Friday, February 08, 2008

Exit 23B: MD-25 (Falls Road)

I made my most recent beltway stop before I hit New York the week before last. I just have not had the time to write about it! In retrospect, there was a lot I still need to see off of the Falls Road exit off the beltway. This stop takes you to Greenspring Station. I think it really does hold true: one never truly gets to know his hometown until he leaves it. In the few years I lived in California, I would explore things when I came back to visit that I never had even heard of. Then I moved back, and went right back into "Eh, I'll get around to seeing it sometime" mode. Had it not been for this weblog, I still would be stuck in that mode. It's really forced me to explore this city and state in ways I did only on occasion.

I say that because I had no idea that Greenspring Station even existed. And why would I? I never get up to that part of Falls Road. Sure I understand it's kind of new, but still, no clue over here. It's one of those upper-middle-class sort of places where it's not quite easy to find something affordable to eat. I was about ready to smack this one guy I passed by - he was telling someone, a security guard I think, how he usually takes a limo from the airport or something. Something that caught me off guard, as a wee bit pretentious.

Likewise, my first impression of Greenspring Station - after that it was there in the first place (!) - was that it was a little expensive. It's a fun little place for shopping, tailoring (women only), eating, even going to the doctor. Just expect to lay down some moolah. I set out to not lay down too much. My target lunch: $10 or less.

It's strange, but as nice a place as this is, one would think they'd have a web site or something. No. The powers-that-be didn't seem to have that kind of foresight. So I won't be able to give a play-by-play of all the places I saw. I just don't remember them all. That's all the more reason for y'all to go see it for yourselves. But a few of the ones that I do remember include:

  • a little liquor - er, wine - store-slash-deli that I didn't get to. It's a place to keep in mind for later.
  • likewise, a little specialty store that sells specialty nuts and things. Again, check it out later.
  • a new steak house opening up in Greenspring Station. Because doofus forgot to take a photo of it, I can't remember its name either.
I did stop in the Stone Mill Bakery (map) to see what they had to offer. Cozy yet not cramped or even that small, Stone Mill is divided up into two sections, a smaller, comfier "ready-to-eat" side and a larger, brighter bakery and deli counter side. Each side, however, serves all the same menu items. I thought I'd step up and order something, and looked at the menu. I had no idea that a Reuben could cost $10.50. In fact, most of the dishes - okay, all of the dishes - were a little pricier than I was looking for. It looks like a nice place to eat, but it will have to wait.

I next found the Poulet Gourmet Catering and Restaurant (map). I thought it was a chain - it's a small one - but I'd never been in so I took this opportunity. Wow, it does have lots of different things in it. It's like a rotisserie/combination pit beef/"ready-to-eat" sandwich shop/Boston Market gone Cajun/creperie/ice cream parlor. In fact, the City Paper calls Poulet's ice cream the best in the city for 2005 (eat that, Cold Stone).

With so many choices, Mr. Indecisive was in trouble. What to get? Out of all the things I saw, their wall of sweet and savory crepes looked particularly interesting. Each is named after a different local Catholic or other private high school - there's the Notre Dame, the Gilman, the Loyola (Dons, not Greyhounds), the Boys' Latin, etc. The Loyola particularly caught my eye, because its description basically reveals a "Reuben crepe": corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and cole slaw all melted together into a delicious savory crepe ($7). So I ordered that, along with a large homemade chocolate truffle ($1). I ate the truffle in the car, which was a mistake - chocolate truffles should be eaten at room temperature, not fresh out of the fridge.

The Reuben crepe was probably better in conception than execution. For one, it was kind of messy, with Russian dressing all streaming out. This is not a crepe you can pick up. Not that I was going to, but try it and you will get covered in Russian dressing (you have been warned). It was also pretty difficult to cut apart. I blame this not so much on the knife as on the brand of corned beef. It was plasticky in its texture, difficult to chew or even cut, and not terribly exciting in its flavor. Note to Poulet: choose a new brand of corned beef. This one is not very good. The Loyola crepe also doesn't hold up too well on reheating, becoming even more of a big, Russian dressing-soaked mess after a few days in the fridge. I might try this on my own, if I could only make crepes very well at all (note to self: invest in a crepe maker - and a food processor, because you need a new one). I would definitely go back to Poulet, as there is just too much there to not try. But if you're looking for gourmet crepes, steer clear of Loyola.

Places I visited:

Poulet (rotisserie / deli / crepes / ice cream / catering) - 2436 W. Joppa Road
(Green Spring Station), Lutherville, MD 21093; Phone: (410) 339-3900
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Sure, at least to try some of the other stuff
Places to look up later:

Stone Mill Bakery (bakery / deli / cafe) - 10751 Falls Rd (Green Spring Station), Lutherville, MD 21093; Phone: (410) 821-1358


johnny dollar said...

isn't there a pit beef place up there too? maybe it's closed for the season. we've been meaning to go up there to get some - it's about 5 minutes from my casa.

John said...

It looked like the pit beef was part of the Poulet place, but only because it was right next to it and had a similar looking sign. Bit it might be totally different.

johnny dollar said...

oh, that's probably it.

Anonymous said...

If you go up further on Falls Road, there's a place called Shorty's BBQ that is really good, and Shorty is a character. Stone Mill used to be really good about 15 years ago, but I haven't really liked it since it expanded.

Pigtown-Design said...

When I was a kid, there was a truckstop called Windy Valley. They had burgers and dogs and soft ice cream.

petrnotail said...

you should have tried the deli at the wine merchant. great sandwiches that won't break the bank.