In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Cazbar Columbia; Ekiben’s End of Summer Series; The Dizz

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

By Lauren Cohen | September 5, 2019, 1:09 pm

-Courtesy of Cazbar
In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Cazbar Columbia; Ekiben’s End of Summer Series; The Dizz

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

By Lauren Cohen | September 5, 2019, 1:09 pm

-Courtesy of Cazbar


Cazbar Columbia: Howard County diners can now experience the same authentic Turkish cuisine—and weekend belly-dancing shows—that Charm City locals have enjoyed in Mt. Vernon for years. The North Charles Street staple has expanded with a second location in Columbia, which officially opened its doors late last month. Decorated with textured wallpaper, comfy lounge chairs, and glowing lanterns, the spinoff highlights Cazbar’s signature mezzes and kebabs. Standout entrees include Turkish beef dumplings with garlic butter, eggplant stuffed with caramelized onions and pine nuts, and flaky baklava topped with toasted pistachios.

Love at First Bite Cafe: The Locust Point shop that was formerly Hoof Cafe on Fort Avenue is now home to this all-day kitchen from husband-and-wife duo Antonio and JosLynn Jones. The owners, who previously operated a soul food restaurant in Northeast Baltimore, specialize in comfort foods like crab pretzels, shrimp and broccoli pasta, and smothered pulled turkey over rice. The cafe is also a go-to for sweet tooth lovers, who can indulge in loaded ice cream sundaes topped with everything from Oreo crumbles to a whole Nutty Buddy ice cream cone.


Bambao: Come October, diners will be able to sip bubble tea while learning origami in Harbor East. The long-vacant home of Manchurian Rice Co. on the corner of Aliceanna Street and Central Avenue will soon be transformed into this Asian-fusion concept that aims to offer diners a "sense and taste of zen." Highlights at Bambao will include an array of bubble teas, rice and buddha bowls, and steamed bun sandwiches. In keeping with the wellness mantra, the spot will also feature family-friendly origami classes and collaborate with local yoga studios to host community events.

Char’d City: A grand opening date for this long-awaited addition to the Hamilton dining scene is set for this Friday, September 6. Husband-and-wife owners Yassine Rmadhnia and Sindee Gibson have turned the former home of Clementine on Harford Road into a cozy BYOB spot featuring warm woods, rustic decor, and a custom wood-fired oven that churns out the duo’s take on a classic Neapolitan pizzas. Char’d City will also serve colorful salads, vegan entrees, and seafood dishes that make use of Maryland crab. The menu is meant to fuse Southern Italian recipes with North African flavors inspired by Rhamdhnia’s roots in Tunisia.


Sept. 18, 20, 23, 26: Ekiben’s End of Summer BBQ Pop-Up Series
The summer temperatures might be starting to drop, but things are definitely heating up in the Ekiben kitchen. On the heels of launching a recurring Taiwanese noodle bar pop-up, owners Steve Chu and Ephrem Abebe are collaborating with a group of stellar chefs to host four can’t-miss lunch pop-ups at their Fells Point restaurant throughout September. The end of summer barbecue-themed series will kick off with visiting chef Johnny Spero of Reverie in Washington, D.C. on September 18, and continue with the team from farmers' market favorite Blacksauce Kitchen on September 20, James Beard Award nominee Jerome Grant of Sweet Home Cafe inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 23, and our own Carlos Raba of Clavel on September 26. Menu details haven’t been released as of yet, but judging by Ekiben’s track record of creative collaborations, we can only anticipate that the dishes will be epic.


The Dizz: Remington locals were heartbroken to hear that this decades-old neighborhood fixture had suddenly closed its doors earlier this week. "We would like to thank all our wonderful customers for your support over the years," co-owner Thomas L. Basta Jr. wrote in a Facebook message announcing the closure Wednesday. Last fall, the Basta family put their restaurant on the market, but ultimately decided against selling. "This place has been here forever," longtime general manager Elaine Stevens told us in May. "I think [the owners] were ready to just get out of the business, but then they saw how much it means to everybody and that made them say, ‘You know what, we’re not giving up. We’re going to hang in there.’" Unfortunately, the owners have once again decided it’s time to move on. Throughout the years, the 85-year-old staple gained a reputation for its famous burgers, crab soup, and one of the best BLTs in the city.

Meet The Author

Lauren Cohen is the digital senior editor at Baltimore, where she covers food, events, lifestyle, and community news.

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