Galesville is an idyllic slice of heaven just 15 minutes south of Annapolis on the lovely West River. When you feel the need to just get away from traffic and the rush of daily life, a trip to Big Mary’s Dock Bar or Pirate’s Cove may be just the respite you need. Each time I visit Galesville, I am grateful for the beauty of this area.
On an extremely hot Wednesday evening, I was hoping to find a cool drink and a cool breeze on Big Mary’s Dock Bar while catching the Wednesday night sailboat races. As the old song by the band Meal Loaf says, “Two out of three aint bad.” The cool breeze was nowhere to be found.
I did, however, find my cool drink in the form of Electric Lemonade. This drink combined a little sour and a little sweet in just the right combination to be totally refreshing. With the ingredients listed on the menu, it will be one to try at home with a little experimentation as to proportions of ingredients. According to the menu, Electric Lemonade is made of Grey Goose Citron Vodka, Splash of Sour, Lemon Lime Soda and Triple Sec.
My friend ordered an Orange Crush and after being invited to take a taste, I believe it is my new number one crush in the area, surpassing my prior favorite up the road (or up the bay depending on your mode of transportation). This was absolutely the “orangiest” Crush I have ever tasted and as much as I hate to it admit it, even better than the ones I make at home. The best Crushes are made with Triple Sec, which many bars omit, and I think the generous splash of this, real oranges and the use of orange vodka made this one superior.
Although we saw a few of the sailboat crews preparing their boats for the evening races at the marina docks in front of our table, it was just too hot to stay outside and we moved into the bar at the adjoining Pirate’s Cove Restaurant. A return trip on a less tropical evening to get my own crush and to hear live music which is offered most Fridays and Saturdays from 6-10 p.m. is on my “to do” list before summer ends. (Check entertainment schedule at http://www.piratescovemd.com/eventsandlivemusic.html) The dock bar is open spring and summer Wednesday and Thursday from 5-9 and Friday from 5-10 p.m. Saturday hours are 1-10 p.m and Sundays from 1-8 p.m.
Although the inside bar at Pirate’s Cove is far less “Margaritaville” than Big Mary’s, it also overlooks the marina and West River, so we still had a beautiful view and also great air conditioning. The bar is large with ample seating at the bar or tables. In this bar, Happy Hour is held Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. The bar menu offers a dozen plates that average $5.00 less than non-happy hour prices. It is seafood heavy with such favorites as crab dip, oysters Rockefeller, and both steamed mussels and shrimp. There are some landlubber items as well, including chicken tenders and dry rubbed chicken wings.
I decided to try “Ship Wreck Shrimp.” For only $5.00, this was a generous portion of fried shrimp with a ginger and honey sauce. My friend ordered Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Salad for $7.00. This was also a large portion which she said was quite good and after eating it, she stated she would not be needing dinner.
Happy Hour drink specials inside include $3 domestic bottled and draft beer, $4 imported bottles and craft beer and $3.50 house wines and rail drinks so it is one of the best bargains in the area.
If you don’t fill up at Happy Hour, the restaurant has a large inside porch area, outside seating, and an inside dining room. All have a view of the river.
Although driving down Mayo Road en route to Galesville can be a challenge at rush hour, once you arrive at Big Mary’s Dock Bar and Pirate’s Cove at 4817 Riverside Drive, it will be worth it as you relax in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings and enjoy some excellent cocktails.
Photos courtesy of Natalie Spong