Since we started Southern Maryland Food & Drink, the question we’ve most frequently been asked is “where can I get brunch in Southern Maryland?” Local-restaurant listings were part of our Food & Drink Business Directory from the start, but we hadn’t categorized them anymore than that. We then added sub-categories for Fine Dining and Casual Dining in mid-July, 2017. Now we have added a Brunch sub-category, currently with 17 restaurants listed. That is by no way a complete inventory, but it’s a start.
In putting together our list of spots for brunch in southern Maryland, we first reviewed the restaurants already in our database and flagged those that served brunch. We then looked for other eateries offering brunch to try and fill in some of the empty spots on the map. Also, we had to check to be sure they were really offering a brunch, and not just breakfast. Of course we weren’t looking for big national chains. You can get breakfast and lunch/dinner items at Sonic, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, and McDonald’s most, if not all, of the day. The thing they are missing: alcohol. (Did you know that some Denny’s serve alcohol? I had no idea until I started researching this topic.)
If a place just serves a breakfast buffet, or a lunch buffet, then that doesn’t count as brunch.
What makes a brunch?
Brunch is a portmanteau word, meaning it was created by splicing together parts of two other words: breakfast and luncheon. The word has become well-accepted, and certainly rolls-off the tongue a lot easier than “lunfast.” Compared to breakfast, brunch is frequently served in mid- to late-morning. It often features cocktails, such as the Bloody Mary, Mimosa, and Screwdriver. In the past a lot of places offered fixed-price, all you can drink cocktails, but there seem to be far fewer of those today. This is due, perhaps, both to expense and liability concerns.
Styles of service vary. Some places make a buffet-style brunch, with chafing dishes of breakfast-items such as eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles and grits. To those are often added a made-to-order omelette station. For the lunch side of the meal, the buffet may offer pizza, burgers, salads, fish, and breads. Then there may be a carving station offering steamship round of beef. The alternate serving method is table-service from a menu.
If a place just serves a breakfast buffet, or a lunch buffet, then that doesn’t count as brunch. It has to include both. And typically, a breakfast buffet won’t include cocktails, though if the bar happens to be open, you can probably order an adult beverage.
The most frequently misspelled item on a brunch menu is omelette
Highlights: Brunch in Southern Maryland
You can see all our listings for brunch in Southern Maryland by clicking here. Below we highlight one venue in each of the five counties, to help whet your appetite. Oh, and beware: the most frequently misspelled item on a brunch menu is omelette (often used without the second T and final E).
Sweetgrass: Low Country Cooking, Clinton
This restaurant is located in The Colony House Hotel & Conference Center, located next to the MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, in southern Prince George’s County. Brunch is on Sundays from 11:30 AM until 3 PM. The cost is $28 per adult and $17.50 per child 10 and under (with a pre-paid reservation).Buffet stations include:
- Breakfast Bar: made to order omelets [sic] (omelettes), “Belgium” [sic; Belgian is the preferred spelling] waffles, bacon, and sausage
- Salad Bar: fruit, mixed greens, cole slaw, and potato salad
- Seafood: crab legs and fresh oysters
- Entreés: fried chicken, quiche, pasta, and more
- Dessert: cakes, pies, and petitfors [sic; “petit fours” is the correct spelling]
- Drinks: Coffee, decaf coffee, and hot tea
The Leonardtown Grille, Leonardtown
While they are closed on Sundays, they start Saturdays with a breakfast menu from 9 AM until noon, in southern St. Mary’s County. Their full menu service, though, runs from 11 AM until 10 PM on Saturday. Brunch therefore happens for that hour of overlap.
Items include, but are not limited to:
- Big breakfast, with 3 eggs cooked to order, with bacon, sausage, home fries, and biscuit
- French toast
- Steak and eggs
- Western omelet [sic]
- Soups & salads
- Steak & ribs
- Desserts, and more
The Pier, Solomons IslandThey serve a buffet brunch on Sundays from 9 AM until 2 PM (the regular menu runs from 2 PM until 10 PM that day), in southern Calvert County. The cost is $15.95 per adult; children 8 and under may dine for $8.95 piece. The brunch menu includes, but is not limited to:
- Stations for top-round carving, made-to-order omelettes [they spelled it right!], and waffles
- Bacon, sausage, and scrapple
- Biscuits and pastries
- Chilled shrimp
- Creamed chip [sic; “chipped” is the preferred rendering] beef
Red Oak Bistro, La Plata
Located in central Charles County, they serve brunch on Sundays from 11 AM until 3 PM. They offer table service from an extensive menu, which includes bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys for $17 if you purchase an entreé. Among the dishes on offer:
- Steak and eggs
- French toast
- Eggs or crab benedict
- Grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato
- Smoked salmon bagel
Regarded by many as one of the top restaurants in our Capital City in Anne Arundel County (if not the entire region), they offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM until 3 PM,
- Bloody Marys and Mimosas
- Liverwurst sandwich
- Scrapple, bacon, and Pennsylvania Dutch hash
- Cinnamon-chip French toast
- Fried egg grits
- Bread pudding
Brunch in Southern Maryland Wrap-up
We currently have 17 places listed with brunch as an option. Some on Saturdays, some on Sundays, and some with both days as possibilities. There are quite a lot of food options, as well as drink options, including those favorites: the Mimosa and Bloody Mary.
Why no one listed Screwdrivers, I’m not sure, because if you can make the other two cocktails, you obviously have the ingredients on hand for a Screwdriver (though some places did show photos of what looked to be Screwdrivers). With all these spots around, there should be a brunch place somewhere relatively near you. So, get out there and have a great brunch! ♦