As we often reaffirm at The Point News, St. Mary’s County has been slowly gaining a reputation as a bastion of locally-owned food restaurants that manage to shock us with their promise of sustainability as well as their delectable offerings. I have had the privilege of dining at some of these lesser-known establishments and I can safely say that my most recent endeavor to Blue Wind Gourmet in California, Maryland, was one of the best culinary surprises I have had in St. Mary’s County thus far.
Nestled near an abandoned 7-Eleven and across from the Wal-Mart in California, Blue Wind Gourmet is the creation of Robert Plant, who after managing several restaurants in the Southern Maryland area, opened Blue Wind Gourmet in 2004. Blue Wind Gourmet promises to buy everything locally whenever possible and use earth-friendly packaging made from sugar cane for everything they make.
The restaurant’s focus is on the astounding wine selection as well as its gourmet dine-in/dine-out abilities. The interior separated into the ‘wine room’ and the front room is a hybrid of intimate dining tables, long bar counters, and bar stools and high tables spattered throughout each section of the restaurant. The restaurant buzzed with a variety of gossip and chit-chat from naval officers, impeccably dressed contractors, fitness gurus from Maximum Fitness, and students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. With a line out the door when we arrived, the service moved surprisingly quickly for such a small amount of staff and felt comfortably full by the time we ordered.
I ordered the pulled pork barbecue and pepper jack cheese sandwich on toasted ciabatta bread with a side salad. It was remarkable, the sweet barbecue sauce paired with the bite from the pepper jack cheese was astounding, and the tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork was accented by the hearty crunch from the toasted ciabatta. The side salad, essentially a garden salad with thin strips of parmesan on top was highlighted by the parmesan and garlic croutons that had a kick to them that rounded out the salad and the meal as a whole. My good friend and culinary accomplice Nick Smith ordered the “garbage sandwich,” a hodgepodge of meat and cheese tht included turkey, ham, roast beef, pulled pork, bacon, mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar, and barbecue sauce that he described as having an “exquisite taste as well as being delightfully filling.”
To finish off the meal we had phenomenal homemade chocolate chip cookies the size of my face (average-sized, so it was a pretty big cookie). Arguably one of the best cookies I have ever had from a restaurant, it was soft, chewy, still warm in the center, and the chocolate chips still had their shape but fell apart in a gooey cocoa treat that rounded off not only the cookie but my time at Blue Wind Gourmet.
Everything we had there was delectable. I encourage readers to go and try their chowders, soups, and other sandwiches that evoke not only amazing flavors but a sense of nostalgia in having home-cooked meals in an intimate setting. The 80’s and 90’s rock-and-roll playing throughout the restaurant muffled, by the crescendo of voices, made the meal seem somehow more confined, intimate, and friendly. The food and décor, the fast service, and the promise to use locally-grown foods accented out my visit and left me wondering when I could come back for more. I give Blue Wind Gourmet 4.5 star out of 5 and urge readers to go and try something on their menu, or head to the Daily Grind in the Campus Center and see which selections from Blue Wind Gourmet have been brought for our enjoyment.