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Comings and Goings

New brews in Harbor East, Bagby boom goes on, and Raising BUGS

New brews in Harbor East

It might take a few months for Chris Cashell to create his own concoction at Gordon Biersch. The former Brewer’s Art meister, remembered fondly there for his seriously dark Proletary Ale, inky black, but not too bitter, is the chain’s most recent brewer at its newest outlet, scheduled to open in Harbor East on Oct. 29. Five of the six tanks at the Lancaster Street brewery and restaurant, Cashell says, will hold Gordon Biersch standards like hefeweizen and Czech pilsner, with the sixth tank designated for the company’s rotating seasonal brews. When that 900-plus gallon vat is drained, then and only then can the on-site brewer mess around. But the messing can’t go too far, Cashell says. Gordon Biersch—which originated in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1988 and currently has more than 30 outlets in the U.S. and Taiwan—sticks to the Reinheitsgebot, also known as the German Purity Law, which limits ingredients to water, hops, malt, and yeast. But that seems fine with Cashell, who opened the short-lived Parkside in Lauraville after leaving Brewer’s Art in 2008. “I was leaning away from extra ingredients,” he says. “I’m looking to make more approachable beers with less craziness to them.” (Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 1000 Lancaster St., gordonbierschrestaurants.com)

Bagby boom goes on

Another Harbor East newcomer, Fleet Street Kitchen, is meant to be the top tier for the Bagby Group, outclassing both the casual pizzeria and the nosh-and-sip Ten Ten. Even so, Bagby Group executive chef Chris Becker (once of the Wine Market) wants to keep things fun. The signature burger, for example, is ground short-rib and chuck mixed with bone marrow, for a fatty finish, and a dollop of miso powder for extra flavor. It’s cooked on a plancha—a super-hot metal plate. Celery root is diced to look like rice and served up as a creamy carbonara. Ingredients are almost all local, Becker says, but “it’s a bit more involved than farm-to-table.” What does that mean exactly? Becker, trained in classic French techniques, prides himself on “solid execution,” he says. Tim Riley, a Baltimore native most recently found at Boston’s Beacon Grille, mixes artisanal cocktails to wash it all down. (Fleet Street Kitchen, 1012 Fleet St., (410) 244-5830, fleetstreetkitchen.com)

Raising BUGS

What does it take to sustain BUGS? A $125 ticket for a fete at the Maritime Park Museum might be a good place to start. The Living Classrooms’ Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) program will be the beneficiary of a gala on Oct. 11, featuring a four-course dinner by Waterfront Kitchen, with live music and a live auction. The proceeds will fund a new greenhouse. And, well, what goes around comes around: The BUGS greenhouse will, of course, supply goods to its collaborator, Waterfront Kitchen. (For more information, visit waterfrontkitchen.com.)

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