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Try nearby!

Just as an experiment, pause for a moment and think of the closest restaurant to your work or home that you've *never* been to. Now ponder the reasons (if any) why you've not tried it. If you're like me, it may be nothing more than "I've never gotten around to it."

So today's mission (should you decide to accept it) is to give that nearby place a try sometime in the near future, and if it's chow-worthy, let us know what you find out.

This menu will self destruct in five seconds.

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  1. ha! Another fun and clever Warthog thread! ;-)

    I was actually thinking about this this a.m. when talking to some fellow dog walkers in Patterson Park. I live, and work (since I work from home) approx two blocks from Salt, and two blocks, in another direction, from Life of Reilly, and have been to neither! (Ok. I once had a glass of wine at Salt, but not so much as a Guiness at LoR!)

    3 Replies
    1. re: baltoellen

      Go to both. Salt can be really good; Life of Reilly is solid.

        1. re: baltoellen

          Ok. Made it to Life of Reilly. In a word: mediocre. In even more words: the low end of mediocre.

          And, even more mediocrity, the place looked and felt like it was part of a chain restaurant, but even chains put more thought into the decor. And, really, what's with the menu with photos? If that doesn't scream 'chain,' I don't know what does.

          Started with awful MD crab soup. No body, almost no crab taste, and weirdly vinagry. Had Cajun chicken over salad. Fine. Mr. Baltoellen had a blue cheese burger, med-rare. Overcooked and very, very dry. The sweet potato fries were fine, if a bit oily.

          Despite it being about two blocks away, we will not return. (Well, maybe if it's the only place open in a blizzard, but just can't see spending any more time or money there.)

    2. I am almost ashamed to admit that I live around the corner from the Helmand and have never eaten there. (slinking slowly away)

      1. I work really close to Bistro Bis, but it looks really expensive. There are lots of places in Union Station I haven't tried because it's so darn crowded with tourists and travellers during the day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: 4X4

          Try to get a reservation to Bistro Bis for Restaurant Week. (Although I would act quickly especially for lunch..because it might book up.) I really like the food there and you can cut down on the cost by going for the $20 lunch or $30 dinner.

          Even though you probably aren't near by on the weekends, they have a really yummy brunch menu. You can order ala carte. Or there is a great $30 3-course brunch menu that I have enjoyed many times.

        2. To share the shame, I've got two non-chain candidates within walking distance, and both have been in business since I moved into Rancho Destructo in 1992, so I've got a dose of my own medicine to take on this one. But that's the fun of it, too. By definition, there has to be a "nearest place" that one hasn't tried. For some of us, it may be around the corner, for others who are more thorough about exploring their surroundings, it may be many miles away. But whatever the case may be, there is a "closest one", and if this thread gives one the excuse or motivation to try it, so much the better!

          Who knows, maybe we'll collectively come up with some interesting finds, or at least some humorous descriptions of the "I think once was enough, thanks!" experiences that come out of this experiment.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Warthog

            Shame on me - I thought I had posted my results previously. My nearby place that I'd driven past for years is Bogie's Hoagies, on the corner of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard and Camp Mead Road.

            It's your typical Mom & Pop sub and pizza shop, with a strong selection of variants on the cheese steak. It actually turned out to be pretty darend good for what it is, and some of their cheese steak variations sound like they'd be worth further exploration. Decent fries, didn't try the pizza.

            I'd put it in the category of a place to go when you want something decent, relatively inexpensive, and fairly fast, and you prefer giving your patronage to an individual proprietor, rather than a faceless mega-conglomerate chain.

            Having tried this place, I suppose I now need to try the "<forgot the name>'s
            Steaks" place off of Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park (I think it's diagonally across the intersection from Ollie's) that has gotten some mention on this board.

            I will "dare to compare", and report my findings!

            1. re: Warthog

              Sounds like you're thinking of "Linda's Steak Subs". I drive by there a lot, but have never tried the place.

              1. re: Hal Laurent

                Seems to me that Warthog is describing Linda's Steaks and I have been there and recommend it.

              2. re: Warthog

                Wow... I've actually been to Bogie's Hoagies, although I don't live anywhere near there. Stopped in while on the way to the airport once. I remember thinking it was definitely better than average for this type of food, though it wasn't so good that I remember what I actually ate!

                1. re: Warthog

                  Can you possibly provide a better location description. I work close to hear but can not for the life of me picture this place. We are always looking for a new lunch spot....

                  1. re: RJJR

                    For which?
                    Bogie's Hoagie's - corner of B&A and Camp Mead.
                    BH is across the intersection from The Rose,
                    BH is across B&A from Checkers,
                    BH is across Camp Mead from the Shell Station,
                    BH is on the NW corner of the intersection, between the auto parts store (on Camp Mead) and the body shop (around the corner on B&A, just before the B&A goes under the light rail tracks)

                    Linda's Steak Subs - the strip mall that contains Ollie's in Brooklyn Park is on the SE corner of the intersection of Ritchie and one of the side streets (11th maybe?) , the NE corner is a McDonald's and another strip mall, and Linda's
                    is on west side of Ritchie, on the SW end of the strip mall on the NW corner of that same intersection. I think there's a liquor store on the SW corner of the intersection.

                    1. re: Warthog

                      From memory, I think Linda's is just north of 11th Ave (on the west side of Ritchie Hwy), and there's a fire station just south of 11th Ave, and Goldberg Liquors is just south of the fire station.

                      1. re: Warthog

                        Ok, now I know where it is, Thanks

                2. I have several, since I moved to Federal Hill and there's a ton of restaurants there. The ones that are my go-to places (Matsuri, Thai Arroy, Elvis, FCP) are good enough that I tend to go elsewhere in the city to try new places. Others I have tried but aren't everyday places, like Corks.

                  Nevertheless, my girlfriend was over Friday night. We watched a long movie and needed a place within walking distance that was still open. So we went to Maria D's Sub Shop. It was totally meh. The kind of food that tastes good if you're really drunk and greasy enough that -- well, never mind. I can see going back if it's really late and I'm really hungry, since they're open til 2 am. But I'm not gonna be a regular, no way.

                  There's an Indian place i have yet to try, and Kirby's Szechuan. I'll try to get to them in the next few weeks.

                  1. How do you come up with all these thread ideas?

                    The place closest to me is a deli, which I don't do (cold cheese and/or meat has always been a pretty big turn off for me). The owner seems nice though, which makes me wish that I did. Next closest is a 'saloon' that my neighbors warned me against setting foot in when I moved to the neighborhood. So... I'm going to have to say that Zorba's is probably the closest place I should check out.

                    I did, however, finally visit Matthew's Pizza last week after living ~10 minutes away for the last two years. There were two very weeded (and so hideously slow) servers, but the pizza was delish!

                    1. Jamaica Jamaica in Herndon.

                      Another related idea: What chow-worthy places are near you that you have gone to but just don't end up going to very often at all? (and why).

                      SBC in Herndon would be the one for me - lunch is less inspiring than dinner and I feel I'm getting a lower end of the deal at lunch (and while I could go for dinner it NEVER crosses my mind for dinner - mainly due to location and interior decorating). .

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Dennis S

                        Does this mean I have to go to Ms Shirlie's ;( ?

                        1. re: baltimorejim

                          Yes, and have a breakfast kebab there

                      2. I live really close by to Ooohs and Aaahs, but have never went for fear of developing an addiction to their mac and cheese. Same story for Creme as I love me some shrimp and grits, but would hate to hear what my thighs would say. But I know my tummy would say, more!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: botnot

                          Get thee to Creme! It's delicious and the staff (both bartenders and waitstaff) are really friendly.

                          More figure friendly would be their incredible roasted chicken and the famous mushroom appetizer. (Just stay away from the giant piece of coconut cream cake I enjoyed the last time I was there. It could easily feed 2...it fed only me!! :) )

                        2. Abacrombie in Mt. Vernon. It's on my list of places to try, but it is a long list. Is it one that I should move to the top?

                          I'm happy that Artfest weekend I broke my rut of Jaleo and Pazo and finally tried Tapas Teatro. My favorite is still Jaleo, but I think TT is now my go to place for tapas in Bmore.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: viperlush

                            Keep it in the middle until someone reports back on how the new kitchen staff and wait staff are under the new management.

                          2. I live in the Huntington area of Alexandria (basically land of chain restaurants) and there is this place on Rt. 1 called "Las Vegas Restaurant" that claims to be Salvadoran and Mexican (I think?)...we always joke about going but never do...if someone has been there though I'd like to hear about it!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MDoodle

                              I tried it once; it's just your generic DC-area Tex-Mex-as-interpreted-by-Salvadorans.

                              Las Vegas Restaurant
                              6151 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22303

                            2. The nearest restaurant to me that I haven't tried is the new Sunflower vegetarian restaurant at 7 Corners. I'm not adverse to vegetarian food, but a little reluctant to try a vegetarian restaurant without knowing there will be some things I'll like.

                              Next closest restaurant is Wendy's, and then Hong Kong Palace. Guess where I go when I want to eat nearby. Dogfish Head Alehouse is coming soon. Will definitely try that.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MikeR

                                My boyfriend lives right by there too and I've been having the same thoughts about Sunflower. One of us has to break down and try it!

                              2. But I work in SW!!!