The 15th Annual Taste of Solomons was held on Saturday, March 28th. Residents were invited to Solomons Island to experience the various cuisines offered by some of Calvert County’s finest dining establishments. For $4.00, residents could buy a ticket that was redeemable at a variety of businesses to receive food samples, small cocktails, or, in the case of Calvert Marine Museum, small gift bags. In total, 18 restaurants, one art gallery, and the Calvert Marine Museum participated in this event. We just couldn’t get to all the participants this year.
These participants included: the Back Creek Bistro, Boomerangs, China Harbor, CD Café, Lotus Kitchen / Kim’s Key Lime Pies, Isaac’s at Holiday Inn, Bistro Belle Maison, the Ruddy Duck, Solomons Pier, Kingfisher’s Seafood, the Laughing Buddha, Grill Sergeant BBQ, The Striped Rock, Charles Street Brasserie, the Dry Dock at Zahniser’s, Angler’s Seafood, the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar, the Island Hideway, Carmen’s gallery, and the Calvert Marine Museum. Of these, a few stood out in particular.
The first on our list is the Calvert Marine Museum. Although not typically a place one would go to get something to eat, the Calvert Marine Museum participated in this event by offering small goodie bags and samples of assorted nuts. That’s not the only thing the Calvert Marine Museum was offering though! The museum also held a book signing of Seafood Lovers: Chesapeake Bay, a cookbook full of Maryland style cooking written by Mary Lou Baker and Holly Smith. Miss Baker had a table set up, ready to meet anybody who wanted their copy of her book signed.
Next up is Carmen’s Gallery which is located inside a house once owned by the famous shipbuilder M.M. Davis. Although this business is actually an art gallery, Carmen has participated in the Taste of Solomons event for two years now. She serves wine and chocolate and offered us some fantastic chocolate trifles as soon as we walked in the door. She has been in business in Solomons Island for 34 years and displays and sells art from local artists as well as world famous artists. In fact, this June she plans to have Marius Zabinski, a Belgian cubist artist, visit her gallery to display some of his exceptional artwork. Carmen also hosts monthly workshops for budding artists with the help from her neighbors at Solomons’ own Kingfisher’s Seafood restaurant. “We want people to feel comfortable here and learn about art” she explained enthusiastically when we asked her about her art workshops. Of course, the artwork at this gallery is not just paintings; it also includes driftwood sculptures, pottery, and handmade jewelry.
Another one of Solomons Island’s exceptional eateries is the Lotus Kitchen and Kim’s Key Lime Pie. This little shop offers tasty soups and sandwiches as well as live music every Friday night. They also have a book club and plan to host an open mic event on April 4th.
Next is the Charles Street Brasserie, which is right down the road from the Tiki Bar. The Charles Street Brasserie is a restaurant along the water with a great view and a comfortable atmosphere. On the day of the event, they were featuring a bacon wrapped date, stuffed shrimp, their petite crab cake, and oysters Rockefeller. What stood out to us were the oysters. Usually steamed and/or cooked in an oven, the Charles Street Brasserie’s oysters Rockefeller were fried. This twist worked out well. The bacon wrapped date offered a unique sweet taste that is definitely worth trying as well! Aside from participating in the opening of the Tiki Bar, Charles Street Brasserie is also available for baby showers, wedding rehearsals, and birthday parties.
The final restaurant on Calvert Beacon’s list, and arguably the best restaurant of the day, is the Grill Sergeant. This is a well-known establishment in Calvert County. As soon as we walked in, we could smell the aroma of barbeque in the air. This year is the Grill Sergeant’s 7th year participating in this event. We were offered a sample of their ribs, their “pork wings,” and their chicken wings. All of which were fantastic! To top it all off, we were given funnel cake fries before we walked out of the door. Grill Sergeant is anticipating the Tiki Bar opening. They plan for a two day laser light show (don’t worry, they have all the necessary permits) when the Tiki Bar opens. The grill sergeant himself, Michael Theesen, stated that “Hibernation is over with,” so they expect many customers for the coming season.
Dominic Gonzalez and Ian Ihde / Interns with Calvert Beacon