Editor’s Note: While it’s true that school starts on Wednesday in the Warwick School District, family fun and vacations don’t need to end. That’s why LititzDailyNews.com begins today to publish a new monthly travel feature series called “100-Mile Getaways.” Our first stories are about great Maryland destinations, all within a hundred-mile radius or so of Lititz. If you have a favorite destination, drop us a note at editor@LititzDaily.com and tell us why you like it. If you decide to explore one of the locations we feature, be sure to send us photos on our Facebook page, tag us @LititzDailyNews on Instagram, or @LititzDaily on Twitter and let us know what you think. Please enjoy our first feature of our “100-Mile Getaways.”
If you’re a long-time football fan looking for a new adventure, then head south a couple of hours this fall to catch a game in a different stadium. The Washington Redskins will host the Philadelphia Eagles at Fed Ex Field in Maryland on October 4, and nearby to all the action are ample opportunities for great food and family fun. The Redskins first home game is September 13 against the Miami Dolphins.
What to do: Football (FedEx Field, Washington Redskins), history, entertainment, museums, shopping malls and places of worship (we’ll be highlighting some of these in upcoming stories).
Where to stay: There are a number of hotels near FedEx Field, and we opted to stay at the very modern Marriott Residence Inn in Largo. I recommend long-term stay hotels for weekend getaways for two reasons: first, rates tend to drop on the weekends at hotels that cater to business travelers as occupancy rates drop, and secondly, it’s great to have the conveniences of home (in particular, a kitchen with a fridge) when you have kids. A Courtyard by Marriott is currently under construction adjacent to this RI, with a November opening planned.
What We Liked: I arrived expecting the Residence Inn in Largo too look like all the other RI properties I have stayed at over the years, but it didn’t. Inn Fact: This Marriott Residence Inn was an unexpected delight. The bold design and bright decor were a welcome surprise. The king suite was a smartly designed blend of features and function.
The suite also featured the longest desk I’ve ever encountered in a hotel. It was a dream come true for a writer who likes to spread things out when working. The staff was exceptional, from the novice front desk clerk who said I was the first guest he ever checked in to the seasoned staff who cheerfully resolved a lockout. The manager met customer needs professionally and answered phones energetically, creating a caring and attentive environment for guests.
Where to Eat: After eliminating the local Australian chain steakhouse due to poor reviews on Yelp, I sought the advice of the friendly front desk staff at the hotel for nearby restaurants to satisfy our craving for steak. Copper Canyon Grill was chosen as my dinner destination. It’s a small chain limited mostly to Maryland, but well worth the drive for an evening of destination dining.
What Was Good: From the moment I walked in the door at Copper Canyon and heard the live jazz trio playing, I was hooked. It’s not often you get to enjoy great jazz in a smoke-free, family-friendly restaurant. The good news is that the food was even more delightful than the music.
Appetizers: Coca-Cola Ribs are meaty and mouth-watering beef ribs coated with a thick cola BBQ sauce. Tender and moist, the meat easily slid from the bone, which is a rare accomplishment.
Another highlight was the Warm Beet Wedge Salad, which was probably the best wedge salad I’ve ever tasted.
The gorgonzola-chipotle dressing had a flavorful kick that really tied together all of the textures and tastes of the salad–red and golden beets, real bacon pieces, red onion, crumbles of cheese, and more. It created a culinary curiosity that made my taste buds want to return for another taste.The shrimp appetizer featured large, tender shrimp floating in a sea of cheese, but I bailed on the buttery/greasy appearance.
Main Course: Copper Canyon Grill is known for their rotisserie chicken which can be seen spinning in the restaurant. Encrusted with multiple herbs and spices, it was a flavorful and ultra-tender poultry cooked to perfection. I also sampled the prime rib served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
If I hadn’t already tasted and enjoyed the ribs, I think I would have enjoyed the prime rib more, so if you have prime in mind, I’d recommend a seafood appetizer (they have a tuna on a cucumber salad that sounded delicious). The BBQ ribs served as a main course were also good, featuring a more smokey flavor on the pork ribs.
Desserts: Copper Canyon Grill’s fluffy bread pudding, is the most popular dessert, but since I’m on a gluten-free diet, I opted to try a taste of the key lime pie instead. It was a far creamier and richer filling than I anticipated, without too much tartness that has been a turnoff about other key lime pies.
The chocolate brownie concoction is a tribute to dessert architecture: 2 cinnamon brownies sandwich a layer of vanilla ice cream topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The entire confection is draped in an addicting chocolate sauce.
The chef at Copper Canyon clearly enjoys satisfying palates and creating a culinary symphony on each plate. Though the prices may at first glance seem high ($32 for prime rib, $32 for filet mignon), the portions are large and the quality exceptional. It’s also the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner as part of a weekend getaway. So what are you waiting for? Book your travel plans now, and bookmark our page for more “100-Mile Getaways.”
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