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Just Moved to Silver Spring -- any recs?

My husband and I just moved to Silver Spring from the SF Bay area and we're starting to take inventory of our food choices. I'm guessing it's not quite as plentiful as in California, but any recommendations for delivery, takeout, or restaurants nearby would be very helpful. For more specifics, we live off of University between Franklin and Piney Branch. We're open to all sorts of food. Thanks!

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  1. You'll hear the same names mentioned a lot but you should probably start at Samantha's, 631 University Blvd. @ Piney Branch
    Phone: 301.445.7300
    http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...
    It is literally walking distance from you. Very tasty El Salvadoran/Mexican.

    As for cheap and good takeout nearby:
    Peruvian Chicken: Senor Chicken (University @ New Hampshire in the shopping center with the Taco Bell
    )Indian: Woodlands (University @ New Hampshire in the shopping center with the Taco Bell); Udapi Palace (University across New Hampshire near the 7-11) (Udapi and Woodlands are vegetarian)
    Tiffin (University across New Hampshire just a little ways past NH); Bombay (up New Hampshire in the White Oak Shopping Center)
    Vietnamese: Pho An (up New Hampshire in the White Oak Shopping Center); Pho 75 (University near Riggs)
    Fresh Mex: Fajita Coast (University at Colesville--just okay but pretty decent for what it is)
    Sushi: Moby Dick (Wheaton on Triangle Lane-this is farther afield for you but I find it to be good value and good quality)

    I used the restaurant searches/reviews at washingtonian.com washingtonpost.com a lot when we moved here from NYC. I am not that familiar with the Takoma Park restaurants still so I will be interested to hear your reports.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Super Salad

      This list is not exhaustive by any means:

      Samantha's, Udupi Palace, and Woodlands--we like these places.

      El Golfo is Latin-American fare; a very nice family owns it. Pretty decent.(http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...

      )

      In Silver Spring, we like Jackie's (http://www.jackiesrestaurant.com/).

      A couple of new places have opened up on Georgia Avenue--Olazzo (http://www.olazzo.com/silverspring.html) and Nicaro (http://www.nicarorestaurant.com/). We went to Olazzo and it was decent; haven't checked out Nicaro yet.

      Some people here on Chowhound really like Ray's the Classics, and it is right in Silver Spring (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-...

      )

      There is a terrific Burmese place in Silver Spring called Mandalay (http://www.mandalayrestaurantcafe.com/

      )

      I am *underwhelmed* at the restaurants in Takoma Park. We live very close to Takoma Park and if there were anything very good there, we'd be there constantly. Mark's Kitchen is a diner; the food is nothing we go out of way for; ditto the Middle Eastern Cuisine restaurant and market right next door to Mark's. I have had better middle eastern food at other places in town. Savory is another Takoma restaurant; it has vegetarian/vegan food, which, since I'm vegetarian, you'd think I'd be all over it, but no. It's basically a cafe. There is one in old town Takoma and an outpost right across from the Takoma Metro. I might pop in for a take-out sandwich at the Savory by the Metro, but that's about it.

      Colorado Kitchen (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-...) is another place to consider. The chef is very talented and we have liked the food every time we have gone. However, there is very little for vegetarians there aside from appetizers (which is a reason we don't go there often) and we find the rules and instructions to be offputting. I go out to eat for relaxation and enjoyment, not to read a laundry list of regulations on the menu.

      There are lots of very interesting ethnic places in Wheaton, just north of Silver Spring. The majority of these are practically spitting distance from the Wheaton Metro. There is also an excellent Scottish pub called the Royal Mile about a block from the Wheaton Metro, with quite good food and a superb collection of single malt whiskey, with tastings on Thursday nights (http://www.royalmilepub.com/

      )

      Hope this is helpful, and welcome to the area.

      1. re: eam531

        Colorado kitchen closed a few months ago-the chef is opening a new restaurant in Silver Spring. I do not know the name of the restaurant or when it is opening.

        1. re: chicken kabob

          Chef Gillian Clark is opening two restaurants--A restaurant in old Forest Glen General Store that may open sometime in the late fall (this is the most recent estimate I've heard) and another restaurant at the former Taliano's in Takoma Park at some point in future.

          I'll second most of the recommendations in this thread and add two great Thai places in Wheaton. Ruan Thai has an extensive menu and some of the best Thai food around and Nava Thai, tucked away behind a Thai grocery on a side street off University, has what one expert on Thai food has called the most authentic Thai in metro DC. I love both of them, but of late I've been working my way through the Nava Thai menu and have yet to have a bad meal. Especially recommended in the Floating Market Noodle Soup, an especially incendiary bowl which, if needed, can be toned down. My recommendation for first-timers is to order it medium hot and add heat as needed.

          I'm a fan of Ghar-e-Kabab in Silver Spring, an Indian/Nepali restaurant with a small but excellent lunch buffet. I also like La Bamba, a Guatemalan place on Georgia. Inexpensive, simple, honest food. I eat lunch there frequently.

          1. re: JeffCraddock

            I haven't tried Ghar-e-Kabab's lunch, but I thought it's worth mentioning that they deliver (yay). Their aloo ghobi is excellent, as are their flaky samosas.

            also, the relatively new Abol ethiopian across from the AFI is delicious.

    2. While not exactly California full, Silver Spring has some good places to eat. And if you are willing to drive up the road to Wheaton, there are even more.

      Some good choices

      Jackie's (Modern American, organic and free range, yada yada yada)
      8081 Georgia Ave. (enter from Sligo Creek side)

      Teddys Roti Shop
      7414 Georgia Ave

      Addis Ababa (Ethiopian)
      Fenton Ave?

      Crisfield (seafood) been there since 1945
      8012 Georgia Ave

      2 Replies
      1. re: dinwiddie

        I would also recommend Addis Ababa. I had an amazing meal not only with the food but the service and ambiance. Also, I would try the Red Dog Cafe off of Grubb Rd. The food is good and I used to go there during the spring to sit outside.

        1. re: dinwiddie

          Teddy's Roti Shop moved closer to the Silver Spring Metro station: 8407 Ramsey Ave. - 301-562-7779. Their website hasn't been updated, but the menu is pretty much the same. http://www.teddysrotishop.com/index.html

          Goldielocks - Have you been to Red Dog Café since the restaurant was purchased by the owner of Kirsten's Café about 4 months ago? I haven't been back yet, but it's next to the SS/TP Food COOP and the location definitely has potential. http://www.reddogcafe.com/links/enter...

          Here are two links from an October 2006 Washington Post article about Wheaton dining:

          Map: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/...

          Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

          The article's information overall is pretty accurate except that Sabang is now closed.

        2. Couple places not on the list right now.

          These are all right near downtown silver spring.
          Cubanos- I really like the empandas and the marinated meats.
          Sergios- Lamb Chop, Tiramisu and the man Sergio himself
          El Pollo Ric- a little farther away but its the only Peruvian Chicken that counts

          1. siliconbug,

            The four posters above have given you an accurate, complete, and certainly chowish list.

            I would, however, remove Crisfield from the master list. It's not up to snuff - it's barely in the "OK" catefory.

            1. My two favorites in your area are Udupi Palace (vegetarian Indian, with excellent southern Indian dishes such as iddlies and masala dosa) and Mandalay (Burmese). Mmm! I've never had a bad meal at either.

              3 Replies
              1. re: julialimei

                I usually go to Udupi Palace on the weekends for the buffet but the last few times the food seemed lackluster. Someone told me that they change the food on the weekends to suit the non-Indian customer; natives dominate on the weekdays supposedly. (Opposite of the pattern at Minerva Cuisine, Fairfax.) Can someone confirm this?

                1. re: Minger

                  I've never tried the buffet on weekends, but usually order a southern Indian specialty like the Masala Dosa...it tastes just as good as on weekdays. But perhaps the buffet is different.

                  1. re: Minger

                    I've been to the Udupi buffet on weekends and weekdays. There are more choices on the weekend, but I haven't noticed a difference in the food or the clientele--usually I see lots of south asians all the time.