The Lighthouse (Again), Solomons, Maryland

The Lighthouse is a great setting for a meal. There’s good food, friendly service, and a view of the marinas at the confluence of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay. Nancy and I have enjoyed meals there before (see here), and it was a natural choice to take Al Lang for an afternoon meal.

Al is a key member of the Starbucks Morning Discussion Group that meets more or less daily on upper Connecticut Avenue near the DC-Maryland line. Al is key because, as the owner of a business (payroll and benefits software), he has a different perspective on many things than the organization-bound majority of the group, and of Washington as a whole. That is to say that he thinks that much of what Washington does is crazy, which is indeed often the case, as everyone will agree. (We’ll disagree as to which specific actions of Washington are crazy, but the premise that Washington suffers periodic bouts of madness is beyond cavil.) Al is thoughtful and very effective in making his views heard, if not always accepted, but Al accepts even heated disagreement without a trace of rancor. That’s not a given these days.

We sat on the first level deck level, and looked over the water enjoying the breeze and the afternoon shade. The server brought drinks and took our order. Al ordered some fried pickle chips for the table,

and asked if he could get a wedge salad with a crab cake. That was a new one for the server, but she shrugged, and said sure.

I ordered the soft-shell crab special, and stuck with the Old Bay chips rather than upgrading to onion rings.

The fried dill pickles were very good. There was a light touch of Old Bay in the breading, just the right touch. They came fresh from the frier, and were very tasty. Order some.

The wedge salad looked really good, and I’ll probably order one on my next trip. The crab cake looked good, and Al liked it. Al grew up in Baltimore, and to me that spells crab cake credibility.

My soft-shell crab arrived piping hot and well cooked. The one problem was a too-thick bun. (Why doesn’t everyone use Martin’s Potato Rolls?) Once I nibbled away the claws and legs, my first bite tasted mainly of bread. Ever resourceful, I jettisoned the top bun and ate it as an open face sandwich. That was a good move. It would have been a sensational move if I’d also pierced the body of the crab to let out some heat before I bit into it. It really was piping hot. I gave it a second to cool, and it was delicious. The chips were good. I dipped some in the cocktail sauce, which I thought needed more horseradish — I always think that cocktail sauces could use horseradish — and enjoyed them.

It was a good meal all around. The service was prompt and friendly. The view was oh, so relaxing, and the food hit the mark. And best of all was the chance to spend some one-on-one time with someone I rarely get to talk to outside a group setting. There’s real value in that. You should call someone and have a relaxed lunch at the Lighthouse.

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