Hidden Eats: Stone Mill Bakery

How far would you drive for a really good cupcake?

If this carelessly stylish cafe, with its folksy blackboard and retro black-and-white checkerboard floor, were in my neighborhood, I’d stop in every day–for breakfast, lunch, and to pick up dinner.

In the AM, raisin-walnut scones, eggwash-shiny rounds of challah, and muffins studded with chunks of Valrhona beckon. There’s also a lineup of eggy things including the memorable skillet French toast, made with the bakery’s own pain de mie (aka a Pullman loaf).

Lunchtime brings mainstays and daily specials of New York deli-style tuna salad, both mayonnaise-y and silken, on sesame-flecked health bread, Philly cheesesteaks made with beef tenderloin, Maine lobster rolls (the lobster is flown in weekly), and egg salad with applewood smoked bacon on cheddar pain di mie. The place knows soup too. Velvety butternut squash, a dill-y pea, and earthy mushroom barley all have that long-simmered, made-in-a-home-kitchen quality. (Soups, salads, and sandwiches are $4.99 to $15).

Sourcing is not unlike what you’d find at a high-end restaurant: smoked salmon from New York’s Wallkill Farms, Tupelo honey from Smiley Apiaries in Florida. Though the place closes before the dinner hour, you can take a bit of Stone Mill home for the evening meal. Containers of lamb and orzo stew, which comes with a gratis baguette, cornbread-crusted turkey-chili potpies, osso bucco with risotto are all lined up in traiteur cases ready to heat up ($12 to $15).

And, of course, there’s dessert. Homey looking (and tasting) raspberry tarts, chocolate chip and linzer cookies, and dreamy mini-cupcakes of golden sponge with a swirl of Valrhona icing. Come this summer,  there will be more of Stone Mill to love. The cafe will start serving three-course dinners and a gourmet carryout (with more traiteur items) will open next door. Stone Mill is right off 695 (Exit 25, Falls Road) and worth the 20-minute detour off I-95. If you need another excuse to point the Prius north,  Lutherville is also home to the Fire Museum of Maryland (1301 York Rd., Lutherville, 410-321-7500), where you can learn all about Baltimore’s Great Fire of 1904.

Stone Mill Bakery, 10751 Falls Rd., Lutherville MD; 410-821-1358;  

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