A glance at the menu at Touche Touchet Bakery and Cafe might have one thinking that the business made an unfortunate typo.
The breakfast “sammich” — with two eggs fried to order, your choice of bread, mayonnaise, sliced tomato, cheese, and bacon or turkey sausage — sounds tasty enough. But the spelling?
“That’s how we say it back home,” chuckled owner Michael Touchet, a native of the small town of Cecilia, La.
The Louisiana flair at the newly opened Elkridge eatery is undeniable. Whether he’s selling King Cake during Mardi Gras or serving the popular New Orleans brand Community Coffee, Touchet brings a touch of his home state to the second location of his popular bakery — this time with heartier cafe fare.
“They’re everywhere,” Touchet marveled as he did a quick count of the symbol. “I’m sure we’ll have more. Some of our friends and customers bring them for us to hang up.”
Despite his intense love of Louisiana — Touchet said his family dates back to the region for nine generations — he left to grow professionally. After Touchet worked in various New Orleans restaurants – including the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street by the famed Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group — he relocated to Maryland in 2001. He worked as a pastry chef for the Washington, D.C.-based Well Done Catering and then attended a 10-month immersion pastry arts program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg before setting up shop in Columbia with the help of business partner Terry Keyfauver in 2006.
The new location features 30 seats — compared to the 10 in the bakery — and modern amenities like USB outlets and free WiFi. But loyal customers from the original bakery will find many similarities in Elkridge.
“We mimicked the bakery with all the purple and gold,” Touchet said. “There are a lot of homages to Louisiana. We made it very homey and comfortable so that people want to sit down.”
And once they take a seat, diners can expect new offerings like soups, sandwiches, meats and cheeses, along with the same pastries and sweets that have become synonymous with the bakery. Touchet said the new location will also offer catering.
Some of the daily specials, too, will be inspired by Touchet’s Louisiana roots.
“They serve red beans and rice on Mondays in Louisiana,” Touchet explained. His version of the dish, which is authentic to Louisiana, is served with andouille sausage.
Joel Penenburgh, a Columbia resident, has been a loyal customer since the Columbia bakery opened 11 years ago.
He said he loves the Louisiana influences at both locations.
“Until they opened up, I had never had Community Coffee,” he said. “The Cajun and French influence reflects in all the products. It’s a part of the daily specials like the red beans and rice and the jambalaya. This is good eating.”