Only fair-trade, shade-grown organic coffee is roasted in-house at High Grounds, where a brand-new roaster transforms beans into liquid treats using dark magic. Percolate each morning with a two-shot latte ($3.66), or buzz through the day with a regular drip coffee ($1.54). Adding to the aromatic drinks is the pungent scent of free high-speed WiFi, which permeates the air and creates the ideal atmosphere for studying or grabbing a latte before work. As a testament to its quality, High Grounds' house-roasted coffee can also be found out of house in retail outlets such as Whole Foods.
Visit Cafe Euro and you might spot Dana Buric, brewing specialty coffee drinks and boxing European pastries alongside her son Dani and daughter Ira. They slice up fresh meats and vegetables for paninis and shower hearty pastas in savory dressing. Committed to recreating the relaxed atmosphere of a traditional European coffeehouse, they encourage guests to linger on the plush chairs of their sunlit cafe while enjoying complimentary Wi-Fi.
Café Einstein's chefs wield German roots, Swedish roots, formal training in Italy, and fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a weekly rotating menu of European fare that earned accolades such as "a work of genius" from the Baltimore Guide. Culinary journeys begin when diners strap on their tongues' fanny packs, sit amid exposed-brick walls and sconce lighting, and explore bites of appetizers such as the spinach frittata infused with smoked salmon ($9.95). Dinner entrees then take to the tables in shapes that may include edible skyscrapers of lasagna bolognese, in which a hand-minced, browned sirloin steak mingles with a homemade sauce of fresh tomatoes, carrot, organic milk, and onion ($15.95), and a meat-free version that piles up cheese and seasonal vegetables ($14.95). Diners can bisect the day with lunch bites of the curry wurst, a german frankfurter served with curry ketchup and a fresh-made pretzel roll ($8.95), or the pancake sushi, a savory german crêpe stuffed with spinach and cheese ($8.95). Desserts end meals with a sweet note and offer quarreling knights post-treaty bites to feed each other, with selections such as the black-forest cake, with rich chocolate, cherries, whipped cream, and Kirsch liqueur.
After emigrating to Baltimore from Palermo, Italy, Gioacchino Vaccaro wanted to share the pastries of his homeland with his new neighbors. In 1956, he founded his eponymous pastry shop, an establishment that has since expanded to include four locations. The culinary team dishes out cannoli that ensconce homemade ricotta filling, three-tiered rum cake, and crunchy biscotti cookies.
Beyond pastries, the eateries toast paninis and stuff classic mufalato sandwiches with Italian pepper ham, mortadella, and salami. To complement their meals, visitors can sip hand-crafted espresso drinks, such as cappuccinos in traditional “Italiano” style and house style, served with a dollop of whipped cream. For more adult pours, patrons can opt for assorted martinis, beers, and dessert wines.