant promising “Instagram-worthy dishes” is on its way to fill the vacancy left by Dick’s Last Resort.

Dish Baltimore


Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

Dick’s, a restaurant chain where the gimmick was to be rude to customers, directed parting shots at Baltimore when it closed its Inner Harbor location in 2020, with a representative for the restaurant calling the city’s downtown “a complete hellhole dumpster fire of violence and danger.”

Docks on the Harbor, slated to take over the Dick’s space in the Power Plant development this winter, appears to be aiming for a more polished experience. In a news release, Power Plant developer The Cordish Cos. says Docks will offer an “elevated but approachable” dining experience for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, featuring family-friendly menus and “Instagram-worthy dishes, drinks and décor,” including the option to order a Ferris wheel of desserts like pastries and macarons.


The restaurant’s interior will be updated with a 17-foot tree and other greenery, velvet banquettes, chandeliers and Art Deco-style wallpaper, per the release. Customers can also choose to dine on an outdoor patio set to open this spring.

Bark bar set to get tails wagging in Columbia

Luke Silverman, left, and his dog Frankie and Jeff Kurtzman with his dog Brooklyn, right, are the founders of Bark Social, which is a beer garden/cafe where people can bring their dogs. Bark Social has locations in Canton and in Bethesda, and just announced plans to open a third bark bar in Columbia's Merriweather District.

Bark Social, a bar that caters to dogs and their owners, is headed to Columbia.

The combination bar and dog park will open a new location next to Merriweather Post Pavilion, Downtown Columbia developer Howard Hughes announced last week. The 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space will offer room for dogs to run and play off-leash, as well as a bar and cafe for dog owners and those who simply want to dog watch.

The dog bar, set to open in 2024, will be the third in Maryland for Bark Social, which already has locations in Canton and Bethesda. The company’s co-founder and chief financial officer, Jeff Kurtzman, is a Howard County native, according to a news release.

Bark Social will join a growing roster of bars and restaurants opening in the Merriweather District development; other new and forthcoming arrivals include a restaurant from acclaimed chef Peter Chang, steak-frites spot Medium Rare and Banditos Tacos & Tequila.