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Food & Drink

Four Baltimore-area restaurant openings you might have missed over the holidays

The Baltimore area has a few new dining spots as another year gets off the ground. Here’s a look at four openings you might have missed over the holidays.

Döner Brös

Baltimore kebab shop Döner Brös opened its second location, in Harbor Point, on Jan. 2.

In Harbor Point, Baltimore kebab shop Döner Brös opened its second restaurant Jan. 2 after more than two years of planning and construction. The new spot, on the ground floor of the 17-story 1405 Point apartment building, is more than twice the size of the original Döner Brös storefront in Charles Village and features high-tech touches like self-cutting kebab spits and self-service ordering kiosks.

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The restaurant’s design is modeled after a German biergarten — a nod to the origins of Döner Brös, which got its start after founders Steven Banks and Alex Politsch traveled to Oktoberfest and first tasted the döner kebab, a sandwich made with seasoned, slow-cooked meat shaved from a rotating spit. The friends started their business as a food truck in 2016 and opened the Charles Village brick-and-mortar in 2018.

In Harbor Point, the new Döner Brös will serve beer on tap and screen sports games. In time, the owners also plan to expand the menu of kebabs, rice bowls, durum wraps, french fries and salads to include new items like hot pretzels and beer cheese.

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Drop by the restaurant’s Grand Opening Beer Fest, scheduled for Jan. 13-15, to check out the new spot and try its selection of beers on tap, including a special Döner Brös Lager, a collaboration with Guilford Hall Brewery.

McFaul’s Oyster and Reel

In Baltimore County, a new restaurant from the owners of McFaul’s Ironhorse Tavern made its debut Dec. 29. McFaul’s Oyster and Reel replaces the waterfront New Sue Island Grill and Crabhouse at 900 Baltimore Yacht Club Road in Essex, which sold at auction for $1.5 million in October 2021.

With owners Glen and Kristin McFaul at the helm and Chef Jason Horwitz in the kitchen, the restaurant has a menu that’s naturally heavy on seafood selections, from grilled oysters to Maryland crab soup to “Sweet Adelaide’s salmon,” glazed with teriyaki sauce and served alongside crispy Brussels sprouts and jasmine rice.

A cocktail list features espresso martinis, blood orange gin and tonics and “The Perfect Crush,” a mix of grapefruit vodka and orange juice that’s already beckoning to warm summer days on the water.

Mystic Burrito

In October, Highlandtown’s Avenue Sushi said it would be closing to make way for a burrito spot run by the owner’s brother.

That restaurant, Mystic Burrito, opened in late December.

New owner Alex Sushko is serving up food inspired by his days living in California, where he would tuck into a burrito after a day of surfing or skating. Try a burrito stuffed with staples like carnitas or carne asada, or sample some Pacific Island flavors with menu items like the Mochiko fried chicken burrito, packed with Hawaiian-style crispy chicken, Adobo garlic rice, island slaw and a creamy Gochujang sauce.

Groundwork Kitchen

After a pandemic closure, Groundwork Kitchen is back open. The restaurant now features a 10-seat bar and a beverage menu that spans cocktails, mocktails, wines, beer, ciders and meads.

Groundwork Kitchen is finally back in action after a pandemic closure. The Pigtown restaurant, temporarily closed since January 2022, recently returned with a new menu, a new executive chef and a new general manager.

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Expect to find approachable, bistro-style dishes at the new Groundwork Kitchen, which is open for breakfast and lunch takeout orders only until February, when the 120-seat dining room will launch its full operations.

Chef Jonathan Hicks and general manager Melanie Molinaro have divided the restaurant’s new menu into sections of “littles,” “mids” and “entrees,” with plates like red curry mussels, wild mushroom risotto, vegan Nashville hot “chik’n” and slow-cooked short rib egg rolls.

The restaurant now features a 10-seat bar, too, and a beverage menu that spans cocktails, mocktails, wines, beer, ciders and meads. Food and drink orders support Groundwork Kitchen’s free culinary training program, which helps aspiring hospitality workers earn job experience and restaurant industry certifications.

Groundwork Kitchen’s hours for January takeout are 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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