I feel the hardest thing about moving is getting to know the area. When we jumped from place to place in Baltimore, we stayed in the same neighborhood, but each time our closest restaurants changed. Since we lived in Canton, the first year we walked into the square to get something to eat or drink. This wasn't our type of crowd (mostly BMC drinking right out of college crowd- we prefer smaller, quieter places). We enjoyed a lot of the food at the places, but started to look for different restaurants off the square. At our second and third places, we were able to find great places closer to our doorstep. It was nice to be able to walk 3-5 minutes and be at the restaurant, eat great food, and have great conversation.
For the past one plus year, we keep trying to find the local places around our house. It is different now, because in the city, we would take the dog for a walk and see the new places to try. Now, we rely on the internet or ads in the newspaper for tips on new food joints. Luckily, we found one right down the road.
This past weekend, my parents came down to visit over night and to take us out for our first anniversary. We made reservations down at McCleary's Public House in Marietta. This is a place that on Friday and Saturday night is usually pretty packed. It had been closed for a couple of weeks (like most other places in Marietta), due to the flooding. They also had a band (Big Red) that was going to start playing later in the evening. This is a place that I occasionally come to grab wings with a couple of friends, so I know their beer selection is pretty good (starndard Guinness/Smithwicks/Harp tap and 4-5 rotating craft taps, and a very nice bottle selection). My mom ordered a raspberry cosmo and my dad got whatever he always drinks. I ordered a Founders Red's Rye. The beer was very good, a strong bitterness starts off the beer but gives way to the malt and rye. Very easy drinker.
Our meals came out and they were about as good as you could have, except that they thought my father ordered the black and blue burger instead of black and blue steak- which they quickly took care of (they definitely felt worse about it than we did). I ordered the "surf and turf" which was filet mignon and a crabcake. The filet was grilled perfectly medium, and melted in my mouth. After living in Baltimore for 4 years, I am usually disappointed after ordering a crabcake, but for the first time, I was not. The crabcake would have fit in perfectly at any restaurant in Canton, Fells Point, Harbor East, Federal Hill or anywhere else. It was delicious.
Once the band started playing a nice bluesy, jazzy, funk 70-90's rock (mostly original music from what I think I heard), I ordered the Flying Fish Organic Amber ale and then the Stoudt's Oktoberfest. The Flying Fish was a nice basic amber. It didn't wow me nor did I want to return the glass, a simple beer to enjoy. The Stoudt's was a good Oktoberfest, nice malty backbone with a bit of bitterness that broke everything apart.
We left after listening to the band for an hour to get back home. Overall, it was a nice night. If you get around Marietta, McCleary's is a great place to check out. It is a place with good food, friendly waitstaff and a nice beer selection.