The windows at Panorama at the Peak provide picturesque mountaintop views of Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and the weekly changing menu provides tastyesque dishes constructed from organic produce and produce from local farms. Start your square meal on a round note with an order of lamb meatballs served with feta-dill dipping sauce ($8.99). If you'd like to keep your meal as light as a globetrotting eccentric's hot-air balloon, try a crunchy toasted-walnut watercress salad in a Pennsylvania Dutch–inspired bacon-and-onion dressing ($7.29). Roll Thanksgiving into a conveniently portable sphere with turkey croquettes, three pan-fried cakes served over local apple-cranberry compote ($18.99). Panorama offers vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, and its efforts to provide cruelty-free meats have earned it the Certified Humane label from Humane Farm Animal Care.
Bentz Street Sports Bar serves up a menu of classically comforting favorites alongside entertainment that's ideal for the athletically inclined. Kick off mealtime by sinking fingers and teeth into a basket of wings bathed in a choice of sauce selections, such as sweet and spicy thai, Cajun, or Old Bay ($9 for 10, $16 for 20). Sandwich savorers may delve into a hearty bacon cheeseburger accompanied by made-to-order potato chips ($9.50), or sink teeth-hooks into a Belly Buster fish sub, a crispy, fried haddock nestled in a sub roll and sided with tartar sauce ($10). Heartier appetites can be swiftly satisfied with a 10 oz. New York strip steak ($18), accompanied by two platepanions such as french fries, a twice-baked potato, or miraculous room for dessert.
Each day, the Timonium and Frederick branches brew eight different types of coffee (Annapolis brews six per day), mining from the Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company's coffee reserve, a treasure cove of 120 different varieties of beans. Types of coffee ($1.60 for 12 oz.) are offered on rotating basis, with flavors such as coconut cream and pumpkin spice introducing new aromas to bored taste buds, as well as Swiss Water–decaffeinated varieties for those that love the taste of coffee but find themselves inadvertently building a shrine to Grease after two cups of regular joe. Introduce yourself to the well-crafted wares of Mother Earth with a cup of tea ($1.95 for 20 oz.)—the shop features more than 1,000 kinds of leaves for consumption, from medicinal herb tea to an Eastern Shore variety—or go full throttle with an espresso concoction ($1.50–$4.25).
Tacos and tequila are pretty standard fare at any Mexican restaurant. But Casa Rico Tacos & Tequila ups the ante with gourmet fillings such as tilapia drizzled in chipotle cream sauce, and pork carnitas with roasted pineapple and red onions. As for the house tequilas, they're infused with spicy flavors including cinnamon and tres chilies. The latter goes into one of the restaurant's many specialty margaritas, a fiery concoction made with mango, fresh mint, and passion fruit involved in a torrid love triangle.
Since 1987, Casa Rico has been serving recipes crafted by owner and executive chef Renu. She prepares many regional specialties, including molcajete—a stew with cactus, potatoes, and cheese—as well as a Monterey-style grill combo with skirt steak and chipotle shrimp. In keeping with the food, the dining rooms have a south-of-the-border look; Mexican art hangs on pink and yellow walls, Spanish tile covers the ceiling, and striped blankets add a colorful touch to banquet tables.
Black Hog BBQ & Bar slow-cooks a saucy menu showcasing succulent beef, pork, chicken, and sausage sidled beside an array of classic Southern sides. Round up a heaping helping of smoked brisket or pulled pork shoulder to fill a bun, plate, or polo shirt pocket before slathering it in one of Black Hog's signature house-made sauces such as zesty Carolina Red or tangy Mike's Mustard Sauce. Sandwiches smother servings of smoked pit ham or Arkansas beef into a pillowy bun, and sides sing harmonious backup to their meaty frontmen, with melty mac 'n' cheese and cool coleslaw draping taste buds in culinary nostalgia. While the protein palace also stocks a full bar, today's Groupon is not good for alcohol, and vice versa, as evidenced by the time it woke up in a strange bathtub folded into inappropriate shapes.