Monday, December 13, 2010

Bon Appetit Bakery & Cafe In Ellicott City

Bon Appetit Bakery & Cafe has burst on the scene with sweets, bread and sandwiches, although it is all but hidden from Rte 40 in Ellicott City.

The new bakery offers up a Korean-tinged variety accessible to anyone.  Sweets for a snack.  Cakes for a special occasions. Sandwiches for breakfast or lunch.

And there are red bean donuts.  Oh, I love red bean sweets, and Bon Appetit's rice donuts are bulked-up donut holes -- a really nice balance between the filing and the surrounding fried dough.

Check out Bon Appetit because you can't go wrong.  The sweets are terrific.  Madelines, donuts, mnju, and three kinds of castella.  The last two are Japanese pastries, although I only learned that on Wikipedia.  Bon Appetit could use some explanations -- a few lines about each variety to tell you what you can buy.

The cakes are obvious.  An entire case is filled with formal-looking cakes and tortes.  I assume they're a Korean style because I have seen similar ones at La Boulangerie and the bakery at the front of H Mart.  Those would make a birthday or an office party.  Mrs. HowChow doesn't like cake, so I have never bought one yet.

But the rest of the place is definitely a chance to explore.  On Sunday, they were offering green tea donuts.  Not my favorites, but certainly something to try.  Much of the items are individually wrapped, so you can grab one to try.  This time, I tried lightly-salted bread sticks that were crisp and perfect with soup,  Next time, I'm going to get the cookies that look like smiley faces.

On top of all the sweets, you can also get sandwiches or bubble tea.   You can also get breakfast sandwiches, and the egg sandwiches were cheap.  From the effort put into the pastries, I assume that they're paying attention to all tose items as well.  I'd love to hear if you lunch there.

(Update:  Check out the comments below.  I have to be honest that you can go wrong with some of the savory breads.  They were tasting a "pizza baguette" that didn't thrill me.  Not terrible, but you should eat sweets at Bon Appetit and get your pizza elsewhere.)

(Update 2: In 2011, the Ellicott City Patch also wrote about Bon Appetit.)

If you're driving out to Bon Appetit, consider stopped by the Caspian Market on the same trip.  It's in the same shopping center as the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt shop on the south side of Rte 40.  If you drive from Bon Appetit to Rte 29, you pass Caspian on the right.  Absolutely worth checking out for a range of Middle Eastern food.

Bon Appetit Bakery & Cafe 
10155 Baltimore National Pike 
Ellicott City, MD 21042-3669
(410) 203-2071 

NEAR:  Bon Appetit is in a brick building on the south side of Rte 40.  It's just west of Bethany Lane.  The building sits perpendicular to the main road.  You need to be driving eastbound to turn into the building so you need to go past and U-turn if you're coming from Rte 29.

Bon Appetit Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon


Marcia said...

So what is with the bubble teas? I just heard about another bakery, Kolache Kreations, on Frederick Rd. Kolache's are Czech, and THEY have bubble tea on their menu.

HowChow said...

Marcia -- I'm laughing because you're giving away some future posts. Kolache is set for tomorrow, and I think a bubble tea overview is appropriate now. The couple running Kolache are clearly Texas transplants, but they are pairing Czech baking with tapioca drinks.

Marcia said...

Yeah, but: my dad was Czech and I'm fairly certain he never put tapioca in his tea :-) In his family, tapioca was for pudding or thickening fruit pies. Period.

Treetop Tom said...

You'd be hard-pressed to find a bakery/ice cream/coffee shop in western Ellicott City that didn't offer bubble tea. Our Asian friends and neighbors are crazy for baked goods, fro-yo and bubble tea, as evidenced by the many shops springing up along US 40(Tutti-Frutti, Yogi Castle, Ice Berry, Pink Beach, [now] Bon Appetit and many others.) Having a sweet tooth myself, I say the more the merrier.

Treetop Tom said...

One other thing - to avoid having to drive west on US 40 and make a U-turn, you can access Bon Appetit from Frederick Road (MD 144) as well. From 40 if you turn left on Centennial Lane and then right on Frederick Road just past the CVS you'll come up from the other side. The U-turn on 40 seems like it's miles away and is confusing since there are numerous median breaks where no U-turns are allowed.

Jess said...

I stopped by about a week after they opened and picked up some sausage pizza bread (I think that's what they called it), a slice of chocolate ganache cake, and a slice of butter cake, and they gave me a free piece of something resembling coffee crumb cake. Pizza bread was my mistake - why would I get something like that at a clearly Asian-oriented bakery? Sausage translates to hot dog, and tomato sauce translates to ketchup, as far as I can tell. I think there were peas and carrots as well. But again, my mistake. (So HowChow, you can go wrong, but only if you're me.) I enjoyed the chocolate cake the most. The butter cake wasn't bad, but I would have preferred it sweeter. I didn't have any of the crumb cake, but my husband seemed to enjoy it. Service was super friendly. I'll have to go back to try the red bean donuts.

dzoey said...

I stopped by this morning and bought an eclair and a chicken sandwich. Both were good, though the eclair was filled with whipped cream and my preference is custard. It was good though.

I was really impressed with the selection of baked good from across the globe. It's worth visiting just to see all the different forms dough can take.

The sandwich price was reasonable and whole cake/pastry prices were reasonable, but the individual baked goods are expensive. My eclair was $4 and most individual baked goods were from $3 (slice of sweet cake) to $5 napoleon, mousse cup)

Jagsters said...

I ordered Yule logs and a 12 inch strawberry shortcake for my Christmas dessert table. The price was more than reasonable and the presentation was beyond outstanding. The chocolate yule logs were amazing but overshadowed by the strawberry.....which is saying a lot for a chocolate loving family. The cakes in each were incredibly light and fluffy yet really flavorful. The strawberry whipped cream with fresh strawberries was so fabulous it left you speachless. The yule logs were topped with fudge but had the lightest, tastiest chocolate cream inside. The layering of tastes and textures was mind blowing. We were all commenting on the sensations with every bite. My family was so impressed and this will now become a family tradition.

carotte sauvage said...

On our way back from Ace Hardware last night we planned to stop for some Baskin Robbins but saw this place was still open - quite a pleasant surprise since it was almost 9 pm! We tried the strawberry red bean donut, some kind of more western style pastry cake thing (can't remember the exact name), and the mocchi, which intrigued me with it's odd texture. It's a rice dough filled with red bean paste and had the most interesting mouth feel, unlike anything I can remember trying - it's chewy and slightly gooey. I may now be a mocchi addict! We bought a white bean donut as well, which we'll try tonight. I also bought some carrot soup to go. I'm saving it for lunch one day this week but I took a small taste of it last night and it was piping hot and delicious.

Thanks, HowChow, for the write-up on Bon Appetite - I had seen the sign awhile ago but assumed it was just another bakery with your everyday bakery offerings and wasn't that interested. After reading your review, I had to go there for the red bean donuts.