No More Good Bakeries? (Balto. version)
There was a topic for the D.C. group concerning there weren't anymore good bakeries. Thought we Baltimoreans could develop our own "conversation" regarding this topic.
No longer do we have Silber's Bakery. Arbutus used to have a cute little bakery. There is Stone Mill Bakery, which seems to have decent bread. I'm not a big fan of Panera, but they do bake bread and other items.
What about Patisserie Poupon? I haven't been there in quite some time, but there offerings were excellent.
Good "ole" Vaccarro's in Little Italy?
Some Chowhounds have mentioned Woodlea Bakery and another in Hamilton(?).
There are too many bakeries to list, but here I go (in no specific order). Here are some that haven't already been mentioned:
1) Great Harvest Bread Co. (Columbia)
2) Pattisserie Poupon
4) Louise' s Bakery (Woodlawn)
5) Sunday JFX Farmers market (there are three bakeries there)
6) Greek Town Bakery
8) Sweet (Ellicott City)
9) Old Mill Bakery Café (Ellicott City)
10) Berger's stand at Lexington Market
11) Fenwick Bakery
12) Woodlea Bakery
You have neglected to mention Bonaparte and Atwaters.
Both have great bread and I really like Bonaparte's Croissants (especially the chocolate almond ones).
Vaccaro's is a parody of a good Italian bakery.
Has anybody tried some of the panaderias down in upper fells? which are the best?
Well...I live across the street from H&S Bakery which, in addition from being one of the largest baked goods factories on the east coast, is also a major landlord around here. If it's good enough for McDonald's, then it's good enough for the nation. Almost every other day the entire neighborhood smells like burnt toast! The sound of their industrial kneeding machines lulls me to sleep every night, and the odd noises coming from tanker trucks pumping flour, oil and sugar into nozzles on the side of the building awaken me every morning - the truck drivers beat the sides of their trucks with rubber hammers to get every last bit of that wheaty goodness out. But seriously, I can get three half-loaves of sliced rye bread for a dollar right there, and that's not even the good stuff. The best part is their bread never goes stale. In fact, I can leave it on my kitchen table for a month before it even starts to get moldy. The sheer amount of preservatives I get from their tasty treats ensures that my descendants won't have to spend any money on embalming after I'm gone. If that's not good baking then you must hate freedom!
I've become something of a regular at Bonjour since I started going to a different branch of my gym in the morning and now I drive past it every day on my way to work. I dropped in one morning for an iced coffee, and have made it an almost every day stop since then, after discovering they have flavored ice coffee available in the mornings. (I don't mean they put flavored syrups in their coffee, the coffee itself is flavored.) I splurge on a pastry about once every two weeks or so, and I agree, they are phenomenal. The cinnamon bun and walnut sticky bun are paticularly delicious if you like sweet, and in terms of buttery, flaky goodness with a bit of custard for a good measure, the pain au raisin would be hard to beat. Anyway, the quality of their baked goods is well known, but I want to try to dispell the idea that they are too "French" or have an attitude. Every time I have gone in they have been nothing but pleasant and courteous. The woman who is usually behind the counter remembered me and knew my order within a week. I have also seen firsthand how kind they are to some of the older folks who appear to like to come in just to chat. It's a nice little shop, and I would hate for people to avoid it (or miss out on the food!) because of a bad reputation.
I've lived in the area for over 15 years but I really don't think I'm qualified to comment on the over-all quality of "bakeries" and all that the term covers. ie;bread, cakes,pies,etc. What I am certain about is the quality of bread and bagels. It's absolutely awful. As the name implies, I have NY roots and I don't even think about buying bagels here. I just buy a dozen or two at H&H during a day trip to NY and freeze some.. My biggest gripe has to do with Italian bread however. Where is it written that a loaf of italian bread ought to have the consistency of a loaf of "Wonder Bread"?. Buy a sausage and pepper or a meat ball hero anywhere around here and you invariably get it on one of those spongelike disasters. An Italian hero belongs on a 6'-12" piece of bread that has a crusty exterior and is somewhat dense inside. That way when the juices start to run in that hero they're absorbed without turning the sandwich you're holding into a dripping, sopping wet mess that disintegrates while you attempt to eat it. Sorry for the rant but the quality of the bread on an Italian hero is easily as impt. as the ingredients IMHO. And by the way, you don't have to go to NY where the water makes a tremendous diffeerence in the quality. There's a deli in Bethesda and another in DC named Vacce that makes outstanding heros on great tasting bread.