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2601 Howard St.,(410)235-5004

Photo: Mel Guapo, License: N/A

Mel Guapo


2601 Howard St.,(410)235-5004,

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Charmington's occupies a sunny, high-ceilinged corner of what was once a tin can factory. Though it just opened in late September, this welcoming little cafe seems to have already acquired regulars: It's often humming with people clicking away on their laptops, chatting over a (quality) cup of direct trade certified coffee, or sitting on the couch and playing board games. Breakfast sandwiches and bagels are available, but at least so far, there's more going on for lunch. The Spicy Bird ($8.95), a turkey sandwich with jalapenos and aioli with a kick, is simple but good, though the thin white bread it's served on is a little blah. (It was a special and is no longer on the menu.) But the roasted vegetable sandwich ($5.95) is the bomb. Rich yellow squash, crunchy red bell peppers, and sweet onions make magic with a generous dollop of feta and basil aioli on ciabatta. Soups and salads, some vegan, are available as well, and Charmington's bakers seem to be always experimenting with new quiches, muffins, and other baked goods. Salted oat and caramel cookie, anyone? On a recent afternoon, a slice of chai tea cake ($2.50) was on offer. It had the texture of a muffin and wasn't too sweet, with a subtle tea undertone.

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