Bella's the place to go for savory Italian fare

TAKEOUT

August 21, 2002|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On the wall behind the counter at Bella's Market reads the small carry-out's official slogan: Vivere Amore E Mangiare -- Live, Love and Eat.

What's not to like about a place with such a slogan? And I did, indeed, like Bella's very much.

Bella's is a fine Italian deli that sits, oddly enough, amid the cornfields and nurseries of Glen Arm. It occupies a small old railroad station, now clad in cedar shingles painted pale yellow. The young couple who opened the deli in April obviously pour their hearts into the food and service.

For the less-adventurous, Bella's offers the usual assortment of deli sandwiches served either on rolls, sub rolls or Italian bread. But I would suggest you skip those and try the Italian specialties. A chicken sandwich on focaccia ($7.95) featured a thin piece of grilled chicken smothered in sun-dried tomatoes and an herbed mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A sandwich of mozzarella (made in the store each day), sun-dried tomatoes and basil ($6.95) was also delicious.

All of Bella's bread comes from a Little Italy bakery each day and what we tried was terrific. Bella's owner, Vito Mosca, despaired that the focaccia the day we were in was on the thin side, but we loved it: oily, crusty and dusted with parmesan cheese and oregano.

The other dishes we tried were also successful. The vegetable lasagna ($7.95) was a big slab of pasta stuffed with spinach and zucchini, covered with a tasty, onion-laced tomato sauce. The torta primavera was an astonishing trans-national house specialty: five layers of flour tortillas stuffed with Italian goodies: artichoke pieces, roasted peppers, mozzarella, roasted vegetables and tomatoes. At $6.95 a pound, it's probably not right for a quick lunch, but itworked well as a dinner appetizer.

Along with the food you order, you can take home containers of spicy olives, fresh mozzarella and other items. Bella's is about 10 minutes from downtown Towson and has plenty of parking.

Bella's Market

Food: *** 1/2

Service: ****

Waiting area: **

Parking: ***

Where: 5205 Glen Arm Road, Glen Arm

Phone: 410-592-3353

Fax: 410-592-3346

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Prices: Sandwiches, salads and entrees from $2.95 to $8.95; credit cards accepted

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