This is where it all started. Chances are if you’ve lived in or traveled to Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, or Washington, DC, you’ve probably visited a Greene Turtle location. Bringing sports fanatics together since 1976, the sports haven on 116th Street & Coastal Highway in Ocean City is the original Greene Turtle. Here, you’ll find athletes, teams, and sports fans uniting to watch all the best sports action on more than 50 high definition televisions. Wi-Fi connection enables interactive fun for fantasy football participants, while NFL specials provide plenty of food and drink discounts.
Add to the equation the Greene Turtle’s owner, Steve Pappas, who is a lacrosse-loving entrepreneur who is dedicated to community outreach. As his brand grows and expands across the mid-Atlantic region, the original Greene Turtle remains the establishment where it all started.
I enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Greene Turtle this week, where I cheered on an exciting baseball game, which I could see on countless television screens from the comfort of my booth. Flanked with “Ravens Avenue,” “Redskins Country,” and an array of other sports memorabilia, the doors, walls, and ceilings at the Greene Turtle pumped up my date, Joey Steward, and me for the upcoming football season. The staff at the bar and restaurant assures that Broncos, Giants, Eagles and Cowboys fans are all welcome. All of the games are on at the Turtle.
What food should you indulge in at the Turtle? Our server, Sydney, told us with her big, bright smile that the Crab Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip are two popular appetizers. “The Ultimate Ahi is my favorite,” she says. Joey and I took her advice, and we also ordered the Maryland Wings, smothered in hot Old Bay seasoning. Indeed, the Buffalo Chicken Dip is worthy of its popularity. Chunky chicken meat is smothered in a creamy Buffalo dip mixed with melted bleu cheese crumbles. Served in a hot bowl with flatbread for dipping, this flavorful appetizer is a crowd pleaser. Joey particularly enjoyed the Ultimate Ahi, which is rare on the inside and seared and blackened on the outside. An accompanying Asian slaw and cucumber wasabi sauce make the app a perfect combination for your taste buds.
The Greene Turtle’s menu boasts a plethora of hearty foods that are sure to satisfy even the largest appetite. Try a full rack of the Baby Back Ribs, which are basted in smoky BBQ sauce and served with fries and slaw. Jerk Chicken consists of two zesty jerk-seasoned chicken breasts on top of a pineapple corn salsa with rice and fresh, steamed broccoli. You can also order a Popcorn Shrimp Basket or Fish & Chips—a flaky filet of haddock, beer battered, fried, and sprinkled with Old Bay. Or, you can order the Fish & Popcorn Shrimp Platter for the best of both worlds.
Other combo meals include the BBQ Rib & Chicken Platter, which pairs a half-rack of ribs with a grilled BBQ chicken breast, and the Steak & Cake Platter—an Eastern shore recipe of jumbo lump Crab Cake paired with a Montreal-seasoned flat iron steak. Topping off the entrees menu at the Greene Turtle are Blackened Tuna, Roasted Rotisserie Chicken, NY Strip Steak, and Firehouse Chicken—two BBQ chicken breasts topped with crisp bacon and melted cheddar-jack cheese with redskin mashed potatoes and fresh, steamed broccoli.
The Greene Turtle is renowned for its juicy, enormous burgers. Basted in Chipotle sauce, The Chipotle burger is topped with pepper jack cheese and corn salsa. The Californian is piled with smooth avocado, crispy bacon, and melted pepper-jack cheese. The Chesapeake burger is flavored with Old Bay, Crab Dip, and American cheese. The Cowboy is basted in BBQ sauce and topped with bacon, melted cheddar, and onion straws, while The Philly is topped with Philly cheesesteak, caramelized onions, and melted provolone. Health-conscience customers may order the Turkey Burger, while hard-to-satisfy appetites may use both hands to scarf down the Straight-Up Burger.
Sandwiches and wraps are additional options on the menu at the Greene Turtle. I recommend the Raspberry Turkey Flatbread, which is warm and stuffed with jerk-seasoned turkey, melted cheddar jack, sliced tomato, red onion, and bold raspberry sauce. Try the Crabby Melt sandwich for cheddar cheese melted with Crab Dip, tomato, and bacon on grilled sourdough. Next time I’m at the Greene Turtle, I’ll order the Spicy Shrimp Wrap—a flour tortilla overstuffed with plump popcorn shrimp tossed in hot sauce with lettuce, tomato, and feta cheese. The Veggie Wrap is a healthy option, and the Grilled Chicken Wrap is a unique recipe with grilled chicken, avocado, Craisins, mixed greens, and mango vinaigrette. Pulled Pork, Blackened Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, OC Crab Cake, Chick ‘n Ranch, Fried Fish Sub, and Turkey BBQ Club round out the sandwiches & wraps menu.
For a sample of the tasty appetizers at Greene Turtle, order the Combo Basket with Wings, Mozzarella Sticks, Cheeseburger Sliders, and Pretzels con Queso (warm pretzels with warm queso dip). Feta Bruschetta is a yummy treat, packed with spicy feta cheese, shredded Parmesan, and diced tomato. Hog Hammers are meatier than ribs, slathered in smoky BBQ sauce, and fall-off-the-bone good. I recommend the Sweet ‘Tater Fries—warm and crispy sweet potato fries dipped in caramel. Pulled Pork Sliders and Turtle Tenders are just a few more irresistible appetizers. Crab, Veggie, Cheesesteak, and BBQ Chicken are available Flatbread Pizza styles.
OC Crab Soup and French Onion Crock are two comfort foods to fill your belly on a cool autumn day. Steak Fajita Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, BLT Wedge Salad, Ty Cobb Salad, and Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad are more healthy options at the Greene Turtle. The Apple Walnut Salad tops mixed greens with apple wedges, walnuts, crumbled bleu cheese, dried cranberries, and sweet Vidalia onion dressing.
A dessert menu and kids menu are also served at the original Greene Turtle. Happy Hour is from 4:00 to 7:00, Monday through Friday. Joey and I ordered a Samuel Adams Octoberfest and locally-brewed Burley Oak Rude Boy to wet our palates. Deejays keep the dance floor busy on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Keno and Maryland lottery are fun games to pass the time, as is the second-story game room. It’s the second season in Ocean City, so come into the Greene Turtle and make yourself at home on one of many tall-back bar stools that surround the sprawling bar, or bring your family and take over one of many spacious booths in the restaurant. For more information, call 410-723-2120 or visit www.thegreeneturtle.com