Cannella's Italian Deli
It's an odd thing, una vera macelleria Italiana way up Harford Road, but it's the perfect stop before or after a day in nearby Gunpowder Falls State Park. Family-owned Cannella's combines a fantastic deli with a small grocery and liquor store; there are Italian wines and imported pasta, but the main attraction is the case full of homemade old-country treats. Arancini--"little oranges," so named for their size and shape ($4.95/pound)--are fabulous fried balls of potato or rice mixed with cheese and flavored with meat or vegetables, and Cannella's roasted stuffed peppers ($4.95/pound) are the best in the world.
Assemble a feast of olives, cheeses, marinated eggplant, artichokes--whatever catches your fancy--and add a fresh-baked loaf of bread and a bottle of Barolo for an incomparable picnic. Or try one of the dozens of deli sandwiches. The Toscano ($4.95) with fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, eggplant, and mesclun on focaccia is fantastic. The hefty Porketta ($3.95 sandwich, $5.95 sub) echoes the classic Italian street-fair snack, thin-sliced roasted pork smothered with provolone, tomatoes, and onions and dressed with oil and vinegar. And, mamma mia, you're gonna need a bottle of San Benedetto frizzante (sparkling) water. Helps the digestion.