Another weekend in the rain, another restaurant reviewed.
So it wasn’t supposed to rain this weekend and it did. Even after that fact, the rain had supposedly passed by Hagerstown, MD, Frederick, MD, and Baltimore, MD leaving a free and clear path up 81N to 70E and Baltimore. If anyone is predicting the end of the world, I want it to be meteorologist, because that means they’re never going to get it right.
I loaded up the bike to go visit a friend in Havre de Grace Saturday afternoon for a cookout/baby shower for him and his wife. I had to make stops in Hagerstown and Frederick to check on motorcycle parts and keg pieces. As luck would have it, as I hit Frederick on 70E is started to rain (Morgantown trip to Yama anyone?) and of course it rained, misted, or left me driving through the water spray of other vehicles for 77 miles all the way to the beltway where it finally cleared up.
So after a night of hanging out with friends and having a few beers (or a lot, I can’t recall), I geared up the next day to head to the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg. I ended up missing an exit and taking 95S to the DC beltway and to 270N from there. The traffic wasn’t terrible on a Sunday afternoon. The fortunately dry ride from Baltimore to Gaithersburg was fairly warm on what turned out to be a beautiful day. The one down side to riding is that most people don’t have a GPS unit in front of them, so missing my original exit and coming a different way got me lost for a few minutes between Rockville and Gaithersburg. After a short pit stop for the seer advice of the iPhone, I was on the right path and soon arriving at the destination.
First things first, orange shirt guy wasn’t in the best mood, as I had hoped. Unfortunately, the photos of the interior of the restaurant are fairly limited. He originally seemed put off by me wanting to sit in the restaurant area and not the bar since I was by myself. After I was done eating and on the way out, I asked him if I could take a few photos for…oh wait, he cut me off and was snappy with a reply of “Yeah, do whatever you want.” It’s amazing how one little experience like that sticks in the back of your mind even though the rest of what I have to share is mainly nothing but good.
I guess I should give a little bit of information about Dogfish Head (DFH) for those of you who haven’t ever experienced it. It’s a brewery out of Delaware whose offerings are different. They’re not your normal brewery and I’d have to guesstimate that for every person out there that says they’re too happy or too different, there’s two more that love at least one certain offering from them. If I can recall correctly, their original beer was the 60 minute IPA. They’re famous for their IPAs and the fact that they love hops. DFH has so far opened 3 alehouses, one in Fairfax, VA, one in Falls Church, VA, and one in Gaithersburg, MD. They hold events at the locations featuring music, parties, fundraisers, and beer dinners. Last time I was at the DFH Gaithersburg location, I saw Evan Bliss from Evan Bliss and the Welchers and the original front man of The Low Life. The two things you need to enjoy a trip to the DFH alehouse, a bit of time to take it all in and money.
So, after being seated, I was waited on by Sarah. She was awesome. If you ever end up at the DFH Alehouse and she’s working, tip her well. I was also given a menu of all the beers with the one’s in stock with a check mark next to them. I know it’s a travesty, but I ended up not having a beer due to heart burn, only being able to drink a portion of it because of driving and being on the motorcycle. The only beer they serve at the DFH Alehouse is DFH brewed beer. This doesn’t mean you’ll be lacking in choices. That day that had 19 of their beers in stock with prices ranging from $5.50 a beer to $10.50 with beers that go all the to 18% ABV and higher. If you’re drinking, make sure you’re drinking responsibly and have a driver. If you’re not familiar with the brand and you’re having a hard time choosing, I recommend asking your server for help. My favorite beer of theirs is the Burton Baton. It’s a mix of English Strong Ale and their 90 minute IPA aged with oak chips for that bourbon flavor. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my favorite beers I’ve ever had.
I ended up ordering off the specials menu. I ordered the corn tamale cakes, the Mahi Mahi fish tacos, and an un sweat tea. It did take a little while for food to get to the table, but they were busy so that’s understandable and there was football on TVs throughout the bar. Being so close to DC had us watching the Redskins.
So after a bit of good ol’ relaxation, my appetizer came out. The corn tamale cakes were plated over a sour sauce and topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, fresh avacados, and topped with a chipotle sauce. The cakes themselves were very creamy and sweet. I’m notorious for picking anything savory over anything sweet, but these had the perfect amount of sweetness to them and hit the spot. Paired with the sour sauce they were plated ontop of and the rest of the toppings they were what I would describe only as, “bangin'”. Yes, I actually used that word.
Next up was the Mahi Mahi fish tacos. They arrived with three soft tortilla shells filled with Mahi Mahi and topped with what appeared to be a type of slaw and a generous portion of fresh cilantro. I love cilantro, so haters be damned! Off to the side there was a portion of seasoned rice and a portion of black beans with a portion of pico and sour cream to top the tacos with. I love pico so of course that went on the tacos. The sour cream, not so much. I have to watch my figure after all. I don’t want it getting too far out of round . So back to these tacos. Just look at the photo. Don’t they look delicious? Well, they were. The fish was excellent and not overdone and with the pico and juice from the lime wedges, I was in heaven. It was all I could do to finish them as I was stuffed to bursting. I tried the rice and beans and they were as expected, but the real star here was the tacos. The one negative thing about the dish was the fish bone that I found.
That was the first time eating at the DFH, but I would definitely be a repeat customer based on the food, not so much because of the guy at the front door. Funny how that works out, huh?
Anyways, if you are in need or dinner and a good beer or two, try out the Dogfish Head Alehouse. Just make sure you have some time to enjoy the beer and the atmosphere as well as the money to sample. At $23 for an appetizer and a meal, you can see how your bill will start to rack up if you’re drinking beer that costs over $5 each. It’s definitely worth the price in my opinion though. Hopefully if you try it out, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t run into orange shirt guy at the door.
Location: Dogfish Head Alehouse