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Good cheap eats: Greenbelt/College Park, MD

ddfry3 Aug 6, 2007 05:00 PM

Out in this area for a few days, and staying with my sister. I can always go to the grocery store, but to save time and effort would welcome any food recs meeting the good/cheap category. Detailed directions are helpful since I am from IL. Thanks!!

  1. d
    ddfry3 Aug 7, 2007 08:37 AM

    Thanks all...this is a big help. Nice to see DC has good forumers!

    1. m
      matt8313 Aug 7, 2007 07:03 AM

      Marathon Deli makes a perfectly respectable gyro -- I graduated years ago and still get occasional cravings for their kronoburger, which is gyro meat, grilled onions & mushrooms, and melted cheese. Nothing that I'd travel to College Park for, but I generally stop if I'm in the area.

      There's a kosher place next door to Marathon that does good falafel and schawarma, although (again) nothing too remarkable.

      I also enjoy Hard Times Cafe up north toward Beltsville, although it's generally scorned by rabid chiliheads. I actually miss this one, and wish we had an outpost up in Baltimore.

      Marathon Deli
      4429 Lehigh Rd, College Park, MD 20740

      Hard Times Cafe College Park
      4738 Cherry Hill Rd, College Park, MD 20740

      1. debit Aug 7, 2007 06:35 AM

        In Greenbelt (and Riverdale) is Taqueria Tres Reyes. It is in Beltway Plaza Mall. Great stuff.

        4 Replies
        1. re: debit
          alopez Aug 7, 2007 06:40 AM

          Do you like the TTR in Beltway Plaza? I have always found the Riverdale location to be much better.

          1. re: alopez
            debit Aug 7, 2007 06:44 AM

            Yeah, I do like it. But only because it is a slightly shorter drive for me than going to Riverdale! My sis works in Greenbelt and it is much more convenient to head over there on a lunch hour.

            Plus, I was trying to stay in the region the original poster asked for (since he is not from the area). But if he doesn't mind going to Riverdale, he should definitely head to Riverdale instead!

            1. re: debit
              alopez Aug 7, 2007 06:57 AM

              How about Costa Alegre? It's right there between Greenbelt and College Park (technically, I think it's in Berwyn Heights). I've found it to be about equal to any of the Riverdale locations.

              1. re: alopez
                debit Aug 7, 2007 08:52 AM

                Ah...a taco trek! I must check out this place. First time I have heard of it. Thanks alopez!!!

        2. 4
          4X4 Aug 7, 2007 06:35 AM

          I like Three Brothers in Beltway Plaza. It's not great food, but you can get decent, cheap pizza and subs. They have a raw bar with clams, oysters and steamed seafood. I like to sit at the bar and have a beer and a couple of slices on a Sunday afternoon.

          1. n
            nc213 Aug 6, 2007 08:31 PM

            If you head West down University Blvd (about a mile or two from UM campus) you'll run into three strong Indian restaurants--Tiffin, Udupi Palace, and Woodlands. The first two are owned by the same people--Tiffin is a bit nicer inside and serves meat. Udupi is veg and has a great buffet on the weekends. They have it during the week too, but not quite as nice. Woodlands is also veg. All three are right on University--very easy to find.

            Before you hit any of those three there is a Pakistani place--Tabeer--that I've heard good things about, but I've never been.

            6 Replies
            1. re: nc213
              ddfry3 Aug 6, 2007 08:43 PM

              Thanks a lot everyone...if anyone else has any recs send 'em my way!

              1. re: nc213
                alopez Aug 7, 2007 05:00 AM

                Don't bother with Tabeer. Food Factory in College Park is much better for less money.

                A note is probably in order about the Indian restaurants. ddfry3, you say you're coming from Illinois -- I don't know if that means Chicago, but if so, don't bother with the Indian restaurants. They're pretty good for the DC area but they pale in comparison with what you can get on Devon Street in Chicago.

                1. re: alopez
                  nc213 Aug 7, 2007 05:34 AM

                  It's funny you say that, because the Udupi Palace in Langley Park also has an outpost on Devon in Chicago! (I've never been, just noticed it on their website)

                  1. re: nc213
                    alopez Aug 7, 2007 06:39 AM

                    Actually, I believe all three of them do -- Tiffin, Udupi, and Woodlands. But there are more interesting options on Devon.

                  2. re: alopez
                    ddfry3 Aug 7, 2007 08:35 AM

                    Yes, I am from the Chicago area originally. But I live in Champaign, IL (college town) now, so I wasn't expecting Devon-type food. Thanks for the disclaimer though!

                  3. re: nc213
                    monkeyrotica Aug 7, 2007 05:39 AM

                    Second Udupi Palace. For $10, a guy can kill himself in there.

                  4. v
                    vinogirl212 Aug 6, 2007 06:47 PM

                    I went to UMD and one of my favorites was Jungle Grille off Rte 1 in College Park. Very fresh salads and sandwiches. Plus, they serve Thomas Sweet ice cream and hard frozen yogurt (I still crave the coffee oreo frozen yogurt!) They also make really great milkshakes.....
                    Mmmmm, getting hungry just thinking about it!

                    1. m
                      maralenenok Aug 6, 2007 05:20 PM

                      My friends are huge fans of Franklin's:

                      I've been once and really liked their crab dip, pulled pork, and mashed potatoes with gorgonzola.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: maralenenok
                        ddfry3 Aug 6, 2007 05:57 PM

                        Ha, my sister took me there today, it is good...any other ideas? Buffets that are edible?

                        1. re: ddfry3
                          maralenenok Aug 6, 2007 06:19 PM

                          Ha! Well, I hope you liked it. Unfortunately we tend to eat in the Silver Spring-Rockville-Bethesda areas, so my knowledge is very limited. People here are going to sneer at me for this, but I enjoy the Chevy's at 7511 Greenbelt Road. It has a killer crab and shrimp quesadilla and an amazing frozen peach margarita.I could drink half a dozen of those in a row.

                          Among the long list of places I've been meaning to try in that vicinity based on good Yelp reviews are:

                          Costa Alegre (Mexican, 5815 A Greenbelt Road, Berwyn Heights)
                          Marathon Deli (Greek, 4429 Lehigh Rd, College Park)
                          Caribbean Delight (7811 Riggs Rd, Hyattsville)

                          1. re: maralenenok
                            alopez Aug 6, 2007 06:39 PM

                            I'm not going to sneer at you, but I do think that Chevy's sucks.

                            I live in Greenbelt, but in general I would say there are better eats in College Park and Beltsville:

                            -Da Rae Won (Beltsville): Excellent Korean-Chinese. Get the mandoo, jjajang-myun, other noodle dishes, or anything fried.
                            -Myong Dong (Beltsville): Korean noodle shop; you should get fried chicken or one of the noodle soups; the rest of the menu is hit or miss.
                            -Gah-Rahm (Beltsville): Korean barbeque. If you're looking for a buffet, you might look here, but I think the other Korean places are better for their narrower focus. (Most of the local buffet places have absolutely horrific food, btw. You have been warned).
                            -Costa Alegre (Berwyn Heights): Reliably good Mexican. Best items are the tortas, tacos, and sopas.
                            -Taqueria Esmeralda (Berwyn Heights/CP): usually stationed in the parking lot of the Los Amigos Market, literally a few hundred yards west of Costa Alegre. They have surprisingly good tortas.
                            -Food Factory (CP): Afghan, excellent naan from the tandoor, very good bone-in chicken kebabs, other dishes can be hit-or-miss (but you can usually tell on sight).
                            -Pho Vn One (Beltsville): The best of a few very good local pho places.
                            -Pho 88 (Beltsville): another good pho place.
                            -Just Jerk (Lanham): excellent Jamaican, takeout only.

                            Da Rae Won Restaurant
                            5013 Garrett Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705

                            Myong Dong Restaurant
                            11114 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705

                            5027 Garrett Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705

                            Food Factory 2
                            8145 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740

                            Costa Alegre
                            5815 Greenbelt Rd, College Park, MD 20740

                            Los Amigos
                            5003 Greenbelt Rd, College Park, MD 20740

                            Pho VN One
                            11000 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705

                            Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant
                            10478 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705

                            Just Jerk
                            9005 Lanham Severn Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

                            1. re: alopez
                              nc213 Aug 6, 2007 08:28 PM

                              I second food factory. it's yummy and very inexpensive. no atmosphere, but the food more than makes up for it.

                              1. re: alopez
                                deangold Aug 7, 2007 06:17 AM

                                The lunch buffet at Gah Rham is usrprisingly mixed for $11.95. The sushi is superb. The kim chee etc offerings are limited but really good. There was some meat dish that was great but some of the cooked dishes were not too special. Superb soups. One really good starch dish (I forget which it was but probably a noodle dish). The fried sweet & sour wings were rather bad.

                                If in the area for lunch I would return or (for two people) I might do Da Rae Won for dumplings, wings and hand pulled noodle and only wind up spending a little more. But I might come back if I felt like sushi. If you want a sushi lunch with some cooked stuff, this is one heck of a bargain. All the sushi was top notch for a buffet. Probably the best sushi I have had in a Korean restaurant.

                            2. re: ddfry3
                              maralenenok Aug 6, 2007 06:23 PM

                              Also, Five Guys - look for your closest location here:

                              Amazing burgers with a ton of toppings. The fries are okay. I would get the burgers as takeout and get some coleslaw at the supermarket instead.

                              1. re: maralenenok
                                alopez Aug 6, 2007 06:42 PM

                                The quality of Five Guys varies by location. The Five Guys in eastern Greenbelt is among the weaker ones, IMO.

                                1. re: alopez
                                  maralenenok Aug 6, 2007 06:53 PM

                                  Never been to that one. I've been to the ones in Laurel, Silver Spring, and Dupont Circle. Their burgers were all good (the SS one had the best burger of the three), but the fries were the same quality - only okayish.

                                  1. re: maralenenok
                                    alopez Aug 6, 2007 06:57 PM

                                    Actually, the best one I've been to (in addition to the original location in VA) is the one near Howard University. The one near Greenbelt is not as good.

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