#BreakFromTheBeltway: Family Meal by Bryan Voltaggio

Elevated Comfort Classics in Frederick, MD

My hometown of Frederick, MD is just a quick trip north of DC (not including rush hour). In just over 45 minutes you’ll be among sprawling farm land, historic downtown neighborhoods, quaint small businesses and a bustling food scene.  Of all the new hot restaurants in Frederick, Family Meal is drawing in the crowds for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Opened by Frederick native and Top Chef alum Bryan Voltaggio and his business partner Hilda Staples, this casual diner-style eatery is family friendly with big flavors.  It’s a concept attainable to all, which allows more people to try Voltaggio’s food without the price tag of his fine-dining flagship, Volt.

Family Meal has become a popular spot for my family to come together when we’re all in town and available.  It’s a casual spot with incredible drinks and fantastic food, where you can sit around and chat for a while or get in and get out if you’ve got a Comedy Pigs show to catch at the MET theater downtown. I highly recommend taking a trip beyond the beltway to try this family-style modernist cuisine!

Order Up

Here are a few of favorite things to eat at Family Meal.  Not pictured, Bryan’s Burger – absolutely impossible not to eat instantly and always forget a photo, but SO good.

Chicken Pot Pie Fritters

Yes, you read that correctly.  They’re like little mini bite-size chicken pot pies!  You may think that it seems impossible to attain the creamy gravy, fresh veggies, and tender chicken in a tiny popable bite, but you’d be wrong.  The thin crispy coating encases the perfect amount of peppery pie filling to satisfy your pot pie needs.  Completely addicting, it’s a must to order at least two orders of these beauties.

Winner, Winner, you know the rest.

The fried chicken meal comes with half a friend chicken, buttermilk biscuits and pickled vegetables.  We like to mix and match how we eat this, making little biscuit sandwiches out of some of it, dunking some in hot sauce, adding pickles, etc.  It really is a winner, winner.

Shrimp and Grits (and hot dogs?)

Every time we order this dish someone makes the joke that it comes with hot dogs, haha.  Lucky for us, they’re just hunks of andouille sausage and we’re totally ok with that.  The shrimp are always cooked magnificently atop creamy, cheesy grits with a sumptuous pan sauce and fresh herbs.

On the lighter side.

Voltaggio always has the BEST salads at his restaurants.  They’re always new and exciting with lots of fun toppings and just the right amount of dressing.  This crispy salmon salad did not disappoint.  With super crispy skin, the medium rare salmon is melt-in-your-mouth velvety.  Ripe summer cantaloupe and cool cucumbers pair beautifully with the lightly dressed arugula and pistachios for crunch.  When each part of a dish is treated with TLC, it becomes a masterpiece.

So go on now, head up to Frederick and dig in, ya’ll!

*Please stop calling Frederick, Fredneck…it’s rude and inaccurate.  🙂


Leave a Reply