My wife and I were saddened to see that Panetier, a great bakery on Mt. Vernon Ave in Del Ray, had been replaced by the Caboose Café. I asked around about the change and was told that the gentleman who had opened Panetier, a world class baker of some note, had fallen out with some of the other partners or managers, and had left. Im sorry that I cant remember his name because Id hoped to find him working somewhere else.
In any event, having driven past Caboose several times, we finally decided to stop in for lunch and were pleased with what we had. Caboose seems to have kept the same menu that Panetier had, a standard sandwich fare of roast beef, tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey, and the like offered on a variety of breads. The whole loaves offered for sale looked to be the same ones sold under the Panetier name, ciabatta, rustic bread, etc, but we didnt get one.
For lunch my wife and shared a cup of the pumpkin curry soup, which again is a holdover menu item. It was served very hot and I suspect was microwaved as the heat was unevenly distributed. It was tasty as in the past; a nice, savory and thick concoction of pumpkin and onion, nicely flavored with curry and kick at the end. I had the places sandwich special, which was salami, red peppers, artichokes, provolone, and Dijon on I believe thinly slice rustic bread. It was similar to a pannini was very good although I couldve done w/o the mustard and done some nice olive oil instead. My wife had a standard and acceptable BLT.
As our dessert treat we went to the Del Ray Dreamery for the third time in as many weeks. Weve only just started going there even though my wife is an ice cream, frozen custard, etc aficionado. We are converted and plan our days around the Dreamerys flavor schedule. Yesterdays was Frango Chocolate Mint it didnt disappoint. We also sampled one of their oat, butter, and sugar treats, which are a nod to the proprietors mother who is Irish. Very dense but oh so good.
I also have good things to report about Cheesetique. Again, Ive been to it three or four times in as many weeks and Ive like everything Ive gotten from them. So far Ive sampled a wonderful sage cheddar, Spanish lomo, and taleggio. Im also a big fan of these wonderful Italian breadsticks they sell. The prices seem to be a little higher than closer fave Arrowine and the selection limited, but the service is as friendly and the offerings fresh and tasty. I will add that Ive only been there during the week so havent run into the weekend crowds which I understand can make for longer waits. Still, if you happen to be in the area I suggest stopping in.