Saturday, January 31, 2015

Did Bonaparte Close In Savage? Bakery Down?

The Bonaparte Bread in Baltimore closed and had a sign saying that the owner had gone to France to avoid money owed to the government, reports the Baltimore City Paper.

The City Paper said the sign -- which was later removed -- said the Savage location closed as well.

Does anyone know if the Savage store is open?  Anyone know if they're closed temporarily or forever?

Hat tip to Anonymous who left a comment on an old Bonaparte post linking to the City Paper.  Thanks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Restaurant Weeks Runs Now; Try Something New

If you don't have a feverish toddler in the house, then you should go take advantage of the Howard County Restaurant Weeks that run through February 2.

The winter version of the Howard County weeks has about two-dozen restaurants participating -- mostly upscale places and national companies.

I'm not huge on the weeks.  Most years, the specials aren't big enough to make me eat somewhere that I didn't plan to eat anyway.  But I see several places that were already on my list to try again, including Grille620, Aida Bistro, Iron Bridge, etc. 

Plus, it's fun!  It's an excuse to go out to dinner tonight or tomorrow or some other night in the next two weeks.  Go celebrate something.  Celebrate that you don't have a feverish toddler in the house.  Trust me, you should drink to that.

Check the restaurant list.  I'm clicking fast during Lil' Chow's nap, but I don't see an easy way to check out all the offers.  So please add a comment if you've seen a deal that looks good.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Bon Fresco Opening On Broken Land, Bringing Great Sandwiches And Bread To Offices

A new Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery is coming to the Lakeview Office Park, according to a notice that the landlord has circulated to folks like reader Linh.

I had posted earlier about talk of a new Bon Fresco on Broken Land Parkway.  Linh left a comment that seems to confirm the new location -- although the time line (like all time lines) may be a bit delayed from their original plan.

This is a great place.  The original Bon Fresco is absolutely worth a drive.  They bake their own breads, then make delicious sandwiches.  I have posted may times over the years.

Anyone know the time line to opening?  Anyone know if Bon Fresco plans the same menu or variations?

Thanks to Linh for the update.  Thanks to everyone for your patience.  The new baby definitely cuts down on blogging.  Some people just have superhuman strength to blog with a new baby.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Check Out The Greek Cookies Tucked In A Florist; Raimondi's Does Cookies, Pies, Cakes And Candy

My four cookies from Raimondi's
There is a sweet thrill in eating where I can't figure out how they pulled off the recipe.

I stumbled on Greek cookies in a florist-bakery in Ellicott City, and I was excited to find that they're exceptional and doing something with butter that I can't do myself.

Step inside Raimondi's on Rte 108, and you'll see maybe 10 cookie variations.  These were rich treats, but they're somehow also light and crisp.  Delicious buttery flavor as I ate them, but no oily after taste or heavy feel.  Some vanilla.  Some chocolate.  A few dipped in chocolate, just a touch.  Imagine cookies slightly softer than biscotti, but closer to that dry, classy cookie as opposed to a gooey chocolate chip.

Raimindi's has a full bakery display and a candy counter inside the florist shop.  They buy the cookies from Yia Yia's bakery if I understood correctly.  They also sell pies and cakes.  They can special order Vaccaro's cannolis with a day or two's notice.

I only ate four cookies.  And I forgot to write the names.  I was just experimenting on a lark.  Raimondi's is a florist next to Coal Fire Pizza and across from Starbucks.  I pulled in for caffeine, but I was so pleased by the cookies that I forgot to buy an espresso.

Raimondi's is definitely worth checking out.  I have bought more than my share of cookies or candy displayed in retail stores.  Most are not interesting.  These Greek cookies are worth driving to pick up -- and I'll be pleased to hear if the pies, cakes or candies meet the same standard.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Eating Off The Kids' Menu: Mango Grove And Ananda Introduce Indian To Lil' Chow

The kids' menu dosa -- maybe larger than normal
When we rolled into Mango Grove in Columbia on Sunday night, we had no idea what Lil' Chow would eat.

He's a good eater.  But he definitely prefers crunchy food to soft stuff. 

He knows sticky short-grain rice, toast, seaweed, rice cakes, and pancakes.  But our only prior attempt at Indian had been a mistake where we tried Ananda on the day that clocks sprang forward -- so he was starving before we arrived and stayed addled through an appetizer before melting down.

We bet on the cheese dosa off Mango Grove's kids' menu.  A rice and lentil crepe -- stuffed with their normal potato filling, but also layered inside with melted cheddar cheese.

A boy and his mango lassi
It's delicious.  We know because Lil' Chow didn't bite at the crunchy dosa.  This could be a terrific meal for any kid willing to try something new and wanting to eat crispy crepe and warm filling potato.  (It can be spicy and adult as well if you order the mysore masala dosa.)  I'm confident that Lil' Chow will come around.

But last Sunday, he ate rice and mango lassi.  That's the Indian basmati rice, looser and more flavored than the Korean rice that I made habitually now in my new rice maker.  Mango Grove stirfries rice with onions.  Lil' Chow chowed.  Then, he sucked.  He took the kid's lassi -- a mango-yogurt shake in a plastic cup with a lid and straw -- and drank down.  He was hilarious and a bit amazing since we had never seen him act so carefully with a drink before.

Mango Grove is one of Howard County's best kitchens.  We feasted on the dosa along with the mashed eggplant of baingan bartha and the unique jackfruit of kathal korma.  Unripe jackfruit give a meaty texture to that curry, although it's more of a subtle toothiness, not the weird "fake meat" texture that you can get from meat substitutes.  You're eating a vegetarian curry.  The jackfruit is firm, and the curry is beautifully spiced.

Today's snow got Lil Chow a second round of Indian rice at Ananda in Fulton.  Mrs. HowChow was minutes from dropping off our delayed-open daycare when they announced they were closed for the day.  Surprise!  She met RDAdoc for a playdate and then lunch.  When I got home, she raved about the butternut squash soup and the chickpeas.  No photos were taken.  (So sad.  Sad for me.)  But they also learned Ananda has started Sunday brunch.  We may be back there soon.