A little of this; a little of that

There's no shortage of places to eat in Reisterstown, and on Oct. 15, many of those area eateries will showcase their dishes at the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce's Taste of the Town.

The annual event, now in its 12th year, gives people the chance to sample the food of their favorite area restaurants, and perhaps some they haven't tried yet, in one location.


"It's going to be at Douran [interiors], which is an office furniture warehouse at 10 Painters Mill Road, in Owings Mills. It's going to be a very unique space; we're very excited. There's going to be a lot of seating — a lot of tables. People will actually be mingling around … office spaces, display spaces, so it's going to be really unique, really different," ROMG Chamber President Colleen Brady said.

The event will feature about 20 area restaurants, all from the ROMG area, including Bedazzled Treats, in Reisterstown; Glyndon Grill, in Glyndon; Icedgems Bakery, in Reisterstown; and Santoni's Marketplace & Catering, in Glyndon.


"You just walk up to a table and the restaurants usually bring two to three items — they bring two to three samples and you can walk up and get a small plate," Brady said.

Attendees can sample each restaurant's dishes for a flat registration fee of $35 before Oct. 9 and $40 after. Registration can be done at

The event will also have a give-back component, something the chamber often includes in community events.

"We do have an auction section, which the auction benefits two local food pantries, the Community Crisis Center and the Reisterstown United Methodist Church's food pantry … So we've done silent auctions in the past and this year we're trying to do something different … where you buy tickets and you put tickets in the bags in front of the items you want to win. The money we raise from that benefits the food pantries. You can buy an arm's length or a wingspan length of tickets," Brady said.

There will also be a contest to determine the best food and best dessert of the evening, judged by popular vote. And, the 101.9 Friends & Neighbors music van will be set up to offer background music for diners.

"I think it's a wonderful event," said Monet Clark, owner of Bedazzled Treats. "It gives the opportunity for people to come together and taste different creations of food from different restaurants in the area … It's just an opportunity to have a community event to get everybody together."

This will be the third year Bedazzled Treats has participated in the event, which Brady said draws between 200 and 250 people per year. Last year, the restaurant won the best dessert category.

"We received awards for best dessert," Clark said. "We had one of the Channel 13 ladies come — it was celebrity judges that came last year — and she came by the table like three times and just loved the dessert … she said 'I just love this cheesecake.' She said it was mouthwatering," Clark said.


This year, Clark said, Bedazzled Treats will offer an assortment of cupcakes and cheesecake, as well as a surprise dessert. But the flavors will likely be reminiscent of the season.

"We try to keep our desserts in the fall … keep everything geared toward fresh cinnamon, nutmeg flavors, apple, pumpkin, sweet potatoes," she said.

Ristorante Firenze, in Reisterstown, attended last year's Taste of the Town in advance of its opening in February.

"I think it's a great way to get together all the local restaurants and be all in one place where people can taste the different things that everybody has to offer. There's not a lot of Italian; there's not a lot of one thing; there's a good sampling of all the restaurants in the area … and it's a good way for us to interact with a lot of the restaurateurs that we don't get to see on a regular basis," said Larry Leonardi, Firenze owner and general manager.

Leonardi, who owns the restaurant with his brother Brian, said they served meatball sliders, but this year they're planning something different.

"We'll be serving spaghetti and meatball cupcakes — they'll be made with our homemade pasta. We use our homemade spaghetti and our house-made marinara sauce, and then we mix that with some egg — we use local eggs that are free range … and then you mix some Parmesan cheese and then we kind of mix that up and put that in a muffin tin and make it into a cupcake," he said.


Then, they add a meatball, and more sauce and cheese before finishing it off with shredded basil, Leonardi said. He said this dish is a great way to showcase the restaurant's homemade pasta, and is "like a conglomeration of all the best things we have." Plus, it offers diners a more convenient treat than the meatball sliders, he said.

"It's a good kind of finger food. We noticed last year when we did the meatball sliders … that they were a little too big. We needed something a little more finger food-ish, small. So this works out perfect," he said.

Christine Richardson, owner of Icedgems Baking said the event "provides good exposure in the local neighborhood."

She said it's a good way for the bakery to showcase the award-winning dishes it has to offer.

"We've won Taste of 3 Cities — we've won three years running; we won it in Baltimore and Philadelphia this year … We've won the Best Bakery Showdown against all the bakeries in Baltimore. It's all from Baltimore Magazine. We won Best Bakery in Baltimore Magazine for the last two years," she said.

Despite the bakery's location — sitting right on Reisterstown Road — Icedgems cake decorator Amber Fields said, many customers "walk in and say, 'Oh, I didn't know you were here.'"


"I think it's really important to be a part of the community. A lot of people don't know we're here, even though we're in Reisterstown. We get overlooked quite a bit. So it's nice for people to see us out and about," she said.

As far as what Icedgems will be serving at Taste of the Town, Richardson said, she hasn't quite figured that out yet.

"We'll probably be serving of an assortment of our baked goods, but it will include our mini-cupcakes, cake pops, truffles, whatever we feel like … it's not specific because its whatever we feel like making at that time," she said.

The event fits well into the business plan of Icedgems Baking, Richardson said.

"We're part of the community. [The event is] something giving back to the community, so the money that we raise goes back into the Reisterstown community, so it's just a part of giving back. We do a lot of charity work so it's just one of the things that we do," Richardson said.

Clark agreed.


"We do a lot of events where we don't get a lot of revenue … we've fed the homeless underneath the bridge of 83 in Baltimore City. We do a lot of different events catered to helping the community … we like to give back to the community as well and that helps with exposure for us, as well," she said.

For a new establishment like Ristorante Firenze, Leonardi said, events like Taste of the Town provide good exposure. But, he said, they also value opportunities to be a part of the ROMG community.

"We'd like to take part in all the community things that go on around here. We didn't come here just to stand alone, we came to be a part of the community … [community events are] a good way for us to get our face and name out to the neighborhood and out to our clientele and we let people know what we do and how we do it ... Plus if there's a charity associated that makes it even better," he said.

The event, Clark said, "brings the community together in terms of showing that there are people who are willing to not always have money involved with things and just give out of the kindness of their heart."

"I would go to this event because it's a nice outing for your family — a social gathering to be able to explore different taste and culture of food in all areas … you have a different array of flavors and culture and you will leave happy with a full belly," Clark said.



If you go:

What: Taste of the Town

Where: Douran Interiors,10 Painters Mill Road, Owings Mills

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15


Cost: $35 until Oct. 9; $40 after Oct. 9

For more information or to register: Visit