Classic Maryland: Brunch at Annapolis’ Treaty of Paris {Classic Article}

Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

Are you new to Maryland or have visitors in from out of town? You will want to treat them and yourself to the authentic Colonial ambiance and classic Maryland cuisine at the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty of Paris is ensconced in the historic Maryland Inn: in use as a hotel dating from 1784. The Maryland Inn is right in the midst of “Historic Annapolis”, within walking distance of the state capitol, the dock and the Naval Academy. Though Annapolis is a very popular destination, don’t worry about parking! You can have your car valet parked at the Governor Calvert House, another property owned by Maryland Inn’s owners. If you don’t want to walk over, they will drive you. Once inside the Maryland Inn, you will be fascinated by maze of pathways, side rooms and antique documents from the War of 1812 and the Civil War: you can just imagine the political wranglings and side dealings that must have occurred in days of yore! The Treaty of Paris is still a popular venue for lobbyists — deals and negotiations are still going strong. In April 2004, the Treaty of Paris was inducted into the Hospitality Hall of Honor by the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

The Hunt Board Buffet, as the Treaty of Paris’ brunch is called, is popular with locals as well as tourists — that’s how you know it’s good! Their brunch spans a convenient four and a half hours, so no matter if you are more the early riser type or the sleepy head type, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself. There isn’t a specific dress code, but I would describe the prevailing dress as what you’d wear to work on a casual Friday. Soft classic jazz, such as vintage Louis Armstrong, was playing in the background. The display of the food on the buffet is very nice; too many restaurants slop out a buffet that looks like I raided my fridge. Treaty of Paris had beautiful embellishments on the tables as antique wine bottles, flowers and freshly cut artichokes. The dining room has the original wood beamed ceilings and exposed brick.

The brunch is not only good-looking, but it’s also a good value. For $18, you will even get your Sunday morning cocktail. I ordered a Bloody Mary; Treaty of Paris makes theirs with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and horseradish. Our server, Frank, was excellent. He gave the kind of attention to diners that you usually only see with evening fine dining. After we had finished our first plate, Frank brought over a hot finger bowl studded with lemons.

The food on the buffet has a classic Maryland feel. I sampled a potato salad that was loaded with big chunks of various kinds of seafood. There were different pasta salads, as well. If it isn’t breakfast for you without a Danish, they had several fruit varieties. I go for fresh fruit, myself, and the buffet had plenty: pineapple, strawberries, grapes and melon. Dining Companion ate the melon, I like the other kinds.

Adding to the Maryland cuisine was a seafood section, with steamed shrimp and crab legs. Well, not Blue Crab legs, but they were huge and enjoyable.

As for hot items, there were scrambled eggs, home fries, French Toast and bacon. The bacon was thoughtfully laid out on French bread, so as to absorb excess grease. Also featured was Maryland fried chicken, which if you’ve never tried, you must! Marylanders coat their chicken with an egg based batter and it’s different from anywhere else.

Dining Companion is more a traditional breakfast person that I; he headed straight for the chef’s omelet station. His beautiful omelet was chock full of fresh vegetables, ham and cheese. The chef also carved us some pork loin, which was nicely seasoned.

Dining Companion and I have fallen into the habit of wanting desserts with our brunch and Treaty of Paris fits the bill. There were several choices; I picked a great strawberry cream shortcake. It had a tender, flaky crust and sweet cream filling. Dining Companion scarfed up his yellow cake with chocolate icing. To accompany our treats, Frank brewed us a fresh pot of strong coffee and brought a pitcher of cream, which is always good.

Come with your guests for some real Maryland hospitality at the Treaty of Paris.
Treaty of Paris/ Maryland Inn
Corner of Main and Duke of Gloucester Streets
Annapolis, MD 21404
Sunday Brunch 10:00- 2:30

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