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MD Graduation help

I noticed it was graduation season and checked some of the previous threads, and couldn't find much. I'm graduating from U of MD - College Park and I have a whole slew of family (about 13 all together) coming down to see it and it just dawned on me that they might want to take me out to eat. Here's the contingencies,

-They're not from the area (NY) and I would prefer to make it as seamless as possible
-Can't take the metro (grandmother with a bad knee will be in attendance) so there needs to be parking and hopefully not too far out
-While I want to say no one's too picky, there will be kiddies so i guess it should offer some simple plates too
-I don't want to go to Applebee's, a diner or IHOP (which is what is around)

I think that's about it. This could be a night thing or a lunch/brunchy thing, I'm thinking it may be better to lean toward the latter. Entree's could run in the $20-$30pp range. My main issue is the driving/directions aspect. I would love to show them something yummy, & fun, especially since its the first time a lot has even seen my school-but I understand that coordination of it all may be difficult.

Please help!!

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  1. I'm having the same trouble. Sad to say we both waited too late to find a place. I started calling two weeks ago and most of the places are booked solid....I am still searching for a place and I only have a possible 8 and its still hard. I'm starting to look in Bethesda/Rockville because getting to DC may be too hectic

    2 Replies
    1. re: krenee

      we are doing a UMD graduation lunch at Ceviche in Silver Spring. THis may not fit the bill for you but Silver Spring is easy to get to from College Park so it may be a good option. What about Rays the Classics? or Olazzo?

      1. re: startsev

        Ray's the Classic's is a good one to try also. They had openings at 5:30 and 8:30 yesterday for a party of 8 but that doesn't fit my time slot

    2. Try opentable.com.

      Some restaurants which aren't listed there and are close to campus are Franklin's, Italian Inn, Pasta Nostra, Pasta Plus. A restaurant which is a DC tradition, but is in Kentlands in northern Montgomery County is O'Donnell's. There also was a seafood restaurant south of College Park whose name I can't remember, but which was really decent 8 or 10 years ago.

      1 Reply
      1. re: skipper

        "There also was a seafood restaurant south of College Park...."

        Calvert House.

      2. In Bowie there is the Old Town Bowie Grill. The food is decent and they can handle a group that large.

        http://www.oldbowietowngrille.com/

        1. Mrs. K's Toll House and Fajita Coast in Silver Spring are both very close to the University Blvd and Colesville beltway exits. Tower Oaks in Rockville in close to the exit off of 270. None of these are what I would call adventurous eating, but at this point you need somewhere that is going to be able to seat your whole party.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HilkaryIC

            Tower Oaks Lodge is a great idea for a large party, it's kinda fun and has simple and good plates. About 20-25 mins from UMD.

          2. If you like Mexican or Salvadoran food, I would suggest Samantha's. http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...
            Parking can be tight but it is close to College Park. It is delicious and there is tons of variety. It is a very festive atmosphere and authentic enough not to be a cheesy Chi Chis but welcoming enough so that it is not intimidating. Additionally, most of your guests may not have tried Salvadoran specialties which are somewhat unique to this area.

            It is not fancy by any means but it is fun.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Super Salad

              I recommend Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring as well. It's very quaint and really pretty in the spring. They have small private dining rooms too.

            2. Some ideas: Franklins in Hyattsville. Jackies in Silver Spring. Bice in Bethesda.

              1. How about Mykonos in Rockville. They have a smaller room that might be appropriate. Those who are able can take the metro, those who need to drive will have plenty of parking. We have gone with folks who are kosher and folks with picky kids and everybody found something nice to eat. It is not very expensive, but the food is good and service is warm and homey.