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Magazine names Prime Rib and Phillips Seafood among best casino dining options

Maryland Live Casino took home the jackpot in Casino Player magazine's Best of Dining & Nightlife Awards.

Local restaurants the Prime Rib and Phillips Seafood won best steakhouse and best seafood restaurants, respectively. Casino Player surveyed readers to come up with the results. Readers selected Rams Head Center Stage as one of the best casinos to see a concert and the R Bar as one of best places to grab a cocktail. The Live Buffet, Bobby’s Burger Palace and the Cheesecake Factory were also recognized by readers.

See the entire list of awards here.

Brewer's Art and Max's Taphouse among America's 100 best beer bars

We're sure there are a lot of good places to quaff beer in this country. 

Baltimore is home two of the best in the nation, according to Draft Magazine.

The brew pub (haha — get it?) recognized the Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon and Max's Taphouse in Fells Point in its list of the 100 best beer bars in 2013. 

"The venue’s sun-splashed foyer and cozy fireplace set the stage for the brewpub’s delicious Belgian-inspired creations and esoteric guest beers that make this piece of real estate a beer lover’s dream destination," Draft says of the Brewer's Art. 

"With a cool twentysomething crowd and vibrant weekend scene, this is the best place around to knock back craft and score digits on a Saturday night," it writes of Max's Taphouse. 

Read the entire story here

Abbey Burger Bistro named one of the nation's best burger joints

USA Today has compiled a list of the 51 best burger joints in America, choosing one from each U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

The recommendations came from local foodies. The winner in Maryland? The Abbey Burger Bistro in Federal Hill. 

"The Abbey Burger Bistro has a patty for every taste: Black Angus beef, bison, lamb, elk and turkey," USA Today writes. "The build-a-burger menu offers cheese (including brie, Swiss, blue, American), avocado, peanut butter, truffle oil, and a fried egg along with the usual suspects."

The pick came from Baltimore writer Martha Thomas, whose most recent BmoreMedia story was a Q&A with Mink Stole.  

Baltimore among the 20 best places for recent college graduates

Now there's more proof that Baltimore is a good place for young professionals.

Apartment Guide places Baltimore No. 19 on its list of the top 20 U.S. cities for recent college graduates, USA Today reports.

Baltimore didn't fare as well as its neighbors New York and Washington, D.C., which came in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Philadelphia, Seattle and Minneapolis rounded out the top five. Baltimore was also recently named one of the best East Coast cities for young adults

Apartment Guide took into account the number of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and other factors to come up with its listing. You can see the list and USA Today story here.

Hampton Inn opening outdoor beer garden near Camden Yards

Orioles' fans heading to Camden Yards on Opening Day will have another spot where they can grab a post-game brew.

The Hampton Inn is opening the Deck at Camden Yards next to Pickles Pub, the Baltimore Sun reports. Get ready for some company if you head over there. Bar partner Fritz Brogan tells the Sun that he expects about 1,000 on Opening Day. 

"The idea for the bar came from MCR Development, the New York/Dallas-based hotel investment firm and management company that also owns the downtown Hampton Inn," the Sun writes. "Tyler Morse, MCR’s chief executive officer and a self-proclaimed “big Orioles fan,” says the recent successes of the Ravens and Orioles inspired the initial idea for the Deck."

You can read the entire story here

OpenTable diners name Food Market and Ouzo Bay top 'hot spots'

Two Baltimore restaurants earned a spot on OpenTable's Top 100 Hot Spots: Harbor East's Ouzo Bay and The Food Market in Hampden. 

If you have been to either, you probably know that they're both pretty busy, even if you pop in at 9 p.m. on a weekday. Specializing in fresh seafood, Greek restaurant Ouzo Bay opened last year.  The Food Market opened on The Avenue almost a year ago. 

OpenTable compiled the list based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews for more than 15,000 restaurants throughout the U.S.

You can see the list here

Baltimore Among 10 Most Haunted Cities

Baltimore residents who want to be spooked on Halloween have nothing to fear, according to SmarterTravel.com. 

The travel website named Baltimore one of the 10 most haunted cities. Charm City boasts plenty of ghostly destinations, including Edgar Allen Poe's final resting place, the Westminster Hall catacombs. Then there's Fort McHenry, where haunted apparitions have appeared. 

"Hundreds of years of lost lives and the spirits that remain make the Fells Point area popular among ghost trackers," SmarterTravel.com says. "Guided tours through the maritime neighborhood take you to taverns, shops, and restaurants where things go bump in the night."

Washington, D.C., Savannah, Ga., Chicago and San Francisco also made the list.

Maryland's haunted appeal got another boost recently whenTrip Advisor named Ellicott City one of the top 10 spooky American Getaways

And if SmarterTravel's suggestions aren't your cup of brew, there's also the Creative Alliance's annual Halloween Lantern Parade & Festival tomorrow. 

We just hope that "Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy doesn't scare everyone away from their Halloween plans. 

Yuengling Brewing Up TV Commercials in Baltimore

Pennsylvania brewer D.G. Yuengling & Son is putting the spotlight on Baltimore.

It's filming a number of TV ads in Baltimore that promote Yuengling Lager and Yuengling Light Lager in Baltimore, Shanken News Daily writes. Shanken in a daily email news service that covers the wine, beer and spirits industry. 

"Yuengling’s upcoming set of ads includes five new spots currently in production in Baltimore, focusing on the brewery’s Yuengling Lager and Yuengling Light Lager brands," Shanken writes. "They will target the 21-34-year-old age group that represents the company’s core consumer. The new ads follow a recent push in Yuengling’s home market of Philadelphia, aimed toward reinforcing its status as a household name amid an 'influx of new, competitive beer brands.'" 

You can read the rest of the article here

And you can read about the commercials' filming in Canton here

WSJ Features Maryland's Newest Casino

The June 6 opening of Maryland Live at Arundel Mills mall got plenty of attention in local newspapers and TV outlets. 

It also caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which found the 4,750-slot machine venue unusual for its being on the site of a suburban shopping mall.

"Malls have become popular additions to casino complexes in Atlantic City and Las Vegas ever since Simon Property Group, which owns Arundel Mills, opened The Forum Shops as an extension to Caesars Palace on the Last Vegas Strip in 1992," the Journal writes in the article

The opening of Maryland's third slots parlor was marked by traffic backups on Interstate 295, celebrity-chef Bobby Flay -- on hand for Bobby's Burger Palace -- and feuding between executives in Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties amid talks of a casino at National Harbor.

Arundel Mills Slots Casino to Debut June 6

Maryland's largest slots casino, developed by the Cordish Co., has set a June 6 opening date. Restaurants at the 4,750-slot-machine venue will include Bobby Flay's Burger Palace, the Prime Rib and Philips Seafood.

"State analysts project that Maryland Live!, once it is fully operational, will generate more than $400 million a year in slots revenue — nearly half of which would flow to state education programs under current law," writes the Washington Post. You can read the rest of the story here

James Beard Honors Woodberry Kitchen, Charleston and Volt

The James Beard Foundation Awards are known as the Oscars of the culinary world.

And this year the foundation has honored three restaurant stars in Maryland. 

The foundation recognized Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde, Charleston's Cindy Wolf and Volt's Bryan Voltaggio among the best chefs in the mid-Atlantic. Charleston was also honored for its wine program and as an outstanding restaurant. You can see the entire list of nominees here

"Kitchen Nightmares" Airs Cafe Hon Episode

Baltimoreans finally got to see the long-awaited "Kitchen Nightmares" episode featuring Cafe Hon Owner Denise Whiting and her controversial move of claiming ownership of the word "Hon."

And it was as dramatic as expected. 

Whiting was stuck with a public relations nightmare after the trademark. Critics said she was trying to profit from a word that has become synonymous with Charm City itself. 

It was all documented on the show hosted by British chef Gordon Ramsay, who convinced Whiting to give up her trademark.

"In the show’s final segment, Television Chef Gordon Ramsay and his 'team' of culinary experts literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, transforming the iconic 36th St. restaurant and 'persuading' its insufferable proprietor Denise Whiting to give up her claim to ownership of the trademark 'Hon,'" writes Alan Z. Forman in his Voice of Baltimore news site. You can read the rest of his summary and analysis of the show here

Diddy Signs Baltimore Rapper

It is really just Diddy now? P Diddy? Sean Puffy Combs? Sean Diddy Combs?

For Baltimore rapper Los, it's ka-ching!

Diddy's Bad Boy Records has signed up Baltimore rapper Los, writes MTV News in its RapFix blog. 

"We're trying to put that young, youthful energy out in the air and do it the only way that Bad Boy can do it," Diddy tells MTV. 

Everyman Theatre Play Gets Nod From Broadway World

Everyman Theatre's "Fifty Words" gets a stellar review in Broadway World. Reviewer Charles Shubow calls it a "powerful play with an exceptional cast."

The play takes place over the course of one night in a couple's Brooklyn kitchen. "There are many problems in the household which come alive during the 90 minute play under the capable hands of Director Donald Hicken," Shubow writes.

Just in time for Valentine's Day. You can read the rest of the review here

Sales of Baltimore Concert Tickets Take Off

While concert sales are slowing down nationally, two Baltimore venues sold more tickets last year compared with 2010, the Baltimore Sun writes.

Rams Head Live saw success with pop singer Sara Bareilles and punk band Rise Against, while First Mariner's U2, Kanye West/Jay-Z and Sade shows propelled ticket sales at First Mariner Arena, the Sun's Erick Maza writes.

"In addition, Rams Head Live and Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis both made a recent list of the top 30 clubs in the country, and the nearly 50-year-old 1st Mariner was named top-selling arena of its size by Billboard Magazine," the Sun writes. You can read the rest of the story here.
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