by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov

Make your Independence Day a celebration of good taste. Create a patriotic-themed party or picnic with takeout fare from the following Carroll County restaurants. From pit barbecue and fried chicken to berry-based desserts, these carryout creations will infuse your Fourth of July feast with flavor.

Grilled Salmon, Baldwin’s Station

Baldwin’s Station: On Track with Fine Summer Flavor

Summertime entertaining calls for grilled specialties on your plate. Fortunately, Executive Chef Bryan Sullivan of Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville has done the work to make sure your Fourth of July festivities are on track with fine flavor. Sullivan shared the following selections for takeout fare inspired by the tastes of summer.

Grilled salmon gets a citrus and spice boost in Sullivan’s creation, featuring additions of chipotle, cilantro and lime. A white corn and smoky bacon pudding, sautéed zucchini with oregano and a herb crème fraîche perk up the sides for this summer seafood spectacular.

Executive Chef Bryan Sullivan

Paying homage to a classic picnic staple, Sullivan prepares a Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Breast. Accompanying the fried chicken, a tangy-sweet cider and apple slaw and chilled potato and green bean salad round out the picnic fare. Slather Sullivan’s summer strawberry jam atop a warm buttermilk biscuit and delight in berry deliciousness. For dessert, summer blueberries star in a Blueberry Pie Tart served with a lemon-vanilla custard.

For more than two decades, owner Stewart Dearie and his team at Baldwin’s Station have helped to put downtown Sykesville on the map for imaginative takes on classic New American cuisine. From specialty wild game to seafood and beef dishes, Baldwin’s Station has delighted in taking patrons on a creative culinary journey of flavor.

“We have been successful with our carryout during this [COVID-19] crisis and have had great support from Carroll County,” Sullivan said.

Place your carryout order in advance of the Fourth of July holiday, and you won’t have to stress about preparing an elegant meal at home.

Bullock’s Fried Chicken

Bullock’s Country: Fried Chicken for the Fourth

If you ask Carroll locals where to go for the best fried chicken in the county, Bullock’s Country Family Restaurant in Westminster is almost certain to be mentioned. “We probably sell around a ton and a half a week, and we sell a lot of chicken through the Fourth of July holiday. There are days we prepare between 1,000 and 2,000 pieces of fried chicken,” said co-owner Doug Zepp. “It’s hand-battered with our secret batter mix.”

You can’t have your fried chicken without some delicious sides to accompany it. Zepp added that Bullock’s homemade broccoli salad, coleslaw and macaroni salad are among the most requested carryout selections for parties and picnics.

And what’s a festive Fourth of July feast without some desserts? Bullock’s homemade cakes and pies also prove popular with the restaurant’s customers. “We’ll do a strawberry cake around June and July when strawberries are in season,” Zepp said, “and apple and blueberry pies. We have a devil’s food cake, a red velvet cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake with chocolate and peanut butter icing, a German chocolate cake and a yellow cake with chocolate icing.”

Doug Zepp

Bullock’s accepts carryout orders placed in advance of the day of your party but will also deliver items to your location upon request. 

If you’re the grill master in your family, you’ll appreciate the burgers, hot dogs, sausages, seasonal seafood and more from Bullock’s Country Meats & Farm Market. Owner Mike Muller said the high quality of the meats is something that customers appreciate. “All of our beef is fresh, never frozen,” he added.

Muller, who took over leadership of this longstanding Carroll County butcher shop in 2018, said he works with farmers from across the county to procure the best beef, chicken and pork for his customers. During the summer and fall seasons, the market also features fresh local produce from area farms.

Bullock’s Country Meats & Farm Market stopped offering meat bundles during the COVID-19 crisis. Bullock’s asks for advance orders for special requests for meats in advance of the Fourth of July.

Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse: Kansas City-Inspired Barbecue with a Bang

Fourth of July festivities call for hearty helpings of barbecue. Carroll residents don’t have to travel far within the county to find real pit barbecued meats with signature slow-smoked flavor. Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse in Hampstead delivers mouthwatering barbecue specialties for any Fourth of July gathering. 

Whether it’s pulled pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket or pit beef, ham or turkey, Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse prepares its meats low and slow using oak and cherry wood. Owner Steve Rogers said customers crave the pulled pork and pit meats that have been become synonymous with his restaurant’s approach to barbecue. 

Having spent more than a decade competing in the Kansas City BBQ Society circuit, Rogers imparts techniques from competition barbecue to give each of his restaurant’s specialties some BBQ TLC. His own Outlaw BBQ sauce has garnered several award recognitions.

Rogers was first introduced to the slow-cooked flavors of barbecue while serving active duty with the Coast Guard while in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. After completing his military service, Rogers moved to Maryland and opened his own business, specializing in barbecue rubs and sauces. He then sold barbecue equipment for several years before devoting his business pursuits fully to carryout and catering barbecue. “Our current project is a 2,200-square-foot addition to our building, which will allow us to offer more outdoor seating,” he said.

In addition to its barbecue specialties, Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse offers a variety of takeout menu items, including hearty pit sandwiches, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and sides such as coleslaw, bacon potato salad, and bacon macaroni and cheese. 

Although Rogers said Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse will be closed on the Fourth of July itself, customers are welcome to place carryout orders in advance for pickup before the holiday.

5 Best Places for Picnicking in Carroll 

Pack your picnic basket with some delights from the restaurants on the following pages and bring your Fourth of July celebration to one of the following Carroll County locations. Note: Due to ongoing public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic, the following venues may have specific restrictions in place for events involving potential large gatherings of people. Please contact the host location to confirm before you make your holiday plans.  

Carroll County Farm Museum
500 S. Center St., Westminster • 410-386-3880 •

Hampstead Panther Park
Located off Dakota Road and Christopher Way, Hampstead • 410-239-7408

Leister Park
4134 Black Rock Road, Hampstead • 410-386-2103

Piney Run Park
30 Martz Road, Sykesville • 410-795-5165

Sandymount Park
2250 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg • 410-386-2103

For more information about renting picnic pavilions at these and other Carroll County parks, visit