Sunday, March 27, 2011

Postcard from Poplar Springs

A few weeks back, Mama Wordbones clipped a review from The Sun about a new restaurant in Mount Airy called Drovers Grill & Wine Co. What caught her eye was the fact they serve only native food from Maryland. Staying true to form, the Drover Grill also exclusively serves Maryland wines. Though I was admittedly a little less than enthusiastic about a place that only served Maryland wines I was up for the road trip.  We put it on our list of places to check out.
Last night we checked it out.

First of all, the Drover Grill & Wine Co. is not in Mount Airy. It’s in Poplar Springs. Mount Airy is across the border. Poplar Springs is in HoCo. Of course Mount Airy is a much larger community and it’s the next town over. It’s a better point of reference for anyone outside of the I-70 corridor so it is completely understandable to see why they’d say they were in Mount Airy. I mean, who’s ever heard of Poplar Springs.

Okay, I had. Back in the day when I was doing a fair amount of road biking, our Sunday group ride often scooted through this blip on the map along Old Frederick Road. Still, it could easily be described as a remote corner of HoCo. Its claim to fame is being the midpoint between Baltimore and Frederick.

Anyway, it’s a cozy little restaurant, perhaps no more than sixty seats. Apparently in a former life it was place called the Country Kettle. Perhaps in homage to its restaurant roots there is large copper kettle in the middle of the dining room that now serves as wine station.

Before dinner we stopped in the bar, adjacent to the dining room. Jennifer, the bartender from Columbia, offered a tasting of the two whites available by glass and three reds. We didn’t like any of them. Not to be deterred, I took a look at the wine list and noticed that they carried Black Ankle by the bottle. I had heard good things about Black Ankle so we ordered a bottle of Rolling Hills. It was most excellent.

Others do a much better job of reviewing restaurants so I’ll refrain from going into detail about our dinner. Suffice it to say that the atmosphere was pleasant, the waiter knowledgeable and attentive (perhaps a tad overly so) and the meal enjoyable. 
We will likely go back, if only for the Black Ankle and an artisanal cheese plate on the patio under the stars.
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