You won’t find any gruel at the Mutiny Pirate Bar and Island Grille. Instead, you’ll find friendly staff, great food and a little extra pirate fun. 

by Ann Levelle

Somehow, yet again, summer got away from us. Before we knew it, September was nearly over and my husband John and I had yet to take our friends Nate and Kristin Whiting up on a ride on their new boat. So we arranged to meet them on a gorgeous fall Sunday at their house on Stoney Creek off the Patapsco, and take the kids out for a boat ride and to dinner. And all was going according to plan until, well, kids happened, and we found ourselves without time to get both a boat ride and dinner in before dark. So Nate suggested an alternative: driving to a new, supposedly excellent place he’d heard about on nearby Marley Creek. And as a bonus—for the kids, if not for us—it has a pirate theme. 

Before agreeing to spend the evening surrounded by wait staff in eye patches and tri-cornered hats, I took a quick look at the restaurant’s website and saw that, despite it’s name—the Mutiny Pirate Bar and Island Grille—the place seems to keep the “arrgghs” to a minimum. Another good sign: The owners of Mutiny are also owners of a popular gourmet food and wine bar in Columbia, Md.

And so it was that we found ourselves in Glen Burnie, Md., on a small cul-de-sac in a residential neighborhood lining Marley Creek. We headed inside, where friendly owner Steve Wecker met the kids with a giggly “Arggh, maties!” but didn’t push the act further, thankfully. 

We were seated at a large table that was adorned with iron lanterns and felt as if it had been fashioned out of planks from an old ship. Other tables in the dining room had tabletops covered with nautical charts or were set atop giant rum barrels. Elsewhere in the restaurant there were nautical trinkets and pirate-ship decor, complete with charts on the wall, a cannon (of course) and, seated at the corner seat of the bar, a pirate skeleton, with the requisite parrot on his shoulder. 

Oh, and speaking of the bar, in addition to the usual array of spirits and a dozen beers on tap (many of them local), there’s rum. Lots and lots of rum. Twenty-three countries worth of rum, in fact—and a “rum passport,” if you’re interested in sampling all of them. If you’re just there for dinner, you can order a flight of rum and try a few (half-shots) at a time. And if you’re in the mood for a rum cocktail, there’s a list of about ten on the menu, featuring a variety of rums and served in an appropriately piratical copper mug.

When our waitress Hanna arrived (carrying a basket of pirate rubber duckies to give to the kiddos, no less), she described the evening’s specials. We were intrigued by the Kraken Tentacles (fried calamari) that came with two dipping sauces (rum-flavored, of course), and we also ordered some off-menu items for the kids, since there’s no official kids menu.

The rest of the menu was a rather straightforward seafood-and-sandwich affair, but everything had gourmet twists of one sort or another, whether it was the crab dip with house made Old Bay chips, or the spiced rum barbecue sauce on the pork barbecue sandwich.

I chose the delightfully fresh, light and tangy fish tacos, my husband had excellent fish and chips with a serrano vinegar dipping sauce, and our friend Kristin had an equally yummy Mutiny salad with grilled shrimp, lime vinaigrette and pineapple salsa. But the star of the show was Nate’s Shipwreck Burger—a half-pound behemoth topped with a tempura-fried onion ring, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato and spiced rum barbecue sauce, and served on a grilled cheese and bacon “bun.” More amazing than the burger itself was the fact that Nate finished it, and helped us tear down the dessert tower (one of each of the three menu’s desserts all stacked atop one another and topped with ice cream). Indulgent and delicious.

To walk off a little of our meal we headed down to the water. With the Coast Guard station in view, there’d be no pirates here. Just a bunch of happy swabbies ready to return again soon for another great meal. Perhaps next time we’ll leave the kids at home and get in on the grog, er, rum drinks.   

Mutiny Pirate Bar & Island Grille is located on Marley Ave. in Glen Burnie, Md. By water, head into Curtis Bay from the Patapsco, under the I-695 bridge (40-foot clearance closed) and then through the swing bridge (13-foot clearance closed). Once you pass the Coast Guard station and enter Marley Creek, look for signs for the restaurant’s six slips on the west side of the creek at the small marina just past green “5”.  The restaurant is open for dinner Tues.–Thurs. and lunch and dinner Fri.–Sun. Entrees $9–$14. 410-787-2050; www.mutinypirate

[11.12. issue]