In 1961, Roy Crock turned McDonald’s into a nationwide phenomena by turning the single family owned business into a franchise. Since then, a myriad of similar stores have risen to challenge the monolith of fast food. It’s my opinion that franchises get a bad rap in this country because they are usually synonymous with grease fueled, not-the-best-for-you-health-wise places like McDonald’s and Burger King. Even still in 2019, it’s a rare condition to find a chain that sells “fast food” that believes in quality and sticks to that belief.
It gives me pride to tell you that Towson has not one but two of those such places!
Located on parallel streets, SLICE Pizzeria and the Baltimore Soup Company are changing the way you should think about franchise worthy eateries.
Every day at , you can find a showcase of unique flavors so intriguing that you’ll immediately start debating over which pizza to choose. When I first discovered SLICE, I went with my standard mushroom and pepperoni because I like what I like. I was excited to find that even the classics get an upgrade at SLICE. My pizza sported giant slices of mushrooms laid out on a bed of pepperoni that covered the entire pizza. Since then, I have indulged in combination pizzas that include ricotta cheese, blue cheese, meatballs, baked zetti, chicken parm, fried chicken, a myriad of veggies and yes, even pineapple. On top of that, SLICE offers a one pound crab dip pizza that looks incredible. I still haven’t mustered up the courage to try it yet, it’s definitely a two person type of pizza.
Just down the block from New York style paradise sits Baltimore Soup Company, a soup and sandwich shop. While the soups are not to be overshadowed by any means, it’s the new creative sandwiches that take center stage in this review. The Reuben, the chicken pesto, the Tuscan turkey and the Rachel are all amazing with hearty amounts of meat. All of them hold a special place in my heart, but none of them compare to the Crabby Melt and the Cuban sandwich. Essentially, the Crabby Melt is the greatest crab cake grilled cheese sandwich you’ll ever have, with thick amounts of provolone cheese and spinach. Absolutely worth eleven dollars and change. On the other end of the spectrum is their Cuban sandwich. I have eaten many Cuban sandwiches in my day and while BSC’s Cuban has all the traditional ingredients, it’s the bread that puts this sandwich on another level. Typically, Cubans come on a harder type of roll or chibata but this Cuban is crafted on the softest sourdough bread imaginable, creating a completely new mouthfeel that goes beyond tradition.
I’ve tried figuring out what makes these two places so special when compared to the fast food giants of the world and what I’ve found is that, what matters most, is a product with honest quality is backed by a staff who loves what they do and who aren’t afraid to get creative. In the end, we are all lucky to have them in the heart of Towson, serving incredible meals daily.
Crown City Cook
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