There are three popular liquor stores within a convenient driving distance of St. Mary’s Campus. St. James is the closest, followed by Cooks on Route 5. Twist is about ten minutes away, located on the left when going north on Three Notch Road. I’ve been going to Twist for a while now. Its selection is a little better than St. James, and it is equally on the way to and from my regular shopping trips to Giant and Target. Occasionally, it seems like Cooks has slightly lower prices on a few items. That said, I personally prefer the atmosphere at Twist; the cashiers have always been friendly and I’ve received great advice on all but one purchase (if you like the taste of flat soda and Lysol wipes, Dr. Macgillicuddy’s Root Beer Flavored Liqueur is the thing for you).
Twist recently expanded its operation to include a small bar and restaurant called The Lime Lounge. The Lounge’s menu is fairly typical in design. You have a short list of appetizer-sized dishes to choose from alongside a longer list of specialty mixed drinks; most of the menu, food and drink, is priced between $8 and $12.
The drinks were quite good. The Righteous Rosehip Tini tasted like alcoholic lemonade. Don’t let that come across as negative though, it was really good lemonade, slightly sweet, very lemony; on par if not better than the kind that you find in the fancy organic section of a Giant or Wholefoods. I also tried the Twisted Old Fashioned, which I don’t really feel qualified to judge as whiskey is not really my bag. However, I was told by my companions that, even if you like whiskey, the whiskey flavor was a bit too strong. The best drink by far was the Basil Smash; basically a mojito with basil instead of mint. The Smash was very refreshing, not too sweet, and matched well with the food.
Speaking of food, I tried two flatbreads and some salmon pinwheels. Of the flatbreads, the pesto was the winner. It had a nice, strong Italian flavor that went especially well with the Basil Smash. Full disclosure: I’m not sure that the other flatbread, the prosciutto, was necessarily worse than the pesto, I simply preferred the flavors of the pesto. The third appetizer I tried was an order of salmon pinwheels. The pinwheels were wrapped around cream cheese and came with a little pile of dressed arugula. Both the salmon and the arugula were quite good. Personally, I generally assume something is wrong if salmon is anything except delicious; it’s a hard food to make badly. These pinwheels were good. They had nice fishy flavor, were well put together, and paired nicely with the arugula.
In a city like Washington, Annapolis, or Baltimore, the Lime Lounge would face some pretty serious competition from similar establishments. However, it’s fairly unique here in St. Mary’s county. The only restaurant I can think of that offers a similar experience is the Behind the Bookshelf Speakeasy in Leonardtown, which is a solid 10 minutes farther from campus. Overall, The Lime Lounge gets my recommendation. The price point is a little high for the average college student, about 20 dollars for a drink and an appetizer. However, it’s a nice venue for a date night or other quietly special occasion. Try the Basil Smash.