D.C. is in the middle of an unbearable heat wave. I’m fairly sure the rest of the country is experiencing something similar, but the high temperatures and suffocating stickiness don’t allow you to get out and do much. To make the most of a free weekend, Marc and I escaped the city and made the short drive to Annapolis with the following goals in mind: a long bike ride, ice cream, beautiful views, small-town attitude and, of course, Maryland seafood.
We’re both from areas that offer great fresh seafood (Savannah and the Gulf cost of Florida), so finding Annapolis’ best was at the top of the priority list. Sunday brunch overlooking the water? Done and done.
Back Porch Cafe is hidden in the middle of a marina on the Chesapeake a short drive from downtown Annapolis. They serve only breakfast and lunch Wednesday to Sunday, and there’s no inside seating. I was concerned that the heat would be unbearable, but the shade of the porch and the breeze off the water made it a perfect morning for an outdoor meal.
We had to wait in line (always a good sign), during which a server appeared to tell us that brunch service had ended but we were welcome to order lunch. A woman behind us was a regular and raved about every last dish, so staying was a no-brainer. Curried chicken salad, a roasted veggie panini and shrimp louis were on the menu, but in Maryland, how can you possibly order anything but crab?
The lump crab soup, crab cakes and crab dip were tempting, but we decided to go with crab quesadillas with homemade guacamole and salsa and the “crab tower,” a stack of lump crab, mango and avocado chunks. The quesadillas were particularly delicious–the crunchy tortillas and the melted cheese balanced the crab perfectly. And the sweet mango and smooth avocado combined with huge chunks of crab–amazing. Both were served with a green salad dressed with vinaigrette. Pair with a glass of the restaurant’s own lemonade and you’ve got quite a meal.
The Back Porch is a hidden gem, and definitely a place I would sacrifice an hour-ish drive to visit again. Maybe next time we’ll make it in time to try the creme brulee French toast and the crab omelet?