Baltimore Banner reader Kelli Malan Eimer says her favorite weekend lunch plans are just over the city-county line along Falls Road. Lunch at a British-inspired cafe after a hike at Lake Roland, located directly across the street from the restaurant, is her recommendation for a bite to eat and a little bit of nature.
In the latest installment of Ask Charm City Table, a column where I visit some of the restaurants suggested by Baltimore Banner readers as well as offer my own tips and dining spots, I took Eimer’s suggestion for a hike, followed by a laid-back, long lunch at The Corner Pantry.
I began with a few laps around Lake Roland’s paved trail before completing a two-mile loop on the unpaved, red trail. The walk was mostly smooth, dirt terrain with a few rocks and tree roots to step over. I passed a dog park and “dog watched” for a bit before completing the loop.
After my quiet and peaceful walk at Lake Roland, I headed across the street to the Lake Falls Village shopping center. Under the first blue-and-gold awning was the restaurant, which had a few tables and chairs outside where customers sat, each with a full spread of lunch and dessert. The line was long inside the bright restaurant with a coastal ambiance. Pendant lights, tall, dried flowers and neutral base tones with splashes of color in the wall art made the space feel serene, almost like a modern beach house.
At the counter there’s a coffee and tea menu, lunch menu and fresh-baked pastries stacked along a coffee bar. The barista explained that most of the menu was seasonal and locally sourced, noting the owners’ passion for building relationships with local farmers. I wanted to try a little of everything since this was my first dining experience at The Corner Pantry.
Eimer said the falafel salad is her favorite menu item here, so I ordered that and the TCP smoked turkey sandwich for lunch. I also ordered a London Fog latte and berry lemonade to drink, and a chocolate chip cookie and cookies and cream cake for dessert.
The falafel salad was a generous portion of the restaurant’s house-made falafel, red quinoa salad, avocado, pickled red onion, cherry tomato, dressed local greens, pita bread croutons, sumac and spiced green tahini drizzle. After a few bites, I knew this salad would be making my shortlist of salad recommendations.
The falafel was lightly crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. Overall, the salad was dynamic with sweet, pickled flavors and mild spices, and both smooth and crunchy textures. Next, I ate the turkey sandwich which came with white cheddar, crisp greens and charred jalapeno aioli on toasted ciabatta. The sandwich was fresh, served cold like a deli sandwich. The charred jalapeno aioli was the highlight of this bite, and next time I would ask for extra.
Earl grey and English breakfast teas, vanilla syrup and steamed milk make up the traditional London Fog latte. When I visit a British cafe, or any teahouse, it is one of my favorites to try. The Corner Pantry does an excellent London Fog latte, balancing the sweetness of the syrup with the strength of the tea and foamy steamed milk. The berry lemonade, also prepared in house, is bright and acidic from the berries and lemons, and it has just enough sugar to complement the drink’s tartness.
After an energizing lunch, I saved dessert for later and tasted the cake and cookies later that evening. The cookies and cream cake was a three-layer chocolate cake with each layer spread with white cream frosting. The chocolate chip cookies were thick, about the size of a tea saucer, with melted chocolate chunks throughout. Both of these baked goods were among my favorites of this restaurant visit — soft, light and not overly sweet. Truly, the baked goods alone are worth the trip to The Corner Pantry.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the Baltimore area, or are you looking for dining suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with recommendations and questions.
Simone Phillips is the founder of the food blog Charm City Table and a creative in residence for The Baltimore Banner.