Best Food Spots Around UBalt

Photo: Louis Hansel – Unsplash

Aren’t you tired of trying to find a place to eat around UBALT? Well, lucky for you because I have a few suggestions for you. 

If you are a breakfast person and want to grab something quick near school, Belvedere Bagels and Grill is the perfect spot for you! Only a few blocks away from our campus, this place offers mouth-watering bagels and pancakes – such as Garlic, Salt, Multigrain, Poppyseed, Cinnamon, Raisin, Onion and more! Plus, your traditional homemade blueberry pancakes.

The interior of the restaurant is casual and quite simple. The restaurant has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google reviews – evidently, it is highly favored among alumni and staff here at the university. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, you cannot dine-in but I would not sleep on this place!

If you are into international food, Tapas Teatro Cafe offers a variety of food – from traditional Spanish food to seafood to vegan food. According to The Grub Factory, this restaurant is also rated 4.5 stars. 

“SO good! The vegan food here is impressively good! I eat mostly vegan (and sometimes vegetarian), and this food rivals (and surpasses) many I’ve had. We ordered a sandwich, vegan mac ‘n cheese with coconut bacon and each had a Kombucha to split. Flavorful. This food is made with love. Delicious. Seating is limited inside. You can order to take out. My recommendation would be to arrive early as this place gets busy, fast, a testament to how good this place is! We arrived around 5 o’clock, and it filled up quickly, and within half an hour had at least a dozen people arriving to pick up take-out orders. Highly recommend this place!!!” says one of the reviewers commented on The Grub Factory.

When you walk inside Tapas, you can’t help but notice the artwork and their captivating decor. The theme revolves around Spanish, African and Egyptian culture (including an artist named Docta Toonz). Definitely check this place out!

Sammy’s Trattoria is one of my personal favorites – since my tenure at UBALT. I consider this restaurant as one of the hidden gems in Baltimore. The simple ambiance is bolstered by traditional Italian food and a great selection of adult beverages. This is a great place to dine with old friends and meet new ones. If you love Italian food as I do, you must try their brick oven pizza. The taste is immaculate and (of course) very different from an electric oven pizza. Sammy’s Trattoria is also a few blocks away from the student center – approximately 0.2 miles away. You will be able to relax and enjoy some great food during your leisure time and in between classes once campus opens back up again in the fall. 

Other food places that I would recommend are 

  • Turp’s Sports Bar & Restaurant
  • Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Cafe 1908
  • Never On Sunday

Bon Appetit!

Artjona Lireza is a staff writer for The Sting. She is a Digital Communications student at the University of Baltimore.

Young adults are going back to their childhood homes. Here’s why.

Young adults have recently set a new standard of choosing to live with their parents. Normally, young adults leave their parents’ homes when they set out to establish their own. While many linger around their childhood homes when they complete school, it seems that it’s becoming increasingly common for young adults to stick around their old stomping grounds just a little longer. What may be the reasons for this increasing trend? 

Economic downtown

First, young adults live with their parents as a result of the economic downturn. The outbreak of pandemics such as Covid-19 may prevent young adults from moving to their own homes. When a pandemic emerges, new living arrangements are formed, impacting young adults and overall economic growth, hence preventing them from moving to their new homes.

Most of them are single

Secondly, young adults live with their parents because they are not married. The rise of single young adults and fall of marriage rates force young adults to live with their parents. Even when young adults stay single for a long period, they should not live with their parents.

The old family regression is pleasurable.

When young adults are aging, some routines which have not been there for some time, re enter their life. Such emerging routines during this stage of “adulting” strengthen relationships between parents and their children. Young adults get along very well with their parents compared to what may have happened during adolescence. This creates the likelihood of developing deeper connections and relationships. The likelihood of young adults living with the parents has also been influenced by social factors such as the cultural background.

Feeling of failure

It is hard to shake the fear of failure, which is derived from cultural programming. Many young adults think that getting out of their parents’ house is an essential component of entering adulthood. There seems to be a stigma when they fail to reach such milestones. The impatient tone is the order of the day among young adults. Further, the living standards of young adults may be experienced due to low-income households. In this case, young adults opt to live with their parents since the benefits system would reduce their payments.

It all boils down to economic, psychological, and social factors. Other young adults go back to their parents’ homes due to job loss, a failed marriage, or a desire to help parents who may be in need. 

Personally, I’m still living with my parents and one of the reasons is not being financially stable. This situation has its benefits, however I would much prefer to live alone and have my own privacy.

Artjona Lireza is a staff writer for The Sting.

Honeycomb Hideout: Getting Back Out There

Dear Honeycomb Hideout,

With vaccines and everything opening back up with spring, I feel like it’s time for me to get back out there. I have been swiping through the whole pandemic and after talking to a few people I have a few I want to meet up with. Do you have any advice for someone who has been out of the game for the last year? 

Your friend, 

Back Out in Baltimore

First, let me say welcome back to the outside world BoB! 

Let’s start by getting to the most basic piece of advice I can give in any dating situation, which is be yourself. No matter how fun, crazy or sad you are, just be that. 

Now thinking about how Spring is around the corner and the weather is getting warmer offers you some more options when it comes to going on dates. There’s plenty of outdoor dining all over the city or you could take a stroll around Federal Hill or Patterson Park. 

There’s also the option of walking around the Harbor or Fells Point, however I recommend bringing a jacket because it gets cold by the water. These are just some basic ideas of some date options for you but whatever you and the other person want to do, go for that.

Now about how you’ve been fever swiping: it sounds like you’ve built up quite the roster to choose from. You can play this many ways. You could go into like the bachelor/bachelorette or even like the hunger games where only the strongest competitor survives. However, I just live for chaos so maybe you won’t look at it that way. 

Thankfully all the power is in your hands so I recommend going with your gut and just feel things out. We’re all coming out of this pandemic together and we’re all going to be a little socially awkward and not pick up on social cues cause we’ve been on house arrest the last year.  

Regardless, just get back out there! This pandemic has taken a lot from everyone and life is meant to be lived, so do exactly that. 


Friday Groove: George Harrison

When I worked at Record and Tape, we had a poster in the back room of the Beatles, with handwritten labels above each member. Ringo’s said “Stupid Head.” John’s said ”Dumb Head.” What Paul’s said is too vulgar for this publication. But George’s said “Eh, he’s ok.”

Over the years, I don’t really recall hearing anyone say anything bad about George Harrison. Meanwhile, I’ve heard people say a lot about the other three members of the Beatles. Even before knowing much about Harrison’s music, I could tell something was different about him. He didn’t seem as pretentious as Paul. He didn’t seem as hot-headed as John. He didn’t seem as drunk as Ringo.

A few years ago, when I came across a clip of George Harrison on The Dick Cavett Show, he proved what I suppose I had always known about him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who was as purely human as he was. As he made quips to Dick Cavett, you could tell he was uncomfortable with the prospect of being interviewed in front of millions of viewers, as anyone might be in a similar situation.

He wasn’t there to show off or brag about what he had done recently. When pressed about what he had said to John Lennon at a recent movie premiere, Harrison replied “I said ‘Hi, hello.’” There was no profound conversation or intense encounter. To me, in a way, that was almost better than anything he (or anyone for that matter) could have made up.

I think there’s a misconception about professional musicians that they’re these larger than life figures who are always out at parties or events, or always on tour. George Harrison, by no means, was larger than life, but just because he wasn’t larger than life doesn’t mean he didn’t have a large life. 

Born in Liverpool, England in 1943, George Harrison started playing music with Paul McCartney and John Lennon in his early teens. In the Beatles, Harrison couldn’t fully express himself. Stuck playing lead guitar and singing background vocals to the overwhelming majority of songs that were written by Lennon and McCartney, Harrison was only able to get a couple of songs on each record. 

As turmoil grew within the band, Harrison quit on multiple occasions, with the most iconic departure occurring on January 10, 1969. After McCartney and Lennon continuously shot down song after song of Harrison’s, he had had enough. He went home that day and wrote the song “Wah-Wah,” which would later appear on his second solo album. Of course, Harrison came back to finish the rest of the Beatles’ recordings, but within a year, the band broke up for good.

In 1970, about a month after the Beatles broke up, Harrison went to work on his magnum opus. The triple-LP All Things Must Pass, which featured some of the greatest musical talent of the time, including Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Pete Drake and too many others to count, was released in November of that year. 

It’s hard to find the right words to describe that album. I don’t have another piece of music in my collection that even remotely compares to the raw emotion that Harrison digs into on the record. It has made me laugh. It has made me cry. Tracks like “What Is Life” and “Art of Dying” make you want to roll the windows down and turn the volume up. Tracks like “My Sweet Lord” and “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp” are delicate and timeless. 

Easily, All Things Must Pass is my favorite record of all time. Even as I try to put some variety into what I listen to, I put that album on the turntable at least a couple times a month.

All of Harrison’s other eleven solo albums are fantastic pieces of music too. Isn’t it a pity that he was so constrained in the Beatles? Who’s to say what some of those records would’ve looked like had Lennon and McCartney given Harrison more freedom to express himself. Later in his career, he also appeared alongside Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison in The Traveling Wilburys.

Harrison’s ventures weren’t limited to just music either. He was a founder of HandMade Films in 1979, which helped produce the films Life of Brian (1979) and Time Bandits (1981). When Monty Python lost their funding for Life of Brian due to uproar from the Catholic Church over the film’s content, Harrison took out a second mortgage on his home to fund the film’s completion. The only condition was that he got to be in the movie.

On Thursday, George Harrison would’ve turned 78. There were tributes on Facebook from former bandmate Paul McCartney and millions of fans everywhere. I personally threw on his 1974 LP Dark Horse to mark the occasion. 

Although Harrison passed away 20 years ago this November from cancer, his legacy continues. His son, Dhani Harrison, recently revived his father’s old record label Dark Horse. Next month, the label is releasing a compilation of Greatest Hits from The Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

I always get a little upset when there’s an artist I couldn’t appreciate until after their death. Of course, being only three when he died, it’s not through any fault of my own. I do take comfort, though, in knowing that Harrison did finally get the recognition he deserved after the Beatles broke up, and that he was able to have such a successful career while also maintaining such a deep sense of humility.

Tony Sheaffer is editor-in-chief for The Sting and writes Friday Groove, a weekly music column.

“That’s Three!”: How the O’s Struck Out Another Lifelong Fan

Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Opening Day 2019 (Photo: Tony Sheaffer)

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the obviously fake tweet saying something to the effect of, “I’ve been an Orioles fan all my life, and a season ticket holder since [insert year here]. The Orioles have lost me as a fan.” 

Of course it’s just a copy and paste format, meant to aggravate the real fans on Twitter., How is this fooling anyone? A true die-hard would never abandon their team. Even if it is the Orioles. 

I’ve been an Orioles fan my entire life, for real. Without holding a season ticket, I’m in the stands for at least five or six games a season. I’m even a fan away from home. I spent part of my 2019 vacation in Phoenix watching the Orioles play the Diamondbacks instead of the plethora of tourist-centric options available on my last night. 

The “three strikes rule” applies to a lot more than batting, and the Orioles have finally reached their three stikes and are now out. At least in my book. 

Strike One: Chris Davis (no pun intended)

Chris Davis is not only the biggest disappointment in recent Orioles history, but he’s also an expensive one.  Not only did hesign a seven-year, $161 million contract going into the 2016 season, he simply has forgotten to deliver. 

He led the MLB in Runs Batted In (RBI) in 2013, home-runs in both 2013 and 2015, and strike-outs in 2015 and 2016, it seemed that his talent leaped away during that leap year. By 2018, Davis couldn’t even bat .200, and ended 2020 at an abysmal .115. 

For some reason, he’s still in the lineup. He’s a decent first baseman, but it’s almost a sure thing nowadays that when he comes to the plate, you can be confident he will end up striking out or hitting a pop-fly right to an outfielder. 

A friend suggested that he should oil mitts since that’s all he’s good for in baseball. 

Strike Two: The 2018 Trades and Losses

Without much of a choice, Chris Davis remains on the team but every other core member of the Orioles postseason runs in 2012 and 2014 has either been traded or took better deals with other teams.  In most instances, this happened while the Orioles couldn’t even place competitive offers for free agents.

This is with few exceptions. Trading Machado to the Dodgers made sense. There was little chance of making him an offer that he couldn’t refuse in time for his contract’s 2018 expiration date.  It was the only trade that season that actually gave the Orioles something to work with. On the bright side, Dean Kremer, who made a few promising starts for the O’s last season, was part of that transaction.

Others made no sense.

Pitchers Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Kevin Gausman were all traded to the Braves for prospects and international slot money, which is money earmarked for international players. 

Although with Dan Duquette in the front office, you can imagine that money was not put to good use. 

Zach Britton, a 2016 Cy Young contender, was traded to the Yankees for prospects, all of whom have yet to really pan out. 

Jonathan Schoop, who was one of the most vibrant figures on-field, was traded to the Brewers for two prospects and second baseman Jonathan Villar. The prospects didn’t pan out (noticing a pattern here?) but Villar did manage to put up some pretty respectable numbers for the rest of 2018 and again in 2019. He was traded to the Marlins between 2019 and 2020 for pitching prospect Easton Lucas, who has been unable to play with the organization yet because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than a few, in between this time span, simply got away. 

The Orioles did not renew catcher Matt Wieters’ contract after he became a free-agent following the 2016 season. It was rumored afterwards that he would’ve stayed in Baltimore had they offered him something, but he ended up signing a deal with the Washington Nationals. Upon his return to Camden Yards in 2017, he was greeted with a standing ovation.

The Orioles also let beloved center fielder Adam Jones get away following the 2018 season. Jones was a fan-favorite in Baltimore and was known for his upbeat personality, Gold-Glove worthy talent, and his pie-slinging prowess. He continued that tradition when he landed in Phoenix for the 2019 season. Jones now plays for the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka, Japan.

Strike Three: The Broadcasters

Scott Garceau and Ben McDonald calling Orioles games had to be one of the worst parts of the 2020 season. Awkward and constantly fumbling player’s names and positions, my girlfriend began to mock my anguished look when Garceau referred to the Philadelphia Phillies as, “The Phils.” 

The saving grace, for me, going through 2020 was knowing that the usual crew would be set to return in 2021.

Boy, was I wrong. Dead wrong.

Last week, the Orioles announced their 2021 broadcast team, bringing a long-festering rumor that most of the beloved Orioles broadcast team would be let go, to fruition. 

The broadcasters who made me fall in love with Orioles baseball, and baseball broadly, had such a profound impact on my life. We spent numerous milestones together united by our passion for Orioles baseball and losing them feels like losing a part of my childhood. 

In the blink of an eye, some of the most dedicated members of the Orioles family were no longer on speaking terms. Family like Gary Thorne, Jim Hunter, Tom Davis and former Orioles players Mike Bordick, Rick Dempsey, Gregg Olson, and Brian Roberts, all gone with no chances to return. 

And so was I. 

The Orioles organization doesn’t care about the fans, Baltimore, or baseball. They, instead, wander aimlessly in hopes of stumbling into a postseason berth and eventually a World Series title.

Fans are meanwhile caught in the dust of poor, misguided decisions. 

Strikes one and two were intertwined. They kept on dismal players like Davis while letting others like Jones go. They squandered their funds and opportunities to grow as an organization and instill that same love of baseball into a new generation of fans. They look the same, year after year, and it really does feel like the people who run the Orioles don’t even care.

The broadcasters were the last thing keeping me invested. Now that they’re gone, it’s strike three. They’re out, and there’s nothing left for me here.

Some will call me a fair-weathered fan. Others will say I was never truly an Orioles fan in the first place. 

I don’t really care what anyone says. I loved the Orioles, but the feelings weren’t mutual. It’s just time to cut my losses.

My love for baseball, as the most beautiful game ever created however, remains.

Tony Sheaffer is editor-in-chief for The Sting.

Friday Groove: Medicine at Midnight – Foo Fighters

It feels like most albums I’ve reviewed over the last year were recorded before the pandemic, and were subsequently shelved temporarily. Foo Fighters latest is no exception.

To coincide with their 25th anniversary, Foo Fighters had planned to release their 10th studio album, Medicine at Midnight last year. With the cancellation of their tour, postponing the release seemed like a pretty viable option.

But I suppose Dave Grohl and company couldn’t wait for touring to resume to have the world hear their latest effort. And to be completely honest, I can’t blame them. From the opening drum groove to the loud and catchy choruses, this new Foos record is highly experimental, and arguably one of their best. 

It’s jazzy. It’s bluesy. It reminds me of David Bowie and Queens of the Stone Age at the same time. It has songs that you can dance to, and it has songs that thousands of people can sing along with in unison. 

That opening drum groove I mentioned? On “Making a Fire,” tt gives way to one of the catchiest guitar licks I’ve heard in some time, along with vocal melodies from the background singers that can often be seen accompanying the band on tour. To this point, I can’t recall hearing them on one of the Foo Fighters albums. The verse gives way to a boisterous chorus that I think will be stuck in my head for some time.

“Shame Shame,” the second track is quite mellow, the polar opposite of most Foo Fighters tracks, including the album opener. It’s a solid groove too. “Cloudspotter” starts mellow, but rips open with the chorus. It prompts me to think of Joe Cocker or the Rolling Stones track “Gimme Shelter.”

“No Son of Mine” and “Holding Poison” get back to that classic Foo Fighters sound we’ve enjoyed for 25 years, but they still sound like fresh songs. “Chasing Birds,” like “Shame Shame,” is pretty laid back, but the wide range of sound keeps the listener guessing as to what will come next, and in my opinion, that’s not a bad thing at all.

The album ends with the thunderous “Love Dies Young,” a track that takes the new sounds the band has been experimenting with and puts them right alongside their definitive sound. Needless to say, the album ends on a high note. 

Despite now having six members in the band, this album doesn’t sound too crowded, which can happen when there’s too many people collaborating on one project. More than anything, I think I’m happiest with Nate Mendel’s bass playing on this record. He really took some risks with his playing on this effort, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

I always worry a bit when a band I’ve loved for years puts out a new album, but with this one, Foo Fighters hit the nail on the head. I look forward to seeing them get back out on the road, hopefully later this year.

Tony Sheaffer is editor-in-chief for The Sting and writes Friday Groove, a weekly music column.