Tasty Barbecue and Good Ol' South County Hospitality at Adam's the Place for Ribs
by Gabby Crabcakes
"Mommy, this looks like a good place," said a four-year-old upon entering Adam's in Edgewater on a recent Sunday. Who could blame him? On a frigid weekend afternoon, the large barroom - with its twinkling lights, five TVs all tuned to sports, glowing fireplace and warm brick and wood interior with vaulted ceilings - makes the perfect environment for finger-licking food and thirst-quenching libations.
Practically an institution, Adam's is a comfortable eatery serving up great barbecue and daily specials. With related Adam's Ribs in Eastport, Severna Park, and Prince Frederick, the Edgewater location is the original - as well as my favorite.
This is a very popular restaurant, so if you're not good at waiting, choose your meal time strategically. Consider a late lunch or early dinner on weekends.
I tend to brave the threat of second-hand smoke and take a seat at a table in the smoking section around the formidable bar - the focal point of the room. Besides, the ventilation system works well.
It's the kind of bar where you can lose track of time. There are drink specials and promotions, and on Sundays during season, an oyster shucker on hand to deliver fresh bounty (usually noon till 4pm). Depending on the season, the TVs might show anything from NASCAR to college hoops. If you have a special request, the bartender obliges - given general consensus, of course.
Adam's is very family friendly and includes a children's menu (10 and under) with selections of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue and chicken or shrimp basket (served with fries and apple sauce for $3.95 and $4.95), and drinks served in lidded Styrofoam cups with straws. But the real benefit comes from the fact that there's so much going on here, kids can feel comfortable just being kids.
Service is warm, friendly and efficient. Waitstaff are casually outfitted in khakis, polo shirts, and sneakers - a practical combination as they do a lot of running.
The menu is chock-full of barbecue, including baby back ribs (full $13.95/small $9.95) with sides of good thick golden fries and homemade coleslaw. Or you could choose a three-pound whole barbecue chicken dinner ($10.50) or half ($6.75) served with fries and coleslaw. Mix them up and you have the ribs and chicken combo ($12.50). Another favorite is the ribs and shrimp combo, a small rack of ribs with a skewer of barbecue shrimp ($14.95).
I usually go for a starter - the meatiest Buffalo-style chicken wings ($4.95), although I've heard great things about Adams' onion loaf. I follow with the pulled pork sandwich ($5.95 for the platter with fries and slaw). You've a choice of Adam's barbecue sauce or their vinegar-based North Carolina pig pickin' sauce (I order both). This is a lot of food for not a lot of money!
A new menu addition is the beef brisket sandwich in a bourbon and brown sugar sauce, which is replacing the traditional beef brisket sandwich. My dining companion found it quite tasty.
There are plenty of other dishes to choose from, including daily dinner specials such as grilled salmon ($10.95), fried jumbo shrimp ($11.95) and crab cake sandwich ($10.95). Great soups (a really good French onion) and a long list of lip-smacking deserts (look for the coconut cream pie!) complete the menu. Always check out the dry-erase board for updates on daily specials.
Kick back and enjoy watching your favorite sport or bond with the family over some tasty barbecue and good ol' South County hospitality!
Adam's the Place for Ribs
169 Mayo Rd. Edgewater 410/956-2995
Proprietor: Billy Bagdasian
Reasons to Go: Finger-lickin' good barbecue & cozy atmosphere
Something to Think About: If you need quiet deliberation to enjoy your meal, try the library.