You’re entitled to be skeptical, peering in from the parking lot. Looks like a chain from out west. Then you step inside and—whoa, that smell. It announces itself at once. Yeasty, rich, the smell of a boulangerie. Gerald Koh, who learned his craft at downtown DC’s Breadline, knows that a sandwich is only as good as its bread, and his baguettes, ciabattas, and rolls are remarkable. He also happens to possess a wonderfully keen palate—for example, pairing softened Brie with tomato jam and lightly caramelized onions, a trio as sublime, in its way, as jazzmen Roy Haynes, John Patitucci and Danilo Pérez.
Where you can get it: 6945 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia; 410-290-3434
Also good: The Genoa (Genoa salami, soppresatta,provolone); the London Broil, with juicy slices of top round, provolone, and lettuce, tomato, and onions; tomato-saffron soup.