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Food & Drink

Bits & Bites: Asian street food restaurant opens in Towson, Baked in Baltimore returns after robbery and a chili cook-off heats up Camden Yards

Street Food by Water Song, newly opened on Chesapeake Avenue Wednesday., Nov. 2, 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

Chef Colin Liang brought cuisine from China’s Yunnan Province to Federal Hill when he opened his first restaurant, Water Song, in 2020. With his second restaurant, Liang is serving dishes inspired by a broader geographic swath.

Street Food by Water Song, which will mark its grand opening on Thursday in Towson, features eats from Asian nations including China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Korea.

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“We want to explore more, we want to bring more cultures from Asia onto the table,” said Liang, who owns Street Food by Water Song with business partner Andrew Hinton.

Street Food by Water Song, newly opened on Chesapeake Avenue Wednesday., Nov. 2, 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

The 36-seat restaurant is located at 3 W. Chesapeake Ave., and Liang and Hinton hope to draw students from nearby Towson University to the new concept by offering a casual atmosphere, late-night hours and lower prices inspired by Asian night markets.

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“When I think about street food, it’s going to be very down-to-Earth, the price is going to be very reasonable and the cuisine itself will be very accessible,” Liang said.

Diners will order using self-serve kiosks inside the restaurant. The menu spans options like lemongrass ribs, grilled tofu, street food-style hash browns and wraps stuffed with Peking duck, scallions and cucumber.

There will be favorites from Water Song, too: Liang plans to serve some of the most popular dishes from his Federal Hill restaurant, including stir-fried rice, pork belly and fried potatoes.

Visitors to Street Food by Water Song’s grand opening can take advantage of free samples and a 10% discount on food orders. The event is scheduled to take place Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The restaurant will extend its hours in the weeks after the grand opening, adding late-night service until 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

Keep an eye out for more restaurants from Liang and Hinton down the line. The business partners have a goal of opening one new Water Song restaurant and one new street food concept per year. Next up could be a location in Delaware or Philadelphia, Liang says.

Baking a comeback

A whole original DC Sweet Potato Cake at Baked in Baltimore. The retail shop reopened on October 29 after being closed about a year after a robbery destroyed equipment and interrupted production during the busy holiday season. It is located in the Fallstaff Shopping Center,

Here’s some sweet news: A Baltimore bakery is back to selling cakes, cookies and its popular sweet potato cakes after a year-long hiatus.

Baked in Baltimore shut down last November following a robbery that destroyed equipment and stole valuable production time. The break-in happened at one of the worst possible moments for the bake shop and manufacturing facility on Reisterstown Road, which was in the midst of ramping up its operations for the holiday season.

“We lost so much that day,” said co-owner April Richardson. “We lost product, we lost equipment, but we also lost days of work, because there was glass everywhere.”

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But the bakery also saw an outpouring of support in the aftermath of the robbery. Dozens of volunteers showed up in the days that followed, offering their help with clean-up and baking. Some volunteered for three or four weeks to help Baked in Baltimore get back on its feet.

The bakery’s manufacturing business — which sells baked goods to companies like Starbucks, Safeway, Wegmans and Nordstrom — recovered first. For a time, Richardson, who was concerned about her staff’s safety, debated whether or not to reopen Baked in Baltimore’s retail arm.

She ultimately decided to return, citing support from loyal customers and the company’s mission to create jobs in the community. Richardson, a Baltimore native, also operates a retail store in Washington, D.C. called Ninety Ten by D.C. Sweet Potato Cake.

“Thanks to the generosity of Baltimoreans and beyond, we were able to get the bakery back up and running,” she said. “We came here with a mission, which was to create jobs and make stellar products. Our mission didn’t change, so our location wouldn’t change either.”

Baked in Baltimore reopened its doors Oct. 29 with a grand opening celebration featuring cake tasting, music and lots of welcome-back hugs.

Richardson and her business partner, Derek Lowery, are already planning a Charm City expansion. In order to meet growing demand, they’re looking for a larger manufacturing facility to open this time next year.

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Baked in Baltimore: 6848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore. 443-388-8118. bakedinbaltimore.com

Pork chops with a side of sports betting

Maryland’s emerging sports betting industry is infiltrating the dining scene.

Hollywood Casino Perryville is the latest of the state’s casinos to add a restaurant alongside its newly minted sportsbook. The Barstool Sportsbook restaurant and sports bar opened recently and features 7,800 square feet of dining and entertainment space, including 42 television screens broadcasting most major sporting events, a stage for live music and bar games like air hockey, cornhole, table bowling and bubble hockey (I’ll admit, I had to look that one up: the table game is similar to foosball, but with hockey instead of soccer players).

Bettors can dine on dishes like smoked mac & cheese, honey-garlic pork chops and giant crab pretzels while they watch and wager on games. The restaurant serves 44 beers on draft, as well as a menu of cocktails.

That’s a lot of chili

Calling all chili fans: this weekend brings an opportunity to eat chili for a good cause.

The Baltimore Station’s eighth annual Stars, Stripes and Chow: Chili Edition is going down Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event, held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, brings together competitors from organizations including BlueHalo, M&T Bank, the Maryland Multi-Housing Association and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation to serve up their best take on the hearty dish.

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For $45, attendees can taste-test unlimited samples of chili and vote on categories including “People’s Choice” and “Best Theme.” Tickets cost $35 for veterans, active duty military and first responders and $25 for ages 11-20. Children 10 and under can attend for free. Proceeds benefit The Baltimore Station, an organization that provides residential and community-based therapy programs to veterans and others experiencing homelessness and substance abuse. More information is available at Chow2022.givesmart.com.


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