On our first visit to Our House, we felt right at home. It was 11
a.m. on a Thursday, and the breakfast spinach pizza caught our eye. But
when we ordered at the counter in the back of the eclectically cozy
Locust Point row house, we were told it’s only served on weekends.
Co-owner Dianne DeSantis, a longtime neighborhood resident who opened
the charming cafe in October with Janis Cashmark, must have sensed our
disappointment, because precisely at that moment she emerged from the
kitchen and told us she’d be happy to whip one up, no problem. We took a
seat in the dining room, where no two tables, chairs, or stools are
alike. The women bought the used furnishings almost entirely at the
salvage warehouse Second Chance. The walls are lined with local
photographers’ works and chalkboards advertising specials: bingo Tuesday
night, Great White Wednesday (a seven-inch white pizza and glass of
wine for $10), and an upcoming art show. Shelves hold Hale’s salsa,
Zeke’s Coffee, and other gourmet items for sale. An Orioles banner hangs
near the baked goods and dessert case. There are even real hand towels
in the bathroom.
The deep-dish pizza arrived piping hot, topped with two fluffy eggs,
fresh spinach, and feta cheese. It was delicious, as was the more
traditional “Carnivorous pie” ($9 for a seven-inch, $13 for a 10-inch)
with pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, prosciuttini, and mozzarella.
The food in front of us and on the menu, which includes salads (with
homemade dressings), pastas, and classic Italian subs, all for $10 or
less, made our mouths water, so we strolled over to the refrigerators
filled with bottles of wine and a wide variety of beer. Drinks are
self-serve: Help yourself, then simply bring your empties to the counter
when you pay on your way out. That’s right—the honor system. (Take a
moment to let that set in.)
Our House is so warm and inviting we could have spent the entire
afternoon there, playing a board game while sipping a glass of red wine
or reading a magazine in a rocking chair as we snacked on a homemade
meatball-and-Italian-sausage skewer or handmade pretzel.
Unfortunately, we had to go home.