East County Times Dining Guide

Dock of the Bay is accessible by land or by sea. Patrons have the option of dining, and enjoying views of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, either inside or outside



By Allson McAlister

I've often said there's just nothing better than dining outdoors on a gorgeous, sunny day while taking in a beautiful view of one of the many bodies of water surrounding us here in eastern Baltimore County. There are many waterfront restaurants from which to take advantage of this scenario in our readership area, but I have to admit I am partial to one such restaurant in particular - Dock of the Bay in Millers Island. My family and I are frequent patrons at “The Dock,” our restaurant of choice to take our out-of-town guests for dinner or to meet with friends for a night out. As Edgemere residents, we think of this restaurant as our neighborhood favorite. Whether we're looking for an elegant, romantic evening for two filled with wine, steaks and seafood, a night of burgers and fries out with the whole family, or a place to unwind after work with a few drinks and bar fare, Dock of the Bay fills the bill.

Owner Larry Thanner purchased the restaurant, situated right on the Chesapeake Bay, in October 2003 after Tropical Storm Isabel barreled through the island, causing major devastation to homes and businesses in the immediate area, including Dock of the Bay. Even though it would take more than five months to refurbish the damaged establishment, Thanner said at the time it was a deal he simply couldn't pass up. He knew there was tremendous value in owning over an acre of property on the Bay. In April 2004, The Dock of the Bay celebrated its official reopening. Now, more than two years later, the restaurant continues to draw in quite a crowd, even on weekday evenings. On weekends during the summer, the parking lot is always full, as is the boat dock. Why do people flock to The Dock?

In addition to the picturesque view of the Bay, the restaurant serves up some really great food. I figured I had tried just about every item on the menu, but I did find something new to try on a recent visit for lunch. Larry raved about the crab cakes - “they're excellent” - so I zeroed in on the Crab Cake Club, a delicious combination of their scrumptious jumbo lump crab cake topped with bacon and Swiss cheese. “I've got a new favorite sandwich!” I exclaimed to my dining companions after the very first bite. This sandwich was a real taste sensation. And the restaurant's new seasoned French fries served alongside were unbelievable!

For you crab lovers out there, Dock of the Bay is now offering $1 crabs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. Larry says they buy their crabs locally and also get some out of Texas. “The crabs have been excellent, some of the best crabs around,” he said of this year's offering. The restaurant usually buys some 70 or 80 dozen crabs for $1 crab nights and sells them until they run out, so make sure you get there early.

No matter what you're in the mood for, you're sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds at Dock of the Bay. Like I said, I've tried most menu items, and it's all good. I recommend starting off with an appetizer - the spicy buffalo wings, fried oyster basket, Maryland crap dip and seafood skins are our favorites. Larry likes the Mediterranean Salad, while I enjoy the Caesar. If you have a House Salad with your entree, the Pepper Parmesan dressing is exceptionally tasty. While the steaks and crab cakes are great, I'd also have to recommend the Crab-Shrimp Norfolk and the Stuffed Shrimp. The Seafood Fettuccini and the Chicken Parmesan are also very good, if you're in the mood for pasta. When it comes to sandwiches and burgers, The Dock does not disappoint. The offerings are varied, and all the ones I've tried have been delicious. You can't go wrong with one of their burgers (the Terrapin Burger with coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing is one of my favorites), all of which are generous in size and cooked to order. A few of my favorite sandwiches, besides the aforementioned Crab Cake Club, are the Panko Breaded Orange Roughy, the Oyster Po' Boy and the Turkey Breast Club.

Though we rarely save room for dessert, we do like to end our meals with a cup of coffee, and Dock of the Bay serves a really good cup of joe. Dessert offerings rotate daily, but I can tell you the cheesecake is sinfully decadent. The restaurant also features a kids menu for the “Little Pirates,” with items like the requisite chicken tenders. My daughter’s favorite is the Basket of Fried Macaroni and Cheese. Each kids meal comes with a choice of french fries or applesauce and a kids drink. And if your kids get restless while waiting for their food, the cool pirate’s ship outside waits to entertain them.

Since Larry has enjoyed much success with the restaurant, he's recently purchased another property on Millers Island that he hopes to turn into a place that caters more to boaters. The site is the old Rum Runners at the end of Cuckold Point Road. “It's very exciting,” Larry said, explaining he'd like the new restaurant to be more of a “casual, let your hair down” kind of place. “The sunsets down there are gorgeous,” he proclaimed. The site will feature a 327-foot pier for boaters, and Larry hopes to have a shuttle running between the new place and Dock of the Bay. No set plans have been made thus far, but Larry is cautiously optimistic and hopes to have a new restaurant open next spring. This new establishment would only bring more jobs to the Edgemere/Millers Island community, just as Dock of the Bay has done, as Larry employs many local residents at the restaurant. In addition to being good for the local economy, the restaurant is also good for the community, often helping out where it can such as the local schools.

In fact, September 23 is the annual Rock at the Dock fishing tournament that benefits the Sparrows Point High School football team. Following the fishing tournament, the participants gather at Dock of the Bay where they enjoy a good old-fashioned fish fry featuring the day's catch. Those not in the tournament can still partake of the bountiful buffet for an admission fee. Check out the Spotlight section of the East County Times for details as the date draws near.

Another community effort underway is a book on the history of Millers Island. Anyone with any information regarding the history of the island are urged to contact Dave Motta of Motta Marketing at 410-388-0001 or via e-mail to dmotta@comcast.net.

The Dock of the Bay, located at 9025 Cuckold Point Road, is open seven days a week, 11a.m. - 2 a.m. Enjoy live music outdoors from 4 - 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. In the restaurant on Fridays, a DJ spins your favorite tunes from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. and on Saturdays, enjoy live music in that same time slot. Starting soon, experience the NFL Sunday Ticket on 12 plasma screen TVs. And be sure to check out their Happy Hour specials from 3 - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday. For more information, call 410-477-8100 or visit www.dockofthebay.net. Maybe I'll see you there!

Click on the paper above to visit our Digital Edition




@2008 East County Times. All Rights Reserved

Phone 410-780-3303 Email Reporting Staff ectreporter@comcast.net Email Art Dept. ectartdept@comcast.net Advertising ectsales@comcast.net