Showroom Cafe inside Motor House thrives on cool vibes -

Showroom Cafe inside Motor House thrives on cool vibes

Credit: baltimoresun.com

  • Dec 06 2017 21:05About: 8 days ago
  • 12 views

This is one cool cafe. At the new Showroom Cafe & Bar, the vibe is hip, and so are the customers. A big sign on the wall says it all: “Fun.”

Part of the restaurant’s allure comes from its location: on the first floor of the Motor House, an artist incubator space that includes a studio, gallery and performance venue.

We stepped into the low-lit industrial space on a recent evening, not sure what to expect. It was happy hour, and most people were sipping wine, beer and cocktails.

A bartender gave us the lowdown after handing us paper menus: You order at the bar and the food is brought to your table. We found a seat in the busy room, enjoying the thrum of a cheerful clientele while waiting for our meal.

Showroom, aptly named for the automobile showroom that once occupied the Motor House space, is open for breakfast (think yogurt bowls and egg sandwiches), lunch (pressed sandwiches and salads) and dinner (nibbles and more).

The menu is in flux, said executive chef Daniel Horwitz, who runs the food service in partnership with his Pantry Catering. He’s planning to focus more on snacks like deviled eggs, a cheese dip and stuffed dates in the evening.

“We’re still trying to figure out what the public wants and needs,” said Horwitz, a classically trained chef. “It’s a dynamic growth process.”

Whatever time of day you go, we think you’ll like the camaraderie and menu choices.

SCENE & DECOR: The minimalist room with a high ceiling houses tables and a spacious bar. Wood details, pendant lights and succulent plants in vases add warmth to the angular space. If you have a beret, this is the place to wear it.

APPETIZERS: The Mediterranean duo ($7) was an intriguing, shareable plate that featured a pillow of lemon-garlic hummus with a cap of piquant tomato tapenade. It was served with pita triangles for scooping up one or both of the dips. The house-smoked salmon spread ($7) was a chunky pleaser with a bite of horseradish and a crown of pickled onions. Baguette crisps and cucumber slices were good bases for the fish mix.

ENTREES: The restaurant’s signature dish is a bolsita, a play on tacos in a bag, though the kitchen serves the braised meats and vegetables in a bowl for easy eating. We were happy with a bolsita original ($9), a densely flavored red chili with Doritos, mashed avocado and Mexican toppings like salsa verde. We’re not sure how the mix-up happened, but we ordered a grilled eggplant sandwich and ended up with a lemon-herb chicken sandwich. But our wrong order turned out to be all right with us. Tender chicken and bacon were stuffed into a croissant with tomato and avocado for a captivating hot sandwich.

DRINKS: Cocktails ($11) are available after 4 p.m. and are designated by numbers. For instance, a No. 5 is described as being made with gin, sweet vermouth, lemon, honey and bitters with the note: “Tart and herbaceous; raise your spirits and glasses with this one.” A half-dozen wines ($9) and draft beers ($7) are also offered. Happy hour prices run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Coffee, espresso drinks and organic teas are available, too.

SERVICE: You place your order at the counter, and the food is delivered to your table. On our visit, an affable bartender was tending to drinks and food, and doing a great job.

DESSERT: The fresh-baked cookies were gone by the time we were ready for dessert. But we were satisfied with a house-made almond frangipane bar ($3), which was big enough to split between two people.


Showroom Cafe & Bar

Backstory: The restaurant opened in October as part of Motor House, an artist incubator space, in Station North. Daniel Horwitz serves as executive chef.

Signature dish: The bolsitas (tacos in a bowl)

TVs: None

Where: 120 W. North Ave., first floor of Motor House, Station North

Contact: 410-862-0930, showroombmore.com

Open: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to midnight Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday

Credit Cards: All major

Reservations: No

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Bottom line: Baltimore’s newest arts cafe is a fun place to hang out, drink and eat, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


lsuzanne@comcast.net

ALSO

Baltimore’s 50 best restaurants for 2017

100 essential food and drink experiences every Baltimorean must try

Chefs to watch: Meet 10 up-and-comers with big plans for Baltimore’s food scene



Follow Us on Twitter

This cool cafe. Showroom Cafe Bar vibe hip customers. sign wall says all: “Fun.” Part restaurant’s allure comes from location: first floor Motor House artist incubator space that includes studio gallery...

Related stories with Showroom Cafe inside Motor House thrives on cool vibes

Where protected lands stand after national monument review -World News
Where protected lands stand after national monument review 8 days ago
SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke earlier this year to conduct an unprecedented review of 27 monuments established by former presidents over more than two decades on lands and waters revered for their
Halifax man’s donair Christmas ornament a hit: ‘My phone is just going crazy’ -World News
Halifax man’s donair Christmas ornament a hit: ‘My phone is just going crazy’ 8 days ago
HALIFAX — Just in time for your Christmas tree: A $14.99 donair ornament. Halifax resident Gary Marsh built an ornament honouring the city’s official food using a 3D printer and a repurposed motor, and then posted a video of his creation on Re
Qualcomm adds security, battery life features to phone chips as Apple feud continues -World News
Qualcomm adds security, battery life features to phone chips as Apple feud continues 8 days ago
The latest chip features a range of improvements to help it deal with artificial intelligence tasks like recognizing and categorizing images, the company said
Hornets vs. Warriors odds: Picks from computer model on 33-18 NBA run -World News
Hornets vs. Warriors odds: Picks from computer model on 33-18 NBA run 8 days ago
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Wednesday's Hornets-Warriors game 10,000 times
Why the Bank of Canada should be wary of economy’s Goldilocks moment -World News
Why the Bank of Canada should be wary of economy’s Goldilocks moment 8 days ago
Joe Chidley: Goldilocks was annoyingly difficult to please — and the Goldilocks moment for the Canadian economy might be very difficult to maintain
Grizzlies' Marc Gasol fined $15K for cursing on TV after snapping 11-game losing streak -World News
Grizzlies' Marc Gasol fined $15K for cursing on TV after snapping 11-game losing streak 8 days ago
Gasol expressed the sentiment of every Grizzlies fan, but got a little too colorful
Charli XCX teases massive new mixtape featuring almost everyone you could possibly hope for -World News
Charli XCX teases massive new mixtape featuring almost everyone you could possibly hope for 8 days ago
Charli XCX has teased the release of a new star-studded mixtape, featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, MØ, Tove Lo and more
NFL to consider targeting rule similar to college football -World News
NFL to consider targeting rule similar to college football 8 days ago
The NFL will consider a targeting rule similar to college football, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said today via Judy Battista of NFL Media. Vincent also said the NFL will discuss a punishment schedule for “non-foo
Russell Wilson: Key lateral felt like it went backward -World News
Russell Wilson: Key lateral felt like it went backward 8 days ago
Sunday night’s win by Seattle over the Eagles included a key moment when quarterback Russell Wilson flipped the ball to running back Mike Davis in an effort to convert a key third-down play when the Seahawks were up only by seven points. Though it l
New contract for Roger Goodell has been signed -World News
New contract for Roger Goodell has been signed 8 days ago
The Commissioner finally has a new contract. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL’s Compensation Committee has informed all owners that a new contract for Commissioner Roger Goodell has been executed. The memorandum to all owners ex
Zach Ertz remains in concussion protocol -World News
Zach Ertz remains in concussion protocol 8 days ago
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz remains in the concussion protocol after leaving last Sunday’s game in the third quarter. Coach Doug Pederson said on Wednesday that Ertz has progressed enough to attend team meetings, but that he’s not cleared for a
Execution of Goodell deal limits Jerry Jones’ options -World News
Execution of Goodell deal limits Jerry Jones’ options 8 days ago
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed to be under the impression that the owners would have one last chance to debate the proposed contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell before the contract became finalized. Now that the contract has been finalized,