Summer in Eastport can be very picturesque. With the little drawbridge, the beautiful sailboats and the million-dollar homes, you almost get the feeling that you are in a New England fishing village.
This fantasy is accented nicely by spending some time at Davis’ Pub. It’s even better if you get there by water taxi.
This local watering hole and restaurant sits on a street corner surrounded by homes and across from a small dock. We arrived on a busy Saturday evening, and the place was packed. There were tables along the outside filled with happy diners. I thought we might have to wait an hour or so to get a table, but when an inside spot was offered, we jumped on it.
I am actually glad we ended up going in. Although it was tight quarters, inside Davis’ was pretty cool. Everything was made of hard wood, with a bar dominating the main room and exposed beams in the ceiling. There were tons of pictures of the Blue Angels, along with other aviation and nautical memorabilia on the walls. It reminded me of a cross between a seaside tavern and an Irish pub.
Sitting in a secondary room nearer the kitchen, we decided to go native and order the fish and chips ($16) as a starter, along with a couple of beers. I ordered a Yuengling on tap, while my wife, Chandra, chose a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. This was a sour and sweet beer with lemonade that tasted kind of like Fruit Loops.
The fish and chips looked and tasted fantastic. This was not the normal fish and chips that you get everywhere. The fish was coated in a really thin and crispy fried batter that accented the fresh and flaky cod perfectly. The shoestring fries were, unfortunately, a bit of a letdown. They tasted like they’d been sitting around a while. I would have much preferred a thick-cut fry. The coleslaw, on the other hand, had a great texture with just the right amount of sweetness to complement the fish.
This was a great start to our meal, despite the fries, and we sat back and enjoyed the atmosphere. Even though the place was packed, everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves. Whether or not diners are from the neighborhood, they’ll feel like they belong.
After a second beer each, we ordered our main courses. Chandra chose the tuna salad wrap special ($7). This was light and flavorful, with tomatoes and lettuce in a sun-dried tomato tortilla. The fresh tuna was much better than the canned fish that most places use. The red bliss potato salad had bits of real bacon in it and went with the wrap nicely.
I had the corned beef reuben ($10.50), which was a large portion of quality corned beef on really good rye bread. The proportions of sauerkraut and dressing were spot on, and everything was melted perfectly. This sandwich was delicious.
Although we were starting to get full, we wanted something sweet to end the meal. The only dessert available that day was a stars-and-stripes Smith Island cake, so we decided to give it a whirl, along with a couple of coffees. Like most of the Smith Island cakes, the multiple thin layers of this cake gave it a light, enjoyable texture. This version had colored cake to give it a red, white and blue theme. The dessert itself was a little overly sweet, but it complemented our coffee well enough.
All-in-all we enjoyed Davis’ Pub very much. For a small bar, they really pay attention to good food. The servers were pleasant, and the atmosphere couldn’t be beat. I look forward to going back, trying more of the menu and pretending to be one of the locals for a while longer.
WHERE: 400 Chester Ave., Annapolis
KITCHEN HOURS: Full menu served 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Light fare served until 1 a.m.
LUNCH/DINNER PRICES: $8-$19
RESERVATIONS: Not required
CREDIT CARDS: All major cards