Catonsville food scene revs up
I was in a long, slow line at the Catonsville Post Office yesterday, and behind me was a woman I know from the YMCA. We chatted as we waited, and she recalled the time she took her son to the home of a magnet-school classmate who lived in a swishier part of the county.
She pulled up and saw not one, but two, Lamborghini in the garage. She made small talk with the other mother at the front door, complimenting her on her beautiful home. The woman asked where she lived.
"Catonsville," my friend said.
"Catonsville," Lamborghini Mom replied. "It's getting" -- she paused, searching for the right word -- "better."
This exchange came back to YMCA Mom because I'd mentioned to her that after mailing my package at the Post Office, I was heading a few blocks down Frederick Road to Atwater's.
Atwater's recently moved its baking operations into town and opened a small storefront, right near Catonsville Gourmet, a terrific restaurant that is doing its part to overcome the days when that name would have been an oxymoron.
Eat your heart out, Lamborghini Mom.
I'd been to Atwater's many times in Belvedere Square, but yesterday was the first time I'd gotten to the Catonsville location, not far from my house in Southwest Baltimore. The bakery is a very welcome addition to a stretch of road known more for independent music stores -- Bill's Music House, Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe -- than for upscale food.
I'd hate to think Lamborghini Mom's conspicuous consumption is rubbing off on me, but I left Atwater's pleased but wanting more! more! more!
The bakery had Atwater's usual assortment of pastries and breads, but the menu is more limited than at Belvedere, where you can sit down and have soups, salads and sandwiches before moving on to dessert. There were only a handful of tiny tables in Catonsville, so clearly the aim is not to have a lot of eat-in business.
Some soups could be had for take-out from a self-service fridge. The fridge also had some interesting cheeses and local, organic eggs and milk. I like the idea that I can pick up that sort of product without having to schlep all the way to Whole Foods.
Maybe, as with the all the music stores, we'll start to get some good-foods synergy along the street. Can Appalachian Grass-Fed Beef Shoppe be far behind? How about Bill's Artisan Cheese House?
I expect to see a Lamborghini parked on Frederick Road any day now.