Great Plates from the Emporiyum

| April 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Last weekend many top restaurants, chefs and food vendors from around the region gathered at the Emporiyum at the Thames Street Wharf in Fells Point. The event featured Bryan Voltaggio of Volt and the soon-to-open Aggio in Baltimore, as well as the Woodberry Kitchen family of restaurants and many other regional favorites.

My stomach only had room to taste so many things, so I wish I was there both days of the two-day event. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites (to note, unfortunately I just missed getting a plate from Volt):

Ramen from Toki Underground

photoEveryone who has ever gone to college, dined on a budget, or just likes a salty, noodle-filled snack knows all about ramen noodles. Usually one’s experience with ramen only includes the inexpensive packets you get from your local grocer or bodega, but ramen noodle restaurants are really growing in popularity throughout the country. Washington, DC-based Toki Underground, located in the H Street neighborhood, has garnered rave reviews for their bowls of ramen under the direction of Taiwanese-born chef Chef Erik Bruner-Yang. The restaurant even had a three hour wait during a recent popup they did at Artifact Coffee in Hampden.

I made a trip to DC one time just to taste their ramen and it did not disappoint. Last weekend, I was excited to get another chance to sample one of their bowls without driving to DC or waiting all night. I ordered and received a bowl in less than 10 minutes and it was again delicious. The broth was so flavorful, the noodles were delicious, and the ham, sausage, kale, ginger and other toppings were the perfect addition.

I make sure to tell them to come to Baltimore every chance I get – I hope they are listening.

Pork Tacos from PhoWheels 

I’m such a huge fan of pho that I’ve never really had any other Vietnamese plates other than the noodle soup because I just can’t turn it down when it is an option. PhoWheels, a DC-based food truck, offered a great option that satisfied my love of pho and curiosity of other dishes as they were offering combinations of small bowls of pho with their other dishes.

I got the five-spice maple-glazed pork belly tacos on a Malaysian flatbread with a side of pho. The tacos were outstanding and the pho was just right. I might have to keep an eye on where their truck will be next.

Pork Bun from Dooby’s

Dooby’s is a coffee shop/bakery/restaurant based in Mount Vernon since 2013. After trying their pork bun, I definitely need to make the trip a few blocks north for a full meal. The pork buns featured pork belly confit, siracha aioli and honey hoisin-cucumbers on steamed bun. Unfortunately, I shared one and immediately wished I had one just for myself.  It was a great combination of flavors, and the bun reminded me of a crepe or pancake. It was certainly one of the best things I had all day.

Mobtown Meat Snacks

Riverside resident Evan Siple, owner of Mobtown Meat Snacks, was sampling many of the company’s different flavors of beef jerky including Siracha, Garlic Lovers, Bold Bay, Jamaican, and more at the Emporiyum. I’ve had a few bites in the past, but I was excited to get to try more of the flavors and pick some up. I bought a bag of the Siracha and Garlic Lovers, and both were very good. It’s a great snack to keep around the house, even though they somehow don’t seem to stay around very long.

Mobtown Meat Snacks can be found online, at local events, or at a growing number of retail stores around the city.

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.