Straight Up on Dining Out
The Iron Rooster
Comfort Food at Its Best
Story by Christine Fillat
The Iron Rooster is a new classic eatery on the city dock in Annapolis. It has been open since October 17, and already folks queue up for tables. “There’s a really cool buzz about this restaurant. It gives people another reason to come to downtown Annapolis,” says Kyle Algaze, owner.
It took a mere thirty days to transform the restaurant’s space, formerly occupied by Maria’s Italian Restaurant. With its white washed walls and collection of rustic farmhouse ephemera, the Iron Rooster has the cozy atmosphere of a grandparent’s home, where you can get whatever belly-busting tasty grub you may desire. One may order breakfast all day, and bacon on demand. Entrées cross over into breakfast territory where cornmeal pancakes are paired with crab cakes or short ribs. Eggs adorn several selections on the menu.
We started out with a crisp Bloody Mary garnished with pickled asparagus, olives, celery, and Old Bay—a delicious drink, nice and spicy. For appetizers, we chose Oysters Roostafella: three oysters stuffed with a pleasing combination of cornbread, spinach, and bacon, topped with a poached quail egg. The BLT and Deviled E is a basic deviled egg, sprinkled with crunchy bacon bits. The eggs were rather cold, perhaps not my favorite temperature for deviled eggs, but nicely paired with cherry tomatoes.
The chicken and waffles is Kyle Algaze’s favorite item on the menu. He is issuing a throw-down to Washington D.C. chefs: Which capitol city makes the best chicken and waffles? The Iron Rooster’s tender chicken with a perfectly crispy exterior will pose quite the challenge. And the waffles have just a hint of sweetness, with a savory white gravy. Definitely a home run, this dish is the sort you could imagine homesick Midshipmen from the Naval Academy lining up for.
There has been a lot of talk about the meatloaf, so we had to try it. Generous slices of meatloaf are covered with the white gravy, and topped with poached eggs. Mashed red potatoes and broccoli spears are on the side. This is a heavy dish, the very definition of comfort food. Although it could have been more tender, the meatloaf is good and a little bit goes a long way. The dish could be easily shared.
The Maple Bourbon Pecan Torte arrived in a petite cast iron skillet, with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The skillet was hot, but the pie was not. However, this minor detail did not take away from the excellent pie. This is exactly the pecan pie of which dreams are made. Would it have been better if it were served hot? Perhaps, and we just may have to revisit this classic homage to good home cooking and try it again.
“Hospitality is our focus,” states Algaze, “We want people to feel like they’re coming to our house. First and foremost is the taste. It has to taste good. Then we serve something you could do at home but don’t want to clean up.” What’s not to like there? Welcome to the family, Iron Rooster; you are destined to be an Annapolis favorite.
The Iron Rooster is located at
12 Market Space
Hours of Operation:
Monday–Saturday: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m.– 8 p.m.
Christine Fillat lives on the Magothy River and is an aficionado of
Chesapeake Bay cooking and living.
From Vol. 6, No. 1 2015
Annapolis Home Magazine