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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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.

ocean-city-maryland-bayfront-fine-dining-the-hobbit-crab-soup

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.

ocean-city-maryland-bayfront-fine-dining-the-hobbit-crab-app

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.

ocean-city-maryland-bayfront-fine-dining-the-hobbit-lamb-pops

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.

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.

Ocean City Maryland Bayfront Fine Dining - The Hobbit - Tuna.jpg

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!

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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