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Food & Drink

Bits & Bites: Berger cookies aims for a comeback, Woodberry gets ready for fall and Lamar Jackson needs a home-cooked meal

We’ve hit past peak summer where everything is coming up zucchini in the garden. Meanwhile, Baugher’s Orchard and Farm in Carroll County has moved straight to fall with apple picking season underway this weekend featuring honey crisp apples and blackberries, too. It’s fun for the family and a great way to stock up on back-to-school treats.

Berger cookies gets back to baking next week

The makers of Berger cookies expect to be back to baking by Monday and are currently accepting orders for next week.

You may have heard about a critical shortage of a Baltimore basic last week but a quick check-in reveals there is hope on the horizon for a quick fix of kitchen equipment that grinded to a halt and led to a stoppage at the facility last week. The makers of Berger cookies, the iconic chocolate-topped treat, expect to be back to baking by Monday and are currently accepting orders for next week. “We have everything in,” for the repair, said Shaylon Kay, an employee taking orders at Berger on Wednesday. While the website still notes the production downtime, Kay said the company is indeed “back to baking on Monday.” Fingers crossed, thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery from this difficult time.

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Noisy Burger leaving R. House at end of year

Students J'mere Jackson, left, and Tajah Williams, center, serve customer Morgan Wenzel of Sparks, who ordered a Classic Burger. Students from Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School serve burgers and fries to customers at their pop-up shop at R House in 2017.

Back in 2017, about a dozen Baltimore high school culinary students transformed an empty kitchen at a Remington food hall into a bustling burger restaurant with a line of customers for a one-week gig. That pop-up venture at R. House eventually became Noisy Burger, a successful Black-owned burger joint operated by Chris Landrum and Nicholas Mitchel. After a challenging and uncertain pandemic, the duo will be closing Noisy Burger at the end of the year, according to a post on social media. “We went from a student-led one-week pop up to a permanent location that served as a community hub,” the company said, adding that it planned to “go out with a bang” including a new menu offering called the Blazin’ Burger. Seawall, the developers of R. House, said it is accepting vendor applications for the space through Sept. 9.

Woodberry Kitchen holding job fair

The Baltimore Sun wrote recently about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and efforts to provide more oversight of the federal program, highlighting numerous restaurants that closed despite receiving the grants. One of the local recipients was Woodberry Kitchen, which had closed its dining room while focusing on special events. But a new posting on its website announced a job fair with hiring for multiple positions ranging from sous chef to line cook to bartender. The posting said Woodberry “recently restructured our business to ensure pay equity for all employees across front and back of the house, resulting in some of the highest hourly rates in the industry.” The next job fair is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 29. Owner Spike Gjerde told The Sun the restaurant is undergoing renovations that will allow it to reopen “with a new model designed to be more resilient to future disruptions.” Events will resume this fall.

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Fair time is foodie time

Deep-fried candy was one of the treats at the Maryland State Fair in 2021.

The 141st Maryland State Fair opens Thursday at the fairgrounds in Timonium. As usual, there will be fun rides, local music and live horse racing. Oh — and food. Lots of it. So what are you looking forward to diving into this year? Here’s what’s on our radar:

— The Celebrity Milkshake Contest featuring a dairy shake-off between celebrity-inspired milkshakes using local ice cream from the Maryland Farm Bureau Young Farmers. Actually, any and all ice cream is a must eat at the fair.

— The Chesapeake Craft Brew & Wine Garden offers all local beers including Guinness and Heavy Seas.

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— The rib-eye steak sandwiches. This classic fair food has taken on new popularity, elevated by fans of “The Bear,” a delicious restaurant-centered TV series streaming this summer on Hulu. The show is set at the Original Beef of Chicagoland, a fictional sandwich shop that specializes in beefy, meaty Italian subs.

— Pickle pizza. Just like pickle ball, it’s not new but it is trendy. Check out the pickle pizza stand across from the Cow Palace for a pie made with sliced dills, ranch sauce and special seasonings. (We also like the Bacon & Pickle Pizza at Viccino Italian Gourmet in Midtown Belvedere if you just want to do it for the culture.)

Raising Cane’s chicken expands into Maryland

Popular southern food chain Raising Cane's will open its Gambrills location early next year.

In case you missed it, Raising Cane’s is headed to Towson and also Gambrills. Developers of Towson Row announced back in January that the addictive Louisiana-based fried chicken restaurant would be opening in a 3,900-square-foot space below The York apartments and adjacent to Whole Foods by spring. That date has been delayed, but we recently spotted an employment ad looking for a general manager for the location. Raising Cane’s is known for its chicken fingers, sauce and Texas toast. There’s even a Reddit for what they call “Caniacs.”

Let’s dish about Lamar

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tweeted recently that while he loves a good, home-cooked meal, he doesn’t know how to cook.

We have so many questions, Lamar. Like, we know your contract negotiations seem slow as molasses and we don’t want to get all up in your business, but we think you can probably afford a meal-kit delivery service like Blue Apron or Green Chef, which will allow you to experiment in the kitchen with pre-portioned ingredients. (And we’ve also seen that spread at the Ravens compound and leftovers is probably another option to explore.)

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Barring that, we are eager to create a casserole committee to keep you fed as long as you keep the Ravens in postseason position.

So, Lamar, do you like lasagna?


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