Crab-filled brunch on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
When on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, you eat crab. And crab I did eat at Mason’s, a quaint yet sophisticated restaurant in downtown Easton.
A mimosa toast to mothers
It was Mother’s Day brunch, and I was celebrating with my roommate’s extended family. My own family is in Michigan, so I’ll be celebrating a belated Mother’s Day with my own mom during my Memorial Day weekend visit. We began our meal with a round of mimosas served in flutes garnished with strawberry slices. Amanda’s uncle ordered a Bloody Mary cocktail garnished with green olives and a pickled jalapeño pepper. Although I did not try a Bloody Mary at Mason’s, I am fairly certain I would have enjoyed it far more than the one I blogged about last week. For the youngster dining with us, the restaurant was flexible with its beverage offerings and mixed her a cranberry lemonade.
Crab Round 1: Cream of Crab
To begin my crab feast, I started with a cup of cream of crab soup. The restaurant had listed Maryland Crab Soup, which is generally a vegetable-filled tomato-broth-based soup, on the Mother’s Day brunch menu. But, I was delighted to hear from our waitress that it had been switched to cream of crab, which is, as you might have imagined, a thick cream-based soup filled with jumbo lump crab meat. It is delectable, and this was one of the best cream of crab soups that I’ve had — and I order it pretty much any time I find it on a menu. Honestly, if I were to ever consider moving away from the Mid-Atlantic, leaving the opportunity to eat cream of crab soup would be a legitimate concern. But, it would also be reason to visit again.
In addition to the deliciously creamy and crabby soup, I also ate a jumbo scallop atop a slice of smoked bacon and topped with a perfectly circular fried quail egg. It was two bites of a seafood-and-breakfast combo that I would order again, and I’m not crazy for bacon like the rest of ‘Merica seems to be.
Amanda began her meal with the artisanal salad of greens topped with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, goat cheese and toasted almonds in a raspberry vinaigrette. I almost ordered it myself, and she said I would have liked it. It looked fresh, crisp and refreshing for a beautiful May Sunday brunch. It gave me order envy. Here’s some photographic proof of how yummy this salad looked:
Lucky for you future visitors of Mason’s, this salad is on the restaurant’s normal lunch menu, too. It’s listed there as the “baby greens salad” and you can top it (for an additional price) with your choice of grilled chicken or shrimp, fried oysters or a 6 oz. grilled tuna.
Crab Round 2: Eggs Chesapeake
For my entree, I debated and debated, but I landed on the Eggs Chesapeake. Sometimes this dish is served with a crab cake, but Mason’s did it a bit differently. Like an Eggs Benedict, this dish features a poached egg and hollandaise sauce, but it was seated atop an English muffin with a layer of spinach and jumbo lump crab meat. The egg was a pristine white on the outside until my fork broke through the fluffy layer to release the runny yolk. The hollandaise was rich in flavor and creamy in texture, just as you’d expect a good hollandaise to be. I was beyond pleased with my menu selections even though that salad does look really enticing and healthy. But, I had some healthy on the side, too. The Eggs Chesapeake was served with fresh fruit on the side. And, I always say, you can really tell the quality of a restaurant by the fresh fruit they serve. Mason’s proved by all accounts that it is high-quality dining … right down to the fresh fruit: honeydew and cantaloupe melons, pineapple, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
If you are headed to the Easton-Oxford-St. Michaels area of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I would recommend brunch at Mason’s for a quality dining experience that really celebrates the seafood for which the Chesapeake region is known.
Wish you were here,
P.S. Check out my new travel + lifestyle blog, The Epicurean Traveler, for more restaurant reviews and travel tips!