Potato Valley Cafe

I love potatoes. We’ve been over this. When my aunt told me about a restaurant in Annapolis whose menu was mostly comprised of loaded baked potato combinations, I knew I had to go. But I put it off because Annapolis is crowded and far away and there’s no parking. Luckily, a few weeks ago, my darling friend Caitlin had to go to our nation’s original capital anyway to pick up some papers for some running event she signed up for (weirdo) so we made a date of papers and potatoes.

Potato Valley Cafe

It’s the concept of the Potato Valley Cafe that drew me in like a moth to the flame. Who makes a restaurant about potatoes? Geniuses! Before we got there I told Caitlin, “There is a strong possibility that these potatoes have no chance of meeting my expectations. I’m unduly excited about them”.

Long story short, the potato exceeded expectations. It was perfectly baked with crispy skin and fluffy insides. I chose the broccoli, blue cheese and cheddar potato. It came topped with broccoli, blue cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, a salad-bar’s worth of vegetables, and DANISH ROASTED ONIONS (which are kind of like the onions you put on top of green bean casserole but a million times better). I bought a bag of those onions to take home. More on those on another day. Next time I’m going to try the spinach, feta, and roasted garlic potato because it, too, sounds mighty fine.

Potato Valley Cafe Sandwich and Potato

Caitlin got the prettiest veggie sandwich in the world. Look at the colors! In retrospect, she should have added avocado to it, but by the time we realized it was an option, it had been half eaten.  That picture on the right is what was left of my potato after my hunger had been sated. It didn’t stand a chance.

If you like potatoes, cheese, crispy onions, food, joy, or America, you need to go to Annapolis and eat a potato at Potato Valley Cafe.

Potato Valley Cafe

47 State Circle. #1
Annapolis, MD 21401

  1. What! They let you take home a bag of the onions!!!??? I am going to Annapolis!

    Amy — June 27, 2011
    1. reply
cancel reply

Richardson Farms

Richardson Farms

A few months ago my dad and I went to Richardson Farms Market in White Marsh for some lunch. Richardson Farms is a family operated farm that is reportedly famous for growing kale, collard greens, and sweet corn. They have branched out and done some networking to fill the shelves at the market, but most everything they sell is locally made. Before we placed our orders at the deli, we poked around the market and found some massive rolls of fresh butter, quarts of local ice cream, homemade chicken stock, Richardson Farms’ own honey, and bags of fresh green beans. I bought a quart of Kilby ice cream and ate most of it myself. One of my proud moments.

Richardson Farms Cheese and Produce

Looking around at all the farm-fresh produce reminded us why we really came to the market – lunch, and Richardson Farms makes a mean one. Diners can choose from fresh roasted chicken quarters, massive sandwiches, homemade soups, salads, loaded potatoes, and a selection of delicious sides. The dish that inspired our trip was a horseradish macaroni and cheese that my dad had tried on a previous visit. We were a little disappointed that it wasn’t there when we came back, but I appreciate a rotating menu, so I forgave them and ordered a loaded potato with an Italian salad and fresh squeezed lemonade. The potato was delicious, but the salad was my favorite, made with fresh veggies, crunchy romaine, heaps of cheese and salami in a garlicky dressing. If I’d slapped it on some bread it could have been a sandwich.

Richardson Farms Dishes and Ice Cream

As much as I loved my lunch, my dad’s picks stole the show. He chose a turkey and avocado club sandwich with a side of chipotle cheddar grits. The sandwich was made with fresh, high quality ingredients, and the grits were positively decadent. I had lunch envy.

Richardson Farms Turkey and Avocado Club

The shelves and fridges at Richardson Farms Market offer customers a great selection of the best food our area has to offer, and the kitchen and deli cook up well-made, proper comfort food that is hard to beat. In the words of fellow food enthusiast, Liz Lemon, you “want to go to there”.

Richardson Farms Market

5900 Ebenezer Road

White Marsh, MD 21162

*Forgive the rather pathetic quality of these pictures. Cody, the talented one, was unable to accompany me on this little excursion and I was left to fend for myself with naught but an iphone to capture this lovely place.

  1. your posts make me wonder why i don't spend more weekends in maryland. gah.

    hannah — June 12, 2011
    1. reply
  2. Who knew? I grew up in this area and this was just "the chicken farm" where you could get fresh eggs and poultry, maybe some local veggies in the summer. It's great when businesses re-invent themselves! Another place to add to my list of places I NEED to try. Thanks

    kim p — June 13, 2011
    1. reply

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Tasty Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I used to work at an adorable café in Salt Lake City that made these great grilled sandwiches with roasted pear chutney and thick slices of brie. I had a craving for one the other day and tried my best to re-create one from memory. I don’t have access to Crumb Brother’s ciabatta bread here in Maryland, so I made do with a crusty French loaf from the supermarket. The end result is more savory than sweet, since the pears are roasted with balsamic vinegar and salted, and the creamy richness of the brie is tempered with the sinus-clearing heat of the mustard. All in all it’s a fantastic sandwich, and it’s quite easy to make. This sandwich would be on the regular dinner rotation in my house if I didn’t live with such picky eaters. Make one and eat it for me. Please.

Grilled Pear and Brie Sandwich

Makes 8 sandwiches


2 slightly unripe pears, any variety you like (super-ripe pears will fall apart with roasting)

1 granny smith apple

1 medium red onion

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. melted butter

16 slices of crusty bread – French, ciabatta, etc.

1 small wheel of brie

softened butter – enough to lightly cover 16 slices of bread

Mustard – Dijon, whole grain, or German

salt and pepper



1. Dice the pears, apple, and onion, toss with melted butter and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until everything is soft and caramelized.

2. Assemble sandwiches by layering 3 Tbsp. of the pear and onion mixture, 2 tsp. mustard (less if your mustard is very strong), and 3-4 thick slices of brie between slices of buttered bread. Make sure the buttered side is facing out.

3. Grill the sandwiches in a pan or on a griddle over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Work in batches if necessary and store the sandwiches in a warm oven until ready to serve.

  1. This sounds delicious!

    Amy — June 27, 2011
    1. reply
  2. This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe. Simon

    plasterers bristol — May 14, 2015
    1. reply
cancel reply