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Sarah & Desmonds Bakery & Cafe in Ellicott City

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Sarah & Desmond's Bakery & Cafe is the coffee shop that I wish was in my neighborhood.

The bakery and sandwich shop sits just off Main Street in downtown Ellicott City, and it fills on a Saturday morning with sunshine, slow-moving people, and the smell of muffins fresh from the oven. With the traffic just outside the plate glass windows, you could almost believe that you were in a city.

Sarah & Desmond's offers a robust menu for a small bakery. Sandwiches. Salads. Muffins. Cookies. Cupcakes. My most-recent trip was a morning when I really needed something good, and I bought a blueberry muffin that went straight from the baking tray into my takeout box. It was so warm that it crumbled, and I ate greedily in the car -- light and fruity cake with a sugary crisp top, nothing like the dense, plastic-wrapped muffins that haunt so many breakfast places.

With the muffin, you can get Zeke's coffee. For a dessert, you should definitely try the cupcakes. Like Touche Touchet in Columbia, Sarah & Desmond's offers an adult cupcake -- delicious cake, a stiff frosting with flavor (not just sweet), and a size that you actually want to finish. If you want something more substantial, you can buys sandwiches, salads, quiches or soups.

By now, I hope that you're inspired to try out the joint. That's why I'll mention at the end that Sarah & Desmond's is a vegetarian bakery and cafe. They even do some vegan baking, and the vegan cookies are good although nothing beats a warm muffin. Vegetarian options should be an added plus for anyone who wants them, and it shouldn't scare of the meat-eaters among us. It's a bakery. Most baked goods are vegetarian. You'll eat well. I haven't tried the sandwiches yet, but there is a broad menu -- and nothing fake. It's good-looking vegetables with flavors like olives, goat cheese, artichoke hearts, etc. No one is tricking you with mock deli meats. Give it a try.

Sarah & Desmonds Bakery & Cafe

3715 Old Columbia Pike

Ellicott City, MD 21043


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