Sunday, February 9, 2014

Baltimore Mag To Howard Co.: No Sweet For You; What An Intern Could Have Found In One Day

CrunchDaddy popcorn -- That's sweet
Does Baltimore Magazine want us to stop us from buying their magazine?

I know that these "city" magazines have contracted into monthly shopping guides, but they can be really great ways to find new places.  I'm just bummed that Baltimore Magazine seems to be aggressively saying that they don't want subscribers in Howard County.

I can't figure out another message behind the "Sweets" article on the cover of the February edition.  The 10-page spread couldn't find a single Howard County bakery or restaurant to highlight.  Fifty recommendations.  None here.

Salt in the wound: They mentioned Bonaparte Bread, but only the Fells Point store -- not the Savage bakery where they sell and bake.  That seems like a conscious decision where they went out of their way to note the "multiple locations" of such culinary stars as Au Bon Pain and Maggie Moo's.

Au Bon Pan and Maggie Moo's?

But I digress.  It's actually a smart article that mixes haute, expensive joints with casual, old-time bakeries.  (My favorite is the sidebar "admitting" that Berger cookies aren't the uniformly-loved treasure most local journalists make them out to be.)  The many options would make me want to move north -- except that I know we're so sweet down here that I can only assume a Baltimore Mag editor drew a line to discuss only "the city," "the county," and a quota in Anne Arundel.

Baltimore Mag seems to know Howard County exists.  I can see ads for Victoria Gastro Pub and stores at the Columbia Mall.  But we got nothing more than a fine-print quote that says Great Sage makes vegan desserts -- not even a mention of what they bake.  So what could the magazine find with just an afternoon of an intern's time?
  • Bonaparte Bakery in Savage and Touche Touchet in Columbia.  The pastries at Bonaparte and the cookies at Touche Touchet would have fit perfectly into their mix of modern, high-end desserts.  Editor's pick: Frosted cookie with seasonal art at Touche Tochet.
  • Kolache Kreations in Ellicott City.  Here's a little niche item that anyone is welcome to tell their readers that they've discovered.  A pastry fond to European immigrants -- that's a Baltimore media speciality.  Editor's pick: Coffee and a cherry kolache.
  • Sweet Cascades in Ellicott City: Chocolate, chocolate everywhere.  The camp esthetic at Sweet Cascades would have contrasted nicely with the three chocolate shops that Baltimore Mag highlighted in Timonium.  (Road trip!)  Editor's pick:  The subtle bite-sized candies with flavors like rosemary, but we know people love the wacky stuff like Old Bay chocolate crabs, chocolate-dipped cheese puffs, and wine bottles covered with edible designs.
  • Shilla Bakery in Ellicott City.  Here's a stop that would have absolutely stood out on the Baltimore Mag list.  Korean folks make great sweets -- from French-inspired cakes to awesome sundae-like bing soo.  (Our bing soo adventure at the equally-interesting Bon Appetit down Rte 40.)  Editor's pick:  Red bean donut and a sweet potato latte.
  • CrunchDaddy and CookieRide.  Again, I appreciate the "how to find a place to shop" theme that has devoured city magazines.  I just don't see the service journalism in telling people in Baltimore that Berger cookies exist.  CrunchDaddy sells spectacular, unique sweet and savory popcorn from Columbia, and CookieRide will deliver cookies -- or run cookie parties -- all over.
Okay.  That's enough.  I just wrote about bakeries to check out on your weekend last month.  Plus, the scene keeps getting better with Columbia's Le Comptoir joining the absolute best group when it opened last month.  You could even click on all 160+ posts about sweets.  Find what you like.  Just don't cut us off the list.

I actually feel Baltimore Mag's problem with ice cream.  Maggie Moo's stands out on their list because it's really not made with a personal touch.  But they listed the local ice cream that I know, and I can't think of anything they missed.  Does anyone make ice cream in Howard County?  The closest that I know is Seibel's in Burtonsville.


Marcia said...

Not made in Howard County, but on Saturdays when their store is open, you can buy pints of relatively local, small batch ice cream. England Acres in Mt. Airy also sells pints of small batch ice cream. I believe some, if not all, of the ice cream at England Acres is from South Mountain Creamery.

Kevin Popcornface Pyles said...

I've tasted a lot of popcorn, and CrunchDaddy Popcorn is awesome! I couldn't help notice the Honey and Cinnamon Crunch pictured. It's one of my favorites.

Chris Bachmann said...

The only place that I can think of is the Bryer's plant in Laurel. The milk that UMCP's ice cream shop uses comes from the Clarksville farm although they finish the process in College Park.

laurendale said...

The wonderful Charmery ice cream shop in Hampden is owned by a young lady, Laura (Iliff) Alima, who grew up in Howard County...Does that count?

jayride said...

We have an amazing amount of sweets in HoCo. Think master baker Gerald Koh only makes bread at Bon Fresco? Try the cinnamon buns. And don't tell anyone about the Middle Eastern kunafe at Rudy's Mediterranean Grill that is as good as the stuff you can get overseas.

Anonymous said...

Discerning readers would hopefully know by now to look to this blog for their local "dish" as well as Howard magazine, which has printed stories on all of these sweet spots and the local people behind the businesses. :) Agreed though -- its nonetheless disappointing to be ignored by other media outlets.