A Towson Throwback

Bread and Circuses’s quaint bistro setting stands out for its individuality and down-to-earth food

By Suzanne Loudermilk - November 2013

Bread and Circuses lives up to its name

Bread and Circuses’s quaint bistro setting stands out for its individuality and down-to-earth food

By Suzanne Loudermilk - November 2013

The double-decker salmon Rushdie -Photography by Scott Suchman

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

At a time when so many of Towson’s downtown buildings have been razed and replaced by hulking structures, it’s nice to discover a modest 1920s cottage-turned-restaurant. And you have to love the name, Bread and Circuses Bistro and Bar—a term from Roman times that means wooing the populace with food and entertainment. On weekends, Bread and Circuses does indeed offer live music, but its draw is an eclectic menu of sandwiches, appetizers, and entrees that is available throughout the week with brunch on Sundays. In a past life, the restaurant was a coffee shop called French Press until it started serving dinner three years ago, complete with beer, wine, and liquor.

The restaurant was quietly enjoyed by locals, but word has spread. The small dining rooms—a parlor filled with artsy knickknacks and a lower level with artwork for sale—fill quickly.

One evening, we started with a garlicky tomato bruschetta with goat cheese and a silky Nantucket bisque with corn and crab. Both were excellent starters.

The kitchen was kind enough to split the shrimp and scallop Provençal on two plates for us. There was more than enough to share, especially with the accompanying rice. Our chicken Mykonos was fragrant with spinach, feta, tomatoes, shallots, and a lemon-basil sauce.

A downside was an indifferent server, though that did not appear to be the norm. Our waiter spilled a good portion of wine as he aimed for our wine glass. He mopped it up a bit, leaving behind a stain and dribbles on the glass. Then, he walked away without even acknowledging the incident.

The cost of dessert ($7.95) also gave us pause until we realized most of the offerings were luscious creations from Pâtisserie Poupon, the French bakery with locations in Baltimore and D.C.

On a lunch visit, the salmon Rushdie caught our eye. It’s a double-decker sandwich with grilled salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo—a delicious mouthful.

As new development spreads throughout the bustling Baltimore County seat, Bread and Circuses’s quaint bistro setting stands out for its individuality and down-to-earth food.

›› Bread and Circuses Bistro and Bar, 401 Delaware Ave., Towson, 410-337-5282. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday brunch. Appetizers: $6-12; sandwiches: $6-13; entrees, $12-28; desserts: $7.95.

You May Also Like

Food & Drink

Review: Otto Turkish

Otto Turkish Cuisine adds to the dining scene in Federal Hill.

In Good Taste

Share Kitchen Opens in Locust Point

Nikki Marks launches new production space for food startups.

Food & Drink

Review: Five and Dime Ale House

Five and Dime Ale House is worth the pocket change.

In Good Taste

Rye Street Tavern Opens Tonight in Port Covington

Chef Andrew Carmellini shows off his new spot on the Sagamore Spirit campus.

Food & Drink

Friendsgiving Feast

Raise a glass to the old and the new—start an epic tradition with friends closest to you!

Food & Drink

Club Charles Comes Back to Life

The Station North staple gets resurrected.

The double-decker salmon Rushdie
-Photography by Scott Suchman

Connect With Us

Most Read

Pillow Talk
Add a pop of color, texture, and personality to any room.

Squad Leader
Raised in Hawaii, Ken Niumatalolo has found a home in Annapolis.

110 Years of Covering Baltimore
We celebrate a milestone and reflect on longevity.

Sex and the City
Rec Pier Chop House adds glam factor to Fells Point.

Washington D.C. Arts Guide
From concerts and art exhibits to comedy and theater, we round up the best events to check out in the District.