Our new shepherd puppy needed a lesson in traveling to learn our on-the-road routine. An overnight to Frederick, Maryland, well known for its municipal dog-friendliness, proved an ideal first trip.
Although many downtown shops welcome respectful dogs, generally restaurants and food stores do not. However, “foraging” in Frederick’s many specialty markets and shops and picnicking in our motel room enabled us to enjoy the city’s wide-ranging culinary spectrum. Many of the culinary shops we visited echo the region’s traditional, quality-focused agrarian culture.
We began on the east side of the city’s historic district at Everedy Square and Shab Row, a cluster of specialty shops in beautifully restored 19th century buildings. The Frederick Coffee Company & Café has become a community staple for creative coffees, breakfasts, salads, and sandwiches, all available to go or at outdoor seating. If you prefer tea, the Shab Row Tea Emporium next door,stocks about 250 varieties of bulk teas and a selection of quality accoutrements. Take a freshly brewed pot of their popular Earl Grey Creme up to the second floor tearoom and enjoy the view of East Street.
Stone Hearth Bakery, on the Row’s north end, is a classic, baking nearly three dozen types of breads; a selection of cakes, cookies and pies; and empanadas. Their rustic breads are excellent and the Jewish rye is spot-on.
A short drive from Eveready Square, McCutcheon’s Apple Products’ factory store stocks their famous old fashioned fruit and nut butters, marmalades and jellies, preserves, pickles, sauces, mustards and salad dressings, along with a welter of gift items and Marylandia. From apple butter to pickled dilly beans, McCutcheon’s produces and distributes more than 300 different products nationwide.
We continued foraging on Market Street, bisecting the center of Frederick’s historic downtown, lined with shops and eateries. Try Firestone’s Market for sandwiches to go, specialty food and gifts, and local and international cheese, bread, wine, beer, and snacks. For dessert, The Perfect Truffle features 40 varieties of chocolate, created in an open kitchen, using imported European chocolate. Or, Cakes to Die For can deliver their freshly baked pastries, breads and homestyle desserts in a hearse!
A block off of Market on Church Street, Juliet’s Italian Market & Café.
Outside the City
From the city, we drove south on the Buckeystown Pike to Hedgeapple Beef Farm for their grass-fed, grass-finished meats.
“People want a connection to their food, where it comes from,” said Scott Barao, executive director. “All our beef is born, bred and raised on our farm. It’s 14-day dry aged, Black Angus. We track each animal from conception to consumption, which also feeds into our breeding and genetic program.”
West of Frederick, in the foothills of the South Mountain, the South Mountain Creamery is another direct link to Frederick County’s agrarian past. Visitors can see the cows that produce the milk and even watch the young calves feeding. But more than livestock, South Mountain Creamery will deliver ice cream, butter, yogurt and milk — in classic returnable glass bottles — to your door!
Our puppy did well on her first road trip, and foraging through Frederick’s culinary opportunities was equally successful.
Courtesy of Juliet Kaufman at Juliet’s Italian Market & Café
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp saffron strand
1/2 cup grated parmigiana reggiano cheese
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
1 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs (beaten)
Oil for deep frying
Rinse rice, then add chicken broth and saffron. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Place the lid over the pot and keep covered for 20 minutes. Add parmigiana reggiano cheese and allow the mixture to cool. Scoop the rice using an ice-cream scoop. Push a hole down into the middle and fill it with a piece of mozzarella and some peas. Press it to seal and shape it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Dip the rice balls first in the beaten eggs, then in the bread crumbs, and fry in hot oil. Dry them in a paper towel and serve.
Reed Hellman is a professional writer living in Alberton, Maryland. Email your questions and comments to RHWay2Go@gmail.com.