Best Farm to Table
Published: September 22, 2010
4341 Harford Road, (410) 254-2376, thechameleoncafe.com
There are flashier farm-to-table style restaurants in Baltimore, but none has been as quietly consistent and long-term dedicated to being local as Chameleon Café. The Lauraville restaurant boasts its own urban herb garden right outside its side entrance and has joined in a composting arrangement with neighbors in the Hamilton Crop Circle. Saturday and Sunday mornings find owner Jeff Smith carting crates of produce on his shoulders through the farmers markets (he also purchases from George’s Farm Market, George Burton’s longtime Harford Road farmstand), and last month, Smith designed menus for two private parties that revolved around a snout-to-tail use of a Berkshire hog procured from Ferguson Family Farm in Baltimore County. This could all be precious if just for show, but those who’ve dined at Chameleon know that for Smith, eating and cooking local isn’t just a fad. It’s common sense.