Today happened to be my wife's B-day. Since we were both getting "cabin fever" from the relentless days of heat and rain, we decided to get in the car and go for a drive (it was just under 90 for the first time in weeks). Since this is the B-day that she could qualify for Soc security, we decided to blow what might be her entire first check and have lunch somewhere (When she finally gets around to drawing that, it will most likely the Arches on a coupon!)
Years and years ago we had stopped at Shaeffers(sp) on the canal with our teenage kids and thought it would make for an interesting destination. Of course, being old and GPS-less, we got on the wrong road south (896) went over that bridge and then took the route south of the canal to Chesapeake City. Since it was still a bit early, we parked in town and decided to wander around a while and hit upon the Bayard House right on the canal across from Schaeffers.
They have 2 sort of operations in the same bldg. a nice diningroom/deck upstairs and The hole in the Wall Bar downstairs with tables outside on a patio....both covered by an awning and totally al fresco. We opted for the awninged area and were glad we did. Nice breeze...and not as crowded as upstairs.
Service was wonderful and food was good if not overwhelmingly spectacular or out of the ordinary (we never expected it would be - here it is the "scene" as much as it is the pushing of gourmet limits) They have a sunday brunch from 11-2 but since all items have eggs (not my fav) and most have crab (neither of us get crazy for crab), we ate from the regular menu.
Nice choice of appetizers, Salads, and Entrees as well as sandwiches.
Even before we got out drink order taken we were served a plate of crackers and breads with a cheese spread that was delightful. Since most ppl had gone 'upstairs" we were worried at first about service, but it was incredibly prompt, fun, and most important correct! Kudos to Julius(?) for putting up with my wife's changing whims ( It was her birthday)...but most importantly, remembering that she likes a glass of ice on the side with her wine. 70 % of waitstaff forget that.
We opted for a chicken salad club for my wife and burger for me. I decided to splurge on some fried oysters beforehand. They also had them in sandwich form and raw.
The Oysters..........OMG! Despite my name, I might be convinced to change it! Perfectly breaded, with just the right hint of brine, they(6, for $13, I think) were served with 2 lemon slices(!) and a delicious aoli mayo dip on the side that for once ENHANCED the taste of the oysters without over powering them. They are worth a trip back just for them!
The Sandwiches came with a choice of regular fries or sweet potato fries. Uncharacteristically for us, we both chose regular fries (usually we'll split), but they were perfectly fried. The Chicken salad club was humongous and a 1/4 to a half could have made a ride back with us if it hadn't been such a hot day to leave it in the car while we meandered around. My wife says it was very good, even tho she left almost a 1/3rd.
The burger was..........ok.........nothing special, a bit overcooked from the medium ordered, but I'm getting used to that
Had Mimosa while watching the boats go up and down the canal and munching on the cheese. We each had 2 glasses of house wine. And the Bill came to $77 before tip. We had not the room left for what I am told are fine desserts, so passed..but after a walk around town we had spied a little IC place a few doors away and went in to get a lovely cone (and enjoy their A/C for a bit). They have 6-8 picnic tables outside, most with umbrellas so you can enjoy the view. It was so hot, that my wife had to go back in and ask for a dish and spoon for her dble dip cone since it was melting so fast in the heat outside.
Definitely worth the trip! Would Schaeffers have been better? Hard to say....been at least a decade since we were there. But there's more "funky things to visit/see" on our side of the canal and an added bonus is the way the building(supposedly the oldest in CBC) and awning protect you from the heat..........Schaeffers has umbrella tables and I think gets more direct sunlight. Just another reason to go back!....and the Bayard House is Definitely worth a return!