Remember that old saying about Mohammed and the mountain? If you can't go to the mountain, bring the mountain to you. A Perry Hall couple has taken that idea to heart - and opened a gelato cafe, MooCho Gelato, in their neck of the woods.
Towson University marketing director Louise Miller says she and husband Gabriel Purviance, performance programming director at Rockville's Strathmore Hall Arts Center, had been thinking about opening a coffee or ice-cream shop for a long time. But they hadn't quite figured out the "what" and "where" until they were in Annapolis one day last summer and stopped for a gelato - the Italian version of ice cream.
"There's nothing like this in our area," says Miller. "Friendly's has ice cream, and the Avenue at White Marsh has a coffee shop, but this just seemed to fill out the cafe concept."
MooCho (pronounced like the Spanish "mucho") Gelato opened a month ago at 9639 Belair Road, in the Perry Hall MarketPlace. The cafe offers 24 flavors of the rich, creamy concoction, as well as pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads and a variety of espresso drinks.
MooCho Gelato is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Crepe du Jour creeps outside
Mount Washington's Crepe du Jour, 1609 Sulgrave Ave., has been expanded triply - in space, menu and hours. Husband-wife owners Mustapha Snoussi and Donna Morris-Snoussi have just opened an outside deck to seat 46, complete with French tables and chairs. Mustapha Snoussi says the deck will be covered in the winter so that it can be used year-round.
The couple also have expanded their dinner menu to include items other than crepes - such as steak frites (steak and french fries), supreme de saumon aux epinards (grilled salmon with spinach) and carre d'agneau sauce bordelaise (lamb chops with bordelaise sauce). And then there's the new Sunday brunch, offering crepes and a few other goodies like smoked salmon benedict and quiche lorraine.
Crepe du Jour's hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Previously, the restaurant closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
If Glen Breining gets his wish, Lauraville will soon have a new eatery, Uncommon Ground (trademark permitting), at 4321 Harford Road.
Breining, the owner of Common Ground, a coffee shop in Hampden, is in final negotiations for the space, where he plans to open what he describes as "Morning Edition meets Bonjour Cafe meets Common Ground." Translated, that's a "French-bistro-type-jazz-brunch-place," he says.
He notes that Chameleon Cafe, which is three doors down from his intended place, has done well since it opened about a year ago. He thinks the two restaurants would complement one another.
"The Chameleon specializes in dinner," says Breining, "and I'd rather do breakfast, lunch and early dinner."
If all goes as planned, Uncommon Ground would open its doors uncommonly quickly - on Sept. 1.