Over the past two centuries, travelers and neighbors alike have stopped for a hearty meal at the spot where Hoover's Restaurant now stands. In the early 1800s men on horseback rode up to what was John Duff’s Tavern and the property was home to an ice-cream stand in the 1940s. Today, the historic site is the location of a German-American restaurant run by third-generation chefs Bob and Amanda Hoover. They've stepped into the kitchen to finish what their family started, churning out a hearty spread of German and American favorites, from wiener schnitzel and kielbasa to roast chicken and Maryland crab cakes. And every October and April, right when the first Bavarian flags start fluttering down from beerlogged clouds, they spread out their popular Oktoberfest buffet. Hoover’s Restaurant does not serve alcohol and advises customers to bring their own beers, wines, and spirits.
Barrel Junction is the product of 20 years of cooking and soul-searching. While Ronald A. DeLuca Jr.'s glittering trophy case full of gold-plated steaks is a testament to the virtuosity displayed at his four previous restaurants?among them Blue and Pangea?his true culinary passion is something simpler: "fresh, satisfying comfort food," to quote the chef himself. After impressing the critics at his Pittsburgh-area restaurants, he spent six months operating a specialty taco and hot-dog restaurant in a rustic corner of Colorado. His penchant for approachable food reignited, DeLuca returned to open Barrel Junction, where he fuses his critically acclaimed technique with his love for comfort and simplicity. A carefully selected roster of 22 craft beers complements burgers and barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs heaped with toppings, and hand-tossed white, red, and deep-dish pizzas.
The chicken wings draw attention, and the fried-fish sandwich wins awards, but with 50 years of history behind it, Sparky's Spot is just as popular for its community of dedicated staffers. The familiar faces include those of servers Evie and Carolyn, who have lobbed hoagies and house-made soups onto plates for years. They also include those of Joe and Joyce, who have operated Sparky's since 2006, the year fish sandwiches were federally legalized. With its surplus of warm smiles and its rotating menu of from-scratch comfort cuisine?not to mention its three TVs and cozy atmosphere?Sparky's will continue to be the Spot to which many hungry locals flock.
Blue Dining’s newly remodeled, 36-seat dining room is a sight to behold, but guests often have a hard time ungluing their eyes from a menu divided almost equally between seafood and meat entrees. This menu can be customized for private parties, though it’s hard to improve on a regular selection that includes lobster risotto, Maryland crab cakes, and sushi-grade ahi tuna alongside grilled racks of lamb. On “Diva Tuesdays,” live entertainment distracts guests from their attempts to memorize all 50 varieties of vodka on offer at the upscale bar.
The cooks at EDO prepare dozens of sushi and sashimi dishes, including 28 house specialties, alongside teriyaki and hibachi entrees and Thai curries and noodle dishes. Sushi rolls feature staples such as edamame and tempura meats as well as more creative offerings, such as filet mignon.