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Sep 24, 2006 01:43 PM

What's worth a drive?

I was going to call this thread "Destination Restaurants", but in most people's mind that limits things to a certain type of place - the ever-so-elegantly run-down mansion/farmhouse/converted mill in some picturesque spot that was once owned by some interesting historical personage whose family pictures are on the wall, but is now being run by a brilliant chef and his wife, and... well, you know the genre.

Yes, I'd like recs for those places, but I'd also like recs for the broader category - places or even food events that are simply worth a drive. It could be the ultimate crab shack or rib pit out in the boonies somewhere. It could be a wonderous annual fundraiser dinner from some church or fire department. It could be a normal restaurant in DC (or Frederick, or...) that's worth a drive from Baltimore because there is nothing comparable in Baltimore. Or maybe it's a place in Baltimore that's worth a drive from DC for the same reasons. Or maybe it's the sort of restaurant that "everybody should go to once - for the experience".

Whatever it is, if it's worth getting in the car, hitching a ride, hopping the train, pedalling your bike all day, or whatever it takes to get there, let's hear about it. Just to keep it in the scope of this board and keep the moderators in check, though, let's keep the boundaries as someplace you could get to, eat, and come back in one afternoon or evening without air or train travel, starting from Baltimore or DC. If it's an Inn, B&B, or swanky hotel, feel free to note that staying over is possible, but it still should be someplace that is close enough that one doesn't have to stay over.

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  1. The Railstop in The Plains, VA is quite nice for dinner. My husband and I discovered on a drive back from Skyline Dr out west.... - The ambience is great and we have never had a bad meal there.

    1. I think DC is better for "nice dinners" and places requiring a drive are not superior enough to justify the travel. You can find most any cuisine/ambience you're looking for without having to go outside the beltway.

      HOWEVER, for steamed crabs I always drive at least an 60-90 minutes - usually to the Drift Inn. Afterwards, I often get a pound or more (it freezes well) of Southern MD stuffed ham at McKAy's grocery store deli counter (which alone would be worth the drive). All of the crab joints in the immediate DC area are a pale imitaion at beat.

      1. sorry - "pale imitation at best"

          1. Big Al's Pit Beef off Pulaski Highway. Can't get pit beef in DC, period.