Big Belly Deli – Sykesville, MD – 3/18/20

These last few weeks have been very different. This past week in particular, even more so. With everything going on, a lot of stores are closed, but some restaurants are open for Carry-out, Drive Thru, and Delivery. I think that the larger corporations will be able to weather the storm, but the small businesses are going to struggle.

During a normal work week, I work from home and don’t go out anywhere until the weekend. I decided to change things up this week, to try and show some support to the small businesses while I can. I’m still cautious and making sure that I am okay before leaving the house. Yesterday, I decided to make my way over to Big Belly Deli, which is a favorite of mine.

I had checked online earlier in the day and saw that their special was blackened chicken nachos with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. That was reason enough for me to get out of the house after work. Although I really enjoy the food there, the people who work there make it even better. The person who greeted me immediately called me by my name, which made me feel more welcome. I asked if they were still serving the nachos, and they confirmed that they were. These were really good nachos. The blackened chicken has a great flavor. The chips were warm and crispy. The cheese was melted just a little, but not too much that it was all gooey. And the bites with the accompaniments were even better. This was a great batch of nachos, so I was happy that I went out and got these.

They also had some nice looking desserts. I went with the Saint Patrick’s Day themed cake. The cake itself was very moist and the frosting was light and fluffy. The lucky charms marshmallows were a nice touch, and this was a great way to end the night. I’ve always enjoyed their desserts, and this was no exception.

I was happy to support one of my local favorites. And with the people that work there greeting me so enthusiastically, it was definitely easy to stay positive.

Dandelion Bakery – Sykesville, MD

When I first saw that Dandelion Bakery was going to be opening in Downtown Sykesville, I was pretty excited. When it was finally scheduled to open, I was getting ready to go on my Disney Cruise. So, I knew it would be awhile before I got to actually try it out.

I first made my way over there a few weeks ago. I got a chocolate chip cookie, but the other items they had looked really good.

I wanted to start with a chocolate chip cookie because I wanted to see if they were able to do it justice. This was a really good chocolate chip cookie. It tasted fresh, not generic at all. The nice crunch on the outside and the chewiness on the inside went well with the melty chocolate chips. Knowing that they could make a good chocolate chip cookie made me want to try more of their items.

They had some really good offerings, but it took me until this weekend to make my way back. I decided on two things: Flourless Torte slice and Oreo Mousse Cake.

I decided to start with the Oreo Mousse Cake. The mousse was nice and smooth, not grainy at all. There were plenty of Oreo pieces in there, and they had a soft consistency. The cookie crust also had a really good consistency. This was a delicious piece of cake. Sweet, but not too sweet. A nice balance of chocolate and the mousse. I was a fan of this one and will order it again.

The flourless torte was the next one I tried. This was all different types of chocolatey goodness. The torte was thick, and had very rich flavor. The icing on the top was a nice addition to these bites. The flavor of the cake was really good. This is an indulgent treat, but well worth it. The toughest thing for me was to decide which of these two treats were my favorite. To be honest, I don’t really know. They each had a lot of positives without any negatives. I’ll probably just have to buy them both again and try to make a choice again. 🙂

When you eat this well, you can’t help but stay positive!

La Bonne Boulangerie – East Norwich

While I was visiting Long Island, I was able to go back to La Bonne Boulangerie. I got two things from there this time. One was the chocolate rugelach, which was still very good. The other was a Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake. That was also good. Two days later and it still tastes good. This is a yogurt cake with a chocolate streusel swirl and a crumb topping.

The cake itself is massive. When you slice into it, you are able to see the nice swirl of chocolate streusel in there and the layer of crumb topping.

Front View
Side View

There were three main elements that I focused on while I was eating this. The first was the cake layer. The cake was very moist, not too dense. A good pound cake consistency. The next part was the streusel layer. This did not have a heavy chocolate flavor to it. The chocolate was barely noticeable, but the overall flavor was good. The consistency worked well with the cake layer. The last part was the crumb topping. I’ve enjoyed this bakery’s crumb topping on other treats, and this is no different. There wasn’t a thick layer that took away from the flavor of the cake. And the crumb topping wasn’t a hard crumb topping that hurts your teeth when biting into it. This actually worked really well when combining with the cake and the streusel.

When I ordered this chocolate yogurt cake, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I would like it based on previous good experiences, but I wasn’t sure if it was something I would order again. This definitely is worth a repeat, when there are a lot more people to share it with.

I look forward to my next visit to Long Island my next stop at La Bonne Boulangerie in East Norwich. I might get the same thing, or I might try to enjoy something new. A happy stomach helps me keep positive thoughts. Stay positive!

Fresh Bakery – Owings Mills, MD 9.12.19

I first found Fresh Bakery when I was driving around during lunch when I was working up in the Owings Mills area. I enjoyed the different products (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies), so it was only a matter of time before I would head back up there. A bit more of a drive than it used to be, but it was still worth it.

I started with the Banana Cake. They make their cakes square, and I think it works for these slices. I enjoy a traditional cake, but when eating a slice over multiple days, this one at least gives a better chance of having equal portions. Something that I do when making a cake is adding a thin layer of frosting on the bottom of the container. They do the same thing with theirs, so you get a slight layer of frosting on the bottom. The cake itself was nice and moist, but did not have a strong banana flavor. The buttercream frosting was portioned properly, so there wasn’t too much of one or the other in the bites. I enjoyed this cake, but would have preferred a little more of a banana flavor.

The next dessert I got was their Decadent Chocolate Mousse. This was a very large portion (more than one serving, even for me). The chocolate mousse had a nice flavor to it. It wasn’t an overly indulgent chocolate and it wasn’t too heavy on the sweet. The chocolate crumb was layered throughout the mousse, which I thought worked better with this than traditional layers. Some bites were more heavy on mousse than on the chocolate crumb, others were the opposite. The whipped topping was a nice final touch. The bites with all three were the kind of things you would expect from a special mousse dessert. I will be getting this again, but might have to try their banana pudding first.

It took me some time to finish both, so this wasn’t one big dessert for me. When I was younger, I might have been able to do it, but not anymore. Since I have a big sweet tooth, I like to try different bakeries here and there. If they are a small, local bakery, even better. I’ve still got plenty more to visit, but will still take the time to have my return visits here.

Big Belly Deli – Sykesville, MD. 9.10.19

I am going to start with a disclaimer. I really enjoy Big Belly Deli. I will sometimes go there multiple times a week. Sometimes I will get food. Other times I will just go in to see if there are any special desserts that look good. This is a local place in Sykesville, MD and it is not visible from a major road, but gets quite a few visitors, including regulars. The staff is really nice and friendly. There aren’t long wait times. And you get a lot of food for the price you pay.

I check in the mornings and lunch time to see if there are any specials for breakfast or lunch. I’ve gone through most of the sandwich items on the menu and will most likely go through them again, so there will be multiple posts from Big Belly Deli on my site.

Tuesday morning, they posted that the special was going to be Sloppy Joe’s. My taste buds let me know that I had to go and get it for lunch. It also turned out to be dinner, since the portions were so huge. The bread was a homemade bread. It was very light and fluffy, and had a slight sweetness to it. The sweetness was a good balance for the meat mixture. This was not a canned mixture or a pre-packaged mixture. There were some good sized peppers and onions in there with the meat, and the sauce had a nice flavor as well. Not too spicy, but the seasoning worked well and made this a very good sandwich. To be fair, I was not able to eat this with my hands, but it was worth every bite.

I didn’t just stop with lunch. I also checked out the sweets they had, and there was a chocolate peanut butter cake that was calling my name. The cake itself was very moist. There was a nice layer of frosting in between the layers. The glaze that was surrounding the cake on top and two of the sides added an additional sweetness and the Reese’s pieces toppings completed the assemblage of a culinary piece of art. I apologize that my picture won’t do it justice, but it was a two dessert slice of cake that was worth every bite.

Big Belly Deli really does homemade food well. Their sandwiches are exceptional, and having daily specials and special desserts and treats really take it to another level. This is a place I’ve gone to again and again and will continue to do so. I still haven’t had a bad experience there, so this is definitely one of those happy places for me.