No, not THAT KKK!
With a little bit of poetic license, this triple K is Kevin’s Korner Kafe (he doesn’t use the middle K for some reason, how he passes up the alliteration is beyond me!). Most folks know by now that Kevin moved his shop from a back street up in Leonardtown to the one time Willows down the hill by the intersection of St. Andrew’s Church Road and Point Lookout Road. Won’t use official route numbers, more quaint to use the county name. In looking back, I see I had a look at them a couple of years ago, as a candidate for a “just right” award. Here’s what I concluded then on the 21st of November, 2016:
“I am in kind of a quandary as to whether or not to add them to a “just right” list. Certainly the building qualifies, largely unchanged for decades, but I’m not yet sure how the seafood component fits. Let’s wait a while before deciding. Somehow, the whole space made me uneasy. Just not comfy or welcoming. Maybe the ghost of John Nucci”
So with another couple of years under our collective belts, what about now? At the risk of inserting a spoiler, I would have to say that they are closer, but maybe not quite there yet. Most of the elements are present: the building, the trifold plastic laminated menu with the hidden list of specials, all the “just right” menu choices (crab dip and balls, stuffed shrimp, fisherman’s and Captain’s platters, steamed this or that, burgers and subs, fried chicken and nuggets for “The Minnows”, hard and soft crabs in season, etc.), Bud and Bud Light and both Coor’s available, and so forth. Servers who call you “honey” or “dear”. Nautical and cute stuff on the wall. So all that qualifies. Plus, they DON’T make you drink water from a Mason Jar! However, I still have a bit of trouble with a seafood centric menu with no water in sight, although Breton Bay is very close by. I don’t know, maybe that’s unfair, but just strikes me as incongruous to have a classic waterfront menu on Route 5. So that for me is a negative, plus they haven’t been there very long (even though the building has).
So anyway, the “Just Right” committee convened there a week or so ago, during the multi day monsoon. The entrance gets you in the nautical mood with a self proclaimed statement about soft shells
And on top of their sandwich, it’s good to know they serve their large crab legs cooked!
Once inside you could be in a time warp back to the old willows, pretty much same floor plan with bar in the middle
And clever signs all over the place (also leaving no doubt as to your table number!), and some more up to date clever trappings on the wall
Tables are set with cutesy nautical themed tablecloths
To hold your beverages: that’s Chardonnay in the glass! A nice pour, with our hard cider devotee’s choice in the background.
The condiment caddy passes muster for the right stuff (vinegar, old bay in a shaker, hot sauce, French’s classic yellow mustard and Heinz ketchup (or catsup).
These days my menu choices are more driven by trying to figure out the lower sodium dishes, which is tough in a place that has most everything fried. So while one of the team had a crab ball basket (of just right red plastic)
Another had a pulled pork sandwich
Besides the menu offerings there was quite a few specials one of which was a grilled salmon ($15.95), so I chose that with my new mantra in ordering: “with no added salt please”. Was a bit apprehensive, but was very pleasantly surprised with the result
Fish was cooked very well, firm, opaque, and not “flaky”, with a nice char and some herbs that I hoped were not laden with salt. It really was tasty and I ate it all! Notice all the other “sides” served with all the main dishes are in containers, oh well. The slaw was also quite nice.
So, I think in the intervening two years, things have improved. So maybe in the next couple of years, if nothing drastically changes, they might earn the coveted “Just Right” designation.
Other side dishes:
Ruby Tuesday in First Colony appears to have gone dark. Passing by nearly every day, I’ve noticed that they are indeed “dark” most of the time. There are the dreaded 8½ x 11 white sheets of paper in the front doors. And if you Google RT/Locations the “nearest to me” is in Prince Frederick.
PM update: swung (swang?) by Ruby’s on way home from therapy to check the handbill on the door. (shaky hand held images). Seems to seal their fate. Was this the first chain to close in the area?
Here’s the sign if you can read it (containing the words "permanently closed".
And thought it was nice placement above the permanent “Now Hiring” thing in the window. Doubt it.
DOS Amigos in Leonardtown is still not open. Place is cursed!
Another Tex Mex place near Callaway by the Wise food market has recently(?) opened. Just what the area needs!
Steak in a Sack in Charlotte Hall has apparently shuttered.
Bay Dawgz in San Souci which has been vacant for quite a while now is now home to a Korean Barbeque place.
And, a nice way to end (the bubbles part)
MFO has a real love for Champagne. Not Friexenet, not “Sparkling” wine, not the Charmat process (“tank method”):
“The Tank Method is a much less expensive and less time-consuming method of sparkling wine production”.
but the honest to God traditional method used in the Champagne district in France with a second fermentation in the bottle not in a tank, producing the only wine in the world that can be called Champagne which by “law” must be made with only Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, although other varietals (pinot blanc, pinot gris, arbane, and petit meslier) sneak in there. I am digressing far beyond what I started out to do, but one of our favorite memories of one of our trips to France was a tour of the cellars followed by a wonderful lunch at Moët and Chandon
Anyway, we found a very tasty bottle from Aubrey
Which was a Terry Theise selection. He goes about making selections of little known grower wines and the Aubrey was one of his finds. He is VERY highly regarded in the world of champagne.
So anyway, we opened the bottle in honor of a visit of some friends who were on an odyssey. It was gorgeous. Robert Parker gives it a 92 point rating. HOWEVER, his(?) description of the wine is classic “wine speak” it reads:
It was a lovely glass, but try as we might, we just never could get the “bittersweet perfume suggestive of gentian and Iris with intimations of fresh lime and sea breezes".
Anyway, I ramble too much! A final reminder to
And NMMJ (interesting juxtaposition with visions of champagne flutes)