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Lunch with office in Rockville

Ack! I was picked to pick a place to go with the office to lunch tomorrow in Rockville. Last week was Urban BBQ, and I need something that is crowd pleasing to everyone (some very not adventurous eaters)and relatively cheap. I was thinking about El Patio, but need to stay Twinbrookish as opposed to downtown Rockville.

Any help?

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  1. El Patio would probably be a safe choice, although there aren't a lot of tables, especially for a larger group.

    Also within reasonable distance are Il Pinito for Italian (Nicholson La.), Mama Lucia for pizza (Federal Plaza), Sam Woo for a Korean/sushi lunch buffet (Rockville Pk.), Joe's Noodles (although I've seen a few distressing downhill alerts here), Houston's, and, perhaps a best-bet -- Crisp and Juicy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Terrie H.

      Went to Joe's on Monday and detected no slippage in quality or change in the cooking. Same great food, same great folks. They do have some rather tame lunch combinations that shouldn't scare anyone.

      1. I'm not quite following the logic, or you need to better define your geography. If Urban BBQ was acceptable locationwise, why wouldn't El Patio (500 feet away from Urban) also be? I wouldn't consider either to be "downtown" Rockville.

        In that area, (Original) Ambrosia at the Pike & Montrose is fairly cheap, reliable and unadventurous.

        1. Oh sorry if that was confusing, the El Patio location is great, I meant for other suggestions, to stay closer to Congressional. Ambrosia is good, and I'm getting really into Joe's so long as there are safer choices for the blander eaters. Thai might work too, any recommendations of Amina compared to Benjarong?

          8 Replies
          1. re: caphill2320

            Joe's is tiny, and will have problems seating a larger group at lunchtime. And, IMO, they HAVE slipped since the chef left.

            I find Amina Thai kind of hit and miss.

            1. re: DanielK

              I've had as many as 16 people to lunch at Joe's without a problem. We had to wait a few minutes while they set us up. No biggie. They take reservations for large groups. BTW, what did you order and what did you notice was different about it? As I said, I detected nothing out of the ordinary. You've made me curious.

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                16 people right at lunchtime? My experience has been that by 12:15 or 12:30, even on a weekday, there's a wait for a table.

                I'm not saying the place is terrible, but I thought the depth of flavor and flavor-to-heat ratios were off on some dishes. Wontons w/Red Hot Sauce, Pasta w/Hot Meat Sauce, Yu-Shaing Pork Home Style, and the infamous H20 Fish just weren't the same.

                I'm going to head out to Peking Cheers where the chef went to in a week or so, and check out what they have going on.

                1. re: DanielK

                  We had two of those big tables. I called ahead, but we waited about ten minutes to be seated. I had the szechuan beef soup, salt/pepper squid and homestyle kung pao over the weekend and it was all right there. The H20 and the hot crispy beef I only get when I have some help. Like to hear about Peking Cheers. Where is it?

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Peking Cheers is in Gaithersburg, on Quince Orchard Rd. a few blocks west of 270.

            2. re: caphill2320

              Thanks for clarifying the location thing; I was confused as well. Although it isn't really chowish, there's a place called Mosaic cafe in congressional south (I think it's on Halpine? I never remember the names of the streets over there. It's the strip mall with the REI, but in the bit that faces north on the east/west street.) Basically, their gimmick is waffles as sandwich bread. I went their once around lunch time and was struck by how not-too-terribly busy it was. The food is fine, and that's about the most I can say for it. But if you need a place for not too adventurous eaters, it's probably great.

              1. re: Smokey

                I'd agree, Mosaic cafe is a good lunch place. The sandwiches are pretty good with the waffle/sandwich bread.

            3. Hmmm, the waffle place sounds interesting.

              We went to El Patio which went over very well and was very tasty. I really liked the empanadas and I have an little dulce de leche cookie saved for later.

              They also have a ton of South American grocery supplies...excellent resource for when I finally decide to learn how to make tres leches cake.

              1. Labanese Taverna Cafe in Congressional Plaza
                I don't think it is too adventerous... everyone loves PIta bread Right?

                1. Pho 95 on Rockville Pike can accomodate tables of 8. It is nothing fancy but the Pho and other foods are really good. And the portions are significant.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bethesdam

                    Pho 95 has the advantage of having a menu beyond Pho, but the Pho itself tastes like dishwater compared to Pho 75 a mile up the road...

                    1. re: DanielK

                      What else do they serve at Pho 95?

                      1. re: caphill2320

                        Pho 95 has a reasonably extensive Vietnamese menu. Appetizers, dishes, noodles, etc.

                        Pho 75 has only Pho and drinks.