A Unique Dining Experience - Brenda's Pizzeria, Trader's Coffee House & Ace's Run

Last Updated on May 12, 2015 at 2:26pm | Tourism & Recreation

"A Unique Dining Experience" is a regular feature of The Republican newspaper and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the May 7, 2015 issue.
 
 
Warm, inviting, cheerful are just three of the many positive adjectives that describe Brenda McDonnell's Deep Creek Lake eateries: Trader's Coffee House, Brenda's Pizzeria, and Ace's Run Restaurant & Pub.
 
"I want my customers to feel good and have a good experience," she said. The Bronx, New York native credits her talented, dedicated staff for accomplishing that goal.
 
Fresh local produce, honey, and maple syrup, and other high quality ingredients, all carefully prepared in-house, plus hard work, attention to detail, and devotion to customers and community are also key to her success.
 
"I love living here. I'm from New York, but, still, I just love the community, the neighborhood feeling," said the recent Garrett County Women's Hall of Fame inductee.
 
Brenda and her staff also contribute money, time, and effort for various local, fundraisers, including one for the Northern High School library and the annual Taste of Garrett County.
 
Trader's Coffee House is located on the ground level at Trader's Landing, 21311 Garrett Highway. Billed as a café, bakery, meeting place," the establishment is currently open Sunday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
 
It offers a wide variety of beverages, including kids' drinks, smoothies, cappuccino, Mighty Leaf teas, and coffees from Oregon Coffee Roaster and R.A. Benz Coffee in Mt. Airy.
 
"Any drinks Starbucks can do, we can do," Brenda noted. 
 
Made daily in-house, a wide variety of baked goods are also available: muffins, brownies, scones, cookies, and cakes.
 
Breakfast items include quiches, crepes, Belgian waffles, wraps, real Bronx bagels, and the popular breakfast cookie, featuring wholesome rolled oats, naturally sweet dried fruits, and crunchy walnuts.
 
The lunch/dinner menu boasts Paninis, chicken salad croissants, BLT wraps, and the Trader's salad with romaine lettuce, dried fruit, walnuts, and feta cheese. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items are also on the menu.
 
Guests can find a comfy chair in front of the fireplace, take advantage of free Wi-Fi service, and browse the gift shop filled with handcrafted items by talented local artists and artisans.
 
The coffee house is available for club and business meetings, private parties, and other gatherings, with food catered by Trader's, Brenda's, or Ace's Run.
 
"Joe 2 Go" boxes, which hold one gallon of coffee, can be purchased for gatherings away from the coffee house. Special order cakes, pies, and cookies are also available for any occasion.
 
Fore more information, visit Trader's website or call (301) 387-9246.
 
Located above the coffee shop, Brenda's Pizzeria is a fun, family place that has been a staple of the local community since 2001.
 
"It's a neighborhood pizza shop, just like you'd find in New York," Brenda said.
 
Yes, but lucky us, this one is located in the mountains of Garrett County. Guests can savor real New York style pizza made fresh to order with homemade dough and sauce, while enjoying a stunning view of Deep Creek Lake.
 
Brenda's offers traditional red Neapolitan, gluten-free, vegetarian, white, and specialty pizzas, including chicken barbecue, the Fire Cracker, the Greek, and the Bronx Belly Buster, with shaved sirloin tips. Those with a hearty appetite can order the 26-inch Abbondanza.
 
"It's the biggest around," Brenda said.
 
Also available are calzones, strombolis, heroes (subs to non-New Yorkers), appetizers, salads, and entrees, some featuring real Italian pastas.
 
Desserts include New York cheese cake (of course), cannolis, and tiramisu.
 
Lunch specials are featured daily, and half-price pizza Mondays continue through June 15.
 
The full menu is available to-go and for catered events. New menu items will be added soon.
 
The pizzeria is currently open Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. A dock is available for those visiting Trader's Landing by boat. For more information, visit Brenda's website or call (301) 387-1007.
 
Ace's Run Restaurant & Pub is located just a short drive, walk, or boat ride from Trader's Landing inside Will O' the Wisp Resort, 20160 Garrett Highway. Established in 2013, it was named in honor of Brenda's late father-in-law, Helmuth "Ace" Heise, founder of Will O' the Wisp and Wisp Resort.
 
"It's an honor being in that building," Brenda said about continuing the Heise legacy.
 
The cozy, upscale bar features happy hour specials - beer, liquor, wine, and "pub grub" - Sunday through Friday, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. 
 
Pasta Night is held on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m., featuring 10 traditional authentic pasta dishes prepared as you watch. Gluten-free items are also available. Kids under age 12 pay their age. Stir Fry Night is on Fridays.
 
Ace's menu boasts creative food made simply with "Fresh 'N' Local" ingredients. Salads, burgers, sliders, sandwiches, soups, and starters, plus fish, chicken, and beef entrees are available, including a gourmet meatloaf made with Angus beef brisket, short ribs, and seasoned like your mama made it!
 
Guests are invited to enjoy their meals and drinks on the dining balcony, which offers the widest uninterrupted view of Deep Creek Lake.
 
Ace's menu is available to-go and for catered events.
 
The establishment's hours are currently Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. For more information, visits Ace's website or call (301) 387-6688.
 
So whether a local resident, first-time visitor, or long-time Deep Creek Lake property owner, Brenda McDonnell has you covered - breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and for weddings, parties, and meetings.
 
"I want you to come hungry, leave full and content, and wanting to return," she said.