View of Frederick as you come in from D.C. (used with permission)

With the Holiday bustle making my posts here a little more infrequent for the moment, I was caught off guard when our short drive out to Frederick, Maryland last night was marred by a lack of camera!

So I apologize in advance for the lack of photos. I actually didn’t think much of it at first – we were headed out simply to dinner and to catch a play. I was surprised that, upon our arrival in downtown Frederick, how much the city resembled a charming old Christmas town decked in lights, lined with shops, and Christmas music coming from not only speakers, but carolers as well – not to mention the cider and cocoa stands.

So I apologize for not taking pictures to capture this more unique side of Frederick – Maryland’s second largest town, but seems to always be obscured by the largest town, Baltimore, and the even larger and closer Washington, D.C. (Frederick lies somewhere between an exurb and suburb of D.C.)

Our first stop was for the unbelievable food at Black Hog Barbeque. Per usual, I looked up good places to eat before arrival and Black Hog stuck out. After reading some fine reviews, the website’s pictures sold me. I mean, I could eat that pulled pork right off the page. I decided on the three meat trio even before we got there and it didn’t disappoint. Pulled pork, brisket and sausage smothered in BBQ with mac-n-cheese and potato salad to boot. It was a meal fit for a king. Breeah enjoyed the same pulled pork sandwich on the website and we both left with full tummies and only good things to say about the place. So there ya go Black Hog, some free advertising from a satisfied customer.

We drove back to the Francis Scott Key Mall while taking in the Frederick Keys stadium en route (it seems everything is named after Key, born in Frederick County). The Key Mall is, well, ok…kinda small after taking in the various shopping centers in and around D.C. Nevertheless, the place was jam packed for the holiday and we could only last about an hour before wanting out.

We made it back to town, taking in the cool 32-degree air as flurries gently came down. We walked around the main streets in old downtown Frederick where it seemed everyone was in the holiday spirit. Quaint little shops and two-story restaurants jammed with hungry holiday shoppers lined every street. It was really a festive sight, I was almost taken aback. I’ve never seen such a old time Christmas-y town, it seems only in the movies.

We heaed to the MET (Maryland Ensemble Theatre) on West Patrick Street where we had tickets to The Eight Reindeer Monologues (click here for more info). Apparently Frederick has turned into quite an artsy town – with now three separate theaters in the downtown district. The MET is a small, little outfit but brings a professional show with seating for maybe 100 (about 85-90% filled for this show) in an intimate setting.

That said, I’m not sure I’d recommend that specific show (going on until Dec. 30) for everyone. The actors, each playing one of Santa’s reindeer, aren’t necessarily filled with holiday cheer. It’s definitely a more vulgar, dark comedy centering on Santa’s sexual deviancy towards his own reindeer. Definitely, DEFINITELY, not one for the kids – and no kids were at the show (however, I’d say at least half the crowd was over 50 and many over 60). The acting was solid, but watch out if your sitting in the front, you might become part of the show like you would if you were sitting in the first row of a comedy act. Yes, Cupid just had to come over and sit on my leg for an uncomfortable 10 seconds or so…

While the show was take it or leave it (I think Breeah and I would have rather have gone to the production of the Christmas Story next door) it didn’t sully the night. We both had a fun time and would definitely recommend heading out to Frederick this holiday (or next) while you can still take in some of the old town charm.


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