The great thing about the Annapolis area, and similarly about the greater DC metro area, is that there’s so many day trips to take. A few weeks ago, I checked out St. Michaels, MD with my husband. I was allured by the upscale reviews I had read, knowing that there’s an upscale class that escapes the beltway to this side of the shore.
We started with lunch at Gina’s Cantina – a small vegan/vegetarian café on the main drag. Full of eclectic décor and indie music, it also boasted a beautiful outdoor seating area. It was one of those humid days that threatened rain so we stuck to the inside. The service was friendly and fast which is always an added plus, though I suppose you’ll get superb service when Kevin Spacey is sitting at the table next to you!
The food was delicious and full of unique flavors. I grabbed the chili tacos which had vegetarian chili, cheese and guacamole in flour tortillas. There were two on my plate which ended up being the perfect serving size. The chili was not too spicy but enough kick to give it flavor. The guacamole was the perfect blend of creamy with chunks of tomato. My dining partner (also known as the Husband) got the special – a fish burrito with sprouts and other veggies with a chipotle mayo with a sort of jam on top. It was unique to say the very least.
After lunch, we headed over to the Eastern Shore Brewing Company, a small brewery, with an even smaller distribution area. You can only find their delicious beers on the Eastern Shore however, they are hoping to be distributing in Annapolis by the end of summer. For only $5 dollars, you can get a flight of five 5 oz. tasting glasses. We tried the three beers they had on tap and shared and then each got one tasting glass of our favorite. My favorite was the Magic Hefeweizen. A light, wheat ale that was crisp and perfect for the hot day. We also tried the Knot so Pale Ale, an IPA type that was delightfully hoppy and full of floral flavors and the St. Michaels Ale, a smooth darker ale with hints of caramel and a strong bite to finish it off.
The brewery was an old barn – a darkish type of atmosphere with scattered comfortable seating and a popcorn machine (that was out of order on the day we visited) to let tasters cleanse the pallets.
Our final stop of the day was the St. Michaels Winery tasting room. We had tried the wine before at the Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival back in May, but it turned out to be much better than I remembered. We each tried seven wines – there were 14 available total and the only one we didn’t try was the Chardonnay (we’re not Chardonnay people). My favorites were definitely the sweeter wine – the Gollywobbler Pink, a nice refreshing blush wine, or the Gollywobbler Red a wine that tasted more like grape juice than it did an alcoholic beverage. All the wines were delightful. I’ve found very few Maryland wineries that I love, but St. Michael’s Winery is full of perfect blends with lots of flavor. I’m already looking forward to going back!
Don’t let the small town vibe of St. Michaels fool you, there’s plenty to visit including the Maritime Museum, the quaint water front full of upscale seafood restaurants and dozens of kitschy boutiques and ice cream parlors along Talbot Street to keep you occupied for a warm, summer afternoon. If you’re interested in staying the night, there’s plenty of quaint bed and breakfasts in walking distance to all the town has to offer with a full calendar of community events as well!