Foodie Weekend in Ocean City Maryland

foodie spots of Ocean City Maryland

I don’t know about others, but to me vacation is all about relaxing, exploring, and most importantly indulging in delicious food. I recently spent a long weekend in every Pittsburgher’s default beach vacation spot, Ocean City Maryland.  I’ve been lucky enough to visit the area a handful of times and have begun to develop a list of favorite restaurants to indulge in Maryland’s famous blue crab.

       3 Foodie Spots in Ocean City Maryland

1. The Crab Bag

The Crab Bag is definitely an Ocean City institution along Coastal Highway. It’s famous for it’s namesake, fresh Maryland crabs steamed crabs delivered to the table in brown paper bags.  It’s a casual spot with mostly outdoor dining on picnic tables and super popular. They don’t take reservations or have call ahead seating, so be prepared to hang out at the bar while you wait a bit for a table. Totally worth the wait though!

The Crab Bag menu is hue and features everything seafood related to Mexican and ribs. I’m totally the fan that visits exclusively for the crab.  They have both a cream of crab soup and a traditional Maryland style crab soup. In my latest trip I of course had creamy crab soup. They also offer the two mixed, which I would have never thought of.  We also indulged in the Crab Bags Famous Crab Dip describes simply as “crab meat, cheeses, and spices.” That’s exactly what it is. Really heavy and indulgent but delicious. I enjoyed a crab cake and hush puppies and the table ordered 6 jumbo sized steamed crabs. I don’t mind cracking open the crabs if I don’t think about it too much. It’s fun to get into the experience to tackle one, but the dedication to make it through 5 is a lot! The crab is truly delicious though. I guess I understand the experience of cracking crabs its kind of like a treasure hunt…?

 

2. The Hobbit

The Hobbit is a fine dining on the bayside of north Ocean City. As named, this Ocean City restaurant is themed after J. R. R. Tolkien paired with a  setting featuring stunning bay views. The dining space is elegant and understated with the view as its main feature of course. There are tiny pop ups of Hobbit inspired decor pieces if you look closely at the hanging art or the lamps. These are not at all costumey and add tiny bits 0f character to the space. I’ve shared my amazing first experience here.

This recent visit we again enjoyed the lamb lollipops. This is a dish of delicious, buttery grilled New Zealand lamb chops, with sweet potato hash and honey aioli. Seriously delicious. For my main meal I enjoyed the swordfish fresh catch, sauté of fresh Maryland jumbo lump crab, fresh corn, bacon, and fresh vegetables, finished with beurre blanc sauce. The piece of swordfish was huge and perfectly cooked! I really enjoyed the mix of sweet corn, bacon and asparagus too. My BF really loved his veal pistachio of veal medallions, prosciutto, roasted pistachios, mushrooms, shallots, Madeira, and cream. I was treated to a few bites and can say the creamy sauce was definitely rich and delicious. Kind of like my dad’s mushroom brandy bacon cream sauce.

 

3. Parched Pelican

I love brunch. Coffee, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hash browns and biscuits are some of the best things about the world – to me at least. Lucky for me my BF agrees 🙂 We seriously researched our brunch options for this quick trip.  After searching Yelp through an overwhelming amount of options we decided on a spot that looked fun with plenty of options to choose from, the Parched Pelican. I wasn’t expecting this spot to be as well designed as it was.  The restaurant features so many unexpected trendy  decor details, not the usual beach kitschy. every light fixture was different with a different type of Edison bulb. I was smitten with the look from the moment I stepped into the entryway; which actually featured a light fixture made with colored wine bottles and colored light bulbs – speaking directly too me.  I’m totally planning to make my own DIY version.

 

 

For my breakfast I ordered the Marylander crafted biscuit which is eggs, sautéed jumbo lump crab, Chesapeake hollandaise, and jack cheese on biscuits. The dish was good, but the “fresh buttermilk biscuits handcrafted daily from scratch,” were dense, tough and inedible. I was a bit disappointed. My BF ordered whiskey plantain brioche french toast with glazed plantains, toasted coconut and Jameson caskmates whiskey sauce. It was enjoyable, sweet and savory unique meal.  Glad we tried the dishes we did.

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Farmhouse Home Decor & Vintage Shopping Tour of Maryland & Virginia

Farmhouse & Vintage Home Décor Shopping Tour

I’ve gushed about the treasure hunt of home decor antiques available in Maryland and Northern Virginia a few times before, (Fall home decor post here + Holiday home decor post here) and I’m here to share another trip the antique lover’s capital! I was first introduced to these spots by my mother, an avid Southern Living Magazine and home decor enthusiast. Hmmm… I wonder where I get it from?! Here’s a recap of our April 22 adventure, the stops we took and treasures we spotted from modern farmhouse decor finds, to vintage antiques.

We always start the day in Buckeystown, Maryland at Chartreuse & co. This home decor enthusiasts’ dream spot consists of a few charming farm buildings filled with various antiques and upcycled home decor vendors.

On this Saturday they were also having a “Spring Market Day” with additional tag sales and local vendors set up outside. It was amazing, again definitely worth the 6am wake up call and 3 hour road trip from Pittsburgh. There was plenty of affordable finds from romantic french country inspired pieces to rustic and farmhouse styles. At Chartreuse the vendors offer a mix of newly manufactured pieces, handmade pieces, untouched antiques and upcycled pieces.

Just up the street from our first stop is Buckeystown Design Co Op.  This shop features a bit more upscale, more refined home decor pieces & furniture. Instead of upcycled pieces, here you’ll find nice, quality things purchased from suppliers and fun finds from places like High Point furniture warehouse sales. The space was fit for spring with beautiful fake spring flowers.

Next up on our home decor shopping adventure we visited Sweet Clover Barn. Sweet Clover is vintage home decor and handmade marketplace housed in a dairy barn on a horse farm in Frederick, Maryland. Again there are various farm building used to display multiple vintage home decor vendors, create another ultimate home decor lovers’ paradise. This place was upcycled kitchen hutch central. I was swooning over each unique farmhouse kitchen hutch.

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Christmas vintage decor shopping tour

The holidays are my favorite time of year simply because of the decorations, lights and sparkle. I’m more excited to see decorations and decorate myself, than a kid is on actual Christmas morning. At 25 I already own an entire house’s worth of Christmas decor. To prepare for this upcoming holiday season, I returned to Frederick & Buckeystown, Maryland and Leesburg Virginia for another vintage decor shopping tour holiday edition. About 3 hours drive from Pittsburgh, these towns are flush with charming furniture & home decor shops filled with antique and farmhouse finds. This visit I was on the hunt for Christmas vintage decor.

We started the day in Buckeystown, Maryland at Chartreuse & co. which consists of a few charming farm buildings filled with antiques and upcycled treasures. This visit to the co op spaces featured mainly holiday and winter-themed pieces and a trunk of goods imported from Great Britain.

french antique chalk painted bed set  french antique chalk painted bed setfrench antique chalk painted dresser
Next on the tour, down the street was the Buckeystown Design Co Op. This is a bit more of an upscale and curated home decor shop. The festive holiday sparkle was plentiful.
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To continue the tour, we visited Sweet Clover Barn, a vintage home decor and handmade marketplace housed in a dairy barn on a horse farm in Frederick, Maryland.

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We then ventured on to the Old Lucketts Store,which was filled to the brim inside and outside with treasures of all kinds. Again, I really couldn’t believe how much stuff was there. Every time I turned a corner there was another room and another stairwell to explore. This visit, I realized there was a second home on the property filled with even more holiday splendor.

red bar Old Lucketts Store

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Amazing magical Christmas decor land right!? BF is lucky we don’t live any closer to this mecca for home decor or I’d be there every weekend. Now onto finding a way to buy a house we can fill with all my current and future finds.

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Antiquing Tour of Maryland & Northern Virginia

This past weekend I woke on a Saturday at 6 am, for antique shopping, more specifically an antiquing tour of Maryland and Northern Virgina. My parents invited me along to an antique fair they’ve attended a few times in Maryland. I didn’t do any research beforehand, so I did not know what to expect, but I was amazed at the selection. This ultimate antiquing tour in Maryland and Northern Virginia offers endless treasures & creates an antique lover’s paradise.

We started the day in Buckeystown, Maryland at Chartreuse & co. which consists of a few charming farm buildings filled with antiques and upcycled treasures. They were also having a “Fall Market Day” with additional tag sales and local vendors set up outside. It was amazing.  Definitely worth the trip. There was plenty of affordable finds from romantic french country inspired pieces to rustic and farmhouse styles. There was a mix of new manufactured pieces, handmade pieces, untouched antiques and upcyled pieces. I purchased rose gold mercury glass candlestick holders.

This was just the first stop. We headed down the street to the Buckeystown Design Co Op  a bit more upscale home decor shop. I  purchased mercury glass jar candle holders in bronze. Yes I have a thing for mercury glass.

Next we visited Sweet Clover, a vintage home decor and handmade marketplace housed in a dairy barn on a horse farm in Frederick, Maryland.

We then ventured on to the Old Lucketts Store which was filled to the brim inside and outside with treasures of all kinds. They describe themselves as “Vintage Hip”. I really couldn’t believe how much stuff was in that house, every time I turned a corner there was another room and another stairwell to explore.

We really didn’t even put a dent into exploring all the treasure-filled shopping spots in the area. But after a late lunch in Leesburg Virginia and a few more shops, we were ready for the 3 hour drive back to Pittsburgh. I really want to go back, maybe make a birthday weekend of it? My birthday is exactly 1 month away!?

If you’re interested in planning your own trip to the area I would suggest starting your research with this Southern Living Article highlighting the area’s best stops > http://www.southernliving.com/travel/mid-atlantic/the-ultimate-antiquing-tour 

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Ocean City Maryland Bayfront Fine Dining The Hobbit

The Hobbit Restaurant Ocean City

While vacationing Ocean City Maryland over the Labor Day holiday weekend I had the opportunity to dine at the The Hobbit a fine dining on the bayside, a favorite of my BF’s family. As named, this Ocean City restaurant is themed after J. R. R. Tolkien paired with a stunning setting featuring bay views. The dining space is elegant and understated with the view as its main feature of course. There are tiny pop ups of Hobbit inspired decor pieces if you look closely at the hanging art of lamps. These are not at all costumey and add character to the space.

I enjoyed the Cream of Crab soup, and it was alright. As mentioned beforehand, I am a creamy crab soup connoisseur. I like the really flavorful sweet kind. This was of great quality, it just seem to lack a dimension of the right seasonings for my own preference.  Those that I was dining with really enjoyed the soup.

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Those I was dining with ordered, ordered the Crab Stack appetizer of fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, avocado, cilantro, shallot, chipotle, tomatoes, ranchero chips. This dish is presented in a beautiful plating, very Instagram-able, but taste wise nothing too special, very straightforward stacking of ingredients. This is, of course, because of the huge amount of fresh, high-quality Maryland blue crab. Wouldn’t want to distract too much from that amazingness.

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Lollipop Lamb Chops were my favorite appetizer! They are New Zealand lamb chops, with sweet potato hash and honey aioli. I could have eaten more of those.

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For my main meal I had swordfish special with a sweet sauce, sweet potato risotto and mushrooms. This was very delicious and fulfilling. I really enjoyed it. The fish was fresh and cooked just right.

Swordfish with sweet potato risotto & mushrooms #oceancity #oceancitymd #swordfish #risotto #foodie #foodieblogger #eats

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My BF  had a center cut filet. He was were quiet as he dug in, devouring the meal. When I asked, he confirmed that it was very enjoyable. I even got a bit to double confirm 🙂 Ocean City Maryland Bayfront Fine Dining - The Hobbit - Steak Filet.jpg

Another meal ordered at the table was the seared tuna and spicy wasabi mashed potatoes with a foie gras dumpling and miso broth. Looked beautiful! And yes the verdict was that it was delicious.

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For dessert I enjoyed, what else but the chocolate feature of rum infused chocolate cake, homemade chocolate rum mousse, homemade raspberry coulis. Lighter than a cheesecake, but just as rich! I love pretty much anything raspberry and or chocolate, plus here there was rum involved!

Chocolate rum mousse cake 😛 #chocolate #foodieblogger #foodie #dessert #foodporn

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So all in all, when you hear that the restaurant is called The Hobbit, do not assume that it will involve over the top fantasy literature inspired decor and or renaissance fair-like cheesiness. Please know that this was a classy, high-quality fine dining experience with endearing decor touches inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic work.

Cheers to another delicious adventure at an unexplored restaurant!

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