Monday, March 26, 2012

Bon Fresco Basics Come Back Into Focus When The Special "Easter Basket" Catches Our Eyes

Sandwiches from Bon Fresco
It can take a moment of crazy newness to remember how great some of the steady, regular places around here can be.

It took an Easter special at Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery to make me post again about how great they make their regular sandwiches and breads.  Every day, you can pick up greatness in cold cuts, grilled vegetables, London broil, and other flavors.  Or you can pick up a baguettes, focaccia, and even Friday challah for your own menus.

Focaccia for you to take home
That's why I suggest the Columbia restaurant as one of the first stops in my advice to people who are moving to Howard County.  We were jammed with chores Saturday, so I got a spicy Italian sandwich for Mrs. HowChow and a London broil for myself.

You're just not going to get better sandwiches anywhere.  It's a small menu.  It hasn't changed much if I remember right.  But it's all delicious -- corned beef, grilled vegetables, real sliced turkey. . . The potato salad comes with tender potato and just enough mild binder to stay together.

The Easter special was a bit unusual.  They baked an actual Easter egg into a loaf of bread shaped like a basket.  The bread is slightly sweet like the challah and glazed with spinkles.  Catnip for a food blogger.  Maybe an exotic treat for a kid who likes bread and eggs?  They were $3.75 Saturday.  I don't know if they were a lark or something that Bon Fresco is trying out for the season.

Easter special
It was playing with the "Easter basket" that made me think about what a deal we're getting with the $2 baguettes.  These are perfect.  They're crisp on the outside.  They cut open to reveal an interior that is dense and tasty, but lightened up with the irregular holes that you get in artesian loaves.  I grabbed one that we just sliced thin and put on a tray with eggplant dip for Mrs. HowChow's college friends.

If you're working in Howard County, you should add it to your lunch repertoire.  If you're looking for a break, you should stop by on a weekend -- just a short run from your errand at Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, etc.  If you're a food blogger, you shouldn't take Bon Fresco for granted.  All my old posts are true, but I'm going to hunt for new favorites on the menu.

My one Bon Fresco wish is that they try a bahn mi sandwich.  It seems right up their alley -- maybe some roasted pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro, cukes and hot peppers.  Until then, use Bon Fresco's baguette to make something amazing with Andrea Nguyen's recipe.

Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery 
6945 Oakland Mills Road 
Columbia, MD 21045 

NEAR: Bon Fresco is in the shopping center on Oakland Mills Road at Snowden River Parkway. The center with Race Pace bike shop and a Ledo Pizza overlooks Snowden, but you need to turn onto Oakland Mills at the intersection and turn right into the shopping center. Bon Fresco is in the out-building just to the right of the entrance.  Nazar Market is right across the parking lot.


Rob said...

The sandwiches and bread get lots of notice at Bon Fresco, and rightly so. But try their soups too. They are excellent. Especially the Spicy Peanut they serve on Tuesdays. Great deal too, a medium soup (which is quite large) and fresh ciabatta for less that $5.

Katherine said...

I agree with Rob about the soup; it is a delicious and filling lunch at a good price. One of my regular workday lunches is a soup and 1/2 sandwich. The sandwich: always Brie, it comes with sun-dried tomato pesto and caramelized onions. The soup: my faves are Lentil (just spicy enough) or the white bean and kale. I am lucky they are so close to my work!

zackpund said...

always enjoy bon fresco. usually stop over and see jerry and the folks there for dinner. for awhile it was once a week, but not some much lately. he always remembers you and says hi. i always get the london broil and the wife will get the corned beef with the occasional challah to go. easter basket seems interesting though.

John J. said...

The Italian Easter Bread with colored hard boiled egg was a fixture at the Italian bakeries in Brooklyn where I grew up. Link to a recipe:

Another special Spring treat I haven't found outside NYC was St. Joseph Day (Patron Saint of Sicily and pastry chefs) March 19th was the Sicilian pastry known as a zeppola - sort of deep fried doughnut with cannoli filling.

Jen said...

Yes! I was just going to comment that my Italian grandmother made these every year. She would hand out loaves of sweet bread with an easter egg in the center to everyone as we left Easter Sunday. Nice memory and nice to see it at Bon Fresco.

Alison said...

I'm Italian - these baked goods were very common in Buffalo, NY where I grew up. Lots of Italian-Americans there. Italian bakeries and even some supermarkets carried them this time of year. I wonder if the Columbia Wegmans will next year? I bet!

Alison said...

Re the Bon Fresco Easter pastries...

Junior Barnes said...

For those curious about the new Bon Fresco location, the owner says it will be near the 7-11 at the corner of Guilford Road and Dorsey Run Road.