I go through life telling everyone I am an Italian. After all, my mother, Carmen, is all Italian, and my father, Bob Sr., is Heinz 57, a little bit of everything. His surname is English. There was a Richard Warren who came over with the Pilgrims to Plymouth, Mass., on the Mayflower. When I visited Plymouth Plantation as an elementary student, I was surprised to learn the Warrens were involved in cooking for the pilgrims. While I have no clue whether my family is related to the Richard Warren family, my father was a chef.
I am not an aficionado of English/British cuisines, but I am intrigued with gastropubs, which have their roots in London. So, when Wendi and I were traveling to Greencastle, Pa., to visit Wendi’s uncle Jay and aunt Kim, we took some time to visit Sharpsburg, Md., where we went on a Civil War Ghost Tour, toured the Antietam National Battlefield, visited some local sites, got some ice cream and grabbed a bite to eat at Devonshire Arms Cafe & Pub.
When Wendi and I travel, we usually try to find some local place to enjoy a meal, sort of our own version of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. The interesting thing is while we were in Maryland I was looking for a place to eat using the “restaurants near me” search in Google Maps on my Google Pixel phone, Devonshire Arms came up. It was less than 2 miles away, but I was surprised to see the address was in Shepherdstown, W.Va. I had no clue West Virginia lay just beyond the Potomac River.
As we drove through Shepherdstown, it looked like a nice place to spend some time. I hope we are able to make it back some time. The Devonshire Arms Cafe & Pub was a little bit off the main drag on Princess Street. When driving up, the place was barely noticeable. It is a little, nondescript building. The restaurant’s Facebook page says it is an authentic English Cafe & Pub, owned and operated by Carolyn Litwack who is from Devon, England. Unfortunately, she was not there when we visited. It would have been nice to talk to her.
Mike told us the building was constructed more than 100 years ago. It originally was a business to build and repair horse-drawn carriages.
When you walk inside, it has a nice, yesteryear feel to it. We settled down and checked out the menu. Because Wendi and I do not drink, we were not interested in the pub offerings, rather the cafe. We pondered what to get. I think for Wendi, it was a toss-up between fish and chips or cottage pie, which appeared to be a cousin of shepherd’s pie. I thought briefly about getting the French dip, Welsh rarebit or Chicken Tikka Masala. Bangers & Mash were on the menu, but I am not a big fan of sausage. I settled on the Pub Burger with cheese and bacon.
Wendi liked the fish and chips. She was caught off guard by the shape of the batter-fried fish. She had never seen the fish filets cut in rectangular strips because they are usually triangular. Wendi liked how the fish was a nice, mild white fish. She also liked the hand-cut fries.
The burger was pretty good. It was a big one. Sometimes it tasted as if it was made of seasoned beef, sort of like a meatball. I prefer my burgers to be seasoned with salt and pepper while they are cooking. The staff was friendly and accommodating.
Wendi appreciated getting to the Devonshire Arms after the lunch rush. We were able to enjoy our meal at a relaxed pace. If British pubs are your thing, then you have to check it out.