Decent chow for group near Bethesda Metro
We're a 15 person group looking for a decent meal walking distance from the Bethesda metro stop (at the Bethesda Hyatt). Entrees should be under $15. For this price, I'm not expecting excellence, but aren't there places with good food? Ethnic, American, anything.
Louisianna Express on Bethesda Ave in between the Rolls Royce and Bentley Dealers and across from Mercedes Benz. It's got great food with non-Rolls Royce pricing :o).
Love the jambalaya and the sweet potato pecan pie is yummy.
Try the Pines of Rome on Hampden Lane, a block from your hotel. Many opinions about the Pines; it is a long established, old fashioned red table Italian place. Food is not spectacular, but a good choice for a large group, especially if you want to drink cheap carafe red wine. Call and they will set you up. Otherwise, prepare to wait. You should have the white pizza, as the Pines introduced this dish to the DC area over 30 years ago. If they have scallops in shell, by all means get them. Whole flounder or rockfish, and other daily specials are good. Don't be surprised at the tomato sauce, it is not really sauce. Skip the salad. Anchovies and peppers appetizer is good; bread is acceptable. Find out if Marco the owner is there; he'll take care of you.
For Tex-Mex, Rio Grande Cafe on Bethesda Ave. and Arlinton Rd.
I would also recommend Foong Lin on Fairmont Ave.
Passage to India and Jaleo are by far the best options. I would avoid Foong Lin, Rio Grande, Pines of Rome, Lavante, Raku, Cafe Deluxe, Austin Grill, . . . the list goes on.
Tommy Joe's (4714 Montgomery Ave) is right across the street from the Hyatt. It's a real neighborhood restaurant and, although the front is a sports bar, don't let that stop you, because it has good food. Some of the entrees are over your $15 price point but there's a wide range of choices from burgers to good fish and steaks to keep everyone happy.
You should be able to put tables together in the back room with no trouble - and no TVs. Check their website for menu and more details.
I would recommend Bacchus Restaurant, just down the street from the Metro, for Lebanese food. Passage to India has my vote as well.