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Cecil County Life

Port Deposit: The scintillating tastes of memory

Dec 31, 2020 12:02PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Jim Coarse
Text by Richard L. Gaw

This is a photo essay about how food has come to embody the personality of a Cecil County town, but as the next few pages will reveal, there are no photographs of food.

Rather, this photo essay is meant entirely to take its readers on a nostalgic trip to the very recent past and call on them to use their powers of taste and memory in order to remind them that dining in nearby Port Deposit has become the embodiment of what it means to be a foodie town.  

This photo essay, really, is a journey of words intended to stir up emotions. With this essay, it is our intention to recall the moments you have spent in the company of friends and family around a restaurant table, or bellied up beside a dockside bar on a summer evening. We wish to bring life again to that feeling of anticipation you have when a favorite entrée arrives before you and there is no better place to be and the world just seems perfect.

You already know the mental photographs. It’s inhaling the sweet summer breezes on the deck at Lee’s Landing Dock Bar, where Key West meets the flavors of down home Maryland on the banks of the Susquehanna… It’s a rotating menu of nearly one dozen beers on tap at the Granite Run Taproom on a Saturday night, while a band plays your favorite songs from when you were a teenager…It’s the first bite on Half-Price Burger Night at Old South Smokehouse, accompanied by an overstuffed spud…

It’s the Tidewater Chicken Breast stuffed with ham and crabmeat at topped with imperial sauce at the Union Hotel Restaurant & Tavern, or the Oysters Smithfield prepared with country ham and fresh spinach…It’s a heaping slice at D’lorenzo’s Pizza and Grill after a descent down the Tome Steps…It’s Chef Bob Steele’s Hawaiian French Toast during a lazy Sunday brunch at Backfin Blues Bar & Grill, or tucking into the filet Au Poivre at a special occasion dinner…

We request of you only this: To have hope and think big. The culinary journey of Port Deposit that you’ve just been on in your memory will someday be a delicious reality again, and we promise that it will arrive in the form of a bountiful feast that all of us will savor.

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