I just found some notes scribbled on an old menu and realized that I haven’t shared Chick and Ruth’s deli even though it’s become my local favorite. From the first time I saw it, it intrigued me. In this tall narrow building sandwiched between two others along Annapolis’ busy old town Main Street, locals, tourists, midshipmen, and politicians come to relax in tables too tiny to be even remotely comfortable, and enjoy good home-cooked food.
It’s bizarre really. The bright oranges and yellows are outdated, but add to the look of this family owned deli that began in 1965. The booths are beyond tiny. You will be sitting well within comfort of your neighbor and it’s nearly always packed, so be friendly and just allow your personal space to shrink a little. It really is worth it.
Just down the street from the state capital building which briefly served as the capitol of the United States, you may see senators and judges eating here. Want to know what they like? Just look at the menu. You can order Senator “Joseph Getty’s” Caesar Wrap or the steak and eggs that congressman Cummings prefers.
Me? I get the pastrami on rye and a cup of French onion soup nearly every time. It’s terrible of me, really, because the menu is enormous and packed with good things. The nachos are amazing. They have breakfast wraps and crab cakes, salads and baked potatoes. I think the sheer size of the menu is the reason I have my favorite. With so many decisions, I just can’t make up my mind.
The staff is busy, but very friendly and you may even see Uncle Teddy stroll on by and say hello. People know and love this place so much, that on my last visit I walked in as a young man from the Naval Academy proposed to his girlfriend with a microphone. We all heard it. She said “yes,” and the restaurant broke into applause. There have been weddings here too and, like many iconic eateries, the Food Network stopped by with the host of Man vs. Food to take the 3 pound cheeseburger challenge. My favorite thing is the pledge. A large American flag hangs above the cash registers and each morning at 0830, every one rises and they say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Anyway, this is Chick and Ruth’s. It’s local, quirky, and totally my favorite place to hang in Annapolis, so great, that this is where I began my new year!