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Dishin' With Downtown Diane

Flip Flop
Credit: Downtown Diane

Flip Flop Festivus Was Huge Success!

Held at the Four Seasons this past weekend, Flip Flop Festivus has become the must-go-to event of Baltimore. What a great crowd for a wonderful cause. Guests included former members of the Ravens Super Bowl team. Proceeds went to support the Life & Breath Foundation

Credit: Downtown Diane

Natural Products Expo

I love attending this show each year and discovering new products. Here are some of my new faves from the show, which took place this past week at the Baltimore Convention Center.

  • Orgave Sweetener-This pure agave sweetener is all natural. Use it in beverages, baked products, cereals, fruit concentrates, condiments, desserts, candies, smoothies, fruit spreads, yogurts, granola bars, soft cookies, teas. Visit the website for more info & recipes:
  • Blue Buddha-Loved these new all natural herbal infused teas.
  • RAAW-100 percent pure fruit and vegetable juice with flavors such as carrot lemonade, cranberry ginger and passion fruit wheatgrass, you may be tempted to say, "What?" Give them a try. They are yummy and good for you. Imagine that.
  • BAI 5 Calorie Antioxident Infusions- Only five calories and all natural, these drinks such as Ipanema pomegranate, Malawi mango and Brasilia blueberry are gluten-free, packed with antioxidants and packed with flavor.
  • Plentils- Crunchy lentil chips include Margaritapizza flavor and contain 40 percent less fat than potato chips.
  • KIND Healthy Snacks- Introduced some new health bars at the show. Their bars are all natural, gluten-free and their Kind Plus bars offer a nutritional boost.
  • Fruit Bliss- All natural dried fruit. I loved the figs! These fruits are preservative free & dehydrated with water making them extra juicy.
  • Crunchies Natural Snacks- I loved these products. Freeze dried natural snacks like peas, buttered corn, roasted veggies, grilled edamame, mixed fruit, strawberries that tasted amazing! I found my new go-to snack.
  • Zen'd- promoted as "maximum strength stress relief," I had to try it. It's a stress relief shot in two flavors that is said to reduce stress and anxiety with no melatonin and is all natural. It's a blend of herbal extracts and is said to give you a "shot of welllness." I downed a shot, felt very relaxed and continued on with the show, smiling.
  • Omyst- A healing herbal spray for your skin is effective naturally for rashes, minor cuts, insect bites and dry skin. Spray it on and watch it work its magic.
  • 7thHeaven-All natural face masks, all I can say is, truly heavenly
  • Own- natural anti-aging skin health products. I like these products. They smell good and I have tried a sample of the night cream which I would definitely buy.
  • Pursuit of Cleanliness- I like these natural soaps and body washes, especially the peppermint scent. However, the packaging can become slippery in the shower. The product would be much better in a non-slip container.

Bennett's Curse is Open!

Like to be scared? Head to Bennett's Curse haunted attractions this season. Selected as a Top American Haunt, the spook-tacular fun includes their famous haunted house & CreepyWoods Haunted Forest.

RA Sushi: Sushi Making 102 Class

Sunday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m. at Harbor East
Class includes brief history of sushi and a sushi-rolling lesson, a non-alcoholic beverage, miso soup, edamame, two maki rolls, two pieces of nigiri, a sushi-rolling mat to take home and a complimentary lunch card for next-visit use. Email for further info. I recently had a chance to sample some new menu items at RA SUSHI. I loved the bonfire shrimp with shishito peppers and RAcking shrimp, creatively served in a rice paper shell. The drunken black mussels steamed in sake are delectable. I sampled the drinks: lychee-tini and the cucumber collins. Both delicious and you would never know they are under 200 calories! RA Sushi's happy hour runs 3-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday with FAB deals on drinks, sushi and other popular menu items.

Wine Cellar- Fleet St Kitchen
Credit: Downtown Diane

NEW Fleet Street Kitchen Now Open

This gorgeous new restaurant is a lovely addition to the Harbor East area. Begin with the poached lobster appetizer, which melts in your mouth. Chef Chris Becker is in his element in the gorgeous open kitchen. For dinner, enjoy the braised short ribs or any of the fresh fish offerings. You must order a few sides, including the farm fresh pickled veggies and roasted heirloom carrots. We loved the offering of cheese for dessert and the wide variety of wine, port and Madeira. Very rich, but fun by the spoonful is the chocolate rum soup. The very innovative Bettina Perry is the executive pastry chef.  Philip Lucas Sommelier is happy to assist you in selecting the perfect wine to accompany your meal. The wine cellar is extraordinary. The décor is gorgeous, with beautiful chandeliers and very comfortable seating; and not many times do I say this, but be sure to check out the restroom which is equally stylish.

Roy's Harbor East
Credit: Downtown Diane

Roy's Harbor East

Chef Opie Crooks and Company continues working their magic in the kitchen and has added several new menu items. The always popular Lakani Lau roll is a must order for me, and I loved the new lobster dim sum. Their Hawaiian martinis are the perfect accompaniment to their fare, which takes you away to the islands. Say "Aloha," to managing partner Bryson Keens, one of the nicest people in the business.
Aloha Hour M-F. 410-659-0099

The Admiral's Cup to Open Soon

Kali's Restaurant Group has been working very hard to get The Admiral's Cup open before the Fells Point Festival, and it looks like they will make it! Back to run the new restaurant as GM is Kenneth Petti, which makes me thrilled! More details as it gets closer to opening, follow me on Twitter for daily dish.

The Spa at Four Seasons

Queen for a day is how you feel like when you enter The Spa at Four Seasons. I headed there recently for a girls day out with Hilary Phelps & Candace Dold of FOX 45.
We enjoyed lovely massages and relaxed with dessert and lots of conversation & laughs after our services. Enjoy the beautiful view of the waterfront and unwind in the relaxation rooms before or after your service. There are several heat experience areas to soothe your muscles including a vitality pool, sauna and steam room. These are available with any spa treatment and guests are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of these calming amenities. 410-223-1440;

Cinderella A Fairy Tale Wedding

Fashion show & all the info you need to plan your wedding, presented by Wedding411.
Oct. 2 & 3, 6:30-8 p.m. at The Castle at Maryvale

Ryleigh's Oyster Fest Tickets Now On Sale

It's an oyster lover's dream! The weekend begins with Oyster Ball on Thursday and then a full Oyster Fest block party in Federal Hill on Saturday and Sunday. Also, check out the new Oyster Mobile Tailgate at Ostend & Warner streets prior to Ravens games. Follow @OysterMobile on Twitter.

Havana Road-Towson

National Coffee Day Sept 29.Stop in for  a free coffee.

Havana Road has expanded their amazing Cuban menu and added a daily tapas menu. They also offer daily $9.50 lunch specials. "Like" them on Facebook for daily dish

Leinie Baltimore Beer Garden

What better way to stay cool then with a nice, cold Leinie? Daily specials, including Ladies Night and Big Barrel Wednesdays, have made this quite the go-to place this summer. Daily specials include Orioles home game specials.

Joe Squared Power Plant LIVE

Dine in or dine on their patio. Or you can also phone in your order, and someone will bring it to your car to take home. How perfect is that? I love the daily happy hours, including half price beer Mondays and half price rum Thursdays. Also, there is free music and weekly creative food specials. Check it all out here:

Some FALL EVENTS Coming Up

Baltimore Book Festival

Sept. 28-30, Mt. Vernon Place

Join me for ladies night with real housewife Teresa Giudice on Friday at 7 p.m.

This annual event will feature hundreds of author appearances and book signings, exhibitors and booksellers, readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, workshops, panel discussions, walking tours, storytellers and hands-on projects for kids, street theater and live music.

Rock-N-Roll Bash… Benefits Casey Cares

Sept. 29 Rams Head LIVE

Musicians and bands from the 70s and 80s jam for one night to benefit critically ill children. Get ready to party when popular cover bands like the KISS cover band, Cold Gin, the Bon Jovi tribute band, Bad Medicine, the AC/DC tribute band, High Voltage and others jam together for the 10th Anniversary Rock and Roll Bash.; 443-568-0064.

Walkabout Abilities

Sunday, Sept. 30, Goucher College Campus
Raises awareness and funds in support of Abilities Network.
The walk is a 1.5 mile family fun walk around the campus. The event also features breakfast and refreshments, DJ, entertainment and activities for all ages.

Healthy City Days..Baltimore!

Oct. 1-6
Whether it's eating better, exercising more often or learning your health-related numbers, enjoy a variety of fun, interactive, informative events all focused on health throughout the city!
Step off in Style at Kick -Off Event with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Oct. 1! View full schedule of events at


Saturday, Oct. 6
Baltimore Humane Society 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visit for full schedule of events!

Casey Cares 5K Run
Race Ambassadors Oriole Nick & Christina Markakis

Sunday, Oct. 7 Pulse Health & Fitness Club in Sparks
Start time is 9 a.m. There's also a family fun walk at 9:15 a.m.
For full details go to

Take A Ride…
Rehoboth Jazz Festival
Rehoboth Beach
Oct. 11-14


Timonium Oct. 13
Check out all the details at

One Night. One Show. One Cause … Journey

Lyric Opera House, Oct. 14

Benefits Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

Biggest Little Tailgate Party

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-9 M&T Stadium
Play games on the field, enjoy food prepared by local celebrities and restaurants, meet a Ravens player, mingle with cheerleaders and Poe, hear live music from Baltimore's School of Rock, cast your vote in the Chili Cook-Off.

An Evening of Unexpected Delights...Benefits "The Journey Home"

Saturday, Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m.- 12:30 a.m. at Baltimore Convention Center
This progressive evening of surprises benefits The Journey Home, Baltimore City's 10-year plan in collaboration with United Way of Central Maryland to end homelessness. The event will feature a cocktail reception followed by dinner and special performance from a woman who is an inspiration to many and an idol to all! After the concert, there will be dancing and desserts.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Presents Oktobearfest, a fall beer festival
Saturday, Oct. 20, noon- 4p.m. at Zoo's Waterfowl Lake Pavilion Area
Enjoy Seasonal Ales, Oktobearfest inspired foods and live music.

Baltimore Beer Week Is Coming!
Oct. 19-28
Many beer-related events and opening tap

Susan G. Komen Maryland Race for the Cure 2012

Sunday, Oct. 21 at Executive Plaza Parking Lots across Shawan Road from Hunt Valley Towne Centre; Race for the Cure offers a 5K (3.1 miles) competitive run (timed), a 5K recreational run, a 5K walk, and a 1 mile family fun walk.

Disney On Ice Presents Rockin Ever After

Oct. 24-28 at First Mariner Arena
A century of classic and new Disney stars are taking to the ice to share memories, laughs and excitement with you and your family.

Harvest Of Hope Benefit For CASA

Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30 Oregon Ridge Park Lodge, Hunt Valley
Silent Auction, Entertainment by Someone Else, appetizers, beverages & casual buffet dinner
Tickets are $75 in advance ($80 at the door). CASA Mission: To provide court-appointed volunteers who advocate for the well being of Baltimore County's abused and neglected children, including their placement in safe and permanent homes.

Ravens Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party
Hosted by Michael Oher, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson

Monday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.-midnight at Dave & Buster's at Arundel Mills Mall
Enjoy Dave & Buster games, food, open bar, costume contest, music and auction. Proceeds benefit Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake.

Downtown Diane is a Baltimore area food, travel & entertainment reporter, appearing Fridays on 105.7 The Fan Norris & Davis Show with her entertainment report. Follow her for Daily Dish on Twitter @DowntownDiane & check out upcoming events at

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