At bakery, familiarity, tradition and no frills


September 14, 2005|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

My favorite thing about the Edelweiss Bakery & Cafe in Hamilton is the display of bride and groom figures that go on top of the wedding cakes the bakery turns out. How about a traditional model with groom standing next to bride? Or perhaps a more energetic pairing with the groom holding the bride in his arms?

There's something reassuring about the display and, indeed, the whole Edelweiss experience, which is all about modest prices, tradition and familiarity.

It's a place in the heart of Hamilton where you can pick up a sandwich for lunch if you left yours at home that morning - and the sandwich is prepared the exact way you would have made it at home. The cafe has a few tables, some community newspapers available to read and plenty of coffee. No surprises or frills, but if you want a decent BLT on toast, stop by.

The menu consists of sandwiches, soup and salads.

The best of the ones we tried was the chicken salad ($5.25), which was made (daringly) with bits of walnut and apple. A vegetarian-cheese sandwich ($3.95) was also good, with what amounted to a small salad sandwiched between slices of bread.

We also liked the chicken noodle soup, which had sweet carrot pieces and a hearty broth. A side order of potato salad ($1.25) had a bit too much mayonnaise. And a turkey sandwich ($4.75) was made with processed meat.

Then there were the desserts - and what a decadent bounty it is. After a long period of study, we settled on three.

A chocolate cream tart ($1.65) was highlighted by a nice chocolate filling inside an unexciting pastry shell, smothered in whipped cream capped with chocolate shavings. A Key lime tart ($1.65) had a filling that was a rather scary shade of green and had only a hint of real lime flavor. But nobody was complaining, confirming my suspicion that any dessert is acceptable if it has enough whipped cream on it.

Last, we tried the apple fritter, which has won a couple of local awards. Only a buck, it was a 6-inch-long piece of yummy fried dough in a glazed icing. Were there apples involved? I couldn't swear to it, but it really didn't matter.

There's parking in a lot along the side of the Edelweiss.

Edelweiss Bakery & Cafe

Food: **1/2 (two stars and 1 half star)

Service: **1/2 (two stars and 1 half star)

Waiting area: *** (three stars)

Parking: *** (three stars)

Where: 6000 Harford Road, Hamilton

Phone: 410-426-3100

Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

Prices: Soup, salads, sandwiches, $2.75 to $5.75; breakfast eggs, omelets and waffles, $1.75 to $5.95; credit cards accepted (no checks)

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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