Brunch at The Pier, Solomons, Calvert County, Maryland

Where to eat after church on a Sunday? There are lots of attractive choices, but we decided on The Pier, shown here in warmer weather.

The Pier was the first place we ate on our exploratory trip to Cove Point. That was during the spring of 2020, the depths of COVID, when nothing was hitting on all cylinders, and the food was, well, mediocre, enough to keep us away for a long time. Nancy and I had been there more recently, see here, and on that trip the first thing Nancy said on tasting her lunch was, “They have a new chef!” A very talented chef.

We reported the news to Michael and Liza, and that got us all, grownups and Ella and Lily, headed to brunch at The Pier. The welcoming holiday setting

was disturbed by a celebrity. Lily was excited (and bashful).

There was a 15 or so minute wait (next time we’ll make a reservation), but we had a nice table with water views, which are all but inescapable at The Pier, and were greeted by a very nice hostess.

I’ll interrupt myself to talk about the service, which I mentioned in my earlier post on the Pier. The service is great, just great. It is prompt, cheerful, and attentive. Our server never hovered, but was always at hand. The water view is a treat, even in the winter when boaters are scarce, and despite the size and energy of the crowd, the noise level stayed comfortably low — except when a certain someone came around.

On Sundays The Pier offers a choice between the regular menu and a buffet. The buffet offers a multitude of choices,

and Michael and I both succumbed, while Nancy and Liza ordered fish and shrimp tacos, respectively, from the regular menu. Here are Nancy’s tacos from our earlier visit.

They were both mightily pleased. Here’s my plate.

If I were completely honest I’d call that my starter plate.

I approach buffets with lower-than-usual expectations, but this buffet was a hit. The eggs were moist, the bacon and the breakfast sausage were well cooked, those potatoes were nice, and the shrimp and grits were seasoned well, with a nice little after-glow. The sausage gravy potatoes sat on a nice biscuit half and the creamed chip beef on a shingle was the best I’ve had since … I don’t know when. It was worlds better than at the otherwise excellent College Park Diner, and reminds you why the dish is still popular despite the GI terminology.

Michael and I only scratched the surface of the buffet, with no roast beef or chilled shrimp (with a dish of horseradish so you could supercharge the cocktail sauce), and no dessert. But then I had to get back to a friend’s Open House and to make my extra special red beans and rice for our Sunday family supper. (Recipe here.)

Oh, Ella had chicken tenders with applesauce, and Lily had a cheeseburger with fries. Both were well received. I sampled the fries, and they had a nice texture and a good potato flavor. The servings were very generous, especially for a three and a five year old. Excuse me, 3 1/2 and almost six.

It was a fine meal, with fresh and flavorful food, outstanding service, and a Grinch for the girls. Eating with people you love adds something to a meal. You should take the family or go with a group of friends.


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