You can't fit a much better meal in your hand than a Jamaican patty from the Golden Krust Bakery in Catonsville.
Pastry wrapped around a meat or vegetable filling is a universal treat -- the empanada, the knish, etc. Jamaicans made it their own with spicy meat fillings, including the ubiquitous "jerk" seasonings, and Golden Krust serves them up warm and delicious from a takeout location on Rte 40 near the Super H grocery store.
The Golden Krust patties are spectacular because they aren't greasy. The pastry is flaky, almost dry. The fillings are flavorful, but spiced more with the discretion of mild Indian food than with the blazing heavy hand of kimchi or jalepenos. The pastries run $1.65 to $2.30 each, so you can explore from the spicy ground beef to the curry chicken to the jerk chicken. That was my journey, and I have to admit that three patties was too much for a single lunch. I got too full, and Mrs. HowChow finished off the last patty when I re-heated them at home. Pair up the pastries with some grapefruit-flavored Ting soda or some Jamaican-style ice cream.
Golden Krust also offers vegetarian versions -- one with steamed vegetables and another with whole-wheat pastry and a soy filling. It also sells "cocktail" patties by the dozen if you order in advance. Those would star as party finger food.
From the menu, Golden Krust appears to be a New York-based chain. Beyond the patties, they sell full takeout meals, including jerk chicken, curried goat, braised oxtail and fried fish. The guy in front of me carried out an entire tray that smelled delicious. Golden Krust also sells baked goods, which I will sample next time. Gizzarda -- baked pastry shells will with ginger-flavored, grated coconut! Bulla Cakes -- ginger cakes to serve with cheese, butter or just coffee. Those sound like fun.
If you like patties, you should also try the empanadas at El Patio Market in Jessup. If you want to know more about Golden Krust, check out the Baltimore Snacker post about trying a chicken special.
If you drive to the Golden Krust, you should also check out the Super H grocery store next door -- my favorite place for food, but also an easy place to pick of stuff even if you don't cook. If you are looking for Jamaican products, check out Julie's International Market in Elkridge.
To reach Catonsville off Rte 40 from HoCo, you probably will pass the Lotte Plaza shopping center at Rte 29 with both the Lotte grocery store and the Shin Chon Korean restaurant. Both are worth visits. You'll also pass Tere's Mexican Market on Rte 40.
Golden Krust Bakery
838 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
NEAR: This is in the same shopping center as the Super H grocery store. It is on Rte 40 just west of I-695. If you are driving east on Rte 40 from HoCo, you'll see a Starbucks and a FedEx at the end of the shopping center. Turn right immediately after the Starbucks. If you miss it, just turn right at the next intersection.