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Restaurants in Silver Spring?


saycheese
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It seemed pretty good for kids - I think the guy finished up around 11 or 11:30, so you might want to check on the time that he is there. It was cute - kids clapping and singing along, 100% enthralled.

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On the Mayoraga topic, in addition to the Sunday brunch and children's hour with the Banjo man from Takoma Park ( I guess he can manage both his gig at Mayorga and the Takoma Park market on Sundays. He has been a Sunday fixture in TP for years!), they also have music several nights of the week with local artist, which makes for an easy outting. Likewise, you have the option of coffee or a drink!

It also seems that Mayorga has an agreement with Marvelous Market. I swung by Marvelous market in Dupont and noticed they were selling Mayorga coffee and noticed that at Mayorga they were selling the market's baked goods. Interesting local agreement.

The other good item is that Mayorga offers free wireless connection so it makes a good place to work...my only concern is that on recent visits it seems that they keep cramming more and more seating into the place ( most likely due to it's increasing popularity) and loosing some of the cozy coffe flare with their leather sofas they had when they opened. I just hope they don't over do it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, first post here. I've never seen anyone mention one of our favorites, the Thai Spice Cafe on Georgia Avenue. The restaurant is not much to look at, but the food has always been fresh and delicious when we've eaten there. In fact, we usually get it delivered, and are always impressed at the presentation, even though it's delivery food. Has anyone else experienced this place?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings anyone/everyone! I'm new posting to the fourm, so I'll apologize in advance for any faux pas....I've browsed a few times but have to fight my so for computer time :sad: and was in a "deactive" status, so I had to wait to be reactivated before I could post. Re: restaurants in S.S.--I'm curious why no one mentioned Half Moon BBQ, Napoli's, or the cuban place beneath Napoli's? I have not myself tried these places, but have heard good things about the BBQ, Napoli's is the same owners as when they were known by "Christina's" in Wheaton, and they always seemed to have a good following, and some family members tried the cuban place and had good things to say. I must admit I am extremely dissapointed that most of what is opening in the downtown accessible area so far are chains--I'll be interested to see if anyone has any other input on these restaurants. :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

From today's Tom Sietsema chat:

Silver Spring, Md.: I heard a rumor that the very talented, newly James Beard awarded chef, Ann Cashion, is planning to open a restaurant in Silver Spring. What do you know?

Tom Sietsema: It’s true! Ann is the muse behind the forthcoming Jackie’s, which will open in early August near the Discovery headquarters. Named for co-owner Jackie Higgins, a real estate maven, the restaurant will feature Cashion protege Sam Adkins, who plans to do seasonal food in a “streamlined” version of Cashion’s menu, says his former boss. Ann has worked on both the kitchen design and the menu in the space, which used to house an auto garage.

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From today's Tom Sietsema chat:

Silver Spring, Md.: I heard a rumor that the very talented, newly James Beard awarded chef, Ann Cashion, is planning to open a restaurant in Silver Spring. What do you know?

Tom Sietsema: It’s true! Ann is the muse behind the forthcoming Jackie’s, which will open in early August near the Discovery headquarters. Named for co-owner Jackie Higgins, a real estate maven, the restaurant will feature Cashion protege Sam Adkins, who plans to do seasonal food in a “streamlined” version of Cashion’s menu, says his former boss. Ann has worked on both the kitchen design and the menu in the space, which used to house an auto garage.

WOOO HOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!

Jenny, you just made my day! :biggrin::biggrin:

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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  • 1 month later...

As a long-time resident of Silver Spring, I have mixed feelings about the new downtown. I'm disappointed that it's become chain-restraurant-hell, but delighted to see people out and about in the public spaces.

But the real reason for this post is to plug the Italian restaurant in the Hilton, a couple blocks down Colesville -- Sergio. Walter Nicholls reviewed the restaurant back in February. I found everything he said held true and really don't have much to add.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...ype=restaurants

Except I would like to emphasize how inexpensive our meal was, especially in light of the quality of the food. We were 4 adults and had

2 appetizers

duck ravioli

mussels

4 entrees

penne w/ sausage

grilled salmon

rock fish topped with crab meat and broiled (2)

coffee

2 digestives (sambucca)

litre of the house wine

Total was about $100 before tip.

The fish entrees were excellent.

Atmosphere was blah, as Nicholls points out, but the cooking and service were great. So check out Sergio while you're waiting for Cashion and company to ride to the rescue.

Is it true that Red Dog now has a liquor license? Need to get over there soon.

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Is it true that Red Dog now has a liquor license? Need to get over there soon.

Yes.

Have not been since they got it, but they have beer/wine. Pretty sure they don't have liquor.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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  • 1 month later...

New notes on wine/beer at Red Dog. They've got a list with about 5 bottled beers and a wine list of about 6 white, 6 red, and a rose. Forgot to steal a copy of it, but I was not too excited by anything.

[rant]

The service there continues to suck ventworm nuts! Mrs JPW (who is by now quite noticable) and I stood at the host stand for a solid minute with 4 or 5 different employees staring at us before anyone said anything to us. We sat outside for lunch and there were no more than 6 tables occupied outside and another 6 inside. The 4 top next to us got one sandwich .... 20 minutes later (yes I timed it) they got the three pizzas that they had ordered at the same time. Mrs. JPW and I were finally able to order sandwiches (after watching the 4 top go to the bus stand and get their own silverware). Food was then delivered to another table near us, and then re-directed to the 4 top, where it was finally re-directed to a third. Our sandwiches finally arrived 27 minutes after we had ordered. At least we got the food that we ordered, unlike the two ladies behind us.

I've now given what is otherwise a lovely spot with acceptable-to-good food 3 shots. The service has been consistently crappy to the point where I will NEVER go back.

[/rant]

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Peeked in the window at Jackie's last weekend. It is next door to My Le, the little Vietnamese place. They have light fixtures up (can't say I'm a big fan of them) and most of the drywall appears to be done. Tough to spot, because the only sign that says Jackie's is at the top of the building and not easy to notice if you are close to the building.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Oriental East isn't just the best dim sum in the area - it rivals the stuff in Toronto. Definitely better than anything in Boston, which has a billion times better Chinese food in general.

The har gow - steamed shrimp dumplings - are always extremely fresh and crisp, and the ba la bao, the buns covered in a crusty exterior, are filled with amazing custard that beats 90% of dedicated Chinese bakeries.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks like it may be so long from Crisfields, at least the one in the Lee Building at Georgia Ave. and Colesville Rd. There's three big signs up in the windows there saying "Restaurant Space For Rent." I wonder if rising rents due to the Sprung-ification of the area have something to do with that? Haven't driven by the original location further down Georgia recently, but presume it will keep carrying the torch for old-school, butter-drenched seafood as it has done for 50 years or so.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Looks like it may be so long from Crisfields, at least the one in the Lee Building at Georgia Ave. and Colesville Rd. There's three big signs up in the windows there saying "Restaurant Space For Rent." I wonder if rising rents due to the Sprung-ification of the area have something to do with that? Haven't driven by the original location further down Georgia recently, but presume it will keep carrying the torch for old-school, butter-drenched seafood as it has done for 50 years or so.

I was too scared to add Crisfield's in the irrational emotional attachments thread. My damn father fooled me into liking that place. He'd rave, and I'd keep my mouth shut. That's my irrational attachment to it...but deep, deep down, it gives me the willies. Yuck! Don't hate me for being real.

Edited by morela (log)

...

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  • 10 months later...

Time to update this thread, so I figure my first post on this forum is a good way to do it. Silver Spring isn't quite the dining wasteland some would think--it's come a long way and, IMO, the future looks bright.

My favorites:

La Bamba--this is the aforementioned "Cuban place" below Napoli's, but it's actually Guatemalan and serves good, reliable staples such as pepian de pollo and beef stew. You can tell it's authentic, as 90% of the clientele seem to be there for a taste of home. It's on Georgia Avenue, nearly at the corner of Thayer. The prices are better than fair. It was with great sadness that I recently transferred to Rockville, as it means I can no longer have my weekly La Bamba fix at lunch.

Mandalay--this Burmese/Myanmar restaurant is a recent transplant from College Park, located on Bonifant St, across the street from Roger Miller and Thai Derm. The food is terrific, the service not always so. But I'm willing to overlook the sometimes "matter-of-fact" attitudes of the management to get at the wonderful food. You can regulate the heat level by ordering mild, regular, or spicy. The latter is sometimes 5-alarm hot! Good appetizers as well--my favorites are the gram fritters with a very spicy dipping sauce.

Mi Rancho--better than average Tex-Mex. They have one of those Rube Goldberg-like torilla makers, so you can watch the tortilla passing down the assembly line. The chips and salsa are excellent--be careful, you can "spoil your supper" on these.

Samantha's--the crown jewel--IMO--of Silver Spring dining. On University, near Piney Branch, this little restaurant never fails to please. I've eaten there at least 100 times and have never been disappointed. It's also my wife's favorite--she's expecially fond of the various saltados, but the pupusas are also the best around. Samantha's serves Salvadoran, South American, and Mexican dishes, with specials on the weekends. Something as simple as black beans becomes special at Samantha's--the first time I tasted these, I knew this place was a keeper. My favorite appetizer is the shrimp, swimming in fresh garlic and butter, served with a small loaf of crusty bread. Yum....

Negril--good Jamaican, with excellent jerk chicken, roti, etc. On Thayer, just around the corner from La Bamba.

Unfortunately, the chains that came to Silver Spring with revitalization--Panera, Macaroni Grill, Red Lobster, etc.--have drawn most diners and many of the really good little places remain a bit of a secret. Along with the above, there's an excellent little Cuban place--El Guajiro--just across Colesville Road from City Place. It remains an undiscovered jewel, despite the raves from Tom Sietsema and other reviewers. The Italian deli next door is also terrific for a quick lunch or carry-out. Perhaps as more restaurants open--and they will--and people get a little more adventurous, there will be exponential growth of good, non-chain eateries.

As mentioned in another post, Jackie's opened last year, but I haven't tried it. It's reportedly quite good and is at the top of my list of places to try next. I also like the Langano, the Ethiopian restaurant on the corner of Georgia and Thayer, although better Ethiopian can be found in Adams-Morgan. The decor is plain, but they have a good lunch buffet and there are a few gems on the menu. I had lunch at Addis Ababa one day, another Ethiopian place located on Fenton St., but the waitress spoke no English and the whole experience was a comedy of errors. What she eventually brought me was pretty good, but it wasn't what I ordered. I've been afraid to try again.

Edited by Jeff Craddock (log)
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Thanks for a most excellent rundown, Jeff. Some great dining ideas in that post! I agree with you on Samantha's--I've had most of their menu at this point and am hardly ever disappointed.

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el Guajiro, which Sietsema inexplicably raved about as I never found it to be better than average, is closed. Replaced by yet another Mex/Salvadoran place.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I wanted to chime in on the SS review here since I've been to Jackie's and Mandalay's recently. Samantha's is on my hit list for next place to go to in SS as is that tropical ice cream place I always forget the name of (right below the beltway... Troy's?)

I went to Jackie's about a week ago and got a little preview of the decor from the flashy website, so I was prepared for all the pink. It's kitchy but fun. I did not have drinks at the bar, so I can't comment on that. Service was good, albeit a little slow, but it wasn't a big hinderance.

For the money you're being charged, I expected the food to be better. We started with an order of the trendy mini-burgers, and the pimento cheese didn't sit well with me at all. The burgers themselves were fine. I got the halibut with beet salad and mache and my date got the hangar steak (how I wish Ray's were up and running!) The halibut was good and so was the beet salad mix, but the mache was quite unappetizing. Tasted like it had been soaking up frying oil or something, I'm not quite sure. The steak was "alright" at medium rare. :hmmm:

I think we got out of there for $60 after tax and tip, no drinks involved. I'd rather have gone into DC and spent that money at Corduroy or Palena, honestly. I'd go back to try the drinks at the bar, but that's about it.

Mandalay's on the other hand is great. Nice variety in the menu, great food, and spotty service at times. My key pet dining peeve is having the main course served minutes after the appetizers come out, and that's what happened there. Everything was hot enough that it didn't dampen the evening however.

With Ray's coming to town, I'm glad there will be more options for a Saturday night dinner right down the street. Let's not forget the Royal Mile right up the street in Wheaton for a decent selection of taps and Scotch tastings!

Also, where is Mi Rancho?

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Also, where is Mi Rancho?

Right behind the Silver Diner. Across the street from Cubano's which is decent-to-good Cuban food.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I really enjoy Cubano's. I grew up in Florida eating Cuban sandwiches, and I can honestly say that they have the best Cubans I have ever had! They are not 100% "traditional", but does that really exist when you are talking about Cubans (that's another topic)! I'm meeting a friend there tonight, actually, and am really looking forward to a mojito! I LOVE the ropa vieja. I think it's the best thing on the dinner menu (they only serve Cubans at lunch). I had snapper poached in a banana leaf a few weeks ago (their special) and it was to die for.

I also LOVE Mandalay and could eat there every night. I took my family (visiting from Florida) there and they loved it, and I took a college friend and her husband who were visiting from Richmond there and they loved it. I have not had one thing on the menu that was less than excellent.

I order Chinese delivery from a place on Georgia called Tin Jin Palace or something similar and was pleasantly surprised for Chinese delivery. A few months ago we tried to eat at Mandalay and found we were between lunch and dinner service. We walked around the corner to Georgia Ave. and decided to try table service at Tin Jin (?) and it was better than we expected. There is a pork and eggplant hot pot on the menu that I get over and over again there. And the chicken with walnuts is really good. We always order extra walnuts. If I want Chinese in Silver Spring, that's where I go.

Also, we have always loved El Mariachi in Rockville and we were surprised to find out that we live just a few blocks from a sister restaurant called El Golfo on Flower Avenue. It is closer to Takoma Park (where we live), but I think it is considered to be Silver Spring. It is on Flower Avenue, almost on the corner of Piney Branch. It is good, casual food. We went there for an early dinner last evening and I just had some ceviche, tamales, and flan. But I've enjoyed everything on their menu thus far. I prefer El Golfo to Samantha's, actually (although both are quite good).

I really like the ribs at Red Dog. I'm sure that have other excellent things on the menu, but every time I go there I can't resist ordering the ribs. I just wish they would expand their dessert menu. I've not had a problem with service there, and I went once in the beginning of a major snow storm and was surprised that they had even stayed open and our server was friendly and the service was fast.

York Castle tropical ice cream on Georgia is fabulous. I could wallow naken in a vat of their Litchi ice cream (TMI, I know).

Also, this isn't Silver Spring but I absolutely adore Woodlands in Langley Park. It's just a little further down University than Samantha's. It's in a strip mall. It is vegetarian Indian, and even as a non-vegetarian I love it. They have a weekend brunch buffet for around $8 that is wonderful and varies from week to week. I feel lucky when they have both pumpkin masala and carrot halwa on the buffet! I order a mango lassi to round it all out and life is good!!!!

Has anyone gone to the Thai place in the "plaza" area with all of the chains? I was there with my visiting family the other night and we stopped for my nephew to play in fountain. I saw the Thai place and got excited because I love Thai. The place across from Mandalay is great (I can't remember the name) but more Thai is better in my book.

Also, where is Mi Rancho?

Right behind the Silver Diner. Across the street from Cubano's which is decent-to-good Cuban food.

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Some more quick notes --

I am a huge el Golfo fan. The owner, Ada, is one of the founding forces behind the new Long Branch Business Association, which is sorely needed as that crossroads has some problems with public drunkeness and homelessness. They're always glad to see Peanut and never fail to make a big fuss over her.

I like Mandalay, but after a while all of their dishes start to taste alike to me.

I actually went back to Red Dog for the first time since I promised never to go back because the service was so bad. The service was better, but I was vaguely disappointed by the food. It wasn't bad, just kind of hum-drum.

Mrs JPW told me that the new Thai place and the new Pho joint both looked like they were open, but we have yet to stop in.

The Thai place across from Mandalay is called "Thai Derm". It's good honest home food, and our most frequent source of Friday night take out. Not on the menu, but usually on the specials board is "Nam Sod", a Larb-like pork salad with ginger. Get it. Be happy.

Go next door to Roger Miller for some goat and fufu.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I happily endorse JPW's opinions above with the exception of his take on Mandalay, where we part company a bit. I agree that the menu isn't really as long as it looks because many of the, for want of a better word, "curry-like" preparations are substantially similar. But the salads are great -- particularly the green tealeaf salad and the utterly addictive springroll salad -- the noodle dishes rarely disappoint (try the room temperature preparations and order them spicy, if you dare) and the special basmati rice and onion gravy-smothered chicken is the only thing that can occasionally tear our lot away from 2 Amys for Sunday lunch. It's also cheap and kid-friendly.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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I really like Thai Derm as well. I had forgotten the name of it, but it is my first choice for carry-out. I've TRIED to get carry-out at the little cafe connected to the Thai Market on the other side of Safeway (one block over) when I'm in shopping (I love to cook Thai food as well) but the cafe always seem to be closed. There is another Thai place I like in Wheaton one block off Georgia Ave on Amherst -- I think it's Thai Ruen or something similar -- that I really like.

Thanks for the tip on Roger Miller. We had a bad experience at the Ethiopian Restaurant on Georgia Ave. and have been wary about trying Roger Miller.

I've actually attempted to be a community activist in cleaning up the Long Branch area myself, but Montgomery County doesn't seem very responsive. I've been trying for years. Don't get me started on that. I'm the loudmouth that was quoted in The Washington Post a few months ago for a community activist group that I'm starting. Sorry, I shouldn't get started.... not on the subject....

But I do love El Golfo. We also eat at the Mediterranean restaurant on Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park quite a bit. It's not a place that I go nuts for (like a restaurant in Astoria in Queens for which I'd gladly drive 3-1/2 hours up I-95 just for the spanakopita even if my S.O. wasn't a Queens native and we go up once a month anyway) but in a restaurant-starved corrider it is a little oasis. And the owners are so kind and so welcoming that the so-so atmosphere (they haven't caught on to the idea of "mood lighting") and occasionally unpredictable food quality can be overlooked. I avoid Taliano's on Carroll Avenue. I worked with a guy who worked there for a number of years and he refused to eat there. I won't go into specifics, but he told me enough stories that I haven't eaten there since.

Some more quick notes --

I am a huge el Golfo fan. The owner, Ada, is one of the founding forces behind the new Long Branch Business Association, which is sorely needed as that crossroads has some problems with public drunkeness and homelessness.  They're always glad to see Peanut and never fail to make a big fuss over her.

I like Mandalay, but after a while all of their dishes start to taste alike to me.

I actually went back to Red Dog for the first time since I promised never to go back because the service was so bad. The service was better, but I was vaguely disappointed by the food. It wasn't bad, just kind of hum-drum.

Mrs JPW told me that the new Thai place and the new Pho joint both looked like they were open, but we have yet to stop in.

The Thai place across from Mandalay is called "Thai Derm". It's good honest home food, and our most frequent source of Friday night take out. Not on the menu, but usually on the specials board is "Nam Sod", a Larb-like pork salad with ginger. Get it. Be happy.

Go next door to Roger Miller for some goat and fufu.

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Upthread.

(duck)

Er, I mean upstairs. I'm pretty sure this new Thai place is upstairs from the Austin Grill-Eggspectation part of the newish Ellsworth Ave "Downtown Silver Spring" development. I think there's a new pho place there too.

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