When I first spied the name of the new bakery, I wondered if it was a Korean style patisserie modeled after French and Korean traditions. My hunch was happily confirmed along with a few other pleasant discoveries.
has an inviting ambiance that lures newcomers in and provides their customers with a lovely seating area. Cafés in Korea are known for their decorated interiors that create a unique environment for mingling and nibbling. This café displays artfully painted walls, uniformed employees, and European-influenced décor.
Their pastries are incredibly fresh and moist because baking is done right on the premises, which also allows them to create customized cakes. They offer the usual variety of Korean snacks like the White Bean Donut ($1.50), Sweet Rice Red bean Donut ($1.50), and my favorite, a bag of Walnut Cakes ($6.50). Walnut Cakes are baked into morsels of sweet and nutty bites and are perfect for sharing.
For the standard baked goods found at most Korean bakeries, the prices seemed comparable to local shops. Mostly, I was impressed by their selection of new varieties made with flair and daring. I especially loved their Green Tea Cream Cheese Bread ($2.95) that layered sweet cheese between green tea cakes. It was flavorful without being overpowering. The triangular Chestnut Pie ($2.50) married the flavors of East and West wonderfully. However, their Melon Bread ($2.95) did not really taste like melon and seemed a bit steep in price for a traditional tasting pastry.
The specialty varieties were higher in price than the standard selection. Sometimes these were worth the extra dimes and once in a blue moon, not. I would suggest trying something new every time you visit to develop a list of favorites. With their extensive selection, you are bound to create a sizable list of must-have flavors.
Stacked in neat shelves along the wall are bagged cookies ($5.50) that are baked fresh daily with interesting flavors like Choco Zigan with extra dark chocolate, Almond Chocolate Chip, and Cherry Cookies that are paired delectably with black tea. In addition, you must stop in to see their selection of cakes in the case. Adorable pandas, sassy birds are baked from delicious ingredients to please the discerning taste buds of the young at heart. Cakes come in a variety of sizes and decoration $13.95- $44.95 and up.
Boasting a full menu of hot and cold drinks, the boba teas ($4.50) are worth the price. Featuring rice tapiocas at the bottom, the frozen drink flavors tend to taste more artificial than other fruit- based boba drinks. But this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are a fan of Asian candies and popsicles.
Fruit flavors from Asia are altogether different than what you are used to domestically. My son and I delighted in the mango boba drink that tasted like the Melona Mango popsicle from Korea. One drink is enough to share, which cuts the price and the sweetness in half.
For a savory offering with potatoes and vegetables, try their croquettes ($1.50) with a dab of ketchup on the side. They also have a selection of deli sandwiches and breakfast fare, but these did not seem as popular as their sweet goodies.
You will see young couples, people of all ages socializing as well as older generations gathered after a spicy meal to talk and sit. This café and bakery is open until 10 p.m. and 11 .m. on Fridays and Saturdays. They are open later than most Korean bakeries on Route 40, which is another blessing that Ellicott City needs.
Bon Appetite offers a beautiful and a deliciously unique alternative to the chain store cafe setting.
Hours: 7AM- 10PM Daily: Friday and Saturday 7AM-11PM
10155 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042-3669