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Make It A Big Deale

Ever the fan of a playful pun, I came up with several on our 45-minute car ride this past Saturday to Deale, Md., which is pretty much in the middle of Backwater, Nowhere.

What's the big Deale?
I can Deale with that.
I hope we're getting a fair Deale.
Deale or No Deale?

You get the picture.

Luckily, bad puns were the only poor thing we endured during our trek out to Skipper's Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar.

One of Scott's co-workers suggested we check it out for the seafood and the Chesapeake Bay views. I wasn't so sure what to expect, but I agreed with Scott that partaking of some oysters and crab and a few drinks on a lazy Saturday during the long holiday weekend couldn't hurt us.

With three friends in tow, we met up at Skipper's, taking a big table for six inside (it is January) - this was our view:


I was impressed with their drink specials: a $3 Bloody Mary, rimmed with Old Bay seasoning. This Bloody Mary is one of the best I have ever had!

I liked it so much, I enjoyed another one. Then, I chased it with another one.

But anyway...when we weren't lushing it up in this seafood joint, we tasted some pretty fine fare, including
some hush puppies that I wasn't so sure about ordering. In the South, sometimes the hush puppies are dense, golf-ball size fried things (my personal preference) or they're lighter, doughy oblong things similar in texture to beignets. At Skipper's, they look like puffy oblong objects but taste like the dense cornmeal bites of pleasure I hoped for. Score 1 for Skipper's!

We ordered a half-dozen of fried oysters and they were excellent -- still juicy and not too over battered, with a remoulade sauce for dipping. A dozen raw oysters on the half-shell, accompanied by a mignonette sauce and cocktail sauce, didn't last long on their serving plate.

Here I am, trying one with mignonette for the first time:

While one lunch companion ordered King Crab, several of us decided to heed the advice of our server and try the local rockfish, caught the day before and filleted that morning at the restaurant. My blackened rockfish was perfectly seasoned, accompanied by a side of gingered cole slaw and a side of cheese stone-ground grits. I loved the unusual slaw, but the grits were -- dare I even say it -- too rich with cheese and cream, and almost pudding-like in texture.

I tried my friend's side of Bacony (said in the French style "Bah-con-ee") Collard Greens and those seemed to be the side item to go for. Scott ordered a curried fluke fish, similar to flounder and very well-seasoned, and braised green beans.

Certain unique touches -- like gingery, piquant slaw and curry sauces -- were pleasantly unexpected and set this place apart from other area seafood restaurants I've visited with fried shrimp platters or overpriced fish or crab du jour dishes, where you're paying for the "Maryland experience."  I'd rather you just feed me some fresh, good food, please.

Skipper's rated a high five with HTT -- well-worth the drive out. I could see this being a must-do when the weather turns warm again and we're in need of some briny oysters and a couple value-priced cocktails.

But wait, we're not finished yet.

Cruising out of Deale further south to Calvert County, we drove up to a small seaside "resort" of North Beach. With little cottages and a strip of retail shops peddling antiques, coffee, ice cream and the like, it seemed like a sleepy little bayside town that time forgot.

Chilly and in need of a pit stop, we popped into the aptly-named Sweet Sue's for coffee and a treat. Somehow Scott and I wound up sharing this behemoth of an eclair:

This thing was larger than a six-inch sub. HUGE. And pretty luscious.

To cap the day off, on our drive home we hit the Wegmans that recently opened in Lanham, Md. It's a super-sized grocery store chain based in Rochester, N.Y. Their main attractions are their ready-made prepared foods -- everything from pizza and lasagna to Indian and dim sum -- and the market-style counters for meats, breads and cheeses. I was a little overwhelmed, but that didn't stop us from stocking up on some sourdough loaves and some tasty Spanish goat's milk cheese and Gouda.

As if we needed more food.

But that's never really the point, is it? To friends, food, and exploring new places!


  1. grrrrl I think you and Scott need to move back to Aville like your compadres are about to. Not only do I love your idea of the perfect fried oyster - not over cooked and light on batter - a 6 inch eclair (sp?) can also be found in Weaverville's Well Bred Bakery. I'm jus' sayin'...

  2. Glad y'all had a good time in Deale. WHEN you go back when its warmer, I'm going with you

  3. Ha - Asheville's not ready for us to return, I'm afraid, and we're not either. But it's nice to know we can always come back and visit, Margaret! Good to know about Well Bred!

    I'm ready whenever you are, Wander...

  4. I was feeling pretty great about the day until I saw the pastry I missed.

  5. This looks real good. Real good. Jealous! Though I did have a crazy delicious sundae last night for Nashville Restaurant week at 55 South. The glass cup it came in was dipped in chocolate so that it looked like it was made of chocolate.

  6. Wow....I think you have out-fooded me...and I'm in California! Although, I do get to sit OUTSIDE on the dock..albeit with a hoodie on to combat the salty wind..
    Love the photos, as always....yum yum...or as I learned out here....NOM NOM.

  7. Ummm... YUM! Any time you return there, I am DOWN. Also, I love me some oysters, and know of a few spots we can get them for happy hour prices. Lemme know Erin!


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