Despite the many restaurants that have closed and workers who have left the hospitality industry during the pandemic, new businesses are launching all the time in Baltimore.
There are even some people, like hot dog entrepreneur Casey Jarvis, who are returning to the restaurant world after a few years away.
In this week’s “Let’s Dish,” we’ll talk about where to find Jarvis and his Glizzy’s Wagyu Dogs cart, explore a hip boutique hotel coming to Mount Vernon, catch up on the “Best of Baltimore” food poisoning situation and learn about where you can have dinner for less than $20.
Glizzy’s Wagyu dogs
It started as a joke.
Casey Jarvis and a friend were going to start a hot dog stand called “Glizzy’s,” named after the slang word for hot dogs. The word first gained currency in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia region and took on a life of its own in the Instagram and TikTok era. “People just thought the word was funny,” said Jarvis.
The friend backed out, but Jarvis decided to keep going. Jarvis, who formerly worked at Chuck’s Trading Post and Blue Pit BBQ, took a break from the restaurant industry from 2017 until this year and spent the past few years in construction.
His goal: to “feed people and have a good time. Feeding people is my love language.”
And for the past few weeks, he’s been behind the counter at Glizzy’s Wagyu Dogs, slinging gourmet hot dogs and Tater Tots with homemade chili at local breweries and festivals like Hampdenfest.
Check out the Tater Tots with homemade Wagyu ground beef chili and green onions, what Jarvis calls “the best $5 bite in Baltimore.” Or go for the $8 chili dog (it’s two for $14).
I was skeptical of the Wagyu label. Traditional Wagyu meat can cost around $80 per pound wholesale, and is so fatty and decadent that it’s hard to eat more than a little bit. So how on earth could it be a hot dog?
Jarvis, who gets the dogs pre-made from Australia, says his signature sausage is still made of scrap and leftover meat, like a traditional hot dog, but the meat is higher quality. A hot dog, even a Wagyu hot dog, is still a hot dog.
Find Jarvis and his hot dogs at Peabody Heights Brewery Tuesday evenings, Pariah Brewing Co. on Wednesdays and in the Federal Hill parking lot of the former Shofer’s Furniture during Ravens home games.
Still no info on ‘Best of Baltimore’
Nearly a month after Baltimore magazine’s Best of Baltimore bash, The Baltimore Banner is still hearing from attendees who got seriously sick at the party and developed symptoms of severe food poisoning. They want to know what health officials have learned about the situation and say they’re frustrated by the lack of response.
I reached out to Maryland’s health department, hoping to learn more about the results of the survey it sent to guests two weeks ago. “MDH is still reviewing responses to the survey. The investigation is ongoing,” department spokesman Chase Cook wrote in an email.
Hotel Ulysses launches
Mount Vernon’s newest boutique hotel is almost here.
The launch of the Hotel Ulysses this month follows a transformation of East Read Street’s nine-story Latrobe Building.
Judging from the photos, the rooms look to be a funky mix of Gilded Age antique touches, like handmade quilts and four-poster beds with leopard carpeting and flamingo motifs. (Creepy grandma’s house, but cool).
The hotel’s name is an homage to James Joyce, and literary references abound, as do tributes to Baltimore’s own Pope of Trash, John Waters. One suite is named in honor of Waters’ favorite Jean Genet novel, “Our Lady of the Flowers,” while another, The Dasher, is named after Donald and Donna Dasher from his film “Female Trouble.”
You can book reservations on the website starting next week at “preview rates” starting around $159 for a weeknight stay.
ASH, the New York-based design and development team behind the project that also runs boutique hotels in New Orleans and Detroit, has been slow to release any details, mostly teasing information out over social media.
Try this: Sweet 27
When I started this column, readers mentioned they were looking for affordable, COVID-safe dining options.
Here’s one: Sweet 27.
Open since 2008, Sweet 27 is an oldie but goodie. The Remington restaurant has something for everything, with a gluten-free menu that features omelettes, pizza and tacos, as well as Indian specialties.
During the pandemic, owner Suraj Bhatt added a spacious sidewalk patio with picnic tables, though the indoor dining room is airy and open, too. It feels like the right place for an “I don’t want to cook” Tuesday or a festive get-together with friends.
During a recent visit, I was surprised by how few patrons I saw outside on a mild Saturday evening (was everyone at Hampdenfest?), but enjoyed the sense of quiet beneath the outdoor string lights.
I feasted on the $8 batata vada — potato fritters with pungent tamarind and mint dipping sauces — as well as the tender and spicy goat curry ($17) with a mango lassi to beat the heat. As for dessert, Sweet 27 features an attached gluten-free bakery with offerings like chocolate raspberry ganache.