By: Lynne O’Meara, Southern Maryland Restaurants

I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to check out great local food! Most importantly, I meet the nicest people! People who work so hard at achieving their dream while trying to make other people happy.

I’ve been hearing great things about a small carryout café on Aquasco Road in Aquasco. So, I decided to check it out. It’s located on the side of a small Southern Prince George’s County road. Open since August, Hardesty Haven Café serves delicious breakfast and lunch food!

Hardesty Haven Café is a new venture for owners Dee and Rick Hardesty. After 16 years of fantastic catering (I’ve been hearing about their food for years) and running several food trucks, they decided to add a carryout restaurant to their collection. They are lucky to have wonderful help…a son, a daughter, and great staff. When I was there, everyone was so nice. I had a good time chatting with Dee and Tina (who came out of the kitchen to visit with me).

Dee and Rick are a very busy couple! In addition to this new restaurant and catering business, they have a couple of mobile kitchens. When the weather is nicer, they are at Spider Hall Farm (in Prince Frederick) and Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center (in Solomons). They have a 30-foot and a 27-foot mobile kitchen. In addition, they often serve out of the kitchen at Annmarie Gardens during special events.

Dee told me she comes by her love of preparing great food naturally…from her family. She said her grandmother told her, “Food brings people together”. And that’s what Dee loves to do!

The Café offers breakfast and lunch. In fact, the entire menu is available all day! That means Steak & Cheese any time! I went for lunch, but I’m definitely going back for breakfast soon. I also need to try the Cream of Crab Soup because they were out of it the day I went.

Dee said some of their best-sellers are the Steak & Cheese Sub (made with sliced sirloin and provolone cheese), the Cream of Crab Soup, the Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich, and breakfast. She told me they are pretty busy between 6 am-8:45 am. I can see why! Also, check out their prices…not bad for fresh, quality food!

I tried several things the day I went for lunch. I enjoyed a BLT (I always love a BLT), a Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich, Deviled Eggs, Sweet Corn Nuggets, Onion Rings, and some desserts. The BLT was perfect! A good balance of the bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich had a lightly breaded, fried breast with bacon (as their sign says…Everything is better with Bacon), and ranch dressing. It was delicious! All the sides were great; you can’t beat having Deviled Eggs as aside. I love Broccoli Salad and theirs has dried cranberries. It was so good! The Onion Rings were breaded and, like the Corn Nuggets, fried perfectly. Great flavor and not greasy or oily. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by their fried food. If the food is greasy/oily, it means it is not being cooked at the right temperature, and if you can taste or smell the oil, it indicates the oil is not clean.

I also picked out a few desserts. With a baker on staff, I knew they were going to be good. Yep…they were! The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was so moist and flavorful. And…hello…Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie…fabulous!

Dee told me they plan to add pizza to the menu in 2020, and they are going to have a weekly fried chicken special. I can’t wait to try both! I will be going back, not just for the food, but also to visit with Dee.

Hardesty Haven Café is open Monday through Saturday from 6 am to 3 pm. They are closed on Sunday. They are located at 22102 Aquasco Road in Aquasco.



Rating (out of 5):

  • Food – 4.7
  • Service – 4.7
  • Ambiance – 4.1

Total – 4.5

Lynne O'Meara

Lynne retired after 30 years of federal service with the Office of Naval Intelligence in 2015. After retirement, she was a Commercial Real Estate Agent, which is where she learned about the business side...