When that Indian summer weather hits NOVA, it’s time to head down to Southern Maryland! Now that I’ve lived in the area for about 5 years, I do have favorite events to attend. Here are two fun food-related events in Southern Maryland that you can take your loved ones to.
<U.S. Oyster Festival / National Oyster Shucking Championships>
- When: 3rd weekend of October (Saturday: 10am-6pm / Sunday: 11am-6pm)
- Where: St. Mary’s County Fair (42455 Fairgrounds Rd, Leonardtown, MD 20650)
- Admission: $7/person (kids under 12 are free), food is pay as you eat
- Website: http://usoysterfest.com/
I was introduced to this awesome oyster festival thanks to a couple of friends last year. This year, they celebrated their 50th anniversary! Everything you can think of (when it comes to oysters) is there: raw oysters, fried oysters, grilled oysters, steamed oysters, oyster po’boys, oyster tacos, oyster stew… You name it. A dozen of raw oysters were $18, FYI.
There is a barn where the oyster cook-off takes place. Sit there and watch the chefs show off their skills. You may get lucky enough to sample their final products if the timing’s right. I got to taste the oyster Benedict and this amazinglicious soup at the end!
When you see the King Oyster greeting people, you know it’s time for the oyster shucking championship rounds!
Go get those freshly-made mini donuts with extra strawberry icing on the side and watch the experts compete! By the way, it truly IS a national championship. The winner of this national round complete in the international oyster shucking championship!
You don’t do oysters or you are scared of eating raw food? Don’t worry. They have other food options including the stuffed ham sandwich or fried Oreos!
The bottomless soda guy is amazing too! You get a mug and you can fill it all day long.
Mark it on your calendar for 2017 and drive down to Southern Maryland with the whole family!
<Harvest Taste of Solomons>
- When: 11am-4pm on a Saturday in October (This year, it was on October 22, 2016.)
- Where: Solomons Island
- Admission: no admission; $4 ticket gets you a food or drink sample at a participating restaurant
- Website: they need one!
My father-in-law came down from Upstate New York to visit us and we needed a last-minute entertainment option. I googled local food festivals for the weekend and ta-da! This small yet fun food festival popped up. We drove back down to Southern Maryland.
As you can see in the map, most restaurants are gathered in the southern part of the island. You can park the car in the parking lot there and hit the restaurants one by one. We didn’t buy any tickets in advance but paid as we went.
Crabby tater tots topped with crab dip at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar
“Half & half” soup: Maryland crab soup + cream of crab in a bowl at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar
Smoked spare ribs at Grill Sergeant
Oyster Rockefeller at the Charles Street Brasserie
Bacon wrapped dates at the Charles Street Brasserie
Seafood platter at Captain Smith’s
Some of the drinks looked delish too! Wished I was more of a drinker. Oh well, I get to drive drunk people back home.
So, if you are itching for some delicious day trip in October, head down south and go to town! Happy Fall! Happy Halloween!