Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bonaparte Bread in Savage (and the Columbia farmer's market)

Bonaparte Bread sells the best bread in Howard County. What else do you want to know? Crusty baguettes that have the look and crumb of a champion. Speciality breads with olives or chopped fruit. French pastries that make every carbohydrate worthwhile.

These are luxuries at a small price. Three dollars for a baguette is expensive compared to a loaf at Safeway. But there is no comparison between supermarket bread, and the Bonaparte baguette with its crisp crust and an inside that tastes like bread. They're slightly chewy with a taste of the oven on the dark crust. This is worth a drive to pick up loaves for yourself or for a party. This weekend's loaf made exquisite sandwiches topped with tomato, basil and cheese. The next morning, it toasted for breakfast with peanut butter and jam.

Bonaparte Bread sells seven-days-a-week from its store in Savage, where you can also get coffee, pastries, soup and sandwiches. The coffee is delicious, and it's a great place for either a weekend breakfast or for a weekday break with pastries. With its brick walls and black iron tables, the small shop has the kind of low-key class that the best stores and galleries in the Savage Mill want to foster. Bonaparte also sells at the Columbia farmer's market at Oakland Mills that runs Sundays through the summer.

At Savage Mill, Bonaparte lists its hours as 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 9 am to 6 pm weekends. Watch out for early arrivals. I came at 9 am one Sunday to find the door locked. When I knocked on the glass, the workers said that they planned on opening at 10, but they still sold me a baguette.

If you visit Savage Mill, check out the walking trail that runs along the river.  In good weather, you can take lunch for a picnic.  The I'm Not Dead Yet blog posted about the trail, picnic tables, and photographing small waterfalls.

Bonaparte Bread
8600 Foundry Street
Savage, MD 20763

NEAR: This is just north of Gorman Road and just west of Rte 1 in Savage. It's the Savage Mill complex that is two minutes from Rte 32. Just exit Rte 32 south onto Rte 1. Turn right at the light for Gorman Road, then right on Foundry Road where there are signs for Savage Mill. Bonaparte's Bread is in the central courtyard in sight of the entrance for the Ram's Head Tavern.

The Sunday Farmers' Market at Oakland Mills
9 am to 1 pm, May to November (May 4-Nov. 23, 2008)
Oakland Mills Village Center
5851 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR: Just east of Rte 29 and south of Rte 175. The village center is off Stevens Forest Road.

Bonaparte Breads on Urbanspoon


Erin said...

Bonaparte truly has the best breads in Columbia, and their fancy desserts are great if you are having a dinner party but can't bear to make dessert as well.

Thanks for putting together this blog - it is very well-organized and even as a Columbia native, I am glad to have the lists and reviews you've complied at hand. Thanks!

HowChow said...

Glad that you like it. I'm having great fun. I went for Bonaparte's opera cake last night as "research." Feel free to comment anywhere. I know people have favorite dishes or other tips to share!

Anonymous said...

I had been impressed with the Bonaparte in Fells Point and your review prompted me to make a visit at the Savage Mill location last Saturday morning.
I was very disappointed though. The croissant and chocolate croissant were burnt and far more greasy than they should be. I asked for a hot chocolate and got one of those instantaneous powder hot cocao in water that does not taste like anything but chemicals. I could not believe that a supposedly "French" place could possibly serve anything but a true hot chocolate (milk+chocolate, nothing fancy or difficult about it!). Then I ordered a Boule Bonaparte and the person behind the counter could not tell what it was. She did not even know how to recognize the breads they had for sale!!! How sad! She could definitely not speak French and she was dragging her feets.
Overall, I think the owner needs to shake things up in Savage! As much as I want to support them for the awareness they bring about French culture and food, right now I may as well go to american La Madeleine!

Anonymous said...

I went to Bonaparte last Sunday after hearing another praise of the place from a stranger I met walking on the Savagemill spur path.

I got an almond/chocolate pastry that was pretty tasty. We also bought a Boule that was reasonably good, and stayed moist until we finished it 2 days late.

If this place is indeed "The best in Howard Co", I have to say "what a shame" Although the samplings I had were decent, the were no better than the daily fair I've tried at The French Confection in Olney or Ashton. Ther is also a bakery in Cloverly that offers a much larger selection of wonderful baked goodies.

Clayton Koonce said...

I visited Savage Mill a few weeks ago after not going there for a while and discovered that Bonaparte has expanded its bistro into the former counter cafe area in the main mall building. They had sit-down service with cloths and napkins. For about $11 I had quiche and salad with their excellent rolls and coffee. (P.S. I miss buying Bonaparte's bread at Produce Galore, recently gone out of business in Wilde Lake Center nearer to me.)

Anonymous said...

Although not in Howard County, the French Confection in Sandy Spring (just past the HoCo line off Rt 108towards Olney)has better pastries and MUCH better service. The Owner comes from a long line of French Bakers. I recommend the sticky buns.

TJ said...

Bonaparte serves up delicious breads, no doubt. their pastries are usually pretty good as well. I like all of their breadsa, but I particularly like their miche -- lordy!

Jay D. said...

I've been looking for a good local source for pretzel rolls. Does Bonaparte Bakery make them? If not can anyone recommend a local bakery that makes them fresh?

Anonymous said...

Sadly Bonaparte's is no more...


The owner fled the country, leaving behind his 20-something son (a baker as well) and a house in North Laurel.