Places you go to because you like the owners
I doubt that I'm the first to wonder about this so there is probably an existing thread that covers this.
However, I've been reading Chowhound daily for months so I don't think there's a recent thread.
I live in the southern part of Rockville ("North Bethesda").
I love going to Ambrosia and Ize's Bagels. The food is fine...nothing exciting but I really, really, like the owners.
Do you have any favorites where you go there because of the staff?
Sushi Zen in Falls Church and India's in Annapolis, both have good food, and extremely nice owners/chefs.
In your neck of the woods (Rockville/Bethesda), I have found the following proprietor-owned shops to have exceptionally friendly owners/staff:
Bob's 88 Shabu Shabu / Bob's Noodle 66
I can post on the opposite of this, which would be Primo Italiano in Reston. I boycotted starting a few years ago and continually have heard bad stories about the guy. Yesterday in fact, though, I heard he stopped interacting with customers and may not be there at all anymore, so maybe I'll go back - I miss the food.
I like the food at Hollywood East on the Boulevard (the menu is large enough for anybody to find something good that they like) but Jeanette, the owner, is so personable that she adds grace to place when she is there.