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Visiting Saint Mary's city Oct. 19-21 for the Oyster Festival. First, does anyone know anything about the festival, like how good the food is, do they serve beer, and anything else. Second, any recommendations on places to eat. Of course seafood is a good option, but we like to try anything.

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  1. The festival is truly a local gem and gives you a real taste for the real Southern Maryland. My boyfriend and I went for the first time last year and had a blast eating a ton of oysters, so you really won't need to eat elsewhere. They have plenty of beer as well.

    For more info -- http://www.usoysterfest.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: SmrtBloned

      This is one of those oh what would I do without chowhound moments! Thanks for bringing this festival up! I am soooooooooooooooooooooo there!

    2. My long-standing rec for that general area is Clarke's Landing. Incredible crab cake, but a fairly full menu otherwise. Of course, CD Cafe and Dry Dock across that bridge to Solomon's.

      Here's a thread that might give you other ideas: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420142

      1. The Oyster Festival is da bomb. Oyster shooters; raw, steamed, fried oysters; oyster stew; crab soup; clam strips; stuffed ham sandwiches. Truly a food lover's paradise with lots of local color. Beer is plentiful.

        But if they have the local wine stand again, stay away. Stay very far away. Blech.

        On the way there (or back, depending) is Randy's Ribs in Hughesville. Definitely worth a stop.
        http://www.randysribs.com/

        3 Replies
        1. re: debit

          for good "fine dining" type fare (but no "dress code")
          Cafe des Artistes in Leonardtown - best bet is the earlybird (before 6:00) three course prix fixe
          Brome Howard Inn, just south of the college

          For seafood,
          Courtney's or Schneibles (I may have the latter name wrong) - go down Route 5 toward Point Lookout, and follow the signs - the two places are about 100 yards apart, so the signs for Schneible's will get you to both. as you get to the end of the road, turn right into Schneible's or go straight to get to Courtney's
          I also like Clarke's Landing, but sometimes the "boater chic" crowd is in residence, and it gets to me

          For BBQ - Bear Creek - pretty close to the fairground (towrd Port Lookout) on 5. Open pit BBQ chicken, ribs, sausage, etc.

          There have been some other St. Mary's City or Southern MD threads recently, so it would be worth doing a board search for more.

          1. re: Warthog

            It's Scheibles (no n) if your looking for directions. Both are great choices.

            1. re: Warthog

              I definitely second the Brome Howard Inn - historic 19th c. B&B with a restaurant on the ground floor. My husband and I stay there every year, the food is delicious (lots of local produce) and the family that runs the inn so lovely and accomodating.

          2. Just to point it out--the oyster festival is at the fairgrounds in Leonardtown, not St. Mary's City. It's a good 45 minute drive between the two.

            1 Reply
            1. re: shellymck

              uh...more like 15-20 mins.

            2. Thanks everyone for all the great info. Sounds like we made a good choice on this one. I love oysters, so it should be awesome. One quick question, I also like good beers, do they serve any craft beer at the festival or just typical coors light, bud, etc. I can always focus on the oyster shooters!

              3 Replies
              1. re: dfishhead

                Hmm...you know what, I don't remember what kind of beer I had, but I don't remember caring too much as the oysters and ambiance was awesome. I'm pretty picky about beer as well.

                1. re: dfishhead

                  They usually have a Sam Adams seasonal or Redhook on draft, but that's about it for beer that's a cut above the usual suspects.

                  I've been going to this festival annually for just about the last 15 years. It's always fun, but I have to say that the prices for oysters have crept up to the point that they're now on par with suburban DC prices. I think last year it was running $16.00 for a dozen on the half shell or scalded.

                  1. re: MDBBQFiend

                    Just hang around the shucking contest for awhile, especially the amateurs. You can't beat free!

                2. Had a great time in Southern MD this past weekend. Had reservations for Friday night at Cafe Des Artistes, unfortunately, our camper blew a tire and we missed reservation. Plan B was late light dinner at Clarkes Landing. Crabcake and soup. Very good. Oyster Festival was lots of fun. Really enjoyed watching the Shucking competition. I think the highlight of the weekend foodwise, was dinner at Courtneys. Fresh rockfish was truly awesome, and the experience of the fisherman owner is not to be missed. As a side note Schiebles is closed. Thanks to everyone for the good advice.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dfishhead

                    When you say Schiebles is closed, I'm assuming you saw a sing or there were no signs of life there when you went to Courtney's. If there was a sign, I'd be curious if they are closed for good, or just closed for vacation or on "reduced hours" now that the summer boating season is ended? Either of the latter two would not surprise me - I would guess that fall and winter are slow for them.