Catonsville Gourmet, one of the leaders in the recent rebirth of the Fredrick Road corridor of downtown Catonsville, delivers delicious versions of the catch of the day and much more.
With a raw bar and meat case offering crab cakes, dips, deviled eggs, and many additional appetizing items centrally located within the restaurant, the high quality offerings are available to take home or to have cooked in-house by chef Rob Rehmert. For a seafood lover like this Baltimore boy, being able to choose right from the case is the perfect way to start a meal. On this occasion, I couldn’t resist sampling from the eight oyster varieties available on the half. (Yes, I had to try them all, and they were great!)
On the other hand, the remaining members of my dining party opted for the crab and lobster dip, the Chesapeake Toast, and The Crabprese. Each was very well received and included ample amounts of crab and lobster. Among them however, The Crabprese with fresh sliced tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and lump crab meat topped with a balsamic drizzle and a unique blend of seasonings, was the overwhelming favorite.
Sailing along to our main course, I asked our server if there was a burger available to order. Although he indicated that there was not, there are a lot of other great choices ranging from sandwiches to full entrées. In my case, the Crab Cake Pretzel Club with lump crabmeat, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and creole mustard on a soft, warm pretzel roll proved to be a great choice and a nice “twist” on the traditional crab cake sandwich.
While my dining companions all seemed to enjoy and remark upon the quality and freshness of their meals, aside from the aforementioned club, The Hutzler sandwich seemed to create the most buzz. With the perfectly seasoned jumbo shrimp salad overflowing from the warm garlic cheese toast, this sandwich left these formerly hungry diners smiling and satisfied.
If you prefer something on the lighter side, try the “Tweeners” section of the menu where you can still enjoy some of the great seafood options, but with a side salad or fresh fruit salad instead of the homemade kettle chips that come with many of the regular menu items.
Of course, every great meal deserves the accompaniment of a delicious dessert, and when dining at Catonsville Gourmet, this is certainly an option. Many of the desserts come from neighboring SugarBakers, a favorite of many Catonsville residents. In addition to their own delectable recipes, SugarBakers is now offering several flavors of the famous Smith Island Cake.
In our case, we took our desserts to the street where each Friday during the summer, Catonsville hosts a free concert, Frederick Fridays in Catonsville, beginning at 6:30 PM. As we enjoyed the music, our Smith Island Cake and double fudge brownies managed to disappear shortly after the first song.
While dining in Catonsville Gourmet and swaying to the beat of the live R&B music just outside, I had to agree with several of the locals who advised me that “Life is great in 21228.”