February 6th, 2017

Outlander Pub Trivia

Many bars and restaurants host weekly trivia nights—chances are you have a friend or family member who frequents a local bar on a weekday night for just that reason. Have you ever wondered how trivia nights originated?

Pub trivia, as it is most commonly called, first appeared in Great Britain sometime in the 1970s. There are a few theories on the origin of the pub quiz.
Local pubs were (and still are) where the community came together; a place for conversation with neighbors, where ideas, politics, and opinions are shared and discussed. Pubs are also where people come together to relax.

In the 1970s, many would visit the pub to watch their favorite weekly shows. Quiz shows were among the most popular; trivia has often been a staple of British culture, so trivia shows would always draw a crowd. Pub patrons would play along with the show and yell out answers. After the show, people would think of their own trivia questions and try to stump their friends.
Eventually, bartenders saw how popular the game was and decided to profit from it, creating their own “live trivia” events.

According to author Marcus Berkmann, the creation of Trivial Pursuit is the reason quiz nights spread so rapidly throughout the country. Created in 1979, the game boasted 6,000 questions, which patrons would use to entertain themselves at the pub. By 1990, most pubs had a weekly quiz night as opposed to five years earlier.

Cecil County Public Library is starting their own versions of the pub quiz—quiz nights dedicated to popular book series. On February 15th, CCPL will host a trivia night at Minihane’s in downtown Elkton based on the popular “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon and the Starz television adaptation. If you’ve read all the books, or watched the show, come join us and meet new friends while supporting local businesses! The event is free, but registration is required. Please call the Elkton library at 410-996-5600 extension 481 to sign up, or register online.


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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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