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Worth the Trip

Maryland’s CD Cafe does not disappoint

November-December 2023

  • Crab cake sandwich with green goddess dressing and creole potato salad
  • The CD Cafe is a cozy restaurant that serves up big flavors.
  • Savory walnut crust cheesecake with roasted red pepper honey glaze
  • Lump crab and corn hushpuppies, served atop a tangy coleslaw
  • Beef tips saltado with jasmine rice and sidewinder fries
  • Vanilla crème brûlée
  • Chocolate ganache key lime semifreddo
  • The CD Cafe on Solomon’s Island, Md., is situated just blocks from a beautiful boardwalk.

by Peggy Hyland, Contributing Columnist

The CD Cafe on Solomon’s Island, Md., is situated just blocks from a beautiful boardwalk. The cozy restaurant has large windows looking out toward the water. It is a small space that serves up big flavors.

My sister-in-law and I went together, and as we perused the menu and made our choices, she asked if we really wanted crab dishes for both appetizers and our main courses.

I laughed and said, “Welcome to Maryland!”

We started with the lump crab and corn hushpuppies, which were a treat to the senses from the moment we cracked them open. The stereotypical dense, overly breaded hushpuppies were nowhere to be found. These hushpuppies were pillowy delights, served atop a creamy, tangy coleslaw with caraway and mustard.

The accompanying savory walnut-crust cheesecake was also divine, with a heavenly roasted red pepper honey glaze and warm herbed focaccia. The balance of the goat and cream cheeses with the glaze was exceptional.

Growing up with Maryland crab cakes, I was spoiled for life early on. Nothing else ever comes close for me, so it was a rare treat to find some that not only met my standards but exceeded them. There was just enough filler to hold them together, and the house-made green goddess dressing gave it a stellar touch. They were quite possibly the best crab cakes I’ve ever had.

We asked for a suggestion on the side dish and our server recommended the creole potato salad. It has a seasoning blend that is not too spicy but builds over time, making it a great companion to the crab cake sandwich.

The beef tips saltado came with tender chunks of beef and a hearty mix of peppers and red onions over jasmine rice with a sauce that hits all the high notes: earthy, smoky and rich. It was served with the cafe’s sidewinder fries, a thick-cut curly fry that happily swam in the sauce from the beef tips.

The dessert choices vary, but I picked the always-available chocolate ganache key lime semifreddo. I was intrigued by this combination of flavors, but one bite showed me why it is the cafe’s most popular offering. It was the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, creamy and firm, with the slight bitterness of the chocolate harmonizing as each bite warmed on the tongue.

Not to be outdone, the vanilla crème brûlée was an absolute star. The silky consistency was a delicate delight, with the perfect amount of crackly crust on top. The crème brûlée is always on the menu, with a variety of flavors, but the simplicity of the vanilla version let the simply flawless texture shine.

The service was friendly and attentive. The food came out quickly without feeling rushed. We were lucky to have gotten there early because it filled up quickly, although the wait was never long, and they offered call-ahead seating.

It had been almost 20 years since I visited Solomon’s Island, but The CD Cafe is already calling me back.

The CD Cafe

14350 Solomon’s Island Road South, Solomons, MD 20688

Phone: (410) 326-3877

Hours: Dinner every night, 4-9 p.m.; Lunch Monday/Friday/Saturday 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Website: thecdcafe.com

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