Bite of Baltimore

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Where to find the hottest coffee near campus By EMMA ANDERSSON

This semester, take it upon yourself to explore the Charm City coffee scene. Luckily for students, some of the best spots in Baltimore are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Homewood Campus, boasting tasty coffee and treats that will keep you coming back for more.

Red Emma’s Though Red Emma’s is a bit of a trek from campus, located in Mid-Town Belvedere near the symphony hall, it is certainly worth the trip. Part coffee shop, part vegetarian restaurant and part communist bookstore, this unique spot exhibits myriad reasons to visit. Opened in 2004, it is worker owned with beans locally sourced from a female- and queer-owned Baltimore roaster, making it a purchase to feel good about. Quiet and boasting an extensive food menu in addition to coffee, this is a spot you can work at all day long. Sip on an iced latte to accompany the vegan cheesecake before heading downstairs to the bookstore, which features sections dedicated to socialism, critical race theory and gender studies. If you are interested in meeting and attending talks led by other radical thinkers, look into the events schedule. And by the way, Red Emma’s is sometimes looking to hire new worker-owners, if that’s your jam!

Bird in Hand If you need a pick-me-up and can’t imagine leaving your bed, Bird in Hand is your best option. Located directly beside Homewood Campus, this cozy and convenient spot will meet your caffeine needs while offering a novel selection of both hot and cold beverages. Feeling adventurous? Order a rosemary oat-milk latte. Feeling simple? Try the housemade cold brew with a splash of milk. And if you’re of legal drinking age, the menu even includes coffee-inspired cocktails! Fresh local pastries and plenty of brunch and lunch options accompany the drink menu, with something to satisfy every dietary preference. While you wait for your drink, browse Bird in Hand’s selection of books and find a spot to relax on the welcoming porch. Whether you’re solo or with a friend, studying good neighbor or just hanging out, Bird in Hand boasts immacuHampden is one of my late vibes and deserves to be on the to-do list of favorite neighborhoods in Baltimore and for every Hopkins student. good reason: It boasts a diverse collection of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Just a 15-minute Café Los Sueños walk from Homewood Campus, it makes for the Looking for a cup of coffee with a quaint neighperfect weekend excursion. borhood feel? Head over to Café Los Sueños in RemNext time you’re ington, in the area, stop in at good newly opened six months ago and just a 10-minute w of a the l k cafe‘s unique offerneighbor to try some from Homewood Campus. You can’t miss it; look ings; the lemon-lavender for the latte and the Japanesebright blue-and-yellow-painted brick-wall exterior. style iced coffee are exceptional. Looking for Have a seat at the minimalist white counter and something simple? sThe t r i kEthiopian e drip coffee up a chat with the warm owners, a husband-andwill not disappoint and w i fresh f e beans are available duo who have been in the business of roasting and for sale to take home. s e l l ing beans for seven years, just recently transitionIf you’re hungry, ingI into recommend the paneer grilled cheese or chickpea toast retail. Try a pourover from the rotating selection of S othe u t spiced h (vegan friendly!). And sure to pencil in extra American-sourced beans (the Mexican varietal is bemy time to browse the assortment favorite!) and pair it with a piece of fresh banana b r e a d of stunning home goods for sale, which matches the eclectic yet refor the perfect, slow Saturday morning. fined menu. After an hour in this cozy spot, you will leave fe el i ng While I endorse going to good neighbor for refreshed and ready for the day. the coffee, the cafe presents P.S.: Ask to check out the roaster if you have never seen many other reasons to stay, making it well worth the trip. one! The owners will be excited to show you.

Kitsch On the go and need something quick yet delicious? Kitsch is the answer. Located within The Carlyle Apartments building, it is easy to miss this hidden gem. Kitsch uses La Colombe for its coffee and sells retail boxes of beans for any home-brewers out there. Try the drip coffee, available in small for the sleep-deprived and large for the extra sleep-deprived, and customize it to your liking with a wide selection of both dairy and nondairy milks and various types of sweetener. Do not let its underwhelming facade fool you; Kitsch offers excellent service on par with its quality food and drink.

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Bite of Baltimore – Breakfast – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter – 3

At Kitsch, simplicity is elegant and accessible By ELLIE ROSE MATTOON Science & Technology Editor

“Wait, so your favorite restaurant in Baltimore sells... breakfast sandwiches?” I’m 19 years old. I should be old enough to scramble an egg and place it between two pieces of bread. However, the many Hopkins students who consider themselves patrons of Kitsch would dare to disagree. Since opening in a 400-square-foot shoebox of the Carlyle Apartments last October, Kitsch has become a happy place for college students and community members to gather for breakfast, lunch and endless combinations of build-your-own sandwich options. Owner Jacqueline Mearman opened the space after leaving her job as an executive pastry chef of Atlas Restaurant Group (of Tagliata

fame). When I came into Kitsch one morning to interview Mearman, it was clear that Kitsch was a reflection of her friendly personality. Multiple times throughout the interview, Mearman greeted regulars by name, sometimes without even having to turn around to see who was at the counter. At one point, Mearman, spotting a car out the window, grabbed a to-go bag on the bar and walked it out. I wondered how she even knew which bag to grab. In September, the New York Times noted that during the pandemic, many fi ne-dining chefs, like Mearman, have left the industry to open their own smaller establishments. Mearman was motivated to open her own cafe after reflecting on the mistreatment of restaurant workers before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, one in six


restaurant workers live below the poverty line, and only 14.4% receive health insurance from their employer. When opening Kitsch, Mearman committed to providing all employees $15 an hour plus tips, and as the business grows she plans to establish a program for employee benefits. “I wanted to open a place where I just got to treat people well,” Mearman said. Indeed, the space itself looks like it is trying to dispel any negative energy its patrons enter with. An array of family photos hang on a bright yellow wall, and a mischievous cat clock shakes its eyes from side to side. Sticky notes behind the counter list the orders of various regulars, making the cafe feel like a family that is extremely easy to join. While the cafe only has two small tables, some customers eat their food on folding chairs outside or take it to the nearby Stony Run Trail. When asked what a Kitsch newbie should order, both Mearman and her shift partner agreed that a latte and a KitschWich was the perfect fi rst-timers’ combo. Simply put, you cannot make this at home. The cafe sources fresh brioche buns from local Stone Mill Bakery, griddles them with butter (a method Mearman claims is superior to basic toasting) and nestles a peppery scrambled egg with American cheese inside. The sandwich pairs perfectly with La Colombe espresso and rich, foamy milk. In total, it’s a satisfying breakfast for less than $10. Unlike expensive, hard-to-pronounce entrees in the fi ne-dining world she is used to, Mearman is happy that her product is more accessible. After all, it means her regulars are able to come in a bit more often. When looking toward the cafe’s second year, Mearman is excited to celebrate the restaurant’s succ-

4 – Bite of Baltimore – Breakfast – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter


ess thus far and work to make its operations even better. Especially now that students at Hopkins are back in-person and Charles Village awakens from its pandemic slumber, Kitsch’s second year might see a lot more customers than its fi rst. “Part of the programming of fi ne dining is always like ‘do more, do more, do more.’ And you never feel satisfied with what you have. Why keep pushing to do more and more when we can just fi ne-tune this and make this really good?” Mearman said. One of Mearman’s biggest goals is giving back to the community. Customers can buy a Givewich for $5, which allows the cafe to make a sandwich for someone who comes in and might not be able to pay. At the end of every quarter, any leftover funds are donated to local community organizations. Most recently, Kitsch gave to the No Boundaries Coalition, a Baltimorebased nonprofit. Of course, as I left, I couldn’t help but place an order to take a little bit of Kitsch’s energy with me. While I have had the brioche and agree that it is addictive, I instead opted for a personal favorite: a slightly runny fried egg with American cheese on multigrain. I then embarked to start my day, incredibly happy that comfort was cooking on West University Parkway.

How to make white chocolate raspberry scones By MOLLY GAHAGEN News & Features Editor

As a self-proclaimed stress-baker, I always have the ingredients on hand to bake some of these simple but oh-so-delicious white chocolate raspberry scones. I have made these treats for just about everything — brunch with the girls, family breakfasts, early morning staff meetings at work and as a treat to buoy me through exam season. My roommate, Abbie, claims they are my best work (she may be exaggerating, but I’ll let her). The flavor profile of these is exquisite — they are largely composed of butter and heavy cream, which leads to a wonderful richness. The sweetness of the white chocolate paired with the tart taste of the raspberries creates a nicely balanced treat.

2 baking sheets Parchment paper Cooking spray Mixing bowls Cup measures Spoon measures Hand mixer (optional) Cutting boards Cake slice (optional) Pizza cutter or large knife Skewer (optional)


Drawing on my British authority, there really is nothing like a buttery scone and a cup of tea (or coffee!) for teatime in the afternoon (or a light breakfast). There is an art to making them, which I am biased to say the Americans just have not absorbed (harsh, but true). Follow this recipe for the best scones this side of the Atlantic! Makes 8-12 scones, depending on size.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tbsp baking powder ¾ tsp salt 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter (must be cold!) 1 egg ½-1 cup heavy cream ½ cup white chocolate chips




Make sure to precisely measure ingredients — baking is an art, and you must level ingredients when measuring! Eyeballing amounts will result in failure. The dough should be sticky and uniformly moist! Expect to use more than a ½ cup of heavy cream! Add more in increments, or you may end up with more of a batter. When ready to cut the dough discs, I recommend either using a pizza cutter or a large knife. When transferring the triangles to baking sheets, I recommend using a cake slicer — the dough is sticky, and this will also ensure they retain shape. If unsure whether the scones are finished baking, poke a skewer in the center of one to see if any dough sticks on it. If it comes out clean, they’re ready. Serve warm or at room temperature. They will keep fresh in a container for two to four days and can also be frozen.


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Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line two mediumsize baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure out flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix. Cut the butter into small cubes and “cut” it into the dry mixture — this means to use a fork and mix it to where the mix resembles crumbs (note: although this is not proper technique, you may also use a hand mixer on low speed for the same effect). In a separate bowl, mix the egg and ½ cup of heavy cream. Add this to the dry mixture, and mix. You may add up to ½ cup more heavy cream in ¼ cup increments to achieve a sticky dough (note: you may have to jump in and knead the dough for it to form a uniform consistency). Add the white chocolate chips and raspberries — it is expected the raspberries will break up, as this makes the scones more heterogeneous. Form either one large or two smaller “discs” of the dough that are roughly ½ inches tall and slice into triangle-shaped scones. Transfer the triangles to the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes (note: The scones should appear to brown on the top and sides at this point and will be browned on the bottom ). Enjoy!



Bite of Baltimore – Breakfast – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter – 5

The search for Baltimore’s best bagel By LEELA GEBO Editor-in-Chief

I’m from Brooklyn. As you probably know from any conversation you’ve had with a New Yorker, this means that I can’t shut up about the place. It also means that I have a deep appreciation for a good bagel — and high standards. You know the kind I’m talking about: risen past the point of having a distinct hole; crispy on the outside; chewy on the inside; crunchy with toppings; and, of course, sandwiching a ridiculously thick schmear of cream cheese. Recently, I was at work at the Homewood Museum, talking about Brooklyn (as one does) with one of the tour guides. Also a native Brooklynite, he empathized with my disappointment in Maryland’s bagel scene. Beyond that, though, he suggested the one place he thinks has true New York-style bagels nearby: Goldberg’s New York Bagels in Pikesville, Md. Thus began the Wednesday morning bagel tour. Each Wednesday for the past month, two of my roommates and I have gotten up at the unheard-of hour of 7 a.m. and set off to a different bagel shop. The goal is simple: find the best bagel in (or near) Baltimore. I will warn you, we do not plan on ending this tour anytime soon. The data presented in this article are based on preliminary research only (women in STEM, anyone?). Here are my thus far inconclusive findings, presented in chronological order:

Belvedere Bagels and Grill; Baltimore, Md.

Located right down N. Charles Street in Mount Vernon, Belvedere Bagels and Grill was much closer to campus than Goldberg’s. Luckily for you, these bagels were also better. Though not risen to the same extent, my bagel was toasted perfectly, and the toppings did not disappoint. Here, I was convinced to order the Nova schmear, so I have to admit that the bagel tour is lacking experimental control. However, the fact that I was talked into the flavored cream cheese is only a testament to the shop’s ambiance. The owner was friendly as we waited for our order, conversing with us about Baltimore’s history and the changes he’s seen. We ate our bagels at the outdoor seating on N. Charles Street and enjoyed the hustle of rush hour from a relaxed perch. Overall, I would highly recommend this stop to those in search of a good bagel near campus!

Goldberg’s New York Bagels; Pikesville, Md.

We began with the recommendation that started it all. Located just outside Baltimore City lines, the strip-mall exterior did not set my expectations high. Inside, though, they had emulated the bagel-shop feel perfectly. A bustling kitchen; a pastry case full of Italian goodies; it felt unmistakably like a New York bagelry inside. To be completely honest, though: It was a bit of a disappointment. I ordered an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese (an order I tried to keep consistent for the rest of the stops, for the purpose of experimental efficacy), and the toppings were too sparse for my liking. The cream cheese, too, was lacking, not melty in the way I appreciate on a freshly toasted bagel. I have to give them credit for the rise, though, something that is the hardest to come by. The bagel was thick and chewy in the best ways, and for this I must give them some credit.



Roland Park Bagels; Baltimore, Md.

Roland Park Bagels, located close to campus on W. Cold Spring Lane, is the current favorite for the Best Bagel in Baltimore title. The shop itself was not what I typically associate with a bagel place; however, it was undeniably quaint. A glass display case allowed us to view our bagels before choosing flavors, and the warm light and aesthetic signage made the place very inviting. The bagels, too, did not disappoint. Once again, I ordered an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese, and this was the first place where I was satisfied by the amount of bagel seasoning present— it was loaded. It was toasted to perfection too, with the satisfying crunch of the first bite giving way to a soft, doughy interior. The one area it could have improved was in the rise. However, this lacking did not mean it was an unsatisfactory bagel experience.

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Bottoms Up Bagels; Baltimore, Md.

Bottoms Up Bagels is the closest bagelry to campus on this list, located on Greenmount Avenue between 27th and 28th Street. These bagels, too, were delicious. Once again, Bottoms Up did not skimp on the everything bagel seasoning, and they loaded my purchase with ample cream cheese. If I had one complaint, it would be that these bagels were a bit dense. The crispy exterior did not give way to a fluffy interior in the way I would have hoped, making each bite a little harder than I wanted. Their outdoor seating area, however, was very cute — had it not been 40 degrees at 7:30 a.m., I would have enjoyed sitting out there greatly. Despite the density of these bagels, I highly recommend taking a walk and switching it up from your typical Towson Hot Bagels.

Greg’s Bagels; Baltimore, Md.

We were particularly excited for this stop, as Greg’s Bagels claims to be “Baltimore’s Best.” Located just north of campus in the market at Belvedere Square, we were eager to fact-check this claim (hello, journalistic integrity). Like Roland Park Bagels, Greg’s had us with its decor: Clearly labeled display cases promised a variety of flavors to choose from, and the blackand-white tiled walls paired with wood infrastructure gave the place a very retro feel. The bagels, however, disappointed. They did not lack in flavor — in lieu of everything bagels, they have Colossus bagels, which is what I ordered. In addition to the typical ingredients of an everything bagel, the Colossus adds cumin, which sets it apart in distinct ways from my typical order. Where these bagels fell short was, quite literally, their height. They were flat! Though flavorful and with good texture, I was disappointed by how thin they were — I wanted more!


Sam’s Bagels; Baltimore, Md.

Sam’s Bagels did not disappoint. Located on Light St. in Federal Hill, we enjoyed watching commuters hustle to work and school from our perch at their outdoor picnic tables. Before even tasting the bagels, the ambiance is what caught our attention: the shop was playing jazz music on outdoor speakers, and people who were seemingly regulars were rotating in and out of the small space. The bagels, too, were noteworthy — perhaps a favorite so far, though, like I said, the tour is not done and we have a few stops left on our list. Like Greg’s, these bagels lacked some rise. They were, however, impeccably textured, soft in all the right places and crispy in all the others. Their topping-to-dough-to-cream-cheese ratio, as well, was enviable. Though further from campus than some of our previous stops, I would highly recommend Sam’s if you are looking to have an adventurous Saturday or Sunday (or Wednesday...) morning.

In summation:

I wish I could tell you with great certainty where to find Baltimore’s best bagel. Unfortunately, all I can offer are the pros and cons of each of the places we’ve tried so far. I hold in my optimism, though, that the perfect bagel exists in this city, and I am dedicated to the quest of finding it. There are many Wednesdays left in my junior year, and I plan on trying a different bagel on each one of them — if you have bagel recommendations in Baltimore, please send them my way. COURTESY OF LEELA GEBO


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Bite of Baltimore – Breakfast – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter – 7

The great Hopkins dining war: FFC vs. Nolan’s vs. Levering vs. CharMar By DARRELL LA

For most freshmen and sophomores arriving on campus this fall, this semester is the first time in a while that activities are in-person. Consequently, this piece is dedicated to assessing on-campus dining options more thoroughly for firsttimers. Of all Hopkins dining locations on and around campus, most standard meals are offered at the Fresh Food Café (FFC), Nolan’s on 33rd, Charles Street Market (CharMar) and Levering Kitchens. Light meals such as salads, sandwiches and desserts are also available at the Crepe Studio and Levering Café (which is on top of Levering Kitchens; very confusing, I know), but for the sake of this review, only four of those options will be disCOURTESTY OF NEHA SANGANA cussed.

Fresh Food Café As the most famous, or perhaps infamous, dining location of Hopkins, the FFC is very controversial, among the likes of Vegemite and Donald Trump. However, no matter which camp you are in, the FFC is quintessential for Hopkins dining and the undergraduate experience. One thing can be agreed on this, though: The food is repetitive. You can always expect pizzas, pasta, burgers, fries and grilled cheese


on the menu (RIP to the omelet and waffle bars), which can be boring to some and terrible to most. It’s no wonder that the Root-ScratchCarvery and Wok stations have the longest lines: They are the only stations where the food updated for each meal. Some also argue that many of the foods are either over-seasoned or overcooked. The specials at Wok and sausages at Sizzle (and sometimes, even the specials at Scratch) seem too salty, even when paired with pasta or rice. On the other hand, the Carvery and patties at Sizzle tend to be on the dry side, though it is understandable since they are left outside at room temperature for long periods of time. The verdict is that you can still enjoy the FFC, but be clever. If the vegetables at Root do not suit you, go for the Greens station. If the patties are too dry, try the tuna salad sandwich to your right. If the pasta is too bland, the lo mein at Wok should be your substitute. The FFC caters to a lot of needs and allows for more options, so if you’re done with something, look for alternatives to make the most of your meal swipes. Nolan’s at 33rd Those at the AMRs wish they could go to Nolan’s every day. Those who live in Charles Village would beg to differ. In the true fashion of “the grass is greener on the other side,” Nolan’s is what most freshmen fancy only to be let down when they move up to sophomore year. Though the food at Nolan’s appears to be better prepared, the options are scarce and more or less a copycat of the FFC.

When examining the regular options at Nolan’s, the FFC has them more, and better. The FFC’s pizzas are better. Their salads are better. Even the fries are better there. On the other hand, if there is a special so good that students love it, more often than not, it’s at Nolan’s. If you’re lucky, they may serve that delicious fried chicken, the BBQ brisket or the fries with gravy combo. And when you’re not, expect “yellow grass” for lunch. In conclusion, trading marginally better food for a smaller array of options makes Nolan’s the “freshman fever”; it’s still good while you haven’t gotten a try. Charles Street Market Known as CharMar, this dining location on N. Charles Street may look like a 7-Eleven inside and out, but it holds a variety of fresh produce and meals. Every school day, there are two options for Meals-ina-Minute: the Entrée section, which is exclusively ordered in-person, and the Deli section, acquired only through the Transact Mobile Ordering app. For most students, the Deli is good for a quick meal that fits the schedule of a busy pre-med. However, while the sandwiches are better handled, they are not far off from the make-it-yourself section of the FFC, save for sauces. In contrast, the Entrée section (which is only offered at lunchtime) is probably the longest wait on campus because the food is heated immediately after your order. The quality differs, but some dishes are clear winners: the lasagna, brisket and stir-fry chicken in particular. There are also frozen meals that are worth a try. In general, there can

be a lot of options worth sticking around for at CharMar, and they offer a good change of taste from the dining halls. Levering Kitchens From what I hear and experience, this is the “cream of the crop” for Hopkins dining, where food is the best prepared and the most convenient. Although only open during weekday lunchtime, Levering offers a more refined version of the FFC’s meals, as well as a range of options for order, either through the app to grab-and-go or in person. The Wok section has rice and noodles as well as a number of toppings to go with. Additionally, unlike the FFC version, the exact combination is your choice (and most of them go really well together). Meanwhile, Butterfly, the station for Mexican food, offers many varieties of tacos and tortillas, though food portions are slightly less than what a normal student would want. The remaining stations (Grill, Toastee and Fresh) are good choices, albeit the same price as many similar, non-University options near campus. Therefore, Levering is about the better spot when it comes to quality and flexibility. And so the commitment to save dining dollars begins... COURTESTY OF NEHA SANGANA

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The magic of the Waverly Farmers Market By GABRIEL LESSER Social Media Manager

A few weeks ago, I woke up bright and early at 8 on a Saturday to attend the Waverly Farmers Market. I am usually tempted to sleep in and rest on Saturday mornings; however, this particular Saturday, my friend Reese and I were motivated to go to the Bramble Baking booth at the farmers market, which always sells out before 9 a.m. After weeks of trying to get there before it sold out, we excitedly showed up at the Bramble booth while it was still open. We tried some amazing pastries, like their cardamom buns, peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip scones. And we even got their cool T-shirts! Afterward, we also visited the Blacksauce Kitchen booth, where I tried an incredible buttermilk biscuit and a pulled pork sandwich. I left the farmers market that day filled with happiness and satisfaction for the two new booths I had explored. What I truly love about the Waverly Farmers Market is that no matter how many times I go, I can always have a completely new experience, visiting new vendors and trying new items. As I reflect on my experiences, I think back to the first time I went to the Waverly Farmers Market. I was in high school, visiting my sister at Hopkins for the weekend. We walked over to the market, and I was immediately entranced by the various options and the setup. Although the Waverly Farmers Market looks like any other parking lot on any other day of the week, on Saturday mornings it transforms into a culinary hub bustling with people. On that day, I remember I got an apple cider and a waffle with Nutella, and we then walked back to campus to sit down and eat. I was so impressed by how close the farmers market was to campus and how accessible it was to Hopkins students. Now, as a current student, I try to

go to the farmers market as often as I can, as it is a great opportunity to explore new foods, hang out with friends and learn more about local vendors here in Baltimore!

ing nearby! I always love getting the Banana and Nutella crepe and taking photos at the booth for my food Instagram page (follow @foodworldeats!). Another booth that I love to visit

Currently, I’m a huge fan of Little Paris, a booth that sells a variety of crepes, French breads and pastries. Even though its lines can be long, it’s worth the wait, as the vibes are lively and there is always music play-

is Taco Loco, which sells a delicious mix of tacos, quesadillas and burritos. I especially love their chorizo breakfast burritos, as well as all of their drink options — I definitely recommend the lemonade!

Another reason I love the Waverly Farmers Market is because of how kind all the vendors are. They’re not solely interested in selling their products but also in engaging with customers and getting to know the community. It was at the Waverly Farmers Market that I first learned what “chulsa” is: a mixture of chutney and salsa. A vendor introduced me to chulsa and gave me three different samples to try, which further sparked my curiosity. Similarly, I visited another vendor, where I tried a pineapple salsa for the first time and instantly fell in love with the mix of flavors. The Waverly Farmers Market has given me the opportunity to try new foods from so many different cuisines and to even try plant-based options. I recently tried vegan Ethiopian food from Korarima, as well as the falafel wraps from Farm to Face Café. The farmers market is also a great place to try fresh produce, artisanal cheeses and kombucha (you can bring back a refillable bottle for a discount on kombucha!). At the end of the day, the farmers market has wholeheartedly changed the way I view my Saturday mornings. Instead of utilizing Saturdays as a time to oversleep and procrastinate, the farmers market gives me an opportunity to get up early, get excited and start my day with a positive attitude. The market is not just about food. It’s about stories and memories shared between vendors, customers and friends. People may come to the farmers market from all over the place, but we all share a common purpose: to celebrate the variety of foods from so many rich cultural backgrounds and to have a good time with one another. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out the Waverly Farmers Market. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore new foods, engage with the community and spend time with friends on a Saturday morning.

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Bite of Baltimore – Entrées – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter – 9

The highs and lows of TikTok recipes

hardest to come by. The bagel was thick and chewy in the best ways, and for this I must give them some credit. Every Sunday, I get a notification from my phone announcing that my screen time is over five hours a day. A closer look shows that at least a third of that time is spent on TikTok. TikTok continues to be revered as an app that can (scarily) show you extremely curated content, whether it’s popular dances, K-pop edits or Minecraft tutorials, all culminating in a For You page (FYP). However, every once in a while a trend or sound will overtake the entire app, such as the “Berries and Cream” song or dalgona coffee, a trend of whipping instant coffee and sugar to make a foamy drink. By LEELA GEBO And amid it all is FoodTok, a sector of TikTok that is responsible for developing interEditor-in-Chief esting recipes and spreading culinary knowledge. After venturing into this corner of the internet, I have decided to undertake some of the more popular dishes and “life hacks” that have crossed my FYP. I’m from Brooklyn. As you probably know from any conversation

you’ve had with a New Yorker, this means that I can’t shut up about the COURTESY AMAL HAYAT place. It also means that I have a deep OF appreciation for a good bagel — and high standards. You know the kind I’m talking about: risen past the point of having a distinct hole; crispy on the outside; chewy on the inside; crunchy with toppings; and, of course, sandwiching a ridiculously thick schmear of cream cheese. Recently, I was at work at the Homewood Museum, talking about Brooklyn (as one does) with one of the tour guides. Also a native Brooklynite, he empathized with my disappointment in Maryland’s bagel scene. Beyond that, though, he suggested the one place he thinks has true New York-style bagels nearby: Goldberg’s New York Bagels in Pikesville, Md. Thus began the Wednesday morning bagel tour. Each Wednesday for the past month, two of my roommates and I have gotten up at the unheard-of hour of 7 a.m. and set off to a different bagel shop. The goal is simple: find the best bagel in (or near) Baltimore. Cheesy Ramen I will warn you, we do not1plan onramen ending this tour anytime soon. pack of 2 Kraft Singleson preliminary research only The data presented in this article are based 1 tablespoon of butter (women in STEM, anyone?). Here are my thus far inconclusive findings, 2 tablespoons of milk presented in chronological order: Sriracha (to taste) Green onion (optional) Goldberg’s New York Bagels; Pikesville, Md.


Belvedere Bagels timore, Md. Located right down N.

and Grill; BalCharles Street in Mount

Ice Crè(a)me Brûlée 1 cup vanilla ice cream 2 egg yolks (for flavored ice cream: 1 egg yolk and 1 egg) 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar


Want crème brûlée without a pricey trip to a restaurant? Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin by melting the ice cream in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute. Let sit for two minutes or until it cools to room temperature. Add two egg yolks to the bowl and We began with the recommendation that started it all. Located just Begin by boiling ramen according to package mix to combine. outside Baltimore City lines,instructions. the strip-mall exterior did not set my exOnce boiled, remove ramen from Once homogenous, pour into two ramekins. Place ramekins in a pectations high. Inside, though, they had emulated the bagel-shop feel water and set aside. In a pot or pan, heat up the high-rise lip pan filled with water to half the ramekin height. Then, perfectly. A bustling kitchen; a pastry case until full of felt the butter and milk theItalian butter goodies; is melted.itAdd put the ramekins into the oven and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, until unmistakably like a New York bagelry inside. Park Bagels; Baltimore, Md. sriracha and two Kraft Singles, stirring to prevent Roland the mixture is set but jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven and To be completely honest, burning. though: It washomogenous, a bit of a disappointment. Park located closebefore to campus on with W. Cold Spring Once add the ramen Iand Roland let cool toBagels, room temperature covering plastic wrapLane, and until combined. with thinly greenis the current ordered an everything bagelstir toasted with creamEnjoy cheese (an ordersliced I tried thefridge Best Bagel Baltimore title. The shop itself allowingfavorite to cool for in the for at in least two hours. onion orstops, on its own! to keep consistent for the rest of the for the purpose of experimen- was not what I typically associate with aprior bageltoplace; however, it was Remove the ramekins 30 minutes making the sugar top. From the recipe tal efficacy), and the toppings were too ingredient sparse for list, my this liking. Thesounds creamlikeundeniably quaint. A glass begin display allowed us to our bagels To make the “brûlée,” by case melting the sugar inview a saucepan until comes in straight from hell. And itonsmelled like it,before itchoosing cheese, too, was lacking, notit melty the way I appreciate a freshly and thetowarm and aesthetic made is liquid.flavors, Stir constantly makelight sure it doesn’t burn.signage Once melted, too. When I asked my roommate Claire to try itthe place quickly the sugar over the custard. It’ll harden before you know toasted bagel. very pour inviting. out, she looked at it in disgust and said, “I don’t so work quickly. I have to give them credit for the rise, though, something that is the The it, bagels, too, did not disappoint. Once again, I ordered an everywant to” (and Claire tries everything at least once). This recipe is as cream simplecheese, as it is time-consuming. everything, thing bagel toasted with and this was the After first place where Yet surprisingly (not actually, though, because I’m not sure if I made it correctly because instead of the custard conby the amount of bagel seasoning present— it was loaded. everyone on TikTok said this) it wasn’t half bad. ItI was satisfied sistency that I expected, it came out more like a soup or milkshake. to perfection too, with the satisfying crunch of the first bite tasted like some off-brand mac and cheese (whichIt was toasted Because of the soupiness of the crème, the sugar that was poured on way to a soft, doughy interior. is not surprising because it’s literally cheese andgivingtop partially sunk. I’m not sure if this was due to the ice cream brand one area it could have improved was in the rise. However, this noodles). I think it’s definitely worth a try (and not The or yolk size. really a waste of the $1.50 it costs). lacking did not meanthe it was unsatisfactory bagel experience. Regardless, tastean was akin to a regular crème brûlée. If this had Like most TikTok recipes, it has room for imworked properly, I’m sure the sugar would’ve rested nicely on top. provement. How to improve this? I have literally Honestly, it is worth trying again, so 7/10. no clue. 5/10.


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Tortilla Hack/Foldable Tortilla Another recipe I attempted was the tortilla hack. This folding technique is supposed to make it easier to make and pack lunches. First, you cut into a tortilla from the edge to the center. Then you split the tortilla into thirds or quadrants, filling each section with a different ingredient. I made a “pizza” tortilla, filling each section with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes (my personal favorite pizza topping). I then folded each section over itself before sliding it into my roommate’s panini press. The end result was a tasty sandwich that almost tasted like a pizza. This recipe is extremely customizable: You can use eggs, avocado and peppers to make it breakfast wrap-inspired or bananas, peanut butter and chocolate for a sweeter alternative. Overall, I think if you already have the ingredients and energy to make this, you might as well just make it like a regular quesadilla. For that reason the hack gets 6/10 stars.

Pesto Eggs 2 tablespoons of pesto Bread of your choice 1-2 eggs

Salmon Sushi Bowl 1 salmon fillet (roughly 0.5-0.75 pounds) ½ cup of unboiled rice 1 tablespoon of sriracha 2 tablespoons of Japanese mayo 2 packs of dried seaweed 1 avocado


Begin by toasting the bread (add a thin layer of butter to both sides if you want to crisp it up). Spread your pesto in a thin to moderate layer. Make the eggs as you like (I prefer to do some jammy fried eggs, but scrambled or sunny side up also works) and then lay it on the prepared pesto toast. Et voilà, pesto eggs on toast. This combination of bread, pesto and egg shouldn’t have taken this long to come up with, but alas, its popularity on TikTok has brought it to my front doorsteps. And I’m glad it did. As one of the few good recipes I’ve tried for this challenge, Pesto Eggs is a perfect balance of carbs and salt. It really tastes just like it sounds, and I recommend trying it if you are looking for a way to switch up a regular avocado toast or elevate your breakfast. Just make sure you are using good pesto for a good experience. 8.5/10.

First, cook the salmon however you like. I made mine using salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil. Prepare the rice in a rice cooker (or a boiling pot if you are more traditional). Combining the two in a bowl (in my case, the rice cooker pot) with some Japanese mayo and sriracha will result in a sticky mixture that can hold shape if smushed (The ratio of rice to salmon should roughly be 1:1). Slice some avocado and plate as you wish. Eat by covering the mixture with a slice of dried seaweed and, using chopsticks, wrap it around a slice of avocado and the mixture. You should end up with a “sushi” roll. For an added crunch, I recommend adding cucumber slices. This recipe by Emily Mariko went viral earlier this year and was the inspiration behind writing this article. A combination of leftover rice, salmon and seaweed, this knockoff sushi DIY is easy to make if you have the ingredients. I won’t lie, I don’t know how often college students have extra salmon and seaweed around, but if you do, it’s a fun recipe. The recipe above serves two, so it is fun to eat with a friend or roommate. My only concern is price: Salmon goes for $8-10, and dried seaweed not bought in bulk can cost $2 a pack. And that’s not including the generally exorbitant price of avocado! If you have the budget to make this, I recommend just going to grab the Lunch Special at Yama Sushi Bar in Hoes Heights. You can get three already prepared rolls, soup and a salad for a fraction of the effort. Overall, 8/10.

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Hampden’s can’t-miss restaurant rundown By TANGYA TAN

Forget the $20 Uber rides split with friends that are needed to pursue fine dining at the Inner Harbor. Instead, with a simple click on TransLoc, a Blue Jay Shuttle Night Ride will take you to Hampden, a quintessential Baltimore neighborhood whose main drag is home to some of the city’s best dining and bar options. The Food Market Wallet Drain: $$$ The moment I started research on these restaurant recommendations, I booked a reservation for brunch at The Food Market. This place offers not just dinners but also great lunch and brunch options. Brought about by Chef Chad Gauss and his hand-selected crew, The Food Market serves creative American cuisine and cocktails in a modern industrial space, providing an ambient atmosphere. It is perfect for those looking for a date location or just for catching up with family and friends. Unlike its more traditional competitors, The Food Market’s menu separates its dishes by “little,” “small” and “big” to indicate the size of the plate. Some of my favorite dishes include the candied bacon bao buns, pan roasted mussels (A MUST TRY!) and duck parts.



Bodhi Corner Wallet Drain: $$ A family-owned restaurant, Bodhi Corner provides truly authentic Northeast Thai cuisine. However, its menu also presents many unique, original dishes that one wouldn’t find in an ordinary Thai eatery. Besides having the classic tom yum soup, pad thai and basil fried rice, Bodhi Corner hosts several creative dishes inspired by seasonal fruits and ingredients imported from Thailand. The restaurant is located one block away from The Charmery, Hampden’s quirky ice cream shop. Residing on a slight hill, Bohdi Corner exudes a cozy, peaceful feeling. At typical hours, you can walk in and see customers already sitting at the warm, wooden tables. The waiters respond quickly, so you won’t be hungry for long. (Also, if you were a previous fan of Khun Nine Thai near Peabody, you will be happy to know that the same crew now works at Bohdi Corner!) Daniela Pasta & Pastries Wallet Drain: $$ Featuring authentic Sardinian cuisine, Daniela’s restaurant is one of the best Italian eateries in town. While I cannot recall the exact number of times I’ve paid it a visit, I do know that its homemade Italian sauces are aromatic and tasty and its ingredients are fresh.

The owner of the shop, Daniela Useli, moved to Baltimore in the 2000s and brought her own Sardinian touches, opening Daniela Pasta & Pastries. Out of all the amazing dishes, my favorites are the lasagna and the thyme- and white wine-infused lamb chops (agnello in salsa di timo). The restaurant is located in the heart of Hampden and has ample seating available. I love to sit outside during warm weather and watch passersby. At Daniela’s, one can find many different twists and turns of classic Italian dishes.


Wicked Sisters Wallet Drain: $$ Next on our list is a New American cuisine restaurant brought about by chefs Trinity Fisher and Daiveon “D” Jacobs: Wicked Sisters. This place is a bit away from Hampden’s main street, but its two-story setup with modern design and decor leaves the restaurant filled with lots of cheers and fun. Why wicked? Because it’s wicked good. Its forte is the burgers: the Insanity Burger, Karma Burger, Wicked Rachel and more. But the restaurant also has a lot of exotic dishes that reflect international elements and inspiration. Besides, it has a ton of drinking options, from cocktail crafts to beer tap. Once I intended to order a

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Manhattan and the bartender surprised me with a Rusty Nail, which was later added to my personal list of cocktails to order.


The Bluebird Cocktail Room Wallet Drain: $$ Looking for a premier cocktail room nearby? The Bluebird Cocktail Room has got you covered. It’s been my favorite late-night hangout location since the beginning of freshman year, and I’m hesitant to share this secret spot to many others by featuring it in this article! Whether you’re an old-fashioned type of guy or a cosmopolitan type of girl, Bluebird’s bartenders have your choices under their belt. What’s special about Bluebird is that here, you are incentivized to come often or you might miss out on its new drinks: Bluebird’s cocktail menu changes by season and by special occasions. For example, the bar recently printed a Halloween menu, inviting many to visit on the actual holiday. While the bar checks out at 1 a.m., Bluebird also has a kitchen that cooks until 10 at night. Its burgers are smaller than usual but are meaty enough to fill you up. For me, though, I usually order a plate of rosemary fries as a shareable bistro fare with friends — these are simply the best in town.


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Six international recipes... By MANAS JOSHI

Everyone loves food. Aside from being a warm escape from the ever-cooling Baltimore weather, food gives us all something to bond over. Each region of the world has its trademarked delicacies. No matter the ingredients, however similar they are across geographic areas, each location brings its own taste to the table and its distinct palate to the picnic. Each culture revels in its own scrumptious glory. With the arrival of the Class of 2025 came the addition of various new cultures, customs and cuisines here at Hopkins. Catch a glimpse out on the Beach as freshmen sprawl into picnic cliques, delighting over CharMar Meals in a Minute. Peek inside Wolman’s social lounge to find students from across the world engaged in thoughtful discussion about the Fresh Food Café. Or take a trip down to Nolan’s on 33rd to find those looking for the tasty crab cakes native to Baltimore’s seafood culture. Representing 49 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, D. C. and 89 other countries including China, India, South Korea and Canada, the Class of 2025 has made its name as one of the most diverse in University history. According to the University, roughly 20% of the undergraduate demographic comprises international students, and though they arrive from all corners of the world speaking a cacophony of languages, the language students all resonate with is the one of food. In taking a cross-section of the international flavor here at Hopkins, four students have risen to the occasion: freshmen Rawan Elshobaky, Angala Rajasegaran and Bill Njoroge and sophomore Edward Lo. Jollof rice (South Africa)

Koshari (Egypt) Elshobaky is a freshman majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Egypt although she attended high school in South Africa. It would be remiss to acknowledge one and not the other, so he proposes two dishes. Though heavily influenced by Indian cuisine, koshari is a dish that has nestled itself inside the homes of Egypt where the people have tended to it and mended it, creating their own version. Think of Egypt’s national dish as like spaghetti but with rice, sauce and corn. Like good stir-fry, it can be used and left over and reused and re-left over.

This dish originated from the area spanning the Jolof Empire and has spread to many regions of Africa, including South Africa.

Ingredients: 1 ½ cups of brown lentils, picked over and well rinsed 1 ½ cups of medium-grain rice, rinsed, soaked in water for 15 minutes, drained ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper ½ teaspoon of coriander 2 cups of elbow pasta Cooking oil Water 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained and warmed

Ingredients: ⅓ cup of oil (vegetable/canola/coconut oil, not olive oil) 6 medium-sized fresh plums/Roma tomatoes, chopped, OR a 400-gram tin of tomatoes 6 red poblano peppers (or 4 large red bell peppers), seeds discarded 3 medium-sized red onions (1 sliced thinly, 2 roughly chopped), divided ½ – 1 hot pepper, or to taste (yellow Scotch bonnets recommended) 3 tablespoons of tomato paste 2 teaspoons of (Caribbean/Jamaican-style) curry powder 1 teaspoon of dried thyme 2 dried bay leaves 5 to 6 cups of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) or water, divided 4 cups of uncooked, converted long-grain rice or golden sella basmati rice, rinsed Salt to taste Black and white pepper to taste 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter (optional), divided Extra: sliced onions, tomatoes

Instructions: Cook the lentils. Bring the lentils and four cups of water to a boil in a medium pot or saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the lentils are just tender (15-17 minutes). Drain from water and season with a little salt (note: when the lentils are ready, they should not be fully cooked. They should be only par-cooked and still have a bite to them as they need to finish cooking with the rice). Drain the water from the rice. Combine the par-cooked lentils and the rice in the saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon cooking oil and the salt, pepper and coriander. Cook for three minutes, stirring regularly. Add warm water to cover the rice and lentil mixture by about 1 ½ inches (you’ll probably use about three cups of water here). Bring to a boil; the water should reduce a bit. Now cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and both the rice and lentils are well cooked through (about 20 minutes). Keep covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or so. While the rice and lentils are cooking, make the pasta according to package instructions by adding the elbow pasta to boiling water with a dash of salt and a little oil. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain. Cover the chickpeas and warm briefly before serving.

Instructions: In a blender, combine tomatoes, red poblano (or bell) peppers, chopped onions and Scotch bonnets with two cups of stock. Blend till smooth for about a minute or two. You should have roughly six cups of blended mix. Pour the mix into a large pot/pan and bring to boil. Then, turn it down and let simmer while covered for 10 to 12 minutes In a large pan, heat oil and add the sliced onions. Season with a pinch of salt and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Add bay leaves, curry powder and dried thyme to the pan and a pinch of black pepper for three to four minutes on medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir for another two minutes. Add the reduced tomato-pepper-Scotch bonnet mixture. Stir and set on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes with the lid on until reduced by half. This is the stew that will define the pot. Add 4 cups of the stock to the cooked tomato sauce and bring it to boil for one to two minutes. Add the rinsed rice and butter. Stir and cover with a double piece of foil/baking or parchment paper and put a lid on the pan — this will seal in the steam and lock in the flavor. Turn down the heat and cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir rice — taste and adjust as required. Serve generously!


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...from four international students Hummus (Bahrain) Rajasegaran, a freshman majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology, comes from Bahrain. Her signature potluck dish is hummus. “Growing up in the Middle East was the beginning of a love affair with hummus for me,” she said. “It’s one of the most simple yet beautiful recipes.” Travel was a big part of Rajasegaran’s upbringing, and having a go-to food was imperative for a life as fast paced as hers. But to Rajasegaran, hummus means more than just ground chickpeas and lemon. It is a bridge between the two cultures of Bahrain and India. “When I introduced this recipe to my family back in India, they added their own personal touches with Indian spices and seasonings, like chili powder, garam masala, cilantro and mint,” she said. This fusion of food is crucial to Rajasegaran’s identity. When food carries cultural weight like this, it transports in a way no other food can. Try it out yourself: Ingredients: ½ cup of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed ½ cup of smooth tahini 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, more to taste 1 garlic clove ½ teaspoon of sea salt 5 tablespoons of water as needed to blend Paprika, pepper flakes, parsley and any available masalas for garnish Warm pita bread and veggies for serving

Instructions: In a high speed blender, place all ingredients. Use the blender baton to blend until very smooth, adding water as needed to blend or desired consistency is reached. Transport to a serving plate and serve with warm pita, veggies and affection!

Githeri (Kenya) Njoroge is a international student coming from Kenya. Native to Kenya, githeri, otherwise known as muthere, is a traditional meal of sweet maize and legumes. Like açai bowls here in the United States, githeri has become a popular food amongst the youths of cities in Kenya like Nairobi. Find yourself amongst the many colleges and universities in Eastern Africa and you are likely to find Githeri as the primary meal served to students. Ingredients: 500 grams or 1 pound of beef 400 gram of brown or white beans (if bought fresh, soak overnight) 400 grams of fresh corn kernels 2 tablespoons of peanut oil 1 onion 2 tomatoes 2 potatoes 1 fresh chili (add only if you can handle spicy food) 1 tablespoon of tomato paste Cumin powder Chili powder Turmeric powder Garlic powder Salt and pepper 1 lemon

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Instructions: If you bought fresh beans and corn, boil them first until tender. Make sure to save the water in which you boil your corn and beans to save the flavors (but if you bought both from a can there is no need to boil the corn and beans). Cut the beef into small cubes and boil them in water with a bit of salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin powder. Make sure the beef is very tender and soft. Chop the vegetables into small cubes (onions, tomatoes, potatoes and chili). Boil the potato cubes for a short period. Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in the pan and fry the onions slightly before adding the tomato paste and a bit of garlic powder. Add the tomatoes and cook them with some of the water from the boiled beans (or from the can of beans) on low heat until the tomatoes get very soft. Add the chili and add some of the other spices according to taste. Add the tender beef cubes and mix them in well. Add the boiled potatoes, beans and corn and mix them in well. Add some of the stock from the beef to just cover the beans. Simmer the pan over a very low fire while stirring it slightly. Add some extra salt and pepper if needed. After simmering for a bit it is ready to serve. Plate with half a lemon for your guests to squeeze according to their tastes.


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...more international flavors Bonus recipe: nankhatai cookies (India) Taiwanese Dumplings (Taiwan) Lo is a sophomore Biomedical Engineering major from Taipei, Taiwan. Whether labeled as a gyoza, jiaozi, wonton or mandu, it is common in East Asian culture to dine on small, savory balls of goodness. Despite the competition, Taiwanese dumplings have distinguished themselves. Here is how Lo makes them: Ingredients: Ground pork Napa cabbage leaves Green onions Shiitake mushrooms Bok choy Garlic Soy sauce Sesame oil Dumpling wrappers

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Take a small clump and put it into the center of a wrapper. Shape the dumplings — slightly wet the rim of the wrapper and fold in half, then layers. Boil dumplings in a large pot and wait until they start floating to make sure the filling is fully cooked. Remove them from the water and serve with soy sauce.

It is important to cherish the culinary contributions of each modern and historic culture because it was through this spirit of collaboration, curiosity and diversity that these international cuisines came about in the first place. So next time you find yourself wanting more than the dining halls of Hopkins, don’t be afraid to try a new international recipe. You may just fall in (culinary) love with it.

As the weather now cools, it is only right that I attach my own recipe for warm Indian cookies. Taken usually with chai at noon, these cookies melt right into your mouth — that or into your glass of boiling hot tea. No one truly has mastered the art of dipping a cookie. Try it out: Ingredients: All-purpose flour Powdered sugar Cardamom powder (for a hint of flavor) Salt Ghee (lends a subtle nutty flavor to these buttery cookies) Slivered nuts (as a garnish) Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the flours, salt and cardamom powder. Whisk together. Gradually add ghee (in its semi-solid state) to the dry ingredients. With your fingers, work the ghee into the flour mix until fully incorporated. Add melted ghee and mix until the mixture comes together like a dough. Using your hands, take 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a small golf-sized ball. Slightly flatten the dough and using your fingers and smoothen the edges. Place them on a greased baking tray. Make a small “X” or a criss-cross line on all the nankhatais, and sprinkle cardamom powder on top. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. This is an important step that will prevent overspreading. Once chilled, bake in a preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until just slightly golden on the edges. When fully baked, remove from the oven and set them on the counter. Allow the freshly-baked nankhatais to cool in the tray for four to five minutes. After that transfer the nankhatai to a wire rack to finish cooling (as they cool the nankhatai will continue to firm up).

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Six beers I’d include in my ideal six-pack By LAUREN O’DONNELL

Over the past year, I’ve gotten very interested in trying new beers. Now, do I have any qualifications to talk about beer? Absolutely not. But I am a human with preferences, and out of the beers I’ve tried, I like some more than others. Here is a list of six beers I would include in an ideal six-pack: 1. Cape May IPA (Cape May Brewing Company) We’re starting this list off with my favorite India pale ale (IPA). In true IPA tradition, it’s very hoppy. I’d reach for this over a different IPA because I like the floral notes. It reminds me of a hibiscus or lavender kombucha. This beer also has some citrus flavors that compliment the hops and make it refreshing.

that’s just as delicious as Italian food. 3. Tan Limes (Cape May Brewing Company) Cape May Brewing Company earns its second spot in my sixpack with Tan Limes. It’s a Mexican-style lager with added lime juice and sea salt. The zest of the lime and the sea salt really stand out, and I’m a huge fan. I want to drink this beer with hint-of-lime tortilla chips on the beach. 4. Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (New Belgium Brewing) This one surprised me. I was expecting this beer to be sweet, like most pumpkin spice-flavored things. In reality, it’s no sweeter than a standard beer. In fact, I’d

describe the main flavor as spicy. Flavored with cinnamon and habanero chili peppers, it’s definitely got some heat, especially on the aftertaste. The spice isn’t enough to make your mouth burn, but it’s just enough to make this beer stand out. 5. Mango Smoovie (Dogfish Head Brewery) This mango lassi-inspired ale is a pretty new release (it only just came out in March 2021). Dogfish Head is largely known for its IPAs, and this beer shows that it’s capable of much more. The flavor is very complicated. It’s not nearly as bitter as an IPA. It’s actually very sweet. It captures the tartness of a mango lassi without losing the overall taste of a beer. It’s also rich

with spice. I love this beer, and I can’t believe it isn’t more popular. I think that it has the potential to appeal to a wide range of audiences; it’s a beer for people who don’t like the taste of beer, but also those who do. 6. Guinness Extra Stout (Guinness) Surprised that an O’Donnell made it this far without mentioning an Irish beer? I wanted to finish strong. And let me tell you, this beer is strong. It’s a beer for people who like dark chocolate and espresso. The robust, bitter flavors are accentuated by malty sweetness. Complete with the perfect amount of carbonation, this is “the beer that got me into beer.”


2. Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Peroni Brewery) In my opinion, the beauty of Peroni is in its balance. There’s no single overbearing element. It’s not too heavy or too light. I wouldn’t call it sweet or sour. There’s an ever-so-slight bitterness that brings it all together. The flavor is incredibly fresh. It’s a classic Italian lager

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Not your freshman year roommate’s Andre By LAURA WADSTEN Editor-in-Chief

André: The bottle is ubiquitous on and around the Hopkins campus, not just for its low price but also for its easy-to-drink sweetness. This is probably one of the cheaper bottles you can get at Eddie’s, and it comes in a variety of fun and fruity flavors. In all honesty, though, André is essentially juice. Over time, André has come to repulse me; I don’t think I could even finish a glass. Maybe this is my aging 22-year-old tastebuds, or maybe I’ve become a bit of a wine snob. Either way, I’ve moved on from André (and moscato in general). If you still swear by this sparkling staple, go off. It’s ridiculous to shame anyone for their personal taste; however, if you always gravitate toward that familiar corner of Eddie’s, maybe consider branching out and trying some other more interesting wines. Not sure where or how to start? I’ve got you covered with some tips for wine shopping and a short list of bottles under $20 you can fi nd at Eddie’s Liquors on St. Paul Street. I need to preface this advice with a disclaimer that I am absolutely NOT a sommelier. My taste buds have ~evolved~ but aren’t THAT mature; I still can usually only do one glass of red wine, though I’ve been slowly exploring that realm of drink. And there’s nothing wrong with this: Only liking white wine doesn’t make you basic or uncultured. Taste is literally subjective so drink what you like!! How do I pick a bottle of wine off the shelf? Well, according to the many sommelier YouTube reviews I’ve watched, you can tell a good wine by reading the label. That does NOT mean you pick the prettiest or most fancy-looking one, though. The most important factors that reflect the quality of a wine are: Origin. (Specific or general place? Single or multiorigin?) The best wines are usually single-origin and include lots of specific details about the location where the grapes were grown. For example, a bottle that indicates a specific address is probably better than the one that just says “California.”

Notes. A good label will include flavor notes of the wine, and it’s even better if it explains how some part of its process gives that note. In the case of Vinho Verde, the wine isn’t aged long, so it retains a lot of minerality. Dry vs. sweet (and alcohol content). More alcohol generally means the wine will taste drier. Consider, for example, André’s ~6% alcohol by volume (abv) and very sweet flavor. I know pretty bottles are hard to resist, and it’s always fun to try something new, but if you’re looking for the highest quality wine for your buck, these tips are your best bet. Several of the great wines below are certified by viticulture commissions, organizations committed to preserving the culture of wine, from the cultivation to the harvest of grapes. These often have some regional significance; for example, the Vinho Verde below is a Portuguese varietal, and the Malbec is from the famous Uco Valley in Argentina.

Wines under $20 Broadbent Vinho Verde Vinho Verde, and this brand specifically, is the wine I buy most. I suppose that this sparkling white is mineral-y and bright (wine words) — and at $10 a bottle, it really can’t be beat. Perfect for relaxing or sipping with a meal, it’s less sweet at 9% abv, so you probably won’t feel too bad the day after. Vinho Verde is literally the epitome of refreshing and crisp. The label mentions a specific origin of Gaia, Portugal and claims to partner with family-owned wineries! Bonus: The aesthetic of the bottle is beautiful. I’m using one as a vase in my apartment right now! All around MVB (Most Valuable Bottle).

Type (aka grapes). Does the bottle say “white wine” or “pinot gris”? Is it a “house blend” or sourced from a specific vineyard/region? Neither is bad, but I avoid buying bottles with little specificity.

18 – Bite of Baltimore – Drinks & Dessert – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

What makes good wine and how to find it South African Old Vine Chenin Blanc (2018) This was the most detailed and specific label I found in a brief perusal of Eddie’s white wine. The label is highly detailed, including the producers’ names and address as well as a description of how the Swartland climate impacts the wine’s taste. It’s sustainably produced using yeasts native to the region, so clearly someone cared a lot about creating this wine. That’s the greatest lesson from the origin and specificity of the label: special attention and intention are behind this bottle. The flavor is earthy and bright but not particularly citrusy or fruity; it lingers and builds on the tongue, changing textures in the mouth. I feel like this wine taught me what fancy people mean when they say wine is “complex.” I highly recommend checking this $14 bottle out if you want to feel bougie and refined.

Chakana Estate Selection Malbec (2019) So this is the only red wine on this list because Malbec is the only type of red wine I ever order or buy. A dear friend from Argentina introduced me to this dry red early in my wine “career,” but it has held its place as my favorite even as I branched out to other varieties. The staff at Eddie’s recommended this specific 2019 vintage estate selection from the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina — a highland region known for its exceptional Malbec. According to the bottle, “shallow, chalky soils together with a mild micro-climate lend textured elegance and freshness to the wine,” which sounds right to me. The flavor is very dry with notes of dark cherry and plum. At 13.5% abv, the high tannins give it a smoky bitterness (I think). This bold, rich wine pairs perfectly with steak or lamb as well as other richly flavored, savory dishes. At $18 it makes an excellent gift or contribution to a dinner party!

Tango Peach from Boordy Vineyards Sangria is always a good choice, and the possibilities are endless! This is one of the only ways I enjoy red wine — a full-bodied mixture of booze and fruit — but white wine sangrias are equally as refreshing and delicious. For this article I wanted to try a local option. Maryland’s own Boordy Vineyards has a delicious line of sangrias called Sweetland Cellars, and for this article I decided to try the Tango Peach flavor. Peach is definitely the dominant note, with maybe a hint of citrus? It’s basically a more refined version of André Peach Moscato (and higher alcohol content — proceed cautiously). At only around $10, this is definitely worth a try, but this specific flavor is a bit too sweet for my personal taste. I love other wines from Boordy’s Chesapeake Icons line and Landmark Series wines, which can also be found at Eddie’s.


Rosé, from $9 to $18 I’m a huge fan of rosé, though I’m honestly not sure I could name a favorite. For the sake of this article, I tried two bottles from Eddie’s of different price points. The cheaper bottle, Snoop Dogg’s Cali Rosé with 19 Crimes, is a pretty solid standard pink wine. The flavor is relatively neutral, a sort of Goldilocks between sweet and dry, and my boyfriend and I detected notes of cherry, raspberry and maybe red apple (notes are hard, okay?). Beautiful in color, this bottle is pretty fun because it features Snoop’s face (try holding your phone camera up to it for a fun surprise). The beautiful packaging of the pricier wine, Studio by Miraval, is admittedly what drew me to the bottle originally. And to be honest, I should have perhaps dug a little deeper, as there is little description on the label. Does this fact negate how good the wine tastes and looks? Nope. The elongated neck and wide base of the minimalistic bottle house the pale blush wine inside. I was pleasantly surprised that it managed to be so crisp and dry yet not particularly bitter. When the wine first touches the tongue, you expect sweetness to follow. That’s not the case: The flavor is dry and subtle. It tastes mineral-y and bright with some notes of citrus and raspberry. With 13% alcohol content, this dry wine is one I’ll definitely be buying again. Though great on its own, I would pair this rosé with a creamy, cheesy pasta dish or white fish with a lemony sauce.

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A Collection of Cocktails By LAURA WADSTEN Editor-in-Chief Art By ROSIE JANG Cartoons Editor

Adelle Thompson, senior: Dark and Stormy (or any variation of a mule)

Underage drinking is illegal, and The News-Letter does not condone it. Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a collection of some of the favorite cocktails of upperclassmen. If you haven’t yet defined your signature drink, order one of these at your next night out. You won’t be disappointed (probably).

Because ginger beer is my favorite cold drink, and it makes even gold tequila taste good.

I fell in love with mules when my mom made me one for my 18th birthday. (It’s legal to drink inside your home with the permission of your parents in my home state). I had always loved ginger beer, so she knew I would love mules. The rest is history. I don’t want to hear no more lip from insecure men about fancy cocktails. Who said not drinking beer or straight alcohol is the inferior option? Miss me with that BS.

Leela Gebo, junior (Editor-in-Chief): Shirley Temple (mocktail!) I have a major sweet tooth, and this drink is the sweetest of them all! I’ve been drinking them every time I go to a fancy restaurant with my family for as long as I can remember, and I plan to do so even once I am of legal drinking age! For those of you who are above 21, it is probably easy to spike these delicious drinks! However, as a self-proclaimed Shirley Temple purist, I plan on sticking to simply grenadine and Sprite even once I turn 21 :)

Jordan Adams-Campbell, senior: I LOVE A FROZEN MARGARITA Because it’s fruity, and alcohol by itself is literally gross, and if anyone says otherwise they are lying. After my 21st birthday I went to On The Border and ordered a frozen strawberry margarita and like cried it was so good.

Dionna Gant, senior: Margarita! It’s a classic, and I love slushy drinks. It’s also very citrusy, and I love lime! I first tried this drink when my mom gave me a sip of hers when I was a teenager (lol).

Will Blair, junior (SciTech Editor): Long Island Iced Tea One of my favorite drinks is iced tea, so this makes for a great option I was introduced this past summer by my friend who’s conveniently from Long Island!

20 – Bite of Baltimore – Drinks & Dessert – The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

Eunice Park, junior (Leisure Editor): Red wine, cabernet only

Brody Silva, senior: Boulevardier I love it because of the fruity but not too sweet flavor and the complexity of the bitterness. During quarantine, my mom’s partner made them for dinner.

Blends well with food and is arguably better for one’s health! A classy drink of choice. I fell in love with this after I turned 21!

Laura Wadsten, senior (Editor-in-Chief): Bloody Mary This is an incredibly unpopular opinion, especially among people under 40, but a Bloody Mary is the ideal drink. Tomato soup is one of the most comforting foods, and this is just the “grown-up” version. This savory cocktail is also incredibly versatile — you can go all out and make it a meal with skewers of shrimp, sausage, bacon and vegetables or go simple with a stick of celery. As a kid, I remember my neighbor and beloved adopted grandparent Jim always asking my mother if she wanted a Bloody Mary — it became an inside joke because she always refused. Tragically, Jim passed away several years ago; I never got the chance to be asked if I wanted a Bloody Mary. Last year, inspired by Jim, I decided to try one. Whenever I drink a Bloody Mary I think about him.

Michelle Limpe, junior (Managing Editor) Aperol Spritz Melanie Alfonzo, senior: Mimosa I love it because it fits any occasion at any time of day and makes me feel fancy. This became my staple drink because of brunches :)

Aperol Spritz has always been one of my go-to cocktails because of its sweet flavor and aesthetic appearance! I have very fond memories drinking this cocktail with family and friends. I started drinking the cocktail with my friends when we were in Florence!

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The hits and misses of Charm City’s ice cream scene Good ice cream is no laughing matter. There are no other culinary joys in life besides ice cream that entail the perfect combination of temperature, flavor and texture. As such, our expedition to determine who offers the absolute best ice cream in Baltimore was a serious undertaking that we approached with the utmost gravity. We crown BMORE LICKS as the best creamery in Baltimore. With over 80 unique ice cream flavors in hardand soft-serve form, you will never order the same thing twice. The delectable labyrinth of choices of cones, toppings and sizes is overwhelming in the best way possible. There truly is a flavor for everyone at BMORE LICKS, whether you are a chocolate lover, an avant-garde flavor connoisseur or someone who appreciates the simple stuff. And did we mention their generous portion sizes? With locations in Federal Hill and Patterson Park, it perhaps is not the most accessible ice cream shop for Hopkins students. We promise that riding the Charm City Circulator is more than worth it. Federal Hill truly is the ice cream haven of our city. We continue to sing its praises with Moo Moo Cows, a lovely and vibrant shop with incredible ice cream. It is directly across the street from BMORE LICKS, so if you can’t choose one, get both! Everyone wins at Moo Moo with daily ice cream specials like Sundae Saturday — two large scoops, four toppings and hot fudge for only $5 — or Waffle Cone Wednesday. We enjoyed the vibrant interior, and whoever’s behind the counter will gladly run through the many options offered at this fine establishment. What it lacks in variety, portion size and competitive pricing, The Charmery more than makes up for with what we deem as its premier flavor: Maryland Mud. Its Hampden location is just a short walk or Blue Jay Shuttle ride from Homewood Campus (there are multiple other locations in Baltimore for anyone who wants to venture out farther), and it is a staple for any student who wants a quick way to satiate their sweet tooth. The Charmery lives up to its name in all of its quirkiness, including the out-of-this-world bathroom, color-changing spoons and the wackiest ice cream flavors you’ve ever seen. While you might be put off by an ice cream that includes butternut squash, salt and vinegar chips or ube, you never know what joys you might find when you eat outside the box. In the days of prepandemic yore, Taharka Brothers was easily accessible to any Fresh Food Café or Nolan’sgoer. Luckily, Taharka can still be found at R. House in Remington, which we recommend regardless of whether or not you want ice cream. Taharka ice cream is so positively robust in flavor that even a kiddie-size scoop is enough to fulfill your deepest ice cream wishes. However, Taharka is slightly limited in its flavor scope, given that it occupies a tiny stall in the corner of R. House. Additionally, there are no toppings — but depending on the flavor, like the coffee oreo, you may not miss them much. Despite the beautiful boardwalk atmosphere of Fells Point, its ice cream scene is a bit lackluster. It is also an inconvenient neighborhood to travel to from campus, so

By CHRIS PARK and GRETA MARAS Senior Staff Writers

luckily you aren’t missing much. Breaking from our form a bit with a gelatiera, we were disappointed with Pitango Gelato. The smallest available size will set you back more than $6 with not a whole lot of ice cream. We do appreciate the quality ingredients and clear enthusiasm of the shop for its craft, but it didn’t hit the mark for us. After a night out in Fells Point, what you need is a nofrills ice cream that gets the basics right. The Fell’s Point Creamery is our least favorite of the ones we visited. It has a Coldstone-style setup where you can pick a flavor and select mix-ins. The ice cream itself is nothing special, and some mixins tasted a tad stale. The shop’s charming exterior belies the rather uninspiring vibe indoors that pales in comparison to the vibrancy of Moo Moo or to the classiness of Pitango.

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Editor’s note The return back to campus has certainly been inspiring and eventful, but perhaps most of all, it has allowed us to truly connect with and celebrate one another. Certainly, food holds great value in sharing our cultures and diverse backgrounds, our personal tastes and preferences. So, to highlight our reconnecting with each other, what better place to start than with food? Whether it’s our Editor-in-Chief Leela Gebo’s quest to find Baltimore’s best bagel or Gabriel Lesser’s weekly excursions to Waverly Farmers Market, this issue highlights the various culinary experiences available in Charm City! However, students bring their own cooking experiences to campus as well. You can learn how to make white chocolate raspberry scones from News & Features Editor Molly Gahagen or dive into a diverse array of international recipes with Manas Joshi. Taking a bite of Baltimore also includes after-hours dessert and drink options. Besides collecting a list of upperclassmen’s favorite mixed drinks, we also investigated the city’s ice cream scene with Senior Staff Writers Greta Maras and Chris Park. And of course, while the city at large is discussed extensively, we can’t forget Homewood Campus. Watch as Darrell La takes part in the everlasting battle between the FFC and other on-campus options in “The great Hopkins dining war.” During this holiday season, we invite you all to read and share your own culinary experiences. Hopefully, shared meals and recipes will help us build and strengthen the community ties we have been able to resume in person! As the great Guy Fieri says, “Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.” We wish you the best as you embark on your own dining journey. Happy holidays from The News-Letter! Claire Goudreau & Muhammad Abidi Magazine Editors 2021-22

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