Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Famous for the Food

We were traveling in the D.C. area including parts of Virginia and Maryland for 6 days which added up to a lot of restaurant meals. We had several three star dinners but some of the best food we found was from two small casual family restaurants.

I'm talking Buddy's Crabs and Ribs (Annapolis, MD) and Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg, VA.

We asked woman at the front desk when we checked into our hotel near the center of Annapolis where to go for crab. She said Buddy's had great crab so it was an easy decision. We strolled down brick sidewalks crowded with visitors heading to the pier as dusk approached and clmbed the steps to Buddy's.

After a brief wait we were shown to a table. We started our meal with Maryland She-crab soup, tomato based,with large chunks of crab. For old times sake, we had a large steamed crab and used crab mallets to crack the shell and pick out the crab. Large is the biggest size being caught in Chesapeake Bay today due to over-fishing. We used to buy a dozen crabs and make a meal, but this time it seemed like a lot of work althoug it is the best way to taste crab. We both had the same entree, a 5-ounce crab cake that had little filler and lots of briny flavor and sweetness. We ended the meal with a piece of Key Lime Pie that was gummy and disappointing.

Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que was a true experience of the South. "A must stop" says Bon Appetit and Southern Living readers made it a Reader Choice Award winner. The signature dish is smoked pulled pork with spicy barbecue sauce topped with cole slaw on a bun and is worthy of the fame. Sides included sweet potato sticks, onion rings, hush puppies, cornbread, baked beans, green beans, collards and mac n cheese- all traditional southern favorites.

After ordering we sat in a booth with a yellow formica covered table while a juke box played oldies. There was constantly a line to order and miraculously a free table always appeared just as food was served. I thought I had seen a comment somewhere about Carrot Cake and asked about it as we ordered. To my question "You make it here, right?" the response was "it's made by the sister of one of our workers". That's local! It was moist and sweet with a light creamy frosting andstill makes my mouth water to think about it.

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