Heating Up: July and August The summer food scene is hot, hot, hot.

By Martha Thomas and Kimberly Uslin



WATER PARK
The 30,000-square-foot Sandlot is designed to feel like a mid-century national park, complete with a vintage Airstream trailer serving up ice cream treats and frosty beverages. But the sand-filled space, jutting into the harbor from the new Harbor Point development, has decidedly modern touches. The site, developed by Corey Polyoka, a partner with Spike Gjerde’s Foodshed, will combine outdoor activity and “play for all ages” with locally sourced food and drink. The park has six volleyball courts, three bocce courts and a “pallet mountain” for kids to climb. Patrons can sit on beach chairs with a view of the harbor. “If you’re sitting out here looking at the water,” says Polyoka, “you can order a drink with an app on your phone and the staff will run it out to your location.” Food—from pretzels and fries to burgers and rockfish skewers—is by chef Patrick Morrow, formerly of Abbey Burger Bistro. Sandlot’s footprint is designated in the Beatty Development master plan as open space, so this is all just temporary until the $1 billion development is complete. “Unless,” Polyoka concedes, “the city loves us so much they want us to stay.” Sandlot, at Harbor Point between Harbor East and Fells Point —MT

SPICE OF LIFE
Cilantro is 50/50,” says Eli Hershko, co-owner of a newly opened restaurant named for the controversial herb. “People either love it or they hate it.” Hershko loves it, but he planned his menu with the haters in mind—most items available at his fast-casual joint don’t actually have 
cilantro in them (save for the falafel, which Hershko says wouldn’t be the same without it). The herb-curbing appears to be working out just fine; 
Hershko and co.’s new Light Street location is the second, a city-based complement to their popular Owings Mills flagship with expanded catering capabilities (and delivery!). As for their offerings? The new spot brings the same “fresh Mediterranean” options as the original, with falafel, chicken and lamb shawarma and salads, as well as lafa and pita breads and, 
of course, some truly brilliant baklava. 30 Light St. 410-244-7020. 
cilantromd.com — KU

GET YOUR FIX
Is there a sweeter symbiosis than 
creativity and coffee? Whether that artisan iced mocha is fueling a late-night creation or sparking an 
early-morning idea, it seems the two can’t help but coexist. It only makes sense, then, that Greenmount 
Coffee Lab has taken residence in community makerspace Open Works. The Lab, a project of Red Emma’s, is entirely 
worker-owned and -operated and offers a bevy of brewed coffees and teas, sweet and savory vegan pastries, snacks, and specialty hot and iced drinks. (Try the spicy hot chocolate.) The coffee is guaranteed fresh, too—Greenmount gets their beans from Thread Coffee Co-op, roasted on-site, feet away from the cafe counter. Oh, and if you’re not an Open Works member, don’t worry: The Lab is open to the public. 1400 Greenmount Ave. 443-602-7611. redemmas.org/gcl —KU

FAMILY TIES
When Paula Dwyer bought the building on Main Street in old Ellicott City, she dreamt of a restaurant. (Previous incarnations included a motorcycle shop and vintage boutique.) So she built a kitchen and ordered marble-topped cafe tables and bentwood chairs. “It was built in 1890, so I wanted to keep it rustic and European,” Dwyer says. Georgia Grace Café, open this summer, is named for her mother and daughter. Dwyer, whose Greek parents owned a steakhouse in Washington, D.C. for many years, makes spanakopita, souvlaki kebabs and Greek desserts like baklava and buttery kourabiedes, wedding cookies rolled in powdered sugar. She also makes sandwiches, salads, wraps and soups and serves thick, dark coffee. Dwyer runs the cafe with husband, Mike Pascale, and for now, they are keeping the place BYOB. “I love that idea,” she says. “It makes a place so friendly.” 8004 Main St., Ellicott City. 410-908-8003 —MT

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