Buddy Lou's Antiques
11 E. Main Street, Hancock, MD
Buddy Lou’s Antiques in the small Northwestern Maryland town of Hancock was a gem of a find for me and my family on a bike ride vacation along the C&O Canal this summer.
Step inside Buddy Lou’s and find yourself immersed in rustic Americana. Old license plates are nailed to the reclaimed wooden walls. Antique metal pulleys and lanterns hang from the beams made from old ladders. A handpainted sign that reads Antiques sits next to rustic tin barrels and gardening tools.
Outside, the balcony awaits you with charming views of the woods and the canal. The bright primary color umbrellas, antique bicycle, flower planters, and rooster weather vane will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Hello, Dolly!. The mise en scene has been crafted well here.
We’ve all been to places that lean heavily on kitschy decor to compensate for mediocre unadventurous dinner fare. Buddy Lou’s is not one of those. You aren’t paying for the Americana here. Their menu features fresh, flavorful comfort food as well alongside signature cocktails, draft beer and premium Old World & New World wines.
We very much enjoyed the complimentary Crispy Calamari appetizers from the chef, served in single-serving ramekins in a lemon caper aioli. This paired very well with the dry and bright Italian Cielo Pinot Grigio. So did Buddy’s Roasted Mussels in the Spicy Thai Coconut Broth. A nice departure from the steamed-white-wine-and-garlic route. The delicate grassy flavors of the broth held up well to the sturdy roasted mussels.
The Dragonberry Mojito served with strawberry was an excellent summer drink. Sweet and refreshing!
The two stand-out items on the starter menu were the Spiced Duck Breast Salad and Lou’s Wings. The Wings were FANTASTIC. They softly tore away from the bone and burst with juicy flavor. We tried them with both the habanero and sweet Thai chili sauce as well as with the Jamaican Jerk rub. It was hard to choose between the two. The seasoning on the Thai wings landed on the perfect balance between sweet and spicy; the bite began with a very forward and sweet note, with heat that gradually grew in intensity for a larger fuller flavor. The Jamaican Jerk was smoky, spicy, earthy and addictive.
On the salad, the Duck Breast was tender and juicy atop a bed of baby arugula, romaine, shaved fennel, toasted pine nuts and cranberries. The spiced honey drizzle and pine nut vinaigrette really sent it over the top.
My crab cake sandwich was done straight-up Chesapeake style. No frills, no twists. Just a good satisfying Jumbo Lump Crab with lettuce, tomato and onion. It was delicious paired with the Flying Dog IPA draft, locally brewed in Frederick, MD.
Buddy Lou’s has a warm and cute origin story, and incredibly friendly staff and owners. My family and I were thoroughly impressed with their atmosphere, their service, and their food. I wish them all the best, and I hope that they gather a large customer base of tourists and locals alike.