Best Overall Restaurant
Readers Choice: Yellowfin
Its new. The décor is fresh, unique and exciting and eye catching. Its just minutes from the heart of Annapolis.
Yellowfin serves seafood, but its not just another seafood restaurant. Bay Weekly readers voted it the best overall restaurant.
At this new posh locale, youll have to ask yourself if youre really still in Chesapeake Country or Miamis South Beach.
Editors Choice: OLearys Seafood Restaurant
When youre craving a taste of the big city, dress up but not too much, because youre only going to Annapolis dust off the credit card and head to OLearys.
The decor is warm and exciting, with deep, mustard-colored walls, high ceilings with exposed beads and ventilator pipes painted barn red. The understated tables are spaced enough for privacy. Service is helpful, arrivals timed perfectly and presentation expert.
Best of all is the food. OLearys specializes in the freshest fish and changes its offerings to suit the season. In addition to a full menu, each evening boasts eight fresh fish with up to four styles of preparation lightly blackened or with Creole cream, for example. A crowd-pleaser sure to warrant a doggie bag is the whole lobster stuffed with crab imperial.
Dinner includes your choice of house salad or Caesar. Appetizers range from crab cakes to oysters to Beluga caviar. An extensive wine list offers selections for every taste and for every pocketbook, with prices ranging from around $20 to several hundred dollars.
Fans of fresh seafood cannot go wrong at OLearys, but even meat-eaters are sure to find relief with entrées such as the espresso-rubbed steak. But unless you like going out with a big wad of bills in your pocket, be prepared to charge this great evening.
Most Romantic Restaurant
Readers Choice: Cafe Normandie
Between the fireplace, ambiance, and interior design, our customers feel quite comfortable here, says owner Suzanne Evennou. The biggest compliment we can get is when a customer is traveling and stops by Annapolis to come see us. She also promises you will be pleasantly surprised by the value, prices and wonderful food.
Editors Choice: Veras White Sands
As wide as a river St. Leonards Creek shimmers, struck silver by the setting sun. As the light dims, the creek puddles pink as Vera Freemans patio. As darkness creeps in, patio and creek glow lavender.
Vera, whose tastes were formed in Hollywood, has arranged this spectacle for you. She set the stage with bargeloads of white sand planted with palm trees. Pointing to the mouths of the creeks, she erected a glass fronted building tapering to a boatlike prow. She furnished it with mermaids, sea shells and diving bells gathered in her travels to faraway places.
Hold out for a table by the window, then order a tall, cool drink. Chat a bit; youre in no hurry. Watch the sun drop off the hazy horizon.
Nightly (except Monday) from May to October, Veras helps you keep your promise to give your sweetheart the world.
Most Scenic Restaurant ~ tied
Readers Choice: Charthouse
Wheres the best place to watch the hustle and bustle of Annapolis water traffic and cityscape? Kicking back with a cool brew or glass of wine at the Charthouse in Eastport.
The view from the bar looks directly to City Dock, Main Street, the State House and the Naval Academy. Come at sunset and have a few drinks by the bar. In winter, sit near the fireplace with friends. The Charthouse bar is also the best spot to watch the Eastport Yacht Club Parade of Lights in December.
Readers Choice: Lighthouse Inn
One of the many appealing qualities of the Lighthouse Inn is that every seat has a wonderful view with double-tiered windows overlooking Back Creek. For a closer view, sit outdoors. In and out, dress is casual people wear everything from shorts to suits but the service is always polished, polite and attentive. While waiting for a table, many readers enjoy a cocktail at the bar, a hand-crafted, scale-model skipjack with the barkeep at the helm. Its a true masterpiece created by Solomons own shipbuilding legend Pepper Langley. The food, readers say, is as good as the view.
We want everyone who comes here to experience the whole package: food, atmosphere and service. That usually brings them back, says manager Jennifer Jordan.
Editors Choice: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
One of Chesapeake Countrys great assets is the number of restaurants perched overlooking the Bay and its many creeks and rivers. With a great view of the water, your dining experience can only get better.
Chesapeake Bay Beach Club on Kent Island has lured diners from both shores of the Bay. Sure the food is good, and the drinks are cold. The atmosphere of the outdoor, three-season dining room is a tropical hybrid of Jimmy Buffetts Caribbean meets the Bay.
But its the view that stands out the most. Sitting on a deck atop stilts at the shore of the Bay, you can hear the water lapping below. The Bay Bridge snakes westward like a Marion Warren photograph. Heron, egrets, osprey and seagulls flit about, sometimes so close you think theyre coming for your lunch. But theyre just enjoying the view.
Best Splurge Restaurant
Readers Choice: Lewnes Steakhouse
When I hear splurge, says Lewnes Steakhouse manager Paul Miguez, I think of people who eat out once, twice, maybe seven or eight times a year tops. People who go out for birthdays and anniversaries and expect it to be great. When they go out, they go all out.
We live up to that. Youre paying some money, but youre getting a lot for it. Youre getting a portion thats large: the New York strip is 18 ounces. The fillet is 14 ounces. Tuna and salmon are 12-ounce portions. The experience and the food are well worth the money.
Editors Choice: Northwoods
From time to time we have occasion to splurge on fine dining: birthdays, anniversaries or an attempt to impress someone special. Considered one of the finest spots around, Northwoods in West Annapolis offers not only great food and precise service but also a prix fix option.
For some 18 years, Northwoods has been serving local and imported dishes with flare and creativity. While the menu features a variety of a la carte selections, every night but Saturday the best way to enjoy true pampering is to select the complete dinner special. Four courses, including choice of anything on the menu, as well as specials: appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert for around $30. It may sound gluttonous, but plan ahead and save your appetite because its all worth the indulgence.
Best Place for a Cheap Date
Readers Choice: Happy Harbor
Happy Harbor is the best place for a cheap date because they try to support their local community and keep costs down. They also thrive on staying open all year round. Most people say its the cheapest date in town, and now they can go on vacation, says owner Barbara Sturgell. Its important to me to have an establishment that is reasonably priced, and I think the locals know that.
Editors Choice: The cheapest date begins in your own kitchen. If your dates a homebody, eat in. If adventures on the menu, pack a picnic to one of Chesapeake Countrys scenic spots. Cant cook? How do you expect to find a mate? Oh well. Its ice cream a la Bay for your cheap date. Get your cone at City Dock or in the Beaches.
Readers Choice: Great Harvest
Great Harvest calls itself a scratch-bakery because they bake from scratch and grind their own wheat every day. They also knead the dough by hand and use only the freshest ingredients. It takes lots of dough and lots of ingredients to make a days bread. Honey whole wheat and honey white breads are baked daily. Then there are daily breads and monthly breads, including pumpernickel for September.
What would you like a taste of? are the first words to greet you when you enter Great Harvest Bread Company. On the board in front of you are the days breads, scones, muffins and cookies. The staff cuts you a generous slice of cranberry crunch bread. Its good, but maybe youll like the lemon blueberry bliss better. Youll have to try that too, and the blueberry oat muffin and the caramel-coconut scone.
Each of those breads and sweets is baked with love and dedication, starting at 3:30am when the first baker arrives.
Once youve made your choice and carried it home, you can enjoy it up to 10 days even though owner Linda Rodrock says
Great Harvest uses no preservatives.
Editors Choice: Whole Foods Market
Maybe you have served time eating bread from plastic bags before you know what a boon Whole Foods has been to bread lovers. Finding bread with substance and flavor was a quest. Before Whole Foods, if you were lucky your quest might lead you to a specialty bakery, where bagels or French bread or raisin bread or whole wheat toast and sandwich loaves satisfied your hunger. Then came Whole Foods, which does it all even cornbread and whole-wheat pita. Nowadays, when good bread is abundant, connoisseurs may find one loaf or another lacking. But perhaps youd rather be eating bagged bread.
Best Deli ~ tied
Readers Choice: Chick & Ruths Delly
Despite its odd spelling of delly, Chick & Ruths is as close to a real Jewish deli as you can get in downtown Annapolis. With kosher pickles on the table and pastrami, corn beef or chopped liver on your rye bread, thats pretty close. On the other hand, Chick & Ruths can be your favorite greasy spoon, with a grill serving up eggs with piles of fried potatoes. Then again, it can be an ice-cream parlor, where you sit up at the counter on bar stools to sip giant milkshakes. Again, its the insiders hangout, where local politicians have a sandwich named in their honor.
Readers Choice: Roberts Deli
This is not your ordinary deli. Just look up. A drop-ceiling, each tile painted by members of the Calvert County community. Young and old artists collaborated on this mural above your head. The variety of art doesnt stop there. Youll be distracted by it while you try to order from the diverse menu. Daily specials range from beef BBQ to roasted vegetables with pesto in a tortilla wrap, both with chips and drink. You gotta love the regular menu. Sandwiches and subs, burgers and cheese steaks, plus from the grill the standard reuben, chicken breast and cheese.
So what separates Roberts Deli from the others in the minds of the Bay Weekly readers. The pan-seared tuna steak, veggie sandwiches in pita and the likes of the Flat Top, the Hat Lady and the Charlie Melt.
Youll have to take a lunch break and head to Prince Frederick to discover the ingredients of the last three.
Editors Choice: Giolitti Delicatessen
Established in Rome in 1889, Giolittis brings more than a little bit of Italy to Bay Country. Display cases are packed with savory olives, lovely cheeses, rich salamis and delicately smoked Italian hams that theyll slice as thin as you want. Here, too, is a great selection of Italian wines. And the fresh-baked Tuscan bread and focaccia must not be missed. What more do you need to find bliss in this life?
However, theres plenty more, both hot in the steam table for lunch or frozen to take home and bake. Freshly made basil manicotti, various lasagnas and other pasta entrees make a rich lunch or an easy way to impress dinner guests with your Italian cooking.
Best Fishermans Breakfast
Readers Choice: Happy Harbor
Breakfast at Happy Harbor starts at 5:30am. Early hours appeal to most of the fishermen heading out on charters or their own boats. Most of the time, customers comment that they ate too much, says owner Barbara Sturgell with a laugh. One customer called her from Tennessee to tell her how much he had enjoyed breakfast while passing through. Its just the best breakfast. People leaving tell me theyre full, and thats what makes us happy, says Sturgell.
Editors Choice: Harrisons Chesapeake House
If youre eating breakfast at Harrisons Chesapeake House, youve likely slept there until a hammer-like fist pounds on your door at 5am to call you to breakfast before a day of fishing. The fishermans breakfast is laid out buffet-style to energize you for a day on the Bay. Pile your plate with pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, fruit, toast, biscuits, juice and coffee. Then once youre out with the fishing fleet, let the Bay rock you back to sleep.
Readers Choice: Rod n Reel
Yes, Bay Weekly readers know they really shouldnt do it. But Rod n Reels stupendous Sunday brunch simply cant be resisted. in the words of executive chef Murray Schulman, Theres excitement and exuberance. The variety of food, our service and the number of action stations for waffles, omelets and donuts keep people coming back.
Readers have voted their hearts (rather than their hearts health) by lining up for fresh fried donuts; waffles slathered with whipped cream and strawberries; omelets cooked to order full of ham and cheese and veggies; fleets of biscuits smothered in sausage gravy plus sides of sausage, bacon and ham. Wait, theres still more: eggs, and dont forget the potatoes or the bagels or the toast. Still hungry? Try sweet rolls and muffins for dessert. If theres any room left, finish with fresh fruit.
Editors Choice: Carrols Creek
Imagine sitting with a mimosa in hand overlooking Annapolis Harbor on a bright, sunny Sunday. Weather allowing, maybe youre sitting outside on the deck with a cool breeze on the air. Or maybe its the middle of winter and youre snug inside watching the rigging of sailboats rattle in the wind. Brunch at Carrols Creek, served year round, offers all this as well as a great assortment of food.
Sunday brunch at its best combines the days three meals into one sitting. And so it is at Carrols Creek. Fresh bagels, breads and muffins, omelets made to order, chipped beef on toast, bacon and sausage, plenty of fresh, ripe fruit. Smoked salmon, hot and juicy carved roast beef, shrimp, oysters, mussels, clams.
The choices go on and on with Sunday brunch at Carrols Creek, and the offerings change to reflect whats fresh and seasonal. Best of all, youll always get your brunch with one of Annapolis best views.
Readers Choice: Italia by the Bay
Why do readers love Italia by the Bays pizza? Maybe its the homemade sauce. Maybe its the fresh sliced toppings. Maybe its the smoky flavor of an Italian brick oven. Cook Joe Frederickson thinks the secret bakes down to the crust. The crust is what makes a pizza, he explains, you can get the same cheese, the same toppings pretty much everywhere. But no good crust, no good pizza.
Editors Choice: Bertuccis
Bay Weekly editors are intrepid eaters and believe in unique flavors and methods of cooking. Bertuccis special method of baking its thin-crust pizzas is its brick oven heated to 850 degrees. Its in plain sight, so you can see the magic. Flavors of their brick-ovens pizzas range from The Bertucci, with pepperoni, tomato and mozzarella to the Neapolitan Pizza, a white pie made with chicken and margherita sauce. Bertuccis even boasts a certificate of authenticity from the City of Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza.
Best Mexican Restaurant
Readers Choice: Jalapeños
Again this year, readers praise Jalapeños which specializes in both Spanish and Mexican food for the best Mexican food in Chesapeake Country. What sets Jalapeños apart, explains owner Gonzalo Fernandez, is the truly traditional Mexican fare that we serve using products of Mexico and recipes from Oaxaca. It all starts with the recipes: Authentic recipes and authentic ingredients.
Diners count on quality and consistency. To keep to that standard, Fernandez says you have to be on top of things. Myself, my partners and my employees understand that in a restaurant, there are no gray areas just black and white, good and
New customers, Fernandez promises, will find Jalapeños a very friendly, very welcoming place. Each customer I try to keep for life, not just one visit.
Youll not only be welcomed but treated to different recipes than youll find elsewhere.
Myself, says Fernandez, I love to cook with a lot of fresh fish. I love shrimp dishes, lots of garlic, lots of flavor, lots of pizzazz. Our chef, Obed Serrano, is a native of Mexico, from the Oaxaca region.
But we offer something for everyone, even if its not on the menu. We can accommodate special diets, allergies, whatever the customer wants. Everything in our kitchen is fresh and raw, so we can prepare it to suit their needs.
Finally, says Fernandez, thanks to Bay Weeklys readers.
Editors Choice: Mexican Cafe
When it comes to Mexican restaurants, there are those establishments geared to mass markets with lots of sizzling plates of fajitas, enormous bars, brilliant neon and frozen margaritas the size of sombreros. Then there are the smaller, less glamorous eateries. With the latter, the risk tends to run higher, but the benefit can be exponentially rewarding. Mexican Cafe meets this challenge.
Down near Bay Ridge, Mexican Cafe lets you feel as though youre at a friends house enjoying a good meal.
Try the Hungry Amigos, if youre starved or want to taste a little bit of everything. If youre in the mood for some excitement, try the margaritas. They are large and strong, enough to wash down that spicy, good food.
Best Asian Restaurant
Readers Choice: Sakura
Growing up, kids are told not to play with their food. At Sakura, the chefs believe thats the best way to enjoy your meal. Sit with your family and friends and watch the chefs prepare your order right in front of you. They will slice, dice, slip and launch food before your eyes and even at you if youre lucky.
If youre not in the mood for entertainment or are too embarrassed to have someone throw shrimp at you, try the sushi bar, where sushi chefs aim their knives at fresh raw fish.
Editors Choice: Joss
We all enjoy Chinese delivery. When it comes to choosing the Best Oriental/Asian restaurant, we head for downtown Annapolis to Joss Restaurant and Sushi Bar located on Main Street. Space is limited (even with a recent expansion) and waits can be long, but the sushi is fabulous and the menu is full of wonderful Oriental treats.
Best Crabhouse ~ tied
Readers Choice: Cantlers
The constant thwack of wooden mallets sounds like a horde of carpenters rushing to finish their work; the smell of Old Bay seeps into your clothes; the brown paper laid across your table makes you smile with anticipation. On a busy night, youll sit elbow to elbow with your neighbor, but thatll give you a chance to observe other crab picking techniques or offer a little advice to a tourist.
Aahhh, just another day at Cantlers Riverside Inn, which is enjoying its third year as the Bay Weekly readers choice for Best Crabhouse.
The tables stretch from one end of the room to the other and the wait staff scurries about, bringing a dozen jimmies here, two dozen there. Dont forget that pitcher of beer.
If youre lucky, youll find a seat outside on the deck overlooking Mill Creek, where workboats and pleasure boats are docked.
Readers Choice: Mikes
Easily accessible and located off Riva Road on the South River, Mikes appeals to those who want to sit back with a pitcher of beer and feast on crabs the way they should be presented on a platter with butter and Old Bay at your paper-covered picnic table. It doesnt get much better than that in Chesapeake Country.
Come by land or by water. Mikes has lots of parking for your car, truck or boat.
Editors Choice: Skippers Pier
Weve learned the hard way that crabs on the menu doesnt guarantee pleasure at the table. But Skippers Pier always does us right by our appetite and by our dollar. Crabs are always steamed to order (believe it or not, thats not the rule everywhere), served hot, liberally seasoned and beautifully arrayed. What more could you want?
Attentive service? Youll get that too, plus a grand creekside view. And youll get a special treat these upcoming cool nights when crabs taste so good: At Skippers, you can eat your crabs outdoors and still be cozy under their marvelous pink tent outfitted with heat lamps.
Readers Choice: Stoneys
Once again, Stoneys is the champion. Success starts, says Stoneys Dana Cherington, with the crab meat: half jumbo lump and half backfin lump, so its all lump. We also try to use local crab meat whenever its available, says Cherington, but even when we order it from somewhere else, its the freshest you can get. Then theres our recipe, which I cant say too much about, but it has very little filler, just enough to hold the crab together. And we make a light batter out of cracker crumbs, but basically its all meat.
Size, too, contributes to success. Stoneys serves an eight-ounce cake and a four-ounce cake. Says Cherington: People order the eight-ounce, and they say Whoa! Thats the biggest crab cake Ive ever seen.
If you havent yet made it to the original Stoneys on Broomes Island, youll find their newest location in Solomons as well as their restaurant in Prince Frederick.
Editors Choice: Edgewater Restaurant
For a crabcake thats firm outside, creamy inside and chock full of lumps of crabmeat all at a price that wont break your bank weve always liked Edgewater Restaurants everyday backfin crabcake.
Best Crab Soup
Readers Choice: Pirates Cove
If Maryland is for Crabs, then Pirates Cove is for crab soup. Not for the calorie-conscious, this soup is rich, with more than a little butter and more than a lot of crab. Sprinkled with sherry, this soup is like heaven.
The consistency of the soup, made by the same person the same way makes a difference. Its a cream of crab soup made with a chicken and crab base. The recipe is around 20 years old, said Pirates Cove chef Kent Breeze.
Bay Weekly readers arent alone in recognizing Pirates Cove for its cream of crab, as this soup is a regular winner in the yearly crab soup contest at the Maryland Seafood Festival. Out-of-towners have been known to order gallons of the stuff to take home with them, savoring a Chesapeake classic as far away as the Midwest or California.
Editors Choice: Old Stein Inn
What goes better than crabs and beer? Crabs, beer and
Muenster cheese all in the original recipe for crab soup that youll find at the Old Stein Inn in Mayo. Concocted by owner Mike Selinger, a lifelong Baysider whose German parents founded Old Stein Inn, this crab soup is a winner. A rich creaminess is the backbone of any cream of crab soup, and its that creaminess that highlights the sweet, fresh taste of crabmeat. The addition of a soft, rich cheese like Muenster only heightens the decadence, leaving you popping your chops after each spoonful.
Readers and Editors Choice: Cantlers Riverside Inn
Nobody wants a leathery softshell, and you wont find one at Cantlers, where they shed their own on site.
A look below the outside crab deck reveals Cantlers secret: Nearly a dozen fiberglass-formed shedding tanks where the peeler crabs are sorted by their closeness to shedding. In peak season, these crabs go nary an hour without being checked, and as soon as theyve discarded their old shells, the crabs are removed from the water and chilled. This stops the new shell from hardening until they are ready to be cleaned, lightly battered, fried and served table-side.
Dont expect anything too fancy with these. The dinner is two unadorned soft-shells. The sandwich is served on your choice of white, wheat or rye bread. Like a little spice? Try the New Orleans-style soft-shell po boy, a delicacy fitting of the Big Easy.
Readers Choice: Lewnes Steakhouse
Bay Weekly readers told us Lewnes makes a great steak. But what, they wondered, does Lewnes do that they dont. Lewnes Steakhouse manager Paul Miguez explains: We do a USDA prime wet-aged steak. Then we cook on an 1800-degree broiler, which sears in the juices so that you always get a nice juicy steak. Then we put our own seasonings on. Thats how we do it.
Editors Choice: To the many Bay Weekly readers concerned about hormones and pesticides (or worse) in their beef, we recommend firing up your grill for locally raised or organic beef. Shop at Whole Foods or order direct from the farmer. Three weve written about are Danny Gibson in Huntingtown: 410/535-1562; Bryan Dowell in Prince Frederick: 410/257-5449; or Michael Heller in Upper Marlboro: 301/627-2549.
Readers Choice: Adams, the Place for Ribs
Adams, the Place for Ribs has some of the best BBQ this side of North Carolina, say Bay Weekly readers. Not many people expect to come in here and get superb barbecue because we are up north. But they are always pleasantly surprised, say assistant manager George Railey. Consistency, reputation and a product that has not changed in more than 30 years is what drives this vote. A new customer should expect a nice, good, Southern, wholesome meal when they come here, says Railey. A lot of hard work and good quality pork with a bistro atmosphere is why Bay Weekly readers chose this barbecue as the best.
Editors Choice: Bayside Bull
For a barbecue lover, Chesapeake Country is heaven, with styles spanning the gamut from Kansas City pork to Memphis ribs to Texas brisket to Carolina dippin sauce. You can find good barbecue just about anywhere along the Bay, from sit-down restaurants to tiny shacks with thick smoke billowing from a chimney.
Thats what you find at Bayside Bull, off Route 214 in Edgewater. These folks mean business when they open their doors each morning with the fire long ago stoked. The meats are smoked slow over an open fire using real hardwood. Theres no seating inside, and so theres often a mass of cars and trucks parked outside with hungry eaters inside. They come in droves for great barbecue. Whether youre looking for rare pit beef stacked high or a tangy-sweet pulled pork sandwich, youre going to get it, day in and day out.
Readers Choice: Cheeburger Cheeburger
We use nothing but 100 percent fresh ground chuck in our burgers. We also hand-patty them every day, says owner Aaron Benjamin. There are no frozen or processed foods at Cheeburger Cheeburger. Fresh is the key word and that keeps the customer coming back. They just love our burger and think they are the best theyve ever had, according to Benjamin.
Editors Choice: Fuddruckers
For more than 20 years, the Fuddruckers chain of restaurants has focused on one thing: burgers. We applaud their concentration. Not quite fast food, Fuddruckers is very much self-service. You order your burger deli-style. Everythings there to see, fresh. Begin to build your burger by choosing between a quarter-pound burger or a half-pounder. Add bacon or cheese, grilled onions or sautéed mushrooms. Theres even an ostrich burger: less fat than chicken, rich flavor like beef.
When your burgers ready, theyll call your name, and then you can lather it up with all the condiments you want, and not just mustard or ketchup. Theres barbecue sauce, cheese sauce, mayonnaise, relish, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot peppers enough to turn your burger into a salad if you want to go and mess up such a good and juicy burger.
Best French Fries
Readers Choice: Cheeburger Cheeburger
Cheeburger Cheeburger french fries are cut fresh every day and deep fried in peanut oil. We are not dealing with processed frozen food, said owner Aaron Benjamin. Customers just love our french fries, and that makes us happy. Whats more, readers like doubling their pleasure with Frings, an order thats half fries and half onion rings.
Editors Choice: Edgewater Restaurant
Family-owned 55-year-old Edgewater Restaurant cuts their own potatoes with the skins on and fries them to order. You get the tasty real thing instead of greasy crisps
Readers Choice: Bill Batemans
When in Buffalo, the Anchor Bar is the place for wings. Obviously, were not in Buffalo. So where do we go to get great wings? In Chesapeake Country, Bill Batemans is the Bay Weekly readers choice.
Wings have always been a trademark of Bill Batemans Bistro. We offer a large variety of sauces and spices to complement our jumbo wings, said Sean Egan. If you like them hot, try the Atomic or Hell wings. If not, try the original flavor, garlic, New York, lemon pepper, Old Bay, Cajun, nude, honey mustard, chipotle, barbecue, smoke house or bourbon flavored wings.
Editors Choice: ACME Bar & Grill
Buffalo (regular, hot, extra hot, or insane), Buff-a-que, Bar-b-que, Caesar, Cajun, Bar-b-cajun, Teriyaki, Chesapeake, Island Zing, Honey Mustard, Lemon Pepper, Memphis Gold. Sweet or tart, hot or mild, Acmes 15 styles of wings are a diverse and delicious bunch that pay homage to all sorts of taste buds, from the classicist to the die-hard Marylander, from the daredevil to the deep-Southerner. Try them all, but be cautious: According to the menu, the insane wings are extremely hot. They may not be exchanged or returned for milder wings
consider yourself warned!
Best Oysters ~ tied
Readers Choice: Happy Harbor
Happy Harbors oysters are tops because they make it a point to get them locally. The best oysters, according to owner Barbara Sturgell, are the medium-sized ones. That size oyster tends do be sweeter and easier to chew. I also have a secret weapon by the name of Kenny Wilde who is the best shucker Ive ever had, says Sturgell. We only serve oysters during months with an R. Some places dont do that, says Sturgell. (R months are cooler, when oysters are not spawning and less likely to harbor contamination.) Happy Harbor is the real deal when it comes to oysters.
Readers Choice: McGarveys Saloon
McGarveys Saloon earns readers confidence with a consistent fresh oyster.
We have one individual who supplies all our oysters, says the Saloons Bill Willin. He harvests from the best places in the Bay depending on the time of year.
Our oysters are what you call a salt oyster, meaning theyre a low-tidal oyster that picks up a higher salt content because of evaporation. Some people bring their oysters in and leave them floating in shallow waters through two or three tidal changes, but those just dont pick up the same salinity.
The key is opening to order, serving promptly and properly and no frills.
Editors Choice: St. Marys Countys Annual Oyster Festival, National Oyster Shucking Contest and National Oyster Cook-Off
We love oysters any way and any place we can get them fresh and local. We like it even better when we can get our oysters seasoned with local color. Thats what youll find at the St. Marys Countys Annual Oyster Festival, National Oyster Shucking Contest and National Oyster Cook-Off in Leonardtown.
Here, in a fairgrounds, no-frills setting, you can eat oysters raw, scalded or fried to your hearts content. You can also sample some amazing things as 12 finalists among hundreds of would-be national champions push the envelope with oysters serving them up, as past winners have done, as Lethal Oyster Cups; Oyster Pizza; Oyster Pie with Black Walnut Stuffing; Oyster Cheesecake; and White Oyster Chili to wow competition judges.
And thats not all. You can also see oyster shuckers work their fastest and neatest to win the national championship and the right to compete in Scotland U.K., not Maryland.
This is also one of the earliest festivals, heralding the season on October 18 this year.
to the top
Readers Choice: Charthouse
The crème de la desserts in Chesapeake Country is Charthouses Hot Chocolate Lava Cake. This whopper is big enough for at least two, so dont feast too heavily. It takes 30 minutes to make, so place your order early.
Standing over five inches, this dessert soufflé made with Godiva chocolate liqueur, Dreyers vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce and Heath Bar Crunch topping is a monster, monster, monster, monster.
Editors Choice: Old Steins Bavarian Apple Cheesecake
The perfect end to a hearty German meal or any meal is a slice of Bavarian Apple Cheesecake. Its creamy-smooth filling is not as heavy as the typical cheesecake, plus its topped with thin slices of perfectly baked apple. Rich. Yummy. Not too sweet. To live for.