The Rams Head Tavern at Savage Mill is one of a number of Maryland locations linked to the original Rams Head in Annapolis. It is situated in a set of old buildings that date back to 1820 when the Williams brothers borrowed money from their friend John Savage to create a cloth weaving business harnessing the flow of the Little Patuxent River to drive a 30 foot water wheel that powered the machinery which help produce cloth. (The mill remained in active operation until 1947!)
Inside, the dining room are large and airy and have a good feel to them:
The Rams Head opened here in 1999 and spans 4 floors of the old mill with the Rathskeller bar and game room on the lowest floor and the three floors of dining rooms above it. At the back of the old mill, the Rams Head has access to a patio standing 50 feet above the Little Patuxent resting on steel beams which is nestled in the adjacent tree tops.
The diverse menu offers over a dozen starters ($8-$12), “made here” soups ($5-$8), a half dozen entree salads ($8-$14), a dozen sandwiches ($10-$15 – which include fries and pickle) and a dozen “pub fare” entrees ($12 – $28).
We decided to eat out on the back patio and enjoy a pleasant early summer evening by sharing some Spinach Crostini ($10 – Baked garlic crostinis topped with spinach infused goat cheese, ground cashews and almonds, strawberry slices and a sweet plum sauce) These were very interesting though John though that the sweet plum made the dish feel oddly a tad more like a dessert than an appetizer. On one side, the patio provided a view of the river and tree tops; from the other side, it provided interesting views of the old mill buildings
For our main course, our friend Jerry – who considers the Rams Head a favorite – decided to go with the Irish Steak Nachos from the starters section, Tom decided on the Beef Shepherd’s Pie from the Pub Fare menu while John went with the “Fire It Up!” burger ($11) from the evenings list of specials.
Jerry obviously knew what he was doing ordering the Irish Steak Nachos – a mix of pieces of steak, slices of roasted potato, cheddar Jack Cheese, jalapenos and sour cream! While it was labeled as a starter, it made for a great meal (and the generous portion was more than Jerry could finish off even after tempting Tom and I into tasting it!) Jerry’s opinion? “What a concept; instead of tortilla chips, toasted/baked/fried thick potato slices. Mmmm good!”
Tom’s Shepherd’s pie was another winner! The simple combination of beef and veggies topped with mashed potatoes and top with a hearty beef gravy provided just what he was hoping for.
John’s burger topped with bacon, a habenero mango salsa and lots of melted of Pepper Jack cheese along with some delicious fries made for a great combination.
Though some delicious desserts sounded tempting, we were filled and passed on dessert. Our young waiter was both friendly and attentive and took very good care of us.
The Rams Head at Savage Mill has an interesting, creative menu in the old mill building. We enjoyed our dinner and left feeling that this was place we would want to come back to.
FACTS: Rams Head Tavern – Savage Mill – 8600 Foundry St.; (301) 604-3454; http://www.ramsheadtavern.com/savage/ ; full bar; vegetarian options; near by free parking (parking can be a challenge on weekends!); open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week with the kitchen normally open from 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday brunch from 10 am to 2 pm
DiningOUT Suggestion: It’s great to combine a meal at the Rams Head with a walk around the Savage Mills shops and artists nooks. We particularly find the antique shop across from the Rams Heads to be high quality and a notch above and well worth time to explore.