Hot Spots w/Brian Michael Lawrence

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Hot Spots: Mind Your P’s & Q’s

Revisited a mid-town stalwart recently—Pen & Quill on Charles Street in Station North. Something about the cooler weather makes this bar and restaurant a favorite go-to in the wintery months. There’s something about settling into one of the welcoming leather banquettes... ...and tucking into some roasted chicken, steak frites or a crunchy chicken sandwich with chow-chow relish that is the definition of satisfying. The big bar with its sturdy marble top is always brimming with friendly patrons and the bartenders are on-point with a sophisticated cocktail program. The featured special cocktails are always uniformly creative, and yummy bar snacks include deviled egg halves and soft pretzels with porter cheddar cheese sauce. Other areas that make the place special are the big communal lounge areas up front... ...and a side dining room...

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Hot Spots: Keep On Truckin’

Fans of the popular Gypsy Queen food trucks have a new reason to celebrate. Gypsy’s Truckstaurant has now opened along a stretch of Clipper Mill Road in Woodberry. It’s a unique concept: It’s a restaurant and a bar… …but the cooking is all done aboard the food trucks parked out front. The place has a warm, homey feel, filled with eclectic pieces of art. There’s a cozy courtyard out front… …two dining rooms inside… …which boast a unique divider wall made from old wine bottles. There’s also a large barroom… …and lounge area at the rear. Much of the old gang from the fondly remembered Helen’s Garden Café in Canton (the same folks behind the food trucks) is on staff here.

Brian Michael Lawrence is one of THE Baltimore style experts. After all, he was the longtime editor-in-chief at STYLE Magazine, which specialized in covering everything stylish around the Baltimore area. Brian also served as editorial director for the digital division at Sinclair Broadcasting, and creative director at Blue Sky Design. Currently, he oversees communications & marketing for the department of Tourism, Film & the Arts at Maryland’s Commerce Department. 

In his bi-weekly column, you’ll get to see what continues to pique this Baltimore style maven's interest, be it fabulous food, cool cocktails, or great looks he finds, both on people and in places. 

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