Advantages Great atmosphere. A unique and social dining experience.
Disadvantages Mess, crab guts, working hard for your food!
A recent trip to the USA for a three day conference near our corporate headquarters presented an eagerly anticipated opportunity to indulge in some shameless nostalgia. I spent most of my formative years and early adult life in New York and at various other cities up and down the Eastern seaboard, most notably Boston and Washington DC. It was the proximity of our offices to the latter that had me particularly excited, as the agenda promised a trip to Maryland’s state capital, Annapolis, home of the US Naval Academy and, perhaps more importantly for me, Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn, a local institution rightly famed for its Maryland Blue Crab, freshly hauled in from the waters of the Chesapeake.
Getting to Cantler’s is as much of an experience as eating there. Having spent an hour or so walking the picturesque streets of downtown Annapolis and trying the local beer, we boarded a mini-bus, which took us on Route 450 across the Severn River (quite a bit smaller than its namesake in Wales) onto the 648 for a little while, before turning down Forest Beach Road. At this point, I could hear faint strains of “Duelling Banjos” take hold in my overactive imagination as we travelled down a single lane road that offered a wide variety of scary looking accommodation, interspersed with some lush looking houses. Before long, we pitched up at Cantler’s on Mill Creek and clambered out of the bus. The trip took no more than 15 minutes, and given its location, you really need a car or taxi (or boat, should you be so lucky!) to get there. Cantler’s is a family run business that has been around since 1974. It’s eponymous owner worked as a waterman on Chesapeake Bay.
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