The Verandah Kitchen recently reopened as The Verandah: Indian Small Plates on “The Avenue” in Hampden, with a revamped interior and a new small plates menu. (By the way, they have some big plates, too!)

Options include lots of vegetarian and vegan options, seafood, chicken and meats, combo platters for the lunch crowd, and a small plates dessert menu.

The dishes showcase traditional Indian preparations such as shrimp masala, pan-seared scallops over balti sauce, fried goat cheese with a fire-roasted tomato chutney, and pistachio-crusted roulade with lemon cream.

FYI, it’s BYOB at the Verandah, but rest assured, Hampden has a bunch of nearby liquor stores.

There’s also a Verandah Kitchen at the newly renovated Broadway Market in Fells Point. Some of you may recall that The Verandah Kitchen started back in 2009, selling Indian street food at local farmer’s markets, and there was always a long line. (

Friends and Family, a cool, new, plant-forward restaurant concept, recently opened in the former Sticky Rice Restaurant spot in Fells Point. The renovated space presents a hip, family room vibe decorated with artwork created by friends and family of owners Ginny Lawhorn and husband Ronnie Pasztor.

The all-day menu offers vegan and vegetarian salads like the Eat the Rainbow and It’s Not Easy Being Green, and sandwiches with playful names like What the Cluck?! and Don’t Have A Cow burgers.

Breakfast dishes include tofu bites, scrambles, vegan chicken and waffles, and non-vegetarian Salisbury steak and eggs. The intention of the all-day menu — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — is to provide guests with the meal they want, when they want it. (Ya gotta love that!)

BTW, Ginny Lawhorn, who founded and organizes Baltimore Cocktail Week (slated for this June), has crafted a locally anchored bar program that includes beers from some of B-more’s best breweries. (

In Good Taste

The Taste of Pikesville-Owings Mills, an evening of food, fun and festivity, is set for Thursday, Apr. 23, from 5:30-8 p.m., at the recently renovated DoubleTree by Hilton-Pikesville. The popular event will feature signature dishes from more than 50 local restaurants and caterers including Artful Gourmet Bistro, Zeffert & Gold Catering, Bonefish Grill, La Food Marketa, The Classic Catering People, Simply Elegant Catering, FountainSide Restaurant, Island Quizine, Mezcal, Clean Cuisine, Foundry Row Wine and Spirits and The Gourmet Girls. (

And speaking of The Gourmet Girls, as you may have already heard, Owings Mills-based caterers Barbara Collurafici and Lisa Honick will open a second location in the former Gourmet Again location in Pikesville. Gourmet again … and again? No word yet on an opening date. (

B&O American Brasserie, located in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, welcomed back Scott Hines as executive chef. Scott joined the Kimpton restaurant in 2015 and left in early 2019 to help Hotel Revival with food and beverage operations.

But now, he’s back at the B&O! Check out tasty tidbits including oyster chowder, brick-oven pizza and the pan-seared crab cake with creamed Brussels sprouts. And they feature their version of a B-more coddie with pickled mustard seed and kewpie mayo.

If you haven’t been to the historic, former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad headquarters, you’ve gotta go. The building’s striking architectural features are intact with contemporary design elements and nostalgic touches, like chairs and table lamps from original B&O dining cars. This is the perfect place for a weekend staycation!

Oh, yeah, and the burgers are really good, too! (

Missing Miller’s

Miller’s Deli in Greenspring Shopping Center has closed after a half-century in business, joining the ranks of Gourmet Again, Suburban House and Edmart. Which leaves us all with the question, “Where’s the (corned) beef?”

Randi Rom is president of RJ Rom & Associates. She is a freelance columnist and writer who represents some of the region’s top restaurants and food-related events. Contact her at

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