Monday, September 14, 2015

Who Is Getting Atwaters To Open In Howard County? Sandwiches Break Tradition, Still Excel

A Cuban sandwich that doesn't look like a Cuban, but tastes delicious
Who is working on getting Atwater's to open in Howard County?

The Baltimore bakery chain has a location in Catonsville.  I annexed Catonsville a while ago -- along with Sykesville and the AA and PG areas near our Laurel.  But I hadn't eaten in Catonsville recently until we stopped again at Home Anthology to nose around for modern furniture.

First lesson of the day:  Furniture shopping changes when you bring a toddler.  Like, it cuts to 15 minutes and out.

Second lesson: A few blocks north of the store, Atwater's makes delicious sandwiches -- and some jams that would make beautiful holiday gifts.

Atwater's sandwiches stood out even though they were on the wrong bread.  Mrs. HowChow and I split a Cuban.  We have finally learned that Lil' Chow isn't going to eat much of a grilled cheese sandwich so we each got a slice of that as well.

A traditional Cuban sandwich comes on length of split crusty bread, normally squashed by a hot press to make a crispy top and a heated sandwich.  Atwaters substituted slices of their own white bread that were probably pressed on something like a hot skillet.  But they made up for variation by hitting it out of the park with the ingredients.

Really good pork loin, ham, cheese and pickles.  The menu says pickled jicama.  It's a take on a Cuban sandwich, not a Miami local, and I'll take one any day.  That was a fresh, meaty sandwich that had the hallmark of "I couldn't do that at home" -- down to the pickles that at least tasted like they were made in house.

Those sandwiches make me confident that the rest of the menu -- from salads to cool-looking "tiffin" lunch combos -- would be worth exploring.  Plus, Atwater's is a friendly little joint.  Tons of seating upstairs with art by local high school students.  Our niece ordered a salad.  She complimented the dish, although I didn't take enough notes to remember why.

A few doors down from Atwater's are several dessert options.  including a candy store and You Scream Ice cream.  I'd always recommend a weekend visit to Home Anthology and then lunch on Frederick Road. You could even go for the food alone.

Seriously, Catonsville is an easy drive from most of Howard County, and it's worth the visit to check out food like Linsy's tacos and Hang Ari's noodle soup.  I still haven't had time to shop at the Chinese grocery store Great Wall.  Click here for all the Catonsville reviews.

815 Frederick Road
Catonsville, Maryland 21228

NEAR: Atwater's is on Frederick Road just west of I-695. This is downtown Catonsville. There are a few blocks of stores and restaurants to stroll and window shop.

7 comments: said...

I stock up on the bread and butter pickles from the cold case whenever I can. They are seriously good.

Marcia said...

We were in Catonsville yesterday for their Arts & Crafts Fair. Lots of neat vendors. We had sausage, peppers and onions on a roll for our lunch.

Steffi said...

I had a terrible experience with Atwater's customer service that leaves me very hesitant to return. I was the only customer in there, and apparently me trying to decide what I wanted was really wasting the time of the employee at the counter. The whole thing left a very poor taste in my mouth, and I haven't been back since.

Anonymous said...

I also have had bad service issues at Atwaters, and I really don't think their stuff is very good. It all seemed dry and overbaked. Sorry, I just never understood the hype.

bmorecupcake said...

Steffi and Anonymous, were these experiences at the Catonsville store? I've been going every week since the week they opened, and I only ever remember twice having an issue (those employees are long gone.) I will admit they are overrated on some things, but I also think they are excellent at some things. You sort of do have to get a feel for what breads will be good on a given day. I sorely miss the feeling from when all the baked goods were made in Catonsville. I guess the catering/contracting business is too lucrative to ignore, so they had to move kitchen operations to expand. Still, Atwater's in Catonsville is one of the few places I'll forgive inconsistencies because of the quality of the ingredients and because the service is so good. I go to the other locations every now and then -- probably the Canton location 2nd most -- and agree there are service hiccups at those locations.

They have a loyalty rewards program now that you download as an app on your phone. Also, I think the jams are on sale right now, but that special could be over.

wondergirl said...

I really like Atwaters for breakfast. The Belvedere Sq location is my favorite, but Catonsville does nice breakfasts too. Try an omelette with Atwaters bread toasted on the side! Can anyone confirm whether the Catonsville location still sells Trickling Springs dairy products?

bmorecupcake said...

wondergirl, yes they do still sell Trickling Springs. We buy milk and butter from there every week.