3346 Paper Mill Road, Jacksonville. Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. (410) 628-8806.
The Hunt Manor Gourmet in Jacksonville is enough to make you want to move to the country -- or at least go there for food. It's all things for all people: 40-seat (soon to be 60-seat) cafe, gourmet carryout, ice cream parlor, bakery, New-York-style deli and sandwich shop. Formerly the Manor Tavern Gourmet Deli, it changed names and owners two months ago. The food is as sophisticated as any of the in-town gourmet shops, but the place is not intimidating.
All prepared foods and baked goods are made there. In the prepared food section, the expertly seasoned crab balls ($1.50 each) were a great find -- all crab with just enough other ingredients to hold them together. The shrimp and lobster mousse ravioli ($9.95 a pound) was surprisingly light for a pasta dish with so much flavor. The sauce tasted homemade and very tomatoey.
Other entrees include chicken parmesana ($5.95 a pound), twice-baked potatoes ($3.69 a pound), baked stuffed tomatoes with spinach filling ($1 each) and chicken formaggio ($6.50 a pound) made with four cheeses, ham and spinach. Various green salads ($2.50 to $3.95) and dressings were prepackaged in a refrigerated case.
The bakery section has delicious and chewy big cookies (50 cents each), freshly baked cakes, breads, croissants, fruit tarts and pastries. The flaky apple strudel ($1.50 a piece) had a real grandmother-made-it taste. Their apple flan ($12.50) looked like a perfect Mother's Day gift.
Two weeks ago they added a selection of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, the beginning of a full sundae bar to come. There are also serve-yourself, fresh-ground gourmet coffees. With advance notice, they do special-order cakes, party platters and large orders of prepared entrees and hors d'oeuvres. For an extra fee, delivery is available on large orders.