We just got in from a mini-getaway in our state capital of Annapolis, so close in distance from our home, yet so far away in atmosphere.
The occasion blended a rhythm and blues show, a friend’s birthday party and a gift certificate for a local bed and breakfast into a 16-hour vacation.
To sketch a picture of Annapolis for those who haven’t been there, it sits on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and, in addition to being the state capital, it is home to the United States Naval Academy. Its narrow streets are lined with restaurants, crab houses, craft shops, taverns and trendy boutiques. It also hosts an impressive 500-seat music venue, the Ram’s Head Tavern, where we attended a superb performance by the Tom Principato Band.
Our base of operations for this 16-hour vacation was a local inn, sadly, the kind of place you want to stay for no longer than the time between putting your tired head on the pillow and going downstairs for breakfast. I don’t mean to be unkind, but camping might have been cleaner and more comfortable. There’s no lobby; you come in through the kitchen of the deli below, to the cash register, which serves as the front desk. If you come back after 11:30 p.m., which we did, you have to climb what is essentially their fire escape to the third floor.
The real treasure, however, was the deli, rather, delly, below the inn. It turns out that Chick & Ruth’s Delly is a well known, family-run Annapolis landmark that’s been in business 45 years. And, while it’s very much a local hangout, I now recall it was featured recently in The Washington Post magazine recently as a favorite for brunch.
“Here you go, sweetie pie,” was how my husband’s crab omelet was served. ‘Nuff said.
We bought fresh crab cakes to cook at home tonight, just to extend the delly experience. I just hope no one expects a side of “sweetie pie” with those.
Do take a minute to peruse their website. Who knows, you might be interested in one of their Colossal Challenges, involving a three-pound deli (er, delly) sandwich, a three-pound hamburger or a six-pound milkshake. Read about the family who started and still runs the place and how the kids got started serving behind the counter, standing on milk crates. And don’t miss the web page that highlights all the couples who got engaged at the Delly.
Best of all, go to Chick & Ruth’s at 8:30 a.m. on any weekday, 9:30 any weekend day, and join your fellow patrons in the Pledge of Allegiance.
God bless America, the great state of Maryland and Chick & Ruth’s Delly.