Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry – A taste of France in Severna Park, MD



Question of the day: Do you know what I use to miss the most from where I grew up??

The picture probably gave it away, yes, The pastry!   Aaah, the croissants (plain, chocolate, almonds..), the fruit tarts…

See, I was raised on buttery croissants. That’s is what we had for breakfast (either that or some awesome bread with -real- butter and jam, I emphasize of real butter, not that white crap they serve you in restaurants or what you find in regular grocery stores).

Back in 2001, I was working for an IT company in Pikesville, MD. My supervisor Phyllis (who became a really good friend afterwards) had a birthday coming up. I wanted to do something special for her so I asked one of my co-worker where to find a really good birthday cake. Without hesitation, she told me that Miss Dessert was the best in town and that I wouldn’t be disappointed (I think that was the name, I tried to look them up but couldn’t find them so maybe that place doesn’t exist anymore, it was near Liberty road if I recall).

Anyway, during our lunch break, I asked her if we could go to that bakery and check out what they had. She agreed and off we went.The bakery wasn’t too far from the office so it didn’t take us long to get there. We entered the bakery and there was a display room, with   -very- colorful cakes everywhere: Orange, yellow, blue and all in between. They all looked the same to me, just a different color.

Silly French me, I was convinced that every color was associated with a flavor. For example, yellow would be lemon, blue would be blueberry or some other berry, orange would be orange, you get the picture. I called a salesperson over and pointed to the yellow one ( I happen to like lemon), and I asked  “What is this one?”, he replied: “It’s a yellow cake Ma’am”.

Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “I can see it’s yellow, but what is it?”

Salesperson: “It’s a yellow cake Ma’am”

Me (getting frustrated): “I understand, but what flavor?”

Salesperson: “I don’t know what to tell you Ma’am, it’s a yellow cake”

Me (done with the yellow one, pointing now to the blue one): “So what’s this one?”

Salesperson: “It’s a yellow cake Ma’am”

Me (now looking at my co-worker with the WTF look, and now pointing to the orange one): “and this one?”

Salesperson: “It’s a yellow cake Ma’am”.

Now I am pissed off, either Americans are color blind, or everything is yellow in this country. I was so confused. My co-worker proceeds to explain to me that icing makes the color, but they all taste the same, and that I had to trust her and just pick a color, and that everyone would like it. Not knowing any better, I did pick a yellow, yellow cake, had them write “Happy Birthday Phyllis” on it and off we went. Back to the office, we sneaked in the kitchen, displayed the yellow, yellow cake, lit some candles, brought everyone in, then someone else brought Phyllis afterwards, we sang Happy Birthday, she was touched, we cut the cake, and everyone had a piece, including me. It was horrible. The end. (everyone else seemed to enjoy it though so I guess my co-worker was right by saying that it would be a hit).

And this was the beginning of my disappointment about bakeries in general in the US. I had croissants here and there but couldn’t get satisfied as nothing came close to what I was used to.

My quest began. Throughout the years, I did find some good places, Bonjour French Bakery Cafe on Falls road (http://www.bonjourbakerycafe.com/, very cute place with good espresso and croissants), Patisserie Poupon downtown Baltimore on East Baltimore Street (http://www.patisseriepoupon.net/, I even ordered my wedding cake from there and they speak french! they have fruit tarts to die for).

I thought that Patisserie Poupon was probably as close as I was going to get..Until I had the privilege to meet Jessica Knudsen, Executive Pastry Chef/Owner of Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry in Severna Park, MD. I met Jessica a couple of years ago, she was convinced that I had a cheese business (because I always brought Cheese and bread to a party). Her first question to me when we finally had a conversation was where did I import all my cheeses from. My answer was Victoria’s Fancy Foods (http://victoriasfancyfoods.com/, I will be blogging about this place too!), Whole Foods or Wegmans. She thought I was joking, I was actually dead serious. I told her I actually owned an IT Company, she thought that was boring, and that was the beginning of an awesome friendship.

She told me about her job, actually not her job, her passion and started to describe what she does. Jessica is probably one of the most passionate person I have ever met, and it shows,  in every single pieces of arts she makes in that little heaven of hers.

I am happy to report that my quest is over. I found France in Severna Park.  I couldn’t believe it. I had to sample. and I did. Over, and over again. I fell in love!

Check out her website: http://hawthornefinebreakfastpastry.com/ and the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HawthornePastry, and look at all the pictures, especially the last one she posted yesterday:

526390_614532525243678_555129757_nNew Danish, house-made lemon curd filled pastry, baked with a caramelized lemon sugar crust. Topped with fresh strawberries and glazed with hot strawberry jam. Damn you Jessica! I feel like I am getting fat just looking at the pictures! ( I haven’t sampled this one yet, I hope she will get the hint!).

Please know that Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry is STRICTLY wholesale, which means that you can’t just go there and pick up what you want. You can however visit any of the places she sells to : http://hawthornefinebreakfastpastry.com/where-to-find-us/.

I personally wished she had one little retail store front, I’d be there every single morning!

So here is my advice for the day:  if any restaurants, caterers or any specialty coffee houses are reading this blog, HIRE HAWTHORNE FINE BREAKFAST PASTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably the best business decision you will ever make!

Stay hungry my friends!

(Man, I am dying for a croissant and a cappuccino just about now….)




Beucherts Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Ave SE Washington DC


Happy Sunday!

Sorry it took so long to blog about Friday night, but I must confess (appropriate for a Sunday morning 🙂 ), I had to recuperate a bit. We dined and wined so much this week that I felt the need to stay away from food for at least a day and work out a little. I didn’t want to be forced to change the blog name from “wherethehungrywomenat.com” to “fatbrokeandhappy.com”.

In any case, let’s turn the wheel and go back in time to this past Friday evening:

Our dear friend Jessica Knudsen (Executive Chef and owner of Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pasty, http://hawthornefinebreakfastpastry.com/ trust me: we will blog about this!) mentioned Beucherts Saloon a little while after we started this blog and told us it was a MUST GO.  I would go _anywhere_ Jessica recommends, that girl knows her stuff when it comes to food (and wine!).

One thing I would like to point out is their website: http://beuchertssaloon.com/ which is a very fun website to navigate through. They have randoms rules that appears such as Rule # 266 Unattended children will be given espresso and a puppy (my personal favorite). Check it out for yourself when you get a chance.

We had a very nice ride down DC listening to the “Best of Al Jarreau” CD and arrived at Jessica’s place around 6:00pm. After being molested by her 2 wonderful giant dogs for about 15 minutes (lots of kisses), Jessica opened a bottle of 2004 Behrens & Hitchcock “14th of July”. I honestly can say that this was one of the best red wine I have had in a while: a nose of dark fruit and spice, beautiful color, big, think chewy, velvety blend of deliciousness, I didn’t even want to go in the restaurant and wanted to sip on that wine all evening!  See, I like my wine the same way I like my cheese, if it smells like dirty feet, you know you are in for a treat!

What a wonderful start of the evening that was.

We walk down to the restaurant from her house which was a nice little walk (I always enjoyed walking in the middle of DC). The picture I posted above is the entrance of the restaurant. Looks like nothing right??

I loved the way the bar looked:


They also offer a cork fee for $25 which means that they will open your own wine and decant it for you! Our beautiful waitress Liz should have gotten a warning that the crazy and hungry women were coming over. She kept saying that she didn’t want to be in a picture because she was convinced that she was not photogenic, I think she is darling!

She hang in there the whole evening (trust me, hard to do with our crowd).

We took full advantage of the cork fee offering (I couldn’t get over the difference in color of both wines a Cristom Pinot Noir and Newton Puzzle, yum yum and yum):


I was the designated driver for the evening, so decided to not have a cocktail to start, the other 4 ladies each chose a different concoction. The winner cocktail was the Beuchert’s 75: Gin, lemon, seasonal herbal syrup and prosecco. I am not a big fan of gin but I have to say this was quite refreshing and delish (what? being the designated driver didn’t mean that I couldn’t take a sip!)


In the meantime, we ordered the  Charcuterie, Country Pate and Fromages board to start with. I am not going to write too much about that board as we took several pictures through the “process” of enjoying it:


Absolutely Zero shame in our game, none. We mean business.

It didn’t take us long to make a decision the entrees: Sherry and Daun shared the Dry Aged Strip Steak, Jessica had the Fried Green Tomatoes, Sarah had the 5 spice chicken sausage, I had the grilled lamb loin chops. As far as the sides, Jessica suggested the GPOD French fries, the roasted mushrooms and the white corn grits.

Here is what the entire meal looked like:


I never liked grits. I think they taste like _nothing_. I _never_ tasted grits that taste better than mashed potatoes! white corn and got cheddar. Nuff’ said. The roasted mushrooms were as delicious as the grits.

The fries. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah the Fries….Jessica warned me and I quote: “Their fries are stupid!” which is a big compliment in her own language. She was right, they were above stupid, despicable yuminess with a creamy mayonnaise with Taragon at the bottom of the dish (I had to ask for a separate container with that sauce), yeah, I am dipper.

I really have no idea what GPOD stands for, if i had to guess, it would say it is God’s Presents Of Deliciousness. We had 2 servings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of our meals were delicious and so fresh. The highlight of all the entrees was this one:


This was Sarah’s chicken, looks obscene right?? Well, all I am going to say is this: Sarah’s sausage was enough to satisfy 5 women and some!

Sarah had to excuse herself to go to the Ladies room. We all understood. 🙂

Anyway, down to the desserts (yes, you are all thinking that we are out of our mind after all this decadence, and that gluttony is a sin and bla bla bla).

Descent to hell it is, head first:


Our least favorite one was the Popsicle (after Sarah’s sausage, I think it might have been a visual thing, we were scared for life after all…).

But we are ladies after all, and when ladies enjoy their meal (dessert is this case), this is what they do when they want to compliment the Chef:


Speaking of Chef, Jessica and I went to talk to him while he was busy making everyone happy, and I wanted to take a picture of the creator of everything we had the pleasure to sample that night. We didn’t take too much of his time but did mention to him that he was definitely blog worthy!


Since as usual, we were the loudest in the room, Chef Andrew Markert came over our table and introduced himself to all of us. What a delightful surprise that was!

And what a nice and talented young man. We had a very nice chat, he told us about his background (See the About Section on the Beucherts’ website) and that he actually does everything in the kitchen (including the desserts!). He also changes the menu twice a week.  I seem to remember that the only thing that they do not make in the kitchen is the bread.

The _only_ bad note is the Coffee. DON”T order it, unless you like Chicory because that is what it taste like. Other than that, all the stars for this restaurant and Chef Andrew Markert. We are all big fans and will definitely come back, worth the trip down to DC!

Stay hungry and enjoy your Sunday!


Piedigrotta Bakery in Little Italy

Buongiorno y’all! Ever since my friend, Bob Laggini first told me about this gem of an Italian bakery, I have been smitten. Never have I seen such an assortment of lovely baked goods. Antonio and Bruna, the owners of this fine establishment, are as delightful as the pastry. One Saturday morning, Aida, Yvette and I decided to check out this “Willy Wonka- like” shop of baked goods. (Yvette gets credit for that description). We had read that Antonio created the 1st tiramisu in Treviso, near Venice, on Dec. 24, 1969. THIS IS THE BEST TIRAMISU I have ever tasted! It is light, beautifully balanced perfection. Yvette had made an emergency tiramisu run a few days earlier, so we had already tasted that. However, little did we know that Bruna and Antonio make some devilish concoction that looks like a “lobster” made of phyllo and is filled with copious amounts of some sort of custard that should be illegal. You will need a cappuccino with this item.
I have heard on the Food Network, I believe, that “tiramisu” means “pick me up”. This had something to do with ladies of the evening needing something to perk them up as business was done. I must say that we were elevated to new heights by Antonio’s expertise. We asked Bruna if she would come to a party we were having that very night. We want to adopt her as our Italian Nonna.
Discover “La Dolce Vita” in Baltimore’s Little Italy. Check out http://www.piedigrottabakery.com
Stay hungry, women!

Woodberry Kitchen………..Such a lovely place

I am not sure this is such a great idea to blog about this restaurant so close to lunch time…So please, don’t hate me for what I am about to write (because you will be hungry!).

I’d like to point out that getting there was a little confusing, we made a couple of wrong turns before finding it. They have Valet parking, which is great as it is such a narrow street. There is a very unusual apartment complex right across the street with a pool. The pool landscaping is absolutely gorgeous, it almost makes you forget that you are actually in Baltimore City! (check it out if you do decide to go).

First thing first, here is their website: http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/. Know that their menu changes every single day, depending on what they get from the farms. True meaning of “from the farm to your table”.

The building itself for Woodberry Kitchen is a very old one, and I like the fact that they kept the rustic look and feel (bathrooms are great too! very important spot to check out first when you go to a restaurant :)).

We sat outside as it was such a beautiful evening last night, no humidity, lower 80 degrees, perfect!

Our Waitress, Julia, was simply awesome. I really don’t know how they learn all that stuff but she could speak in length about everything on the menu. She also made sure that we stayed “Hydrated” all evening :). Please make sure to ask for her if you go!


We had a couple of appetizers to share around the table (it was 5 of us), a cheese plate, deviled eggs and Marty (Sherry’s husband) had a fish salad. It was a white fish, I cannot remember the name of the particular fish (and no, I didn’t have that much to drink already, just one glass of Malbec) but I swear, the fish tasted like crab meat.

Now, as far as the deviled eggs, I will let the picture speaks for itself. It was as good as it looks:

Deviled Eggs

Now down to the entrees, Nate (Sherry’s son, our guest of honor since we were celebrating his 21st birthday) had the meat loaf. Sherry had some kind of beef medallions dish, Marty and my husband Sean both chose the soft crabs, I personally chose the roasted chicken (Forgive me if I don’t have the exact names of all the dishes, but when I went back to look for them in their menu, they were already gone! remember, the menu changes every day).

Now down to the pictures:

BeefSoft crabsChickenmac and cheese

I could have swore that I took a picture of Nate’s Meatloaf dish, but to my disappointment, I couldn’t find it on my phone. My apologies.

I have never been a big fan of meatloaf, but his dish looked amazing and tasted wonderful. The picture on the far right is Mac and Cheese (I can almost see you drooling looking at these). All I can say about that one is : YUM YUM YUM.

Now, I won’t speak to much about all the dishes, expect mine. THE CHICKEN. Yes, I wrote in capitals letters on purpose because I am yelling as I am typing it. Before I get to meat itself, I am going to try to describe the roasted veggies (you can’t see them in the picture because the chicken put his behind on them, but trust me they are there).

Number #1 :The carrots.  I had to ask Julia where on earth where these carrots came from (my first guess would have been heaven). I honestly never eaten carrots that tasted like potatoes. Julia told me that these particular carrots came from a farm named Side by Side in PA. YAY!!! Heaven is not that far away after all! So I did my research, and Voila!  here it is: http://www.sidebysidefarm.com/. Note to self: Plan a trip with Sherry in Fall to go visit that farm and use their veggies to make my Boeuf Bourguignon!

Number #2: The chicken. Oh my. the meat was so tender and the skin so crisp. I moaned at every bite.

Number #3: On purpose, I left the best at the last position: The sauce. OH MY GOD. The SAUCE. You know what. I will let the next picture speaks for itself:

IMG952792Yep. That good and that is all I am going to say about that. Since I couldn’t finish my dish (the chicken was quite substantial), there was no way they could transfer that deliciousness into my carry-out container, and there was no way on earth I was letting that go).

Food coma being almost over, Sherry had to do it and tell me that we had to get their most famous dessert which was featured in the Food Network not too long ago: THE C.M.P. (Chocolate. Marshmallow.Peanuts = Fresh cream ice cream, chocolate sauce, marshmallow fluff, wet peanuts).

Picture time:


The top crust is crystallized marshmallow (not sure how they do that), then you dig into the wet peanuts and eventually to the ice cream. You add to that a decaf espresso with a twist (never had a decaf espresso before) and that’s it, put a fork in me (or a spoon or whatever weapon of your choice). I was officially in food coma.

So my friends, all I have to say is this: GO!!!! (I know I am going back there for my Anniversary!).

As always, stay hungry my friends!!


4 Seasons Grille – Crofton location


On the 28th of June, Sherry and I decided to go see the movie “The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy (even though we are talking about food here, I highly recommend that movie if you don’t mind peeing your pants).

Since the show was at 7:40pm and the theater location we chose was in Crofton next to the Wegmans, we were wandering around trying to decide where our next eating adventure would be. Sherry had the brightest idea to go the 4 Season Grille (in the shopping center where the Home Goods is). I seem to recall that she has been there once but it was for lunch, not for dinner (Sherry, correct me if I’m wrong!).

I have been in that shopping center multiple times, but never realized that this restaurant was even there! It was pouring down rain that day and we were soaked just running from the car to the restaurant.I wasn’t too sure about the 4 Seasons and as the name seemed very similar to a restaurant downtown Baltimore that I was very disappointed with. The name will come back to me at some point.

Anyway, the waitress took care of us immediately and we had a nice little booth. The restaurant wasn’t too crowded.

I think we ordered a Trivento Malbec and started to look at the menu. I was hungry, everything in the menu looked divine.(http://www.4seasonsgrille.com).

Going down to the list of appetizers, we saw this at the same time and pointed it out to each other:

Goat Cheese Brulee
Goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic & pine nut blend, caramelized Parmesan crust, pita chips, balsamic glaze

Being a big fan of creme brulee myself (and so is Sherry!), Goat cheese brulee sounded so interesting. Looking at the ingredients, I drooled (yes, I do that a lot).  Sold! we looked no further, ordered it without even looking at the entrees yet. About 10 minutes later (while we were still trying to decide our entrees), the dish came and it was beautiful (I still can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it!).

We both took a piece of the pita chips and dipped into the dish: oh my! I think I forgot my name. Sherry was making all these noises that were becoming quite obscene, we just couldn’t stop until it was all gone. Once our food orgasms were over (I think at that point, we were both making inappropriate noise), it was down to the entrees.

I personally chose this:

Truffle Mignon
8 oz. filet mignon, truffle butter, roasted garlic spinach, roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

I already said before that I have an addiction to truffle and will soon be going to the Truffle Anonymous, so everything that has the word truffle in it, I am all over it!.

I think Sherry had a pasta dish but I can’t remember which one. Even though her dish was good, I gave her a bite of mine, and here she was again, singing, speaking tongues that even I couldn’t understand. She didn’t finish hers, we both shared mine. (She actually took her dish to go and forgot it in my car! shame shame…).

I also recall that we were not the only ones speaking tongues. A couple of tables over, there was a nice little group that were screaming and making THE noises. I had to know! (I felt like when Harry met Sally movie with the famous line “I want what she had!” after Meg Ryan did her thing). I walked over and asked the group what was the fuss about, and they told me that they had this:

Seafood Crepes
Filled with shrimp scallops, asparagus tips, lemon zest, Parmesan, mascarpone cheese, baked, seafood bisque

That one will be next on my list when I go back there because I will most definitely go back!!!!

Overall, another highly recommended restaurant. The prices are reasonable for food that good. Worth every penny. (The menu on their website actually have all the pricing for every item so check it out before you go).

As usual, stay hungry my friends!


Petit Louis and Duck Confit

Bonjour y’all! I have had the privilege of dining at Cinghiale, Pazo, Charleston and now Petit Louis. I have always viewed Cindy Wolf as a rock star. I can still remember her short ribs in some insane reduction at Charleston. I think it was the first time I licked a plate in public. Cindy may not find that to be a compliment, but I assure you it was the most sincere way I can express how much I LOVE excellent food. So, dining at Petit Louis this past Saturday night was an equally outrageous experience. There were 12 of us in attendance. We are a fun loving, rowdy group who enjoy food and wine and celebrations. Because we tend to try everyone’s food, I was able to taste many dishes. I had the frisée aux lardons,poached egg & blue cheese salad. (3 snaps & a twist & throw myself off a cliff!!!!) Then, there was a perfectly cooked New York strip with Frites. My goodness! My husband had mussels in white wine, tomato & basil. Let’s just linger here for a moment. The broth was so rich and multi layered that I picked the bowl up and promptly drank the liquid right there in front of God and everybody, including my son, who was likely either quite embarrassed or very proud. It was a holy moment. Let me tell you that Nate, my son, has become quite the foodie himself. He ordered the Confit de Canard served with beets, Swiss chard & that reduction that only Cindy is capable of preparing. I have fallen completely in love with duck! I believe this to be a marriage where divorce is utterly impossible. There is no turning back. I want to explore all things duck. It’s a love affair. Petit Louis and Duck confit.