Arbutus, for all of its charms and assets, is not generally credited with being a culinary capital. The dining choices in family-oriented community on the southwest tip Baltimore County tend toward the tried and true.
A veteran caterer is hoping to change that, one Belgian waffle with roasted turkey and blueberry-infused maple syrup at a time. Larry's 1332, which opened in July, is the dream project of Larry Schwartz.
Schwartz, a Minnesota native, grew up in Forest Park and Randallstown, graduating from Woodlawn High School. His introduction to the food business was at the old Sid Mandell's on Liberty Road, where Mandell himself warned Schwartz about how the food business can get in the blood. It did, and Schwartz ended up spending 40 years in the business, first with the kosher caterers Bluefeld and Schleider and later in university settings like the University of Maryland College Park and Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
Larry's 1332 is Schwartz's first restaurant and his first solo catering business, and he's hoping that customers who enjoy dining in will talk to him about catering their big and small events. "The most important thing to me is that the customers are happy. I want people to come and enjoy themselves," Schwartz says. "It's all about taking care of people."
"The opportunity for me to take over this space in Baltimore County came at the perfect time in my career," says Schwartz, who spent $40,000 renovating the space, the former Lunch Box. Changes include the removal of walls and the installation of new floors in Schwartz's signature blue.
Highlights of the extensive lunch offerings at Larry's 1332 include build-your-own wraps and sandwiches, a Mediterranean sampler appetizer with hummus and stuffed grape leaves, brie stuffed with fruit and mascarpone cheese and chicken soup with matzo balls and noodles. Among the signature sandwiches are a "N'Orleans-style" muffuletta, shrimp salad made with "a dab of Hellman's," and the Arbutus Club — turkey, ham, Muenster and bacon on toasted pumpernickel.
But Schwartz is really going to town with the menu's Blue Plate Specials. This section includes a crab hash served on bacon, hand-formed-and-baked-to-order hamburger stuffed with either cheddar and bacon, blue cheese or pepper and onions; an apricot-glazed roasted chicken and that waffle and turkey platter.
"The menu reflects my personal commitment to experimenting with flavor combinations," says Schwartz. The Blue Plate entrees, as with the rest of the menu, are available for take-out to be served for dinner.
Schwartz is hoping to attract customers from BWI Business District and the University of Maryland Baltimore County as well as residents of Catonsville and Arbutus. Schwartz is considering adding in a Friday night dinner service. The first one is scheduled, tentatively, for Sept. 16. Schwartz is asking customers to book in advance.
Larry's 1332 is at 1332 Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus. Call 443-304-2841 or go to http://www.larrys1332.com.
So long, for now Mango Grove, the vegetarian Indian restaurant that introduced dhosa to a generation of Howard County diners, has closed. The closing of Mango Grove, along with its sister restaurant Mirchi Wok, was posted on the How Chow blog, which had previously reported on the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning's approval at its June meeting of a plan to replace the Mango Grove structure with a new building that will house three commercial tenants, including a new restaurant.
The Mango Grove Facebook page has been keeping its customers informed about its plans to relocate nearby. But for now, folks will have to go somewhere else for dhosa, the platter-sized vegetable-stuffed crepes that were a Mango Grove signature dish.
Stillwater Dinner at Pazo Pazo hosts a Stillwater Artisanal Ales Dinner on Thursday. Stillwater Artisanal Ales is the "gypsy brewing" project founded and run by Baltimore native Brian Sturmke, who will be a special guest at the $79 per person, four-course dinner.
Pazo is at 1429 Aliceanna St. Call 410-534-7296 or go to pazorestaurant.com.
Fall preview Next week's Table Talk will be a preview of this fall's biggest openings and events, including a new Phillip's, the last days of Obrykci's and the opening of the first restaurants in the new Four Seasons. Send info and tips my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.