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Jul 15, 2007 05:54 AM

brunch in annapolis area?

any suggestions?

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  1. This subject comes up about every month. Run a search on this board you will find a ton. I have written numerous suggestions here are my current: Carrol's Creek is always excellent (Eastport), it would be my first choice. Right beside it Chart House is good too although it is a chain they have nice views of the water. Rockfish is right there too and I really like their brunch and remember they had good cheap bruch beverages (mimosa, bloody), this would probably be my second choice. In downtown DO NOT GO TO BUDDY's... I think Middleton's is overpriced, would rather go to McGarvey's but it is kind of small. My mom likes the french restaurant on Main Street Cafe Normandie. A lot of people recommend Ram's Head, but I have never been very impressed with their food. O'Brien's is good for dinner I have never been there for brunch, but I see a lot of people there. If you wanted buffet (don't know if you are that kind of bruncher) the Treaty of Paris has that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      Carrol's is the best, by far. Also very good is Sam's Waterfront, which has quickly become one of the best restaurants in the area under the new management and ownership, and you can enjoy the amazing food while dreaming about one of the amazing boats berthed in the marina.. For a great view and decent food, The Severn Inn is pretty good. And yellowfin as well. Please don't ever go to Buddy's. It is a travesty to all diners that it remains open.

      1. re: mdsailor403

        Well, I unfortunately didn't get your responses before deciding where to eat, but fortunately it apparently didn't matter as we decided on Carrol's Creek by pure chance; it was delicious, not to mention fairly affordable with good service. I did get a chuckle from the Buddy's warnings...we moved to Maryland from CA last year and had asked our realtor where a good place to eat in Annapolis was - you know, somewhere that only the locals really know about. And they told us to go guessed it...BUDDY'S. We went once, and have never returned. It's actually become sort of a joke...we might not know where to go, but we know where NOT to go!

        Thanks for the advice...much appreciated!

        1. re: wicked noodle

          Fire your realtor! No one who knows anything about Annapolis sends people to Buddy's to eat, as you well found out. Only naive tourists eat there! *shudder*

    2. We are a city of very, very average restaurants. I love the food at Carrol's Creek, but the atmosphere leaves a little to be desired. Chart House has a great atmosphere in the bar/lounge area, but I find the food subpar. Sam's Waterfront is extremely overpriced for the quality of the food and service. We dined there frequently under the former owner and chef, but have not been impressed since a new owner took over more than a year ago. Cafe Normandie is good and authentic if you're looking for a country French type meal. Harry Browne's has an excellent lunch. Breakfast/brunch at The Boatyard Grill is good and laid back. Jalapeno's in the hideously ugly strip mall off Forest Drive serves excellent, authentic Mexican dishes. It is not Tex-Mex! Rockfish is good as well. I'd like to add that Boatyard, Rockfish and Carrol's Creek are all very supportive of local charities, so I frequent them when I can!

      19 Replies
      1. re: thatfarmgirl

        Jalapeno's is not really Mexican, it's Spanish cuisine. There is a difference. I find Boatyard to be rather blah. Great atmosphere, cool place, but the food is just ok from my experience. Rockfish should have everything going for it, but I find it always falls just short of the goal and is frankly overpriced for the quality of the food. I stopped going about 6 months ago.

        1. re: naptownlady

          Jalapeno's bills itself as serving Mexican and Spanish cuisine, both. Sorry, I was a little off topic with some of the other recommendations, but I stand by them. This city (and I use that term loosely) does not have enough breakfast/brunch options. Boatyard's brunch may not be outstanding, but it is good, solid fare. I have lived in and traveled to food capitals all over the world and continue to be disappointed by the mediocrity of Annapolis' restaurants.

          1. re: thatfarmgirl

            I have to disagree on that. No, Annapolis is not a food capitol, but 1. you are driving distance to DC, Baltimore, Easton, St. Micheals, IALW etc... 2. It really isn't that big of a city and compared to somewhere like Silver Spring or Columbia or other places the restaurant selection of non-chain for the size of the town is pretty good. There are definately better places in all of the world, but you have to consider the context.

            I think Annapolis has some real gems, yes I get better in DC, but if you think it is pricey for the quality of food in Annapolis don't move here they are just higher price of living places all around. Plus DC is the capitol of the country and has a lot more people for comparison. I think the quality of seafood at places like O'Leary's, Harry Browne's and Carrol's Creek is fantastic. The food at Tsunami and Sputnik cafe is great. The food at Wild Orchid Cafe is good. Then there are the small places like the Thai and dougnut place, lemongrass, India's, El Toro Brave (don't know whats going on there right now) and Jalapeno's, not to mention Galway Bay which not only does Irish well, but has one of the best crab cakes in town that certainly represent diverse foods of good quality you do not normally get in a town of this size.

            There are tons of brunch options depending on what you want and the driveable area near Annapolis expands this tenfold. Perhaps it isn't a cuisine capitol, but the amount of small non-chain restaurants is certainly not something to be dissapointed about, especially considering thw quality of seafood you can get.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              Annapolis is the state capitol, so I guess I expect more. I find the food at Tsunami beyond average and the dining experience there is not pleasant due to such a tight space. I agree about Carrol's Creek and Wild Orchid -- very good. Sputnik has been good but has also been very inconsistent. Lemongrass -- I can't believe that passes for Thai and the service is terribly sluggish and not very friendly. I know there are fantastic restaurants in DC and Baltimore, but I am not interested in driving 25+ miles for a meal, especially since I like to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and, with the low tolerance for drinking and driving, I'm not about to risk that. I just wish we had more options in Annapolis and that people weren't so quick to settle for such mediocre fare. I have no problem paying top dollar for food, but I expect good service, good ambiance and good food.

              1. re: thatfarmgirl

                I am curious what you think of that new restaurant on West St. Kyma? I haven't been there yet.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  I haven't been to Kyma since friends have not given it very good reviews. The reviews weren't bad, they just deemed everything pretty average. How about Osteria 177? Have you tried it? I haven't been there, either, though they did participate in an event I attended and what I sampled was good.

                  1. re: thatfarmgirl

                    Nope not yet. I used to live there, but now I live in DC so I don't eat out there as often. My Mom lives there maybe I will take her there next time I am over. It will be interesting to see with all the new construction on West St and Parole what restaurants go in, I hope not a big bunch of box restaurants.

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Yes, it will be interesting for sure. I did hear a PF Changs is coming. Yikes. I am spoiled -- I grew up in southeast Louisiana, where it is virtually impossible to get a bad meal, even if that meal comes in a brown paper bag from a gas station.

                      1. re: thatfarmgirl

                        Well MD is chain/box heaven. Silver Spring and Rockville have little to no independent restaurants. Does anyone know anything else slated to come in? I will tell you one of the places I miss the most in Annapolis is Cheeburger Cheeburger it is a chain, but I loved that place. Where is Osteria 177? I think I will make reservations for Sunday, then maybe I can let you know how it is. If you haven't been to India's you should try it if you like Indian food. The owners are incredibly nice and it is really good Indian food with incredible bread.

                        1. re: ktmoomau

                          There is a Cheeburger Cheeburger in Annapolis - its in a shopping center on Riva Road.

                          1. re: Linda513

                            Osteria 177 is at...177 Main Street! Yes, Cheeburger Cheeburger is still in the Festival at Riva shopping center off Forest Drive. I do not care for Indian food, but India was also at a charity event I attended and everyone was raving! I haven't heard anything else coming in except for Morton's at Park Place.

                            1. re: thatfarmgirl

                              I know that one of the new restaurants that will be opening at Annapolis Mall in the fall is a McCormick and Shmick's. There are definitely other restaurants coming as well when the mall renovation is finished, but I imagine they will all be chains in some form or another.

                              1. re: Mirdith

                                Chiming in from Chicago here: Once a year our local McCormick and Schmick's sends out deep discount coupons to neighborhood residents, and that's the only time we go. A year ago not only was the food awful but there was old petrified food stuck on the back of a chair at the next table. This year (how soon we forget) we went back with our discount coupon, were seated at the same table, and saw the same dead food stuck on the back of the same chair. Deja vu. My God, you are on Chesapeake Bay there---why would you go to McCormick and Schmick's anyway? You can do 'way better for seafood.

                              2. re: thatfarmgirl

                                Ahh it replaced the Oriental place on Main St. that place was very pricey for what it was. The menu looks great. I forgot to also mention Joss, it is really one of the best Annapolis has to offer. I have never heard a bad review for years and years it has been turning out good food. I guess we kind of stole this thread perhaps we should make a new one on just Annapolis... You know you should try to make it over to eat at The Inn at Perry Cabin if you haven't been the Eastern Shore area has some really great culinary delights...

                                McCormick and Shmick's although a chain isn't bad. I am not a big fan of Morton's I'd rather go to RC or Lewnes if I was in Annapolis. Oh another great place to go is the Big Cheese right off of dock street they used to be in the market house and have great sandwiches (Big Cheese and Sammy's Deli owners are husband and wife). I think there new shop is the Big Cheese, but I hope they kept some of the Sammy's stuff. I hope they kept the veggie sandwich from Sammy's it made even a huge carnivore like me happy.

                                1. re: ktmoomau

                                  Funny you should mention RC as I was just saying that the Annapolis' RC is probably the least favorite of mine and I've eaten in many, including Ruth Fertel's original location. I agree that Joss is very good. I haven't tried any of the sandwiches at Big Cheese, but I certainly love the products they carry. You're right, we hijacked this thread!

                                  1. re: thatfarmgirl

                                    Yeah RC is def nothing special, I think Lewnes is a little better still pricey, but Mortons blehh... just what Annapolis needs! At least with PF Changs it fills the (kind of) oriental need which Annapolis has, but still. I will give you a report on Osteria 177, gonna take the Mom this Sunday if she is around. I also miss the crab joint that was in Eastport where they have the museum now... I have to say though I normally avoid Chart House because of the chain thing and I like to support the locals in Annapolis since the city doesn't seem to favor them, but their rebuild after Isabella is beautiful, especially the bar.

                                    What did they end up putting in the market? It is full of chain crap now if I remember correctly. At least before it was locals with good food. It is a shame what the city did to that place... You have to give it up for the small people like Big Cheese who haven't given up after everything the city has done to thwart small business in downtown.

                                    1. re: ktmoomau

                                      Definitely post on Osteria 177. Chart House is good for the atmosphere/view, especially if company is in town. I cannot stand the dining room -- I feel as though I'm eating in a cafeteria. It's loud, the food is not that impressive and the service is awful. Another good meal is Yin Yankee Cafe (though not a sushi fan). I am just not wild about spending $25 on an entree in that type of atmosphere, but the food is delicious, the service pretty good and for such a small little place they have a nice wine selection.

                    2. re: ktmoomau

                      my husband and I tried Kyma a few months ago. Honestly? It was pretty mediocre. And their menu was definitely not in-line with the exorbitant prices they were charging! I guess they have to pay the rent somehow ... I wasn't a big fan of India's either ... maybe I've had too many home-cooked meals?

                      I hope the rumors of big box chain restaurants coming in is just that, rumor. What a nightmare! There are already too many chain restaurants in Annapolis/Parole.

            2. For brunch, I like a view and peace and quiet. If you can get a few miles out of townt, try the Riverview Inn on the West River in Galesville. Also excellent is the uninspiringly named Skipper's Pier, smack on the water in Deale. Their chef reputedly came from Westlawn in North Beach and they are a good spot (under new management) for a casual seafood summertime dinner (the bar scene is wayyyy out on the water so even dinner is peaceful). Sam's has a fantastic location. I hope they have gotten their groove back. We haven't been there in a year after an awful lunch. Under Mary, the previous owner, they were wunnerful.

              10 Replies
              1. re: irishrose

                I'm hearing good things about Sam's these days. We were regulars when Mary was the owner and Phillip was the chef, too. It seems they went through a bit of a tough period but, again, I have heard good things lately.

                1. re: thatfarmgirl

                  We weren't wowed for the money last time we went. You can't have a better setting. The special, a steak and alligator was pretty good, but you can leave the alligator in the swamp. The special was $45! I had the duck, 3 ways. The duck breast was the good, but not real tender,. The confit was very dry. The pate was ok. But, did I mention the atmosphere?

                  1. re: nosey

                    Great atmosphere -- agreed! You are right that the prices seem a bit steep for the uneven quality of the food. How was the service? We experienced some bumps last time we were there.

                    1. re: thatfarmgirl

                      The bartender was our waiter. For most of the evening we were his only customers. I did go inside to ask to see their light fare menu out of curiousity. I received a bit of a hrrumpphhhhh about it, but otherwise service was fine after we finally got our silverware. Food had cooled a bit by then, but it would not have made a huge difference.

                      1. re: nosey

                        That's a shame. For the prices they are charging, service should be flawless.

                        1. re: thatfarmgirl

                          But, the sunset was incredible. We don't get too stuck on the little stuff, even though hubby was a chef and owned several restaurants. We wanted to love the food. maybe next time...

                          1. re: nosey

                            That's a wonderful attitude. Report again!

                2. re: irishrose

                  Speaking of Galesville, I love going to Thursdays. It's a dock bar but it has relatively good food and some nice beers on tap. Great place to go to see local color and, of course, boats.

                  1. re: SmrtBloned

                    You mean Big Mary's? I think it is the name. Next to pirate's cove?

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      It's called Thursday's. If you're facing Pirate's Cove, it's to the right.


                3. To go back to the original topic, anyone recommend a specific place for a post-wedding Sunday brunch? We're probably having our Rehearsal dinner at Rockfish, so we don't want to go back on Sunday. Your comments about Buddy's are hilarious as I had at least 5 people recommend them for our rehearsal dinner, which I just couldn't imagine doing.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ajwilkers04

                    I don't know how big your group will be, but Carrol's Creek does a nice brunch Buffet. If you are not into the buffet thing Harry Browne's has a brunch menu.

                    On the not fancy side I would think Middleton's or maybe even Galway Bay.

                    1. re: Annapolis07

                      Carrol's Creek would be very nice. Wild Orchid has a nice private room I don't know if they would do a brunch. Perhaps also you could rent out the bar space at Chart House they have such a pretty view.

                      1. re: ktmoomau

                        Thanks! How about Rockfish? They have a great price of $10pp vs Carrol Creek at $25+pp, is Carrol's so superior that it's worth it?

                        Group is about 30-40

                        1. re: ajwilkers04

                          I am sure it is not so superior. I have never eaten at Rockfish for brunch. Carrol's has that great view, but for that price savings for a big group I can't imagine it being worth the extra cash.

                          Maybe someone who has had their brunch will chime in and give a better comparison.

                          1. re: Annapolis07

                            I like Rockfish if you aren't doing your rehearsal dinner there. It isn't waterfront, but they do have good food. I have been to both for brunch and enjoyed both. I like Carrol's a little more, but if you are budgeting I think you should skimp on brunch and not on other wedding details because you won't be disapointed with Rockfish.