To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
Join the Columbia Orchestra, under the baton of music director Jason Love, as it closes out its 33rd concert season with "Creation and Destruction", a program exploring the beaming joys and tumultuous sorrows of the human spirit. The program kicks off with Radiohead's “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” before bathing audiences in the sound waves of minimalist composer John Adams' "Batter My Heart" from his 2005 opera Doctor Atomic, which follows the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer as he copes with the burden of choosing between two similarly appealing auto-insurance companies. A cadre of 52 string instruments conjures the monolithic swirl of Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, before the Orchestra is joined by members of the Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County in a performance of selections from Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation.
The chefs at each Copper Canyon Grill, a mid-Atlantic favorite, craft their regional American dishes from scratch every day. Their kitchens fill with flames and savory aromas as they roast meats and vegetables over hardwood fires, making customers happy, but leaving behind bare earth at local basketball arenas.
The kitchen yields hearty servings of grilled prime rib and filet mignon, ahi tuna and Atlantic salmon, and Delmarva-style crab dip and Eastern Shore jumbo lump crab cakes. It also tempts with a signature rotisserie chicken and jalapeño- and serrano-pepper cornbread baked in an iron skillet.
At Relic, the fried frog legs in a spicy garlic sauce ($9) habitually sell out, so order them right off the bat if you're feeling adventurous. Chicken skewers with onions and peppers ($9); pan-seared crab cakes in lemon butter sauce ($9); and a veggie tower of eggplant, mushroom, spinach, mozzarella, tomatoes, and peppers ($9) also make excellent starters. Save room for Relic's meaty main attractions: steaks and burgers grilled over a wood fire, both made from beef that has been dry aged in a Himalayan salt-aging chamber (much like your pet yeti-mummy). Steaks come in a variety of sizes ($23–$28) in New York strip and rib-eye, and can come with your choice of sauces, including bordelaise sauce, bearnaise sauce, and wild-mushroom brandy cream sauce. Similarly, you can order your nine-ounce burger your way ($8), firey (chipotle paste, grilled jalapeños, port onions, and Manchego cheese, $9), or as a seasonally appropriate Mardi Gras (foie gras, plum sauce, and port onions, $15).
Comprised of beersmiths at locally-owned, nationally-distributed breweries such as 16 Mile Brewing, Dogfish Head, and Iron Hill Brewery, the Delaware Brewers Guild forms a single, sudsy hub for beer connoisseurs in the First State. In 2012, the guild has organized the first-ever Brews by the Bay festival, an afternoon of music, food, and craft beers on the brink of Delaware Bay. Besides planning frosty, foamy festivals and hilarious pranks like filling fire hydrants with wort, the guild works to promote and protect the interests of local brewers big and small.