Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday Snapshot & Weekend Cooking: Annapolis Restaurants

Today, I am combining Saturday Snapshot, hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads, with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads, to share with you some of the amazing food we ate two weeks ago in Annapolis on our weekend getaway. You can see my non-food photos from Annapolis here - it's a beautiful waterfront town.

We enjoyed everything about the town but especially the FOOD. Annapolis (and we stuck to the small Old Town area) is filled with reasonably-priced restaurants offering creative and delicious dishes, in a wide range of styles, with a focus on fresh and local ingredients. We ate WAY too much, and felt constantly full! So, here are some food highlights from Annapolis:

Chick and Ruths Delly on Main Street

Chick & Ruths famous Crab Cake
We started our food odyssey with lunch when we arrived on Saturday. We headed to a well-known local diner-style place that's been in business since 1965: Chick and Ruths Delly. This popular place was crammed with people - and with delicious food! You can look through the huge menu or peruse the signs on the wall for over 130 different sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and salads, named after local politicians and celebrities. They are also known for their thick milkshakes and malts, homemade pies and breads, and crab cakes.

I opted for a crab cake - I only needed one, since they are each a half-pound of almost entirely lump crab meat! My husband said, "That looks like the best crab cake I've ever seen. Is it?" I'd have to say it was. He went with a classic Reuben (my second choice!) and a chocolate malt, which were both also delicious.

Dry 85 Burgers (but blurry!)
For dinner that night, we walked down Main Street, reading all the menus in the doorways - sushi, Italian, tacos, Irish pubs (those were mobbed since it was St. Patrick's Day), and more. We settled on Dry 85, a bourbon bar (the bar area of which was also packed with people due to the holiday). It's designed to feel like a Prohibition-era speakeasy, with rough-hewn, industrial, garage-type decor, and they offer extensive bourbon and beer lists, as well as gourmet food. We lucked out and got a table in the back, a bit apart from the green-clad crowds. We both ordered burgers, which were some of the best we've ever had! Mine had blue cheese, caramelized onions, and fig preserves on it. My husband got their famous truffle fries on the side, which were excellent. I can't drink alcohol due to my medical conditions, but my husband made use of their extensive beer list, and I had a 3-ounce sample size of one of their local beers! Wow, did that taste good.

Iron Rooster - Annapolis

Iron Rooster's Crab Hash
The next restaurant we tried ended up being our favorite, and we went there for 3 meals over the next 24 hours! Iron Rooster is a small place by the waterfront that specializes in breakfast (served all day) but also offers lunch and dinner. Besides this Annapolis spot, they have 3 other locations in the Baltimore area (a fact we plan to make use of). We fell in love with this place. Their breakfast menu is mind-boggling, with page after page of creative dishes. On Sunday, I had Crab Hash, a fabulous combination of lump crabmeat, asparagus, home fries, bacon, and roasted red peppers, topped off with two poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise sauce, and a sprinkle of Old Bay - are you drooling yet? The second breakfast I ordered on Monday was their Rancher's Benny (they offer 5 different and creative versions of eggs benedict), with a fried green tomato, roasted corn salsa, and roasted poblano sauce. Party in my mouth!
Fried Black-Eyed Peas (what's left!)

My husband tried their Chicken & Waffles the first day, and Latkes and Eggs the second day (he was trying to go light!). And I saved the best for last - each day, they make 3-4 types of homemade pop-tarts (called Roos-Tarts). Monday, we tried the chocolate banana, and it was amazing. No wonder we took an hour-long walk after breakfast and still felt horribly full! We also ate dinner there Sunday night, which was good but not as special as their breakfasts - the one stand-out at dinnertime were the deep-fried black-eyed peas as an appetizer, which we gobbled up (hence the almost empty photo!) - why has no one ever thought of this before?
Iron Rooster Chocolate Banana Roos-Tart - mmmm!

In between all our Iron Rooster meals, we tried to go lighter at lunch on Sunday with a stop at Vida Taco Bar on Main Street. We didn't stuff ourselves quite as much there, but it was still mouth-wateringly delicious. They specialize in tequila and tacos, and the very creatively filled tacos are offered ala carte, so you can order four different kinds if you want or even just one taco. We each opted for two different tacos, each with different fillings, and a side of guacamole to split. Everything was wonderful - super-fresh, local ingredients, and wonderfully unique flavor combinations.
Vida Taco Bar

So, we had a very food-filled weekend, and every single bite was delicious! We were quite surprised and impressed by the large number of restaurants in Annapolis and the high quality at each one.

Time for me to go make breakfast now - I wish the Iron Rooster was closer! Hope you are enjoying a great weekend. Happy Easter!


  1. Looks like a wonderful restaurant. Your crab cake certainly sounds amazing

  2. I've always felt that eating out is a big part of the fun of a vacation. Looks like you and your husband had a great culinary time! Your photos make me hungry, and now I'm craving a crab cake.
    My Saturday Snapshot post features Street Art in Auburn, WA.

    1. Yes, I agree! Usually, we are camping when we travel, so we cook some meals in the camper, but we still love to eat out once in a while! This trip was all eating all the time! lol

  3. I haven't been to Annapolis in years, looks like I'm missing out. Everything you ate sounds wonderful.

    1. This was our first visit - and we loved it!

  4. This sounds like a lot of fun. I am a huge fan of crab cakes.

  5. I haven’t been to Annapolis since I was a kid. Thanks for highlight many great places to eat, looks amazing. Whenever I have seen your name in Linkups I think about our Jackson cousins in Maryland. The Pennsylvania Jackson’s scattered to Maryland ages ago.