Rick was living in Annapolis when we first started dating. He lived in a nice one bedroom apartment in town, but outside the historic district. Like many people nowadays, we met online via a dating site. This was before facebook and I didn’t have a cell phone at the time, so we had to use email. After exchanging a few emails (in which I noticed he could spell and use your and you’re properly) he rode down to the Eastern Shore in his red Miata convertible to take me out to dinner. Thus began our long distance relationship, ten years ago this week.
It was more than a year before we were “exclusive” and a couple years after that before we moved in together. He had elderly parents to look after, and I still had children living at home. We made it work and learned how to miss the traffic coming across the Chesapeake Bay bridge in either direction.
Moving in with me meant Rick had to give up access to his favorite grocery stores, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Shopper’s Food Warehouse. He lost access to his favorite Spanish brandy, too. It also meant he was deprived of his favorite restaurants and pizza place. (He still insists the pizza on the Eastern Shore can’t compete). Fortunately, he felt I was worth the sacrifice and Annapolis is close enough for regular day trips in order to restock our bar and pantry plus grab a bite to eat in some of his favorite eateries.
Annapolis has a laid back vibe, at least in the center of town where it’s not unusual to see people biking, jogging or taking a stroll, with or without a dog. If you walk around downtown you’ll find plenty of places to eat and shop and your dog will find cool water to drink. The Naval Academy is located near the city dock and you’ll often see a $40 million yacht tied up.
The center of the city is relatively small, although there’s been plenty of urban sprawl out from the business district. Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and is home to an interesting array of buildings. In the historic district they are mostly colonials but many date from the turn of the last century. One of my favorite buildings is the Art Deco theatre on Maryland Avenue which currently houses a record (the old fashioned kind) store.
Across the street from the blue and white theater is one of our favorite places to eat in Annapolis: Galway Bay Irish Pub. If you follow the link to their web page you’ll find a clip from their segment on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We love the fish and chips there, but for a change I ordered their sandwich of the day which turned out to be an Irish BBQ sandwich.
Now, you know down South the BBQ is often served with coleslaw, right? The Irish BBQ sandwich consists of thinly sliced pork tenderloin served on a potato roll and dressed with a Jameson Whiskey BBQ sauce. It’s topped with an almost sauerkraut like tangy coleslaw with fries on the side. Let me say it’s just about perfect and easy to reproduce at home.
Start with a vinegar based slaw recipe, like this one from Rachel Ray. While the flavors develop in the slaw, make your BBQ sauce. There are plenty of BBQ sauces available on the market, but they are really easy to make at home. We used a bourbon we already had on hand instead of Jameson and I followed Lisa’s recipe from Cooking With Curls. The only change I made was to reduce the sugar to 1 cup. It would be fine to me with even less sugar but my son– who puts BBQ sauce on just about everything– absolutely loved it. (The next day, he actually looked for the leftover sauce in the fridge instead of reaching for the bottle he usually keeps on the door).
For the meat, I sliced a small pork roast as thinly as possible and pan fried the pieces in a little olive oil and red pepper flake. It only took a couple minutes per side to cook the meat which was then tossed with some of the BBQ sauce. More was added as the sandwiches were assembled.
This my friends was a good sandwich and Lisa’s BBQ Sauce really made a nice contrast to the tang of the cole slaw. We’ll be making this one again and again. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure the sauce will work with chicken and tofu, too.
Rick and I were in Annapolis again this week where we ate at The Ram’s Head Tavern and then made sure to hit our favorite shops to restock the pantry. If you decide to visit Annapolis, you may want to plan to stay overnight as the city has a vibrant night life and it’s worthwhile to tour the Naval Academy and visit some of the historic sites. Once graduation is over at the Academy and St. John’s you’ll be able to find accommodations. You’ll find the Visitor’s Guide to be helpful in planning your trip.