January 23rd, 2017

A Maryland Road Trip for Foodies

If tasting new foods and discovering Maryland’s diverse landscape is on your to-do list this year, try this 340 mile restaurant road trip.

We are starting out west — Patrick’s Pub in Cumberland. This place is clean, hip, and welcoming. The large windows lighten up the décor of green accents and pitch black wooden furniture. This is your American/Irish place for wings, burgers, sports, and friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. Their Yelp score speaks for itself.

92 miles east we are at Black Hog BBQ in Frederick. If you’re a history fan, check out Harpers Ferry which isn’t more than a 30-minute drive from here. Black Hog is a BBQ-lovers dream. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, beer. Enough said. Come with an empty stomach.

32 miles from Black Hog BBQ is La Brasa Latin Cuisine in Rockville, wedged between Bethesda and Gaithersburg. This is an award-winning place, featured in several blogs and magazines as being a top restaurant for multi-cultural dishes, including food from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Peru. Please try this place. The owner is from Salvador, and this deceptively small place has a more than competent cook staff.

Drive a half an hour northeast and we’re eating pizza. Oh, yes. Three Brothers Italian Restaurant in Colombia is that simple, family-friendly place so many Maryland towns have. Dine-in booths, pastas, pizzas, and calzones. Praise falls upon their lasagna like rain. For a quick Friday night pizza, there is certainly some flavor and good price to be found here.

Seventeen miles later we are in Baltimore City. Where you really want to go is Faidley’s Seafood. Family owned and operated since 1886, this place has fresh raw clams, oysters, and scallops, and has the best crab cakes in the city. “Coastal Living” said “Hands down, Faidley’s is where you should head for a crab cake if you have only one day in Baltimore.” You don’t last over 120 years in business for nothing.

Our second to last stop is in Aberdeen, MD. Georgia’s Carry-Out is the smallest “mom and pop shop” on the list but it’s full of heart. Nothing comes out of this Greek kitchen without love from the married couple running the place. They are both there, all day, piling mounds of fresh cut fries in their baskets of fried fish sandwiches and gyros. Georgia gives you a free sample of her soup-of-the-day if you dine-in. This is like having a wonderful aunt or mother cooking for you. It’s incredibly affordable and the tzatziki is extraordinary. It’s a grab-and-go place with Styrofoam containers and plastic utensils, and yet I recommend going there monthly… forever. I’m telling you, their fried jumbo fish sandwich has a myriad of unique spices. Move over salmon. I have a new favorite fish.

Lastly, 145 miles from Aberdeen, MD we come to our final foodie pit-stop. But at this stop I encourage you to stay a few days. Guido’s Burritos is a restaurant and bar that I accidentally discovered the year they opened. That was the last time you could easily get a table. Located right on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD, if you like burritos stuffed with rice, meat, and cheese, and want a margarita as big as your head, come float your afternoon away at Guido’s. When the beach begins to cool in the early evening, nothing is better than a mixed drink, some spicy food, and a walk on the boards.

If you are inspired to take a road trip, check out these books and more!

Backroads & Byways of Maryland

Backroads & byways of Maryland : drives, day trips & weekend excursions
By Leslie Atkins

Maryland has so much to offer travelers and residents alike: indulge in exquisite seafood, enjoy recreational and spectator sports, search the beaches for shark’s teeth, trace Civil War troop movements, track the heyday of the railroads, and visit lighthouses that have guided countless boaters through the Chesapeake Bay. All you have to do is jump in the car–and take this book along! Ideas and options are clearly presented for short-trip itineraries to please everybody in your party. Destinations will appeal to foodies, history buffs, families with kids, couples, adventurers, hikers, bikers–in short, everyone.

 

Country roads of Maryland and Delaware : drives, day trips, and weekend excursions
By Lynn Seldon

Ramble through America’s rural heartland on winding back roads that lead to an endless variety of out-in-the-country attractions. Each title explores 10 or more meandering weekend tours, as authors share their intimate knowledge of people, places, and country life.

 

 

 

 

Fun with the Family : Maryland : hundreds of ideas for day trips with the kids.
By Karen Nitkin

From the round-the-clock hokeyness of Ocean City to the bucolic charms of Deep Creek Lake, the Old Line State packs in hundreds of kids activities and attractions in its compact 10,460 square miles. And this book describes practically all of them including mountains, hiking trails, beaches, amusement parks, cities, zoos and aquariums, parks, children’s museums, farms, festivals, and a wealth of history.”

 

 

 


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January 17th, 2017

Cecil Business Resource Partners Prove to be Game Changer for Local Veteran-Owned Business: Peacock Training Institute, LLC

I am so proud to have played a role in Cecil County native Alan Pfau opening his very own firearms training business, Peacock Training Institute, LLC. His story is so compelling because it showcases the power of successful partnerships between local organizations, and the strength the library has in connecting patrons to vital community resources.

Pfau served his country for over 14 years with multiple deployments stateside and overseas, and he hoped to translate the skills he learned in the military into a small business. One of his first decisions was to check out some books around the topic of owning your own business at the Cecil County Public Library. Little did he know that information gained from the books he checked out on entrepreneurship would be a small portion of the information he would receive from the library on launching his first business. While at the library, he learned about the Small Business Information Center, made an appointment with me and we discussed how the library could help him become his own boss.

Pfau and I met one-on-one and discussed his dream of starting a firearms training business. I provided relevant demographic and competitor information related to his industry, including gun ownership rates, which in turn helped him make more reliable projections for his business plan. The competitor information I was able to provide for him came from a free library database called Reference USA. With this information, he analyzed gun ranges near and far and got a sense of their sales volume, number of employees, and credit rating scores. I also knew he would benefit from assistance from other local organizations that have a mission to help small businesses succeed in Cecil County. I referred him to the Cecil Business Resource Partners (CBRP), which he describes as a real turning point for his business. CBRP is a partnership of Cecil County’s education entities and non-profit organizations that have joined together to share information about free resources for small businesses. CBRP members include: Cecil County Public Library, Cecil County Office of Economic Development, Small Business Development Center, Cecil College, Susquehanna Workforce Center, Cecil County Chamber of Commerce and Business Education Partnership Advisory Council.

One CBRP member I suggested Pfau meet with immediately, the Small Business Development Center counselor Ryan Del Gallo, Pfau now credits as being an instrumental mentor in the creation of his business. “Del Gallo assisted me with the financials of my business, writing a business plan, really everything that I needed advice with – he was there for me.” Pfau regularly meets with Del Gallo to discuss his business and credits his relationship with the Small Business Development Center as giving him access to connections throughout Cecil and Harford County. These connections fostered growth for his business, especially the focus group set up by Del Gallo to test out Pfau’s business concept.

Pfau used another connection he received through CBRP to teach a seminar titled, Refusing To Be A Victim, at Harford Community College. CCPL’s introduction to CBRP also gave him a connection to Cecil College. Pfau’s goal is to eventually teach courses there as well. Pfau mentioned another member of CBRP, the Susquehanna Workforce Center (SWN), as giving him access to private industry contacts. He also has an internal training scheduled with SWN in January.

Pfau’s entrepreneurial journey is a shining example of why the Small Business Information Center can be a game changer for local entrepreneurs. The library is a welcoming place, and when I meet with nascent stage entrepreneurs, they feel comfortable asking important questions and researching industry information to be better poised to reach out to banks, community members, or other organizations for assistance with their start-up.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center, or any of the other CBRP members call 410-996-5600 ext. 128 or email sbic@ccplnet.org or visit: www.cecil.ebranch.info/small-business/.

For more information on seminars and training provided by Peacock Training Institute, LLC, visit www.peacocktraining.com or contact Alan Pfau directly at 443-406-6260. Peacock Training Institute, LLC’s main goal is to make sure clients understand and feel comfortable handling firearms, and Pfau’s training programs are designed to prevent participants from becoming a victim, inside or outside the home. Pfau acknowledges that there is only one place to shoot in Cecil County, Elk Neck State Park, but Peacock Training Institute, LLC will accommodate shooting arrangements there. Pfau’s long-term goal is to open his own shooting range in Cecil County, and with the help of the committed Cecil Business Resource Partners, he can see this coming to fruition.


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