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Jul 6, 2010 07:54 PM

Need Southern MD help

I don't know if this should go in DC & Baltimore or the Mid-Atlantic board but I need some help with what's good in Southern MD. I going to be in the Solomon's Island/Calvert County, St. Mary's County, and Charles County areas for a few days. I looking for restaurants serving local cuisine which for the region I suspect means seafood or barbecue. I tried looking on both the DC and Mid-Atlantic boards but everything is at least a few years old.


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  1. Solomons Island has two Stoneys for best crabcakes in Maryland -- pier location and dock location -- both great.

    St. Marys has Bear Creek barbeque in Callaway -- no need to go anywhere else

    Ruddy Duck in Solomons is a good local brewpub

    1. My info is dated ( and I am now inspired to take the fam on a surprise weekend soon, but Clarke's Landing is tremendous and blew Stoney's out of the water.

      There used to be a good diner on the square in Lex Park - I think with a woman's name. I've been there 2-3 times over the span of years, but again my info is dated at the moment.

      Lex Cafe
      111 Massachusetts Ave NW Ste Bsmt, Washington, DC 20001

      1. For Solomon's Island Stoneys is great. If the weather is not too hot, I would opt for the pier as it has a great view. Be sure to get their signature drink, an orange crush. Had the softshell sandwich last week and it was very good.

        In Calvert County I would highly recommend Vera's White Sands. Great view as well. The stuffed shrimp and the steak with crab imperial have both been very good.

        In Charles County, Johnny Boy's BBQ just outside of LaPlata is always top rated. It is basically a roadside stand with picnic tables. Very, very good. Stay away from Waldorf in Charles County as it is mostly chains.

        Another good spot in Charles County with a nice view is Crabby Dick's at Port Tobacco Marina. A little off the beaten path. They are closed Tues. and Wed. Not the best out of the restaurants listed, but good for a nice burger, crab cake sandwich, etc. They often have live music, so check their website.

        I know people like Clarke's Landing, but it was really, really horrible when we last went -- not only the food but the service as well.

        Port Tobacco Marina
        7610 Shirley Blvd, Port Tobacco, MD 20677

        3 Replies
        1. re: SheriS

          I'm glad to hear Vera's is serving good food because when I was last there -- quite a few years ago, when the new owners first took over-- it was not worth the drive. But I love that place!

          1. re: Teddybear

            Vera's has seen a dramatic improvement. I agree that when it first changed hands it was pretty bad. The setting is so nice, it was a shame the food used to be so bad. I have been here 3 times in the last few months and each time was very good.

          2. re: SheriS

            I would also add Captain Billy's Seafood, just down the road from Johnny Boy's on Pope's Creek. Local crabs and seafood on the water. Follow the signs on 301.

          3. In Solomon's......I have found that Zahniser's Dry Dock Restaurant has consistently served very good seafood. The location is kind of hard to find, but it's right on the water at the marina. Nice view.....good wine selection.


            3 Replies
            1. re: VirginiaPepper

              Is CD Cafe still there? They had relations to Dry Dock and used to be very good.

              1. re: Dennis S

                I live in southern Calvert county - By far, the CD Cafe has the best food. They typically have 3 fish specials in the evening that are well worth considering. When Gene is in the kitchen (usually Saturdays), execution is usually great. They have a small dining room, but the Back Door bar is open serving apps and small plates while you wait for a table. The Scallops BBT are great. Dry Dock has a wonderful view, and you can either make reservations for inside or they have open seating on the outside deck. Don't get their crabcakes - they used caned pasteurized crab meat and I don't recommend it. Ben is back in the kitchen and I've found he turns out steaks done to order perfectly. I think they've recently dumbed down the menu though and am not as excited eating there. There is another new place - the Back Creek Cafe (used to be Vincenzo's) that is down Dowell Road - across the creek from Dry Dock, about. It is now under the ownership of the former manager, and they've expanded the menu but retained some of the favorite italian dishes. They often have live music on the weekend as well. I'd say they are another good choice, but my experience with the new place is more limited. As for the Pier and Stoney's Kingfisher, they are ok, not great, in my opinion - living off their crabcake reputation - I am thinking I may want to try Kingfishers again, as Cody, who used to cook at Dry Dock is now there. He had some good stuff going there, but I think the Stoney's group does better by their employees (plus his fiance works there). Avoid Catamarans - the picture of former Hells kitchen contestant Robert Hesse should be warning enough. I've heard nothing good about the place from my friends. We eat at Clark's Landing a few times a year - usually go by boat (same with Stoney's Broome's Island) - the food at Clarks is generally better, imo, than Stoneys, but your mileage may vary. Sorry for going on so long. Hope this helps.

                1. re: ohstate

                  Edit: The Dry Dock is not very good lately. Our last two visits have been disappointing, especially for the $. They still have a great view/atmosphere, but the food is meh. CD Cafe is #1 for food still. Had a great dinner there last night.