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Gaithersburg Eats?

With the funky new search feature nothing recent came up, so...

I'd like to find good places to chow for a couple of nights. My typical MO is to find a nice high end spot for one night where I can get a nice bottle of wine, etc. and then something casual for the other nights. I may have others in tow, so a multitude of options would be great. Any cuisine and price point...

You get bonus points for recommending a place bewteen Gaithersburg and Dulles that I could make a quick stop at before flying back to the west coast.

TIA

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  1. Nothing... really? Am I doomed?

    1. Your nice high end meal could be at Nick's Chop House. More casual, but still nice: La Flor de la Canela. I haven't been there in a while, but L'oustalet in King Farm is a nice French place. There's a French restaurant in Kentlands that I keep meaning to try... I haven't heard from anyone who has been there, but it looks nice: Le Palais. For Indian, I'm partial to Mirch Masala in the Kentlands (very casual and friendly). Tandoori Nights in the Kentlands is more upscale. Very casual, but tasty to me is Crepes a Go Go in the Kentlands. I really enjoy it, but again, it's very casual. For Cajun, a short jaunt up to Germantown to the French Quarter Cafe. I don't know, I could go on and on... I don't find it hard to find good food around here. There are small, good ethnic places in Travilah Square shopping center and Traville Village on the western side of town (North Potomac)... Amada Amante (upscale Italian), Skewers kabobs, Thai Taste. For Thai, I like Thai Farm which is near my original rec in King Farm (technically Rockville) and Thai Tanium in the Kentlands. There's good dim sum at lunch time at New Fortune. Italian Subs at the Gourmet Market on Quince Orchard and 28. I think maybe your request was a little vague (I know on purpose), so give us more info on what you might like. There are decent eats out here in the 'burbs!

      5 Replies
      1. re: wookyluvr

        Wookyluvr: Just a note to say what a kick I got out of reading your post. Am now many years away from Gaithersburg, where we moved forty years ago. Cows then wandered about freely, Lake Forest Mall consisted of a lake and a forest, I had to drive to Rockville to shop at the Giant, and there was not even a fast-food restaurant. I remember how thrilled my kids were when the first one, I think a Hot Shoppes Jr, arrived around 1968 or so. What changes!

        1. re: Querencia

          That was my image of Gaithersburg before we moved here. We had lived in Adams Morgan and never ventured further up the Pike than Congressional Plaza. 8 years later we feel pretty at home! There are plenty of good eats here in G-burg and close-by Rockville and Germantown. I wouldn't necessarily recommend people travel a huge distance specifically to dine in G-burg, but finding yourself here isn't the end of the world chow-wise IMO. So to stay on topic, I'll point the original poster to the Flaming Pit for steaks/piano bar (I'd still rather go to Nick's). Johnny's Kabob in Germantown for Persian food... also Caspian Cafe in Kentlands and I like Moby Dick's in the Kentlands although some chowhounds don't seem to like it because it's a local chain. There are also a bunch of Mexican and Salvadoran places in Old Town Gaithersburg that I've never tried, but would like to and bet they are good. There is a good place for Mexican food on Fields Road near the Rio (in front of the Quick Lube place). There have been a couple posts on Chowhound about it in the past year. Want some bagels in the morning, stop by Neal's in the shopping center at 28 and Quince Orchard. There are good places peppered all over the area. It's not cow country any more!

          1. re: wookyluvr

            >>>I like Moby Dick's in the Kentlands although some chowhounds don't seem to like it because it's a local chain.

            I can't speak for anybody else, but I went to the Moby Dicks in Fallsgrove (near Shady Grove Hospital, probably technically in Rockville) and I can uequivocally state that I didn't much care for it because the felafel was bad, not because it was a chain.

        2. re: wookyluvr

          I recommend Nicks ChopHouse as well. I dont really consider it a chophouse though.
          They do have great steaks and other chops but there menu is anything but a typical chophouse menu. Rather, more of an American menu featuring steaks and chops with plenty of seafood and other alternatives. Good wine list.

          1. re: wookyluvr

            La Flor de la Canela is still worth the effort. Homey service, wonderful food. And it's not technically Gaithersburg but I like Il Pizzico on Rockville Pike - great homemade pasta.

          2. A group of chowhounds had an interesting meal from the Yunnan menu at Mandarin Express a few months ago. It's just a bit south of Gaithersburg (technically north Rockville, I think). Here's more detail: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/389151

            The list of Yunnan specialties is quite small and tucked inside the front page of the main menu, IIRC. The rest of the menu appeared to be standard Americanized Chinese, I wouldn't go for that. You may need some assistance from the waitstaff, but they were quite friendly. Definitely get the Crossing the Bridge soup.

            -----
            Mandarin Express Chinese
            15209 Frederick Rd, Rockville, MD 20850

            1 Reply
            1. re: alopez

              Your post reminds me that Mama Wok on Key West is supposed to be good for authentic Sichuan, but you have to emphasize you want authentic. I have not tried it.

            2. Since many have replied for your MD leg, go to Herndon, VA on your way back to Dulles, an exit off the toll road. Make sure to stay in the local lanes, not the express lanes to the airport. On Elden Street find Pollo Inka 656 Elden St., 703-481-9090. Pupusas, ceviche, pollo a la brasa, papas. Leave plenty of time to get to the airport. Or... go on the way to G'burg.

              1. Your post got me thinking about Le Palais in the Kentlands and we conveniently had an event to celebrate this week so we went to dinner there tonight. It was really wonderful. It's a small family-owned place... the mom and son waited on us and the dad is the chef. So nice! If you go, get the coq au vin. It was really excellent. I was not overly excited about the desserts, but I'm not really a dessert person. Otherwise, just extremely charming and great food.

                1. Just wanted to provide some feedback since I was in Gaithersburg last week. Thank you again for your varied recommendations, I really did need them to satisfy the group I was with. I really wanted to try La Flor de la Canela and Le Palais, but couldn't sell them to the group.

                  So... we tried to go to The French Quarter Cafe, but they apparently closed prior to their posted and advertised closing time of 9:30 and that was very annoying. Considering that by that time the group of cross country travelers were starved we just ended up at Baja Fresh.... yippie....

                  The next evening we went to Amada Amante. Nice atmosphere and good drinks, but that's were my compliments end. The server was friendly, but not a professional IMHO as he had very little product/food knowledge (i.e. What kind of tuna is the special?) I ordered the caprese salad to start. The tomatoes that were served were rock hard and by extension had no flavor. I can't believe any restaurant at that price point would try to serve tomatoes like that. The housemade mozzarella that accompanied the tomatoes was extremely firm and had no flavor.

                  I then had the lobster gnocchi. The gnocchi themselves were so doughy and chewy it was like chewing gum. The somewhat generous portion of lobster was clearly frozen claw meat, was chewy, and smelled fishy. My meal was a total bust.

                  Other diners had a carrot soup of the day that they really enjoyed and the tuna special. The (after visual inspection) Tombo tuna was properly cooked and well seasoned, though it's slicing (hacking?) shows some knife skill and or food knowledge problems in the kitchen. The lamb chop special was enjoyed by another diner. When it was ordered there was no discussion of desired doneness and it arrived from the kitchen being what looked like medium well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SLRossi

                    I had similar dismal experience at AA 3 yrs ago, and never returned. Wonder how it stays in business. Have yet to try Cava, in same shopping center, but have heard decent things about its mediterranean menu, though the place is small.